Planning 2024

It’s that time of the year when you make all your new year resolutions and get your company ready for 2024.  Then you hope that it all turns out like you planned.  When I owned my tow company this time of year was fun.  My wife and I would evaluate every part of the business.  We looked at the following areas:

  1. Staffing needs – Your staff is your best asset, so we looked at every employee and determined who was strong and who was weak. Based on our growth, we looked at positions we had to fill and figured out where to go to get the people we needed.  This used to be easy, but now every position has salary issues.  Then you must figure out where to find drivers.
  2. Drivers – This is probably the toughest challenge you will have in 2024. First you must find the drivers.  You can’t steal them from other companies because they don’t have any.   It used to be tattoos were your biggest issue, but now you must worry about the color of their hair, how many piercings they have, and get them to work the hours you need covered.
  3. Truck inventory – Evaluate your truck, which one needs repairs and which ones need replacing.
  4. Storage yard – If you need a storage yard, or, if you have a storage yard, what repairs are needed to meet the requirements of the city or state in which you operate?
  5. Travel – It was always important for us to go to at least two tow shows. We got to hook up with old friends and exchange war stories. At the same time, we looked at the latest technology and the new trucks that were hitting the market.  We also used this as a mini vacation to enjoy ourselves and relieve some stress.
  6. New Ideas – In talking with people at trade shows we always got new ideas for new lines of business. When you meet fifty new tow companies and pick their brains you have fifty people giving you new ideas to help you grow.
  7. Money – Having a great business plan is no good if you don’t have the money to execute it.

When we started our latest company, TowTrax, we did a lot of research and came up with a strong business plan.  We identified a need in the industry and developed a business to fit that need.  We knew we needed working capital to get it off the ground, so I went looking for investors.  Unfortunately, it was the same time covid hit, and all the big investors seemed to hide.

Finding money to address your changes will be a big part of your success, and finding money can be hard.  I know when I was trying to raise working capital for my company, there were several places to turn to, most of which were not successful.

Here is what I learned about raising working capital:

  1. Banks – I learned that if you don’t need money or have money, they will be happy to give you more. If you need money to grow you need collateral for everything they do.
  2. Venture Capital – If you are looking for less than 10 million, they are not interested. My company was growing, and I had a great business plan that was successful, but they would not even talk to me because I was not asking for enough money.
  3. Equity sources – They would loan you money if your company was making money and met certain criteria.
  4. Brokers – This group was the worst. I would get an offer on Facebook from a broker who could get you approved for a loan.  Once you respond to one ad, I would get phone calls and e-mails from brokers all with deals better than the last one.  This group was worse than working with someone trying to sell you a timeshare.  They would say anything to get your business.  Make promises they can’t keep and lie when necessary to get you to listen to their deal.  We wouldn’t even talk about the 30% interest rates they charge with high weekly payments, and they would hound you for months.  Even after I found money, they would still hound you.


Don’t ever use brokers to find your money.

I ended up reaching out to the industry for help.  Tow companies knew there was a need for what I was trying to do, and I found 13 tow companies willing to invest. Some purchased several hundred thousand shares of stock in TowTrax.  This gave me a built-in board of directors that I could run ideas through and get the best results.

If you need money to grow, the best way is through your customer base.  Look at your good customers and see what you can do to expand your services to them.  Try to reward them in any way you can to show you appreciate their business. Then look at your bad customers and give them to your competitor.

I just had a meeting with my staff, and we covered all the points that are in this article. Even though we are a new company, we are not afraid to get rid of customers that are costing us money.

We finally have a few big investors looking at us, which makes 2024 very promising.  It’s still not to late to purchase stock in TowTrax and be a part of our growing future.

Here’s hoping your year will be as good as ours. Most of all, work safe.