Is it possible to stay fully staffed and busy in the offseason? How about when your offseason is controlled by unpredictable weather like it is in North Carolina?
For one dealer, diversifying their business and carefully training customers means that whenever the slow season hits they are able to keep staff busy and the business profitable.
Keeping Staff On
With a small staff of four, Kathleen Gospodinoff of SG Power Equipment in Hendersonville, NC, explains that they have no need to lay off staff members in the offseason.
“We have two mechanics, my husband and myself on staff,” says Gospodinoff. “Last year we didn’t have to lay our mechanics off. It’s a smaller staff and we have found ways to keep busy year round.”
Small tasks around the shop, parts department and show floor keep the staff busy and the facility clean and organized. “Some days we will have them reorganize parts inventory, while on other days they just do general cleaning,” says Gospodinoff. “For the majority of the time we are able to keep them busy.”
New Products and Smarter Customers
When side projects run out, SG Power has taken on a home standby generator line to fill up free time and add to the company’s profits.
“The home standby generators do a great job of keeping us busy in the winter months. In the late fall, customers request service on them in preparation for ice storms,” explains Gospodinoff. New generator customers are often obtained when an ice storm hits.
Training customers to service ahead of time has brought SG Power not only generator work, but also mower maintenance and repairs.
“We have a very large commercial base and a lot of the customers bring their equipment straight to us when they are finished with it in the fall,” says Gospodinoff. “We have trained them this way, making it very clear that if they bring it to us right away, then when they are ready to go in spring they aren’t left waiting. By training our customers to get ahead of the spring rush, we are kept busy over the winter. It’s what’s best for them and it’s what’s best for us.”