Tim Young, General Manager, Young’s Equipment, Inc.
2009 Dealership of the Year Winner
1. Dare to dream! To be successful in business, you can’t always take the main road. In this type of business and in this industry, you must spend time in the present with your staff and customers on day-to-day activities. But if you really want to succeed, you need vision. What can you do that fills an unfulfilled need? What will set you apart from the competition? Outthink, outwork and outinvest. It takes time allocated away from the day to day to free your mind to be creative. Take that time and use it to find inspiration.
2. Find a mentor. A mentor is an experienced business person willing to spend time with you and discuss business strategy. This allows you to evaluate proposals and apply business standards and benchmarks to your situation. Mentoring can come from many different sources, so be open and actively seek it out. For example, your company’s lawyer and accountant can be sources of specific information and direction. Using a consultant, such as Dr. Jim Weber, can help you understand how, where and why your business can expand. Don’t forget about people in your own industry — obviously not your direct competitors but other dealers in different geographical areas. Some of my best resources are dealers who I respect and can have an open mutually beneficial discussion about business.
3. Cash is king! This is the lifeblood of any business. If you run out of cash (or access to it) the game is over! Plan you sources and uses of cash and spend time with your banker. This is the area where you don’t want any surprises.
4. Spend time with your people. If you know them and treat them right, they will move mountains for you.
5. Commit to the business. If you are successful in your business, never forget what got you to the top and every once in a while go back to basics.
6. Be a life-long learner. The world is changing, credit lines are different than a couple of years ago. Keep on top (even at a high level) of new trends and new technology.
Read the "The Dealer's 16 Commandments," a summary article of all "Dealers of the Year" and their views on the cornerstones of running a farm equipment business.