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The new economy ‘win’

September 2, 2011
Filed under Aftermarket

Tim CalhounRecently I have found myself in more than a few discussions with friends and colleagues where I have mentioned that although I have recognized a year filled with personal and professional success, it is getting harder to recognize a win.

If you have been in the powersports industry for more than five years, I am sure you can relate to this statement: having entered this business in the late ‘80s, I rarely saw anything other than growth and an upside, so my view I am sure is somewhat skewed. If you have a decade or more under your belt. this is probably hitting closer to home given the last three years we have all worked through.

I think it is time I – and possibly some of you out there – rethink what a win in this economy is. Consumers are not qualifying by fogging a mirror, and there is no small fortune coming from a second mortgage on homes. Competition is tougher than ever, and separating consumers from their hard earned money is a higher form of art. Hours are longer, work forces smaller, budgets tighter and few owners or employees wear only one hat. This is the new economy.

So what is a win today? I can offer you this: if you are reading this, employed in the powersports business and/or still own your dealership, then give yourself a break and a pat on the back. That in itself is a win. If you’re investing in yourself, your business or your employees to develop new business, work smarter, or increase efficiency, that is a win. If you’re meeting your budget, sales goals or customers expectations, that is a win. And if you actually are launching a new business, new product or expanding in a down economy, you are in the fine company of Hyatt, Burger King, IHOP, FedEx, CNN, MTV, Wikipedia, Trader Joe’s, GE, HP and Microsoft, who all started in a down economy or recession.

I know for me, I am working hard to change my expectations, adjust the mark I measure against and have a realistic and appreciative view. Reevaluate your perspective, set realistic goals for yourself and your business, and every now and then, put your leg back over a bike, twist the throttle, find that stretch of road or dusty trail and remember what brought most of us into this business; it might be all the perspective you need.

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