#1: Ability to Develop Creative Strategies: Strategy SkillsThe strategy is a huge part of making your freight agency successful. With so many different links along a typical supply chain, you have to have the ability to develop creative strategies to get the job done. Strategy skills are not always second nature and if you don’t hone them, your freight agency is going to be dysfunctional. Deliveries will not get there on time and you will lose business.Being able to handle any event takes smart planning and strategy. Put this at the top of your list of skills to develop as you begin or improve your freight agency.#2: Ability to Keep Everything Organized: Organizational SkillsIf you are like many freight agents today, you work independently. You are your own assistant, scheduler, booker, strategist, and financial planner. That is on top of managing your daily influx of requests and orders. You cannot compete in this industry if you can’t keep it all straight.Your organizational skills are one of the things that set you apart from other agents. Even if you have no employees and you do it all yourself, it should never feel that way to your clients. Strong organizational skills will help you to be proactive and provide high-quality customer service.#3: Ability to Manage Workload and or Employees: Management SkillsSuccessful freight agents have to be good managers of their workload as well as people. If you’re running a top-flight freight agency, then you know very well how easy it can be to get overwhelmed by your workload.Workload management begins and ends with having the right people in place, whether that’s you on your own or managing employees to cover important functions. The ability to have the right people in the right places to help you manage your workload takes a firm knowledge of what is needed and what personnel skills will enhance your business. In order to be successful as a freight agent, you must have excellent management skills.#4: Ability to Connect with Clients, Vendors, and Customers: People SkillsPeople skills go beyond being good to your employees and help to your clients. Having these skills is more about your ability to connect with people from your customers to your vendors. In your daily interactions, are your communications fraught with tension and misunderstandings?A freight agent with strong people skills knows how to express himself or herself in a respectful and understanding manner, even when there is a problem. Your job as a freight agent is to help your customers, clients, and vendors, get the job done. Your people skills will either help you retain more business or help you lose it.#5: Ability to Build and Grow Your Business: Business SkillsOnce you’ve established yourself as a freight agent, you need to build a thriving business that grows. That requires a number of business skills including:
- Negotiating Prowess – Whether negotiating a contract with a national carrier or figuring out the right pay rate for your drivers, you will need some negotiation skills to maximize your profits.
- Financial Planning – Without smart forecasting planning for your finances over the long term is going to hinder your business growth.
- Marketing Knowledge – In this day and age you have to know how to market your agency especially as an independent freight agent online and through social media.