December 6, 2021
We’re excited to announce the $10,000 October Amber Grant recipient. Congratulations to Alice Beverly, founder of ARB Logistics.
They are the eleventh qualifiers for the 2021 year-end Amber Grant ($25,000).
Recently, WomensNet Advisory Board member Marcia Layton Turner sat down with Alice for an exclusive interview. You can listen to their conversation and view the transcript below.
WomensNet: Welcome everyone to another chat with our latest Amber grant winner. Today, we’re speaking with Alice Beverley, who’s president of ARB Logistics, and the Amber grant winner for October, 2021. I’m Marcia Layton Turner, and I’m a WomensNet advisory board member. Welcome, Alice. Let’s start by just having you tell us about your business. Like, why did you start it, when did you start it and what exactly do you do?
Alice: Well, first, I would like to say thank you to WomensNet and the members of the advisory board for selecting me as this month’s winner for the Amber Grant. I am so elated. I can hardly contain myself in this chair right now, and I am honored to be able to participate in this experience. I have been inspired by the stories I’ve read of past winners of this grant, of the women who have found their, their purpose that led them to a path to entrepreneurship. So for that, I thank you. So, I am Alice with ARB Logistics and I am a freight brokerage that specializes in the transportation of refrigerated and non-refrigerated items. Those items can range from things that you see at your local grocery store that you see along the aisle, a box of cereal or, some fresh fruit or vegetables in the produce section. So those are the types of things that I transport. If you visit your local hardware store and you purchase a gallon of paint, I also work along with carriers to transport those items. And so, for me, my journey began and back in 2008 when I was an elementary school teacher. I was teaching first grade and my husband was a commercial truck driver, working for a company in our local city. He approached me with the idea of buying his own equipment and starting his own trucking business. I was elated. I was ready to get on board despite my lack of knowledge for the trucking industry. I had to learn a lot and get a lot of hands-on experience with that. I wanted to help my husband in any way that I could. One of the ways that I did that was by dispatching, and what that means is getting on the phone, calling a broker and negotiating rates and setting up pickup and delivery appointments. It also built relationships with customers. What I didn’t know at the time was that watching him start the trucking business, allowed me to envision myself as an entrepreneur. I didn’t know at the time what I was going to do with it or how I would make that happen. So, fast-forward to today and now I am a freight broker. I am glad that I made that decision to transition from teaching into a career in the freight industry.
WomensNet: That’s awesome. Just so that I’m clear about exactly what a freight broker does; it sounds like you are the middleman. So let’s say, you mentioned paints, let’s say Sherwin Williams needs to ship a whole bunch of paint from Seattle to Atlanta. They could call you and say, “Alice, you know, we need to get this done. Who do you have?” Right? And then you reach out to your network of drivers to see who could pick it up and deliver it?
Alice: Of carriers. Yes, that is correct. The carriers are screened to make sure that they are legally able to transport that. So, yes, I act as a middleman or in my case, a middle-woman between the shipper and the carrier. I make that happen by providing that service.
WomensNet:Wonderful and so needed right now. I’m glad you’re doing that. So how did you first hear about the Amber Grant and what made you decide to apply?.
Alice: I heard about the Amber Grant initially from my sister. She sent me a text message one day and said, “Hey, I think you should check this out.” So, I checked it out, but I was too busy to focus, with getting the business started and off the ground. A couple of months later, after I set up my business, I saw a video of a young lady on YouTube who spoke about the Amber Grant. I had an aha moment. I was like, oh, this is the same thing that my sister sent me. So that is how I learned about the Amber Grant. I visited the website, I read the stories of past winners and I was inspired. I am happy that I made the decision to apply for this. That is how I was able to learn about this grant. Again, I’m filled with so much happiness right now. I just, I I’m overjoyed with how this grant is going to help me and take my business ARB Logistics to the next level. So I thank you very much.
WomensNet: Well, that’s a great segue into my next question. So now that you’ve won $10,000. What are your plans for how you’re going to invest in your business? What’s that going to help you do?
Alice: So I thought about this question really hard and I think the three areas that this grant is going to help me the most is definitely a software upgrade. Currently the software that I use is the heartbeat of the trucking industry. Tt is where I can utilize tools to have access to information such as lane capacity, supply and demand and I can get information about a load-to-truck ratio in different areas in the market. It’s also where I can get information about the market and what’s happening in the trucking industry. So this software upgrade is going to allow me to have access to tools and features that the current software package doesn’t allow me to have access to. That’s going to be a game changer for me. The other area that this grant is going to help me with is the SBA certification as a woman owned business. This was going to allow my business ARB Logistics to have visibility. I’ve learned recently that there are over 13 million women own businesses across the United States. And this is definitely going to increase my visibility. It’s going to give me exposure and it’s going to build and strengthen my business reputation as well. The grant will also allow me to have access to additional education and networking opportunities as it pertains to the SBA certification. Again, I thank you for that because I wouldn’t be able to do that, not at this moment in time at this stage in my business. The last area that this grant is going to help me in is through marketing. Currently I do have a website, but I would like to invest in more marketing materials and tools that will allow me to be able to share with potential customers and potential clients. So that’s going to help me out tremendously.
WomensNet: Those investments sound so smart. The hope for this grant or from any of us on the committee is that the winners are able to take that money and then generate hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in revenue. What you’ve just said, as far as where you are going to put that money, makes total sense to me as far as growing the business. This is exciting for you. I’m excited too.
WomensNet: So looking ahead, you know, beyond a year, five years, what are some future plans that you have for ARB Logistics?
Alice: I thought about this question and as I’ve mentioned earlier, the trucking software that I use is the heartbeat of the trucking industry, and developing relationships with shippers is the blood supply that enables me to grow as a business. I need to be able to build and develop relationships with shippers and I need to be able to do that on a daily basis because as you’re aware with the economy, nothing is guaranteed, a business that is here today may not be here tomorrow or next week. I’m increasing my customer base for my shippers to allow me to grow and allow me to hire other women that can help me grow this business and get it to the level that I foresee it to be in the future. What that means is, I will be able to hire dispatchers who will be able to work with carriers. I will also be able to hire agents who will help me find additional shippers so that we can start building those relationships with our customers so that we can get that repeat business over and over. That is the gist of that.
WomensNet: Awesome. Makes, makes total sense. Yes. So, for the women business owners who are just getting started, maybe they’re thinking about starting a business or they’re underway, but they’re not really sure what they should do next; Do you have any advice for these aspiring, newer women assistant/ business owners? Anything you’ve learned along the way that you think might be helpful for them?
Alice: Yes. The main thing that I would tell an aspiring business owner would be that you are your greatest asset and you are your greatest investment. I would tell her to do it. I would tell her to make a plan and create goals, both for the longterm and the short term. I would tell her to hold herself accountable to those goals and make sure that she gets them done. I would also tell her to find people who were doing what she is trying to do, or people who have done what she’s done to guide her. I would tell her to look for resources and literature that will help her get her on the right track and help her learn as much as it as she can about what it is that she wants to do. I would just tell her to go for it and just keep in mind what her purpose behind why she’s doing it, keep that in the forefront and I think she will be successful in that.
WomensNet: Well, Alice, thank you so much for giving us your time today to share your story with the WomensNet community and congratulations again on being the October Business Specific Grant recipient.
Alice: Thank you so much. And again, I greatly appreciate this opportunity. It’s going to allow me to grow my business. You guys just don’t know how important this is to me and how this will help. So thank you. Thank you, WomensNet. Thank you to the advisory board. I appreciate it a lot.
WomensNet: We’re excited to see what you do next.