Remember when you specialized only in tires? Well, times change, consumers change and we have to change with them.
We know that more customers are searching the Internet for price. When price becomes the number one factor, our honest dealings, good workmanship and quality are diminished in the customer’s eyes. Is there any way out of this?
There are only two ways to grow your business that have long-lasting and beneficial results. One is to be unique and the other is to be the best.
Let us examine what it means to be unique. The auto manufacturer Subaru of America comes to mind. Subaru was unique in the 1970s. It was affordable and offered all-wheel drive, which was unique. New England, where I live, has harsh winters, lots of snow and many hills. The weather here benefited Subaru.
The second reason for sustained growth is quality. Being the best is not as easy as being unique. Were Subaru cars the best in the ‘70s? Not by a long shot. But they were good enough. Owners loved them and kept fixing their older cars as they wore out. To this day, Subaru vehicle owners keep the company in business.
By the way, have you noticed most Subaru commercials talk about love, not how great their vehicles are? They also sometimes mention the percentage of Subarus still registered. If you love something, you will take care of it. (Advertising is a subject of its own.)
So what about quality? In 1974, a book went on sale that was quite popular. Its title, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” spoke to me. Quality is a major theme in this book.
Quality can be many things to many people. To know what quality is, you must ask your customers and yourself. Once you know, make sure all your staff knows, too, and then deliver it.
What does all this have to do with specializing? If your tire store once only sold tires, then you were a specialist. Once you added “and automotive service” to the end of your company’s name, you lost that specialization.
Do you want to be a specialist again? What if you changed your business model? What if you specialized in electric cars and electric trucks? You can keep doing what you do now, but what about adding electric vehicles to your business and by that, I mean going all-in? What if it worked out in the long run?
In the end, the choices you make today will impact your future and all those who trust your leadership.
Back in school, I was taking a physics course when the teacher held up a large book and then dropped it. The book hit the floor with a bang. Then she said, “Gravity doesn’t care if you believe it or not.” Electric cars and trucks don’t care what you think of them, either. But they’re here and they represent a great opportunity for you and your business.