Bold Idea No. 6 – Open on Sundays: ‘The payback is worth it’
July 12, 2010
Filed under Features
Location: Indio, Calif.
New brands sold: KYMCO, Kendon
Used brands sold: Harley Davidson, Buell, Indian, Big Dog, American Customs, Kendon, KYMCO
Staff size: 3 service, 2 1/2 parts/accessories/vehicle sales, 1/2 other
The goal of any business is to do something different to separate itself, according to Valley V-Twin owner Halle Fetty, so when she and her husband noticed no other dealership in their area was open on Sundays, they decided to give it a try.
“We thought we’d give it six months to see whether it was worth it,” Fetty said. “After three weeks, we knew we’d stick with it.”
That’s because Sunday has turned into the third best day of the week for the dealership, after Tuesdays and Saturdays. But from Fetty’s perspective, it’s the No. 1 day to work.
“Sundays are more laid back and less demanding,” Fetty said. “There’s a happy factor with the customers because they’re glad someone is open, and it’s a great time to restock instead of staying late or coming in on Mondays.”
They started with what Fetty calls a “soft” launch — mentioning the new hours in their newsletter, on their Web site and in one commercial — because they didn’t want to upset people by being understaffed. That’s because currently the only people working on Sundays are Fetty and her husband.
“It was a gamble to start, so there was no point in being overstaffed,” Fetty said. “We’re almost to where we can afford to have the staff come in.”
Since they don’t have a full staff on Sundays, they only service relatively easy fixes, but Fetty says that’s a lot better than waiting until the next week for someone who breaks down during a Sunday ride.
She’s heard through the grapevine in her small community that other dealers think they’re either insane or brilliant.
To keep their sanity, the Fettys close the store one Sunday a month, which is when they host their monthly “I Dunno” motorcycle ride (the name comes from the mystery of where the ride will travel and where the group will stop for breakfast). “We would like the day off, but the payback is worth it,” Fetty said. “Financially, emotionally and physically.”