Robert Carter, Carter Transportation, Inc..

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Robert Carter is the Founder and Chairman of Carter Transportation, Inc., a general freight delivery company as well as a FedEx and Walmart contractor. We talked with Robert to find out how the company was doing since he participated in the Founders First accelerator program. Don’t miss what he had to say when we asked him about revenue growth!

What was your inspiration for starting the business?

I had been doing some analytical work in the transportation and logistics space for about 17 years, and I had not in that time actually come across a minority company that was either in the middle-market size in terms of contract business or general freight business. So, I decided that I wanted to start a minority company that I could build into a national contracting and general freight operation.

Was your business impacted by COVID at all? Did you have to make any shifts or pivots? 

Yes, we did. Fortunately, for us it wasn’t in a negative way. It was in a positive way.

“I started the company with only two tractors and two trailers, running nationwide on the general freight side, but when COVID hit, we saw the demand for our service almost double.”

As a result, we ended up having to scale up a lot faster than I would have liked to scale, but we were able to get access to capital—through myself and some friends—to get that done. So, we were impacted but in a positive way.

What was your fondest memory of the Founders First accelerator? 

It was a phenomenal experience. I think the thing that I appreciated most was the opportunity to participate in the speaking opportunities, where we were put together in teams and then we had to come up with plans that were beneficial for the business in the short term and in the long term, kind of a 1-2-3-year type of deal. That, to me, was the most valuable thing.

“I thought it was great because it provided me with some of the foundational things that I lacked in terms of starting a business and running it successfully.”

I just thought the entire program was great, but I think that area was most beneficial to me coming out.

Since you completed the program, has the company seen revenue growth?

Yes, when we started the company, we were at about half a million in revenue. When I came into the program we were at about $800,000 or $900,000.

“But by the time the program was completed at the end of the year we were just over $3 million.”

And today, at the end of the past year, we were just over $12 million. 

What advice would you give for the next up-and-coming entrepreneur out there that’s looking to start and grow their business?

I say focus on the fundamentals of business operations, understanding the financials, and understanding how that plays an important role in, one, getting your business off the ground, and two, having you run consistently and successfully. Understanding those business fundamentals, like financials and operations, is what I would advise a new business that is looking to get started and stay afloat.

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