There was a time when Sandra Lowe, self-described “owner, operator, manager, president, CEO, floor sweeper and toilet cleaner” of Service West Delivery Express just threw up her hands, unsure of what to do next. Just a few years after purchasing her new business, Sandra faced the reality of a rise in gas prices and interest rates, along with a shortage of truck drivers.
After coming out of retirement to purchase Service West, Lowe quickly realized that the delivery industry was more than just picking up, dropping off and driving trucks — all of which she knew how to do. The company’s annual revenue dropped, increased, then dropped again, and Lowe was stumped on what to do next. “My biggest mistake was to think I knew what I was doing,” she says.
Lowe turned to SCORE for guidance as she navigated her delivery service to sustainable growth and success.
Based on the recommendation of a close friend, Lowe called Greater Phoenix SCORE, where she was placed in a SMART group designed to look at every aspect of her business and make recommendations on what to do next. Soon, seven members from SCORE came in and analyzed everything from Service West’s financial records and marketing to the company’s trucks, and came up with a report that would eventually stabilize those operations.
With the help of SCORE, Lowe was able to make a number of tough decisions and keep her business intact. She relegated almost all aspects of the courier service to focus more on the other facets of her business. She also now leases trucks instead of owning them, a move that helps to combat the constant cost of maintenance and the associated loss of delivery capability.
Lowe hopes to take her business to the point where she can either pass it on to her family or sell it. She also still meets with two members of SCORE at least twice a year, and acknowledges with gratitude their guidance and encouragement.