Opportunities Abound, Take The Risk
Opportunities are a daily occurrence. At least according to Brandon Ford, director of marketing for Power Train Service, the 2009 Truck Parts & Service Distributor Of The Year.
I was speaking with Ford while working on this issue’s cover story on the state of the aftermarket. He’s a pretty upbeat guy. He says you come across 100 or more opportunities everyday in business. “There are opportunities that present themselves to any business every day from every vendor that walks in the door with the latest and greatest products,” he says.
He also says it can be difficult to pick out the ones that make sense for your business especially since most distributors, repair garages, and even dealers don’t have market research departments to help them determine how the market will react to their decision. Still he is adamant that distributors have to seize some of the opportunities that come their way.
“A lot of our decisions are based on assumptions. We have to be ready to listen when there is information available, but we also have to lean on our intuition that an opportunity makes sense for us — that it is going to be a good opportunity for the business — and then take it and run with it.”
Hand-in-hand with identifying opportunities is taking the risks needed to make them come to fruition.
He says where some businesses fall down is that they get a quarter of the way into a project or maybe half way and then they second-guess themselves that perhaps this is not the right path to take so they back out.
“If you do that five or 10 times you get in the habit of doing something, backing out, doing something, backing out.” And fairly soon you never take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way and your business ends up stagnating.
Of course you can’t just blindly jump in because an opportunity presents itself. You have to be careful and do your due diligence to see if the opportunity really makes sense for your business. If it does, you need to develop a solid plan for bringing it to fruition and then stick with the plan even if the payoff is months down the line.
Perhaps you are skeptical of Ford’s premise that there are hundreds of opportunities for distributors everyday. But I am betting that when you are in Las Vegas for Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week that you won’t have to look too hard for opportunities that make sense for your business.
Take advantage of the networking opportunities and the exhibits to find the next great opportunity for your business. Then when you get back home, sit down and make a plan to being implementing it.
Remember if you never take a risk, you never have the opportunity to grow. And if you don’t grow, before long it won’t matter how many opportunities are out there because you won’t be around to take advantage of them. n