Larry Roeder had a newly earned Master’s Degree in economics, no retail experience and a passive investor when he purchased a farm equipment dealership in 1981 in Hiawatha, Kan. He was looking for a business opportunity and found one through a chance meeting with a John Deere territory manager.
He says this about the dealership’s beginnings, which was in the middle of an ag economy crisis: “The first 10 years were treading water, to just survive. Sixty-six percent of the dealerships within 150 miles closed within our first 20 years and then consolidations started.”
In 1986, after attending his graduate school 5-year reunion, Larry thought about throwing in the towel on the dealership. But, a well-timed delivery from Deere & Co. of the book, “The First 150 Years of John Deere,” inspired him to keep going.
Today, the dealership has two locations and has grown from $3.2 million in sales back in 1981 to a rolling 12-month sales of about $140 million for the two stores, and in 2019 was recognized as Farm Equipment’s Dealership of the Year.
Farm Equipment's podcast series is brought to you by HBS Systems.
A trusted agriculture industry leader for 35 years, HBS Systems is constantly updating our cutting-edge equipment dealership software. Our powerful application offers fully integrated Inventory Management, Sales, Parts, Service, Rental, and Accounting features designed to streamline your entire business and maximize revenue. By automating and integrating complex processes, our software improves accuracy and efficiency in all departments, while providing real-time analytics from anywhere on any device, helping you deliver excellent customer service. We’re humbled to have grown from serving 1 dealership to more than 1,500 agriculture and construction dealerships throughout the US and Canada. Learn why your dealership should trust HBS Systems at www.hbssystems.com