I've always heard people say not to hire relatives, and I guess I've learned that lesson. My brother used to drive for us and he came off the road about 3 years ago because the truck was having problems and we put him in dispatching. For the most part, that was working out ok, until we started growing and had to hire more dispatch people to keep up with the larger number of trucks. He resented that because he fancied himself the head of dispatch or some such and I had to set him straight about his role as one dispatcher, not the head of them.
We got past that disagreement and continued to be productive, with a new guy I had hired and my wife doing dispatch along with my brother, and each person having his own group of trucks to handle, until a few weeks ago I started seeing way too many careless mistakes being made, the kind of mistakes that can be costly. We were getting charged back on too many loads from our factoring company and getting stiffed on other invoices. I also had drivers calling me to complain that they were sitting in good freight areas and seeing other trucks moving in and out while they weren't getting load offers.
I got a few excuses from him about the volume of loads posted and how it's easy to miss one here and there, so I did a bit of digging into email accounts. It turns out that one of his buddies from when he was on the road had started up on his own and he was working with that guy behind my back, and using our business contacts to book loads for the other guy's trucks. It also turns out that the bad freight he had booked that I didn't get paid on or got charged back was most likely not careless mistakes but a concerted effort to screw me up financially because of a grudge he had from when my wife quit her job to help me with the company. He had notions that he was running things when in reality my wife is half owner and makes a lot of the decisions.
So in short, his actions cost me about $20k in a period of a couple weeks, which put me behind on paying some drivers and carriers who have hauled loads for us. The drivers in turn decided to back off and not haul as much freight (who can blame them?) and that resulted in a pretty good drop in revenue. We went from a nice surplus in the bank to owing upwards of $50000 so fast your head would spin.
Needless to say, he's fired and it's back to Carren and me running things, but now having to put back anything the company makes right back into the company. I haven't kept any personal income for a couple months and Carren is going back to her old line of work just to try to pay the bills. It's amazing how fast things can change, and more disconcerting when it's your own family member who does it to you. I've been looking into options for business financing, but a lot of people don't want to touch me at the moment because the history over the last couple months has been bad and they don't like the trend, but the truth of the matter is that I'll be able to streamline things, get some trucks rolling again, and maybe we can start digging out of the hole. Someone else suggested gofundme, but I've never used that before, so maybe my next step is to type something up on there and see what happens.
Ok, since typing the last paragraph, I went on there and created a profile and typed up something for starters. It looks like you just get it out there on social media and hope enough folks click and donate? Anyway, if anyone has any better suggestions for coming up with about $100k to pay off the debts and build the reserve back up, I'm all ears.