Fear what happens if you don’t

By Rich Lindblom, AVB Marketing

In his inaugural address, the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, uttered his now famous quote, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”  

And believe it or not, I think that statement can be applied to BrandSource members. Look, change is scary, but it’s also very necessary, because if you don’t change you are destined to fail.  

As product manager for the SYNC point-of-sale system, every day I see how scared dealers can be of making major changes to their business. I’ve literally had members tell me, “I know we need to get a new point-of-sale system but I just can’t do it, it’s too big of a change and I’m scared.”

But this doesn’t only apply to point-of-sale systems — it really applies to pretty much every aspect of your business.

Our world is constantly changing, and doing so at an ever accelerating pace. Think back to how you ran your business 20 years ago. How about 10 years ago, or even five years back?  

Times have changed and you need to change with them or suffer the consequences — those consequences being failure or possibly worse.  

After spending a week at BrandSource’s just-concluded Convention 2023 in Nashville, I walked away with one single, overarching message that AVB leadership delivered loud and clear: Members need to be willing to embrace change and adopt new technologies, new marketing strategies and new methodologies.

And really, this was an extension of the message that was delivered back in March at the Summit in Las Vegas. There, AVB’s executive management team encouraged members to make one significant change to their business, and the members who took their advice have reaped the fruits of those changes. Members who stepped up their game not only stopped the downturn in their businesses and pointed that arrow back up in the right direction, but those who did nothing continued to see their sales, profits and revenues dip.

It’s not a coincidence, folks! This is not a set-it-and-forget-it kind of industry. You need to continually work at it, and continually look for new, creative, different and interesting ways to run your company and attract customers.

There’s another great quote that I think is applicable here and that is, “Fortune favors the bold.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you blindly throw money at something without fully considering its merits. Rather, I’m encouraging you all to not fear change, and to not be afraid to try new things. 

What kind of new things, you ask?  Here are just few action plans that popped into my head at the airport as I awaited my flight home from Convention:

Get an AVB website. If you don’t have a website, you need one, and if you don’t have AVB’s Alta website, you need to switch. AVB websites are proven to deliver 30% greater results than any other website in our industry. Ninety percent of all purchases begin online, and if you think that doesn’t apply to your customers, I’m sorry, but you’re just plain wrong.

Get a connected point-of-sale system. I’d prefer it be SYNC, but the most important thing is that you have a connected point-of-sale system to run your business. It will make your life much easier and free you up to do all the other things in your business.

Change your marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing business with your local newspaper, TV or radio station or anything else for that matter. You need to do what works, and what works today is digital marketing. Step up and plug in, because digital isn’t the future, it’s the present.

And if that’s not enough, here are a few more strategies I’d like you to consider:

  • Add a new location
  • Hire an outside salesperson
  • Replace disgruntled or negative employees because they are killing your company culture
  • Add a new product line or brand
  • Start selling extended warranties.

The bottom line is that if you aren’t willing to change, you will eventually become a dinosaur. And we all know what happened to them. 

Rich Lindblom is a past principal of Advanced Maytag Home Appliance in Schaumburg, Ill., and now shares his 40-plus years of retail experience with BrandSource members as product manager for AVB’s SYNC point-of-sale system and as a columnist for YSN. You can reach Rich at rich.lindblom@avb.net.

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