Malcolm Gilreath has made a career of keeping roads safe. In 2016, after 20 years in the transportation industry as a safety representative, senior underwriter, licensed insurance agent, manager and trainer, he founded Proactive Transportation Safety Services. Now Gilreath assists trucking companies with their safety and risk management programs, helping them to train drivers, develop policies, complete safety upgrades, and manage risks.
Gilreath started his company with an advantage: Having already worked with hundreds of carriers, he had a strong network in the industry that could provide him with leads and referrals. He also joined the Oklahoma Safety Management Council, which he calls “a wonderful group of industry leaders who, like myself, want to make a difference in the industry and keeping our roads safe.”
Gilreath has increased his revenue over the past year and has grown his client base. He also now has an office in a business incubator. He says, “The brand of the company has begun to take hold. The next step for the company is to bring on some employees that share the passion of making a difference with our clients and on the road safety.”
Gilreath wanted someone who was not involved in his company to guide him on how to grow Proactive Transportation Safety Services. He worked with SCORE mentor Linda Parker, who he still meets with regularly. Gilreath says, “She goes above and beyond each time I visit with her and not only brings value each time, but her network contacts have been huge in the success and continued growth of the operation.”
Parker advised Gilreath to contact the business incubator, which has given him access to an event center where he can meet with clients, make presentations and conduct training seminars.
He also found SCORE’s marketing workshops valuable for networking and sharing ideas.
When asked to consider what advice he would give to other potential small business owners, Gilreath says, “I would recommend meeting with a SCORE representative early in the process to get on the right track as soon as possible.”