Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Taking the CABS Course

Today I decided that I needed to ensure that I was continuing my business education and see that I was headed in the right direction.

I currently have my booking and taxes done by ATBS.  They seem to have done a decent job so far in both realms but I like to be more 'hands on'.  The monthly P&L statement I get from them is one month old or more by the time I receive a copy of it.  For me, this seems to be too much of a lag time to be able to make good timely decisions about my business to make sure I can keep it profitable.

Last year I had started to use an online program called MyGauges which allows me to put my numbers in weekly and track them week to week, month to month and so on giving me a much better 'real time' look.

Now in order to make sure I am getting the most for my money from both of these programs, I have decided to take the CABS course that ATBS has.  This course is a business course tailored for owner operators in the trucking industry.  There are quite a few lending institutions that will give a loan application more weight if you have been certified in this course as it is pretty in-depth.

There are 12 lessons that cover a whole range of topics.  You have to pass a test to get past each lesson and there is a nice long test at the end that you have to pass to get the certification.

I know I have learned a lot from other people, reading and just the school of 'hard knocks' since I have been out here, but I want to make sure that I have learned everything I need to know.  To me this course sets an excellent 'baseline' to see where I am at.

I don't plan on stopping with this course.  There are other things I can do.  One other course I plan on taking at some point will be the CMC, the Certified Master Contractors seminar put on by Kevin Rutherford.  It is a 5 day INTENSE seminar that is loaded with a wide range of topics that are covered in the industry today.  I know it will take the CABS course and add to it probably to a factor of 10.  For me the biggest thing is to determine if I can save enough to take the course this year, or if I will have to wait for next year as it will cost, between the course and the revenue loss for 5 days somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5k.  On the surface it does sound expensive but the knowledge gained at it should give a fairly quick ROI (return on investment) that would make up the loss.

So, first things first I have to complete the CABS course, (which is normally 500 but I got it at 350) and then see where things stand.  Oh, the other nice thing about the CABS course is that once completed, I get a 5% discount with everything I do with ATBS.  That does help quite a bit with the ROI on it.

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