With California’s AB5 law going into effect on January 1st, 2020. Many carriers are taking a look at what their options are with Owner-Operators that are based in the state.

As small business owners, you need to wear many hats. Many would ask me as an owner of a small carrier why I was not more upset about the ELD mandate. I would tell them that I am wearing my capitalist hat right now and I need to focus all my energy on how I can capitalize on these changes.

Before I was happy to change hats and go with a group of carriers to talk to different committees in Washington. It was an opportunity to educate them on how these changes would impact our business. But once MAP-21 had passed, that was the time to shift gears.

Focus on the Opportunity

This is the approach that business owners need to take about any change that is out of their control. When the opportunity is available you need to do what you can to influence laws and regulations in a direction that will benefit you but once they have passed you need to look for how you can capitalize on these changes.

When you take a 30,000-foot view of what CA is doing, not just with this law, it is clear that they are driving businesses away. At a time when the cost of housing in California is classified as a crisis, they are leaving many questioning why they still live there. Each straw takes them one step closer to leaving.

Once the decision is made there is no upside in spending 1 minute of your energy on complaining about it. That is energy that is taken away from figuring out how to capitalize on it.

Your Business First

I know this attitude is not popular by many that do not focus on the business first. They will tell you, and me, that this is how we continue to lose freedoms. The problem with this argument is that the battles have been fought over this in the past couple of decades.

Short of the court case granting a stay and then businesses that have a serious concern about the significant reduction in capacity turning out in force to get an exemption (not for the lease-purchase, that would be the death of such an exemption) the war was lost and if you want to keep fighting you need to shift your sights on changing the landscape of the elected officials. California Democrats hold a Super Majority.

Now let’s shift outside of California. An Independent Owner-Operator based outside of California should be paying very close attention to what is happening here. Hot markets can go cold very fast (can you say 2018).

If you are a business person and not some that just “bought a job” then you need to remember that you wear many hats. The long-term planning hat that covers legislation and regulations needs to come off when lobbing time is over. Then you need to put your businessperson hat on and start looking at if you still have a viable business and if so how you are going to capitalize on the changes.