August '19

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6 THE SHOP AUGUST 2019 W e've all heard the legend about McDonald's promoter Ray Kroc saying that the three most impor- tant factors in a successful business are "location, location, location." Kroc also said, "We are in the real estate business— not the hamburger business" and the "loca- tion, location, location" advice is a com- mercial real estate agent's prime sales pitch. Now, let's talk about the fourth most important factor in running a business— getting customers to your location. You may think that good location automatically brings in customers. This is the "if you build it they will come" philosophy. It led to a big hit in movie theatres, but isn't always the case. If it were, you could build a business anywhere and customers would come. Good luck with that! In order to sell, you have to be seen. A good location doesn't necessarily catch the eye of a driver zipping by at 70 mph. The owners of specialty car shops don't always think about being seen when they picture a good location. For many, car res- toration is considered a retirement business and they actually want their shop located off the beaten path. We've even heard of a shop that's on the side of a lake so that the workers (all members of the family that owns the business) can take swimming breaks during long, hot summer days. However, as the specialty car business grows, more and more shops are looking for high-visibility locations. Let's say the property you purchased for your specialty car shop sits near a heavily traveled four-lane highway. It is just the size you wanted, it was priced to sell and it provides lots of room for growth. However, the property sits a little lower than the highway. People traveling by in the far lanes barely notice you, while those traveling in the near lanes don't see the shop until they are past the exit that takes them to it. What you have is similar to a barn find car that's totally rust-free, but needs a little work. You've got a shop that's in a great location, but you need to be seen. You need Being an automotive business allows you to get creative when looking to attract customers. 6 THE SHOP AUGUST 2019 By John Gunnell Volo Museum's bright, bold sign highlights a "Hollywood Cars" attraction.

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