March '20

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26 THE SHOP MARCH 2020 bottom-line profit and that you've had steady growth over the past few years? • Have you looked at economic, industry and consumer trends for indications of your shop's staying power? • Are your administrative systems and management team exceptional at both locations, as you'll need them to work autonomously while you're getting the new shop up and running? • Did you complete a business plan for your new location? • Have you determined where and how you'll obtain financing, if needed? • Did you choose the location based on what's best for the business, not your wallet? With a second shop, especially in a neighboring state with different taxation and regulations, you may need to be open to growing and expanding your business vision—the concept that defines who you are and what makes your shop unique. But, at the same time, you'll also need to be a strong leader who knows how to keep your vision in focus at all times, and communicate this clearly to all of your employees, as the Marshalls have. READY, SET, GO Launching another shop at any time of the year is going to be hectic, especially if you're considering holding a Grand Opening to announce your arrival in a new market, as MULE Expedition Outfitters (dasmule. com) did. Given that it was going to be this way regardless, the MULE team decided the weekend after the SEMA Show was as good a time as any to dive right in. Since they weren't driving the rig they had on display at the SEMA Show back to Portland, the thought was that they would be saving Nicely merchandised, all the recovery gear is featured in one area. A well-stocked lighting area makes it easy for customers to decide what they need. Brightly colored containers create an eye-catching display. A comfortable, relaxed showroom allows for peer-to-peer interaction. BUILD YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE An effective website is an integral part of business today, and "making your website visible is vital," says Sally Falkow, a web content strategist. "You need every weapon you can get." Design and programming are important parts of the site, but it's content that will attract visitors, get them to stay and possibly make a sale or encourage them to visit your physical location. A site strategy based on user behavior and content based on what they're reading or viewing will yield excellent search results and continue to meet your visitors' needs. Watch and learn from other types of enterprises to see how they've developed consistency in their operations, and whether this will work for you. For instance, a tire wholesaler in Phoenix who owns a number of retail outlets has very different types of stores for divergent customers. In the industrial area, buyers tend to be other business owners and the need is for light truck and HD tires, while in more upscale quarters, a plethora of tires and wheel styles are required to provide clients with additional choices. Convey such variety on your website and reflect the type of business you hope to be. —Jason Sakurai Welcome to OVERLANDING

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