November '19

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42 THE SHOP NOVEMBER 2019 Homework! Is there anything that stu- dents—or parents—dread more? I may be exaggerating, but, trust me, I have two kids and just because their home- work isn't mine doesn't mean that I'm not somehow involved—either helping or at least making sure it gets done. The other day my 11-year-old son was complaining about his homework, and probably more so since I was riding him to get it done, when he said, "Well, Dad, you don't understand, because you don't have homework!" We all know, however, that if you are involved in any business—and especially one as diverse and ever-changing as the specialty automotive aftermarket—that my son's sentiments are not exactly true. We all have constant homework that we do, (or, at least, should be doing) and just like school homework, there are usually deadlines and our final grade (i.e. paycheck) will usually reflect the work we put into it. Here are some homework-type issues that many aftermarket shops face: New Products The products we carry at our shop can be some of the more painstaking forms of home- work for me. The constant change of new products, new features, new vehicles, new technology, etc., can really be exhausting at times. So, for you manufacturers out there, please remember that the simpler you can make your message regarding the new, changing, exciting product you have, the more likely it will resonate with the shops you're hoping will sell and install it. Remember, every shop carries an array of products, so getting that business to offer yours is only the beginning. The next, and tougher, step is to convince that retailer why they should give your product more attention than the other parts they carry. Why should they talk about your product over others when they have just a few min- utes with a walk-in customer or dealership sales manager? Why should they put you at the top or near the top? Is it because of profitability, ease of sale or increased Do Your Homework! In the business world, "homework" takes the form of issues that need attention outside of the everyday requirements of running your shop. Yes, even adults running businesses need some study time now and then. By Josh Poulson

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