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Powersports of Palm Beach

In just five years, Powersports of Palm Beach went from $1 million in sales to $7 million, and the Florida-based dealership continues to grow due to its different dealership process.

If you’ve spent enough time inside various powersports dealerships, you know each one has its own vibe and feel, but generally, dealerships operate under similar tactics and processes. The folks at Powersports of Palm Beach pride themselves on being different in just about everything they do. That difference starts at the top with owner Tony Mommone.

Mommone will be the first to admit he didn’t get his head screwed on straight until he was about 21 years old. He enjoyed racing his Yamaha Warrior and his Honda 250R. However, when it came to repairing and rebuilding his bikes, Mommone needed more knowledge, so he enrolled in a motorcycle school in 2002 and graduated in 2003.

“I went to work for what’s now Broward Motorsports,” Mommone says. “It used to be called Palm Beach Cycles. I worked to work for them for about four months as a bike builder, which I wasn’t. I didn’t build bikes in school. I worked on bikes, so I damaged a few things and got fired. After that, I decided to start my own thing.”

Mommone’s dad had a 900 square-foot freestanding building where Mommone started a little business. He got an account from Western Power Sports, got his name in the phone book and pulled the LLC in June 2004. He got his first retail location in 2006 and primarily did service work.

“Between the bills, the rent and all the different stuff of running a business, I had no idea what I was doing,” Mommone admits. “I was a one-man band, but the business grew.”

In 2008, he moved again. Then, in 2011, he was able to purchase Powersports of Palm Beach, but he didn’t inherit a business or a dealership. Mommone more or less purchased a name.

“I didn’t really purchase a business,” he says. “I purchased a lease, a name and a phone number – that’s literally all I bought for $6,000. In 2011, I signed the paperwork, gave him $6,000, he moved out, I moved in and I ran both businesses for about six months. Very quickly, I realized I can’t go back and forth, so I consolidated the shops in mid 2011. It was basically me and another two guys up until about 2016.”

At that time, another dealer poked fun at Mommone over not selling bikes. As it turns out, Mommone isn’t someone you want to poke about not being able to do something. He had been in the powersports industry for 12 years before he ever sold a motorcycle, but that all changed very quickly.

“I pulled my dealer license and I hired one more person, so it was me and three other staff,” he says. “In 2015, we did $350,000 in revenue. In 2016, we did $1 million. Then, it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger until we picked up MV Agusta in 2018. That was our first franchise.

“We worked with them and got a couple of extra banks and started doing our used program. We got to the point where we had about 120 used bikes on the floor, all prepped and ready to go. Then, we got Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Vespa, and Piaggio at the end of last year (2022). We did this whole buildout and all of this stuff, so from ‘16 at $1 million and four people, we did $7 million the last two years with 12 people. That’s the growth. In five years, we went from $1 million to $7 million. The financial growth has been huge.”

Mommone attributes that success to many things that Powersports of Palm Beach does differently than the ‘traditional’ dealer, but everything rises and falls to his level of leadership.

“I work very hard as an owner/operator,” Mommone says. “My staff knows they can count on me. They know they can call me. They know the level of things that I want to see and the expectation and the standards and the process. Our motto is the highest standard in the industry, and that’s what we try to do. Our experience from service to sales to parts to after sales to F&I to rentals to pick up and deliveries — whatever we do, we try to do it with the highest standard in mind for the customer. At the end of the day, if a business focuses on money solely, then it’s not going to be fun for the customer.

“We focus on the customer and their experience, so they have fun the whole time. They’re more important to me than the money in their pocket. That’s just the way we do it. We don’t get you in the finance office like you’re in a sales tactic for a timeshare. We just try to be the very best at what we do, how we do it and why we do it. That’s the common thread that runs through the entire dealership — every person knows what every other person is doing. They know each other’s names. We’re all a big family. There are no separated departments and nobody knows what’s going on. Everybody’s very tight and we communicate extremely well on all different types of platforms as far as service and parts and our DMS and the way I’ve orchestrated everything that happens day-to-day at the dealership.”

Caring about people and the dealership’s customer base more than the money in their pocket has changed the entire way Powersports of Palm Beach operates.

“When you care about people, you care about their time and everything about it — it’s not just the sale,” Mommone points out. “You care about whether they went on vacation. You care about whether they’re married or not. You care if they have pets. You develop a relationship with your customer rather than just trying to sell them something. Almost every dealer website on the entire planet is trying to sell you something. What we’re about to develop are manufacturer sites where all it is content. I’m not trying to sell you a single thing, I just want to expose you to the brand(s) with videos and pictures and write-ups and tech and all of that stuff. Then, if you’re looking to buy, there’s a button that says, go to my website and look at the bike.

“That’s something we’re doing to eliminate just going to my website if you want information, because again, I don’t want you to have pressure like I’m trying to sell you something on my website. It’s something a little different.

“The other thing I think is important with the process is when you care about people and not trying to make as much money out of them, your process is going to be different. Most dealers when they find out you’re interested in a bike, they ask when you can come into the store repeatedly. Some people don’t want to come into the store. They just want to know the out-the-door price. They want to know this or that. We’re a believer in putting zero roadblocks in front of somebody who wants something.

“The truth also goes a long way. I’ve had customers say, ‘Why are you asking so much money for this and that?’ I just tell them the truth. If you’re honest with people, they’ll be honest with you. You help them understand. It all comes down to caring about people and who they are and why they’re here and ultimately their experience with you. If you care more about that, then that customer will be a customer for life and they’ll tell everybody about you.”

Mommone’s philosophy surrounding his customers carries through to streamlining the buying process as well. Often, dealerships can take hours to facilitate a new bike purchase because of the number of hoops involved for the customer. Powersports of Palm Beach eliminates many of those headaches.

“The way we are structured is my sales guys are on commission,” he says. “The front end, back end, F&I, they all split it. I have two guys – one does leads, one does finance – and they go back and forth working with people. One vets the customer and gets everything we need — credit app, driver’s license, income, etc. They move to finance and finance gets everything they need and then we have them come into the shop.

“When those items are confirmed, we set an appointment and the bike is ready to go with the customer’s name on it, it’s polished up, they sign some papers and they’re out of here in 20 minutes — license plate and everything. In a bigger dealership, you have your title person, your admin, your controller, your cashier, your salesperson, your sales manager, your finance manager — we don’t do that. We’ve got two guys you’re going to talk to and they’re both named Steve. That’s our process.

“Most sales departments have floor guys and internet guys that get the leads, and then they get a credit app, then they go sit in the finance office and then that guy takes the customer’s head off and spends an hour in there because he makes money selling F&I product. He doesn’t make money selling the bike. That to me is a cancer to the sales department because that’s where the pressure and the tactics and the time and the bullshit come in. We just eliminate that. If you want a warranty, you’ll buy a warranty. If you want gap, you’ll buy the gap. I don’t need to sell it to you. I’m happy with selling you a bike. That aspect of the dealership is nowhere to be found here. We focus on the truth and making the customer happy at whatever cost. That’s it.”

The other part of this business that helps immensely in success is relationship building. Mommone has developed relationships and mentors within his business who have been a big help in the success of Powersports of Palm Beach.

“Relationships are extremely important,” he says. “NPA Founder Cliff Clifford is a mentor of mine and a business partner of mine. He took a liking to me the first time I met him, and we’ve been communicating ever since. He’s helped me do a lot of things that I could never do without his help. A lot of people just want to do their own thing and forget about everybody else. I go to all the shops in Palm Beach. Nobody comes to my shop, but I’ll go to everybody else’s shop to talk, hang out, build relationships, because in this business you have to have relationships with other people.

“Cultivating those relationships and making sure that it’s not one-sided is important so you understand what help each of you can provide to one another. I don’t need to see any limelight. I care less what happens to me or what my name looks like. We just want to do what we do the absolute best. And we have really proven that. I have multi-million-dollar dealerships looking at us like, how do you guys do this?

“Anybody who I show this store to gets wowed because it’s just different. It’s not the normal everyday dealership. We’re still the mom-and-pop feel. We want to keep it that way no matter how big we get. We do things different and we have fun doing it, and our customers enjoy coming in here.”

When customers are in the dealership, they are treated to a full line up of Aprilias, Moto Guzzis, Vespas, Paiggios and MV Agustas, as well as parts, accessories and apparel.

“We focus on all of those brands, so we stock parts for those brands,” Mommone says. “I’ve got a full accessory department with bags and cases and all of that stuff. We try to have stuff here for people when they want it, so they don’t have to order it. We work with all the different distributors such as Western, Tucker and Parts. We stock exhausts, air filters and tuners. We stock parts from Sparks, Motovation and Rizoma. We try to stock anything cool. We don’t do a lot of e-commerce just because we don’t have staffing for that, and you have to put a lot of time, effort and energy into it to make it successful, so I haven’t done that yet.

“We also have a showroom for new stuff that has helmets, jackets and gear. And then we have another parts department with our service stuff on hand such as filters, spark plugs, oil, chains, sprockets, fork seals — anything for service so we don’t have to wait and order parts for the guy that comes in wanting to get his bike worked on.

“Every square foot of this shop has to either make money or be useful in some way. We have 9,000 square feet and if you walked into the shop every little spot is being used for something. Its purposeful like that, so we can understand how much floor space we have and what we can actually do with the floor space that we have, or if we need floor space to do something else, we know where we can cut and add and so forth. Everything is very strategic on where things are placed, how things are put, how high items are, etc. I have a great parts manager who really does his research and figures stuff out on how to sell those items.”

Helping Powersports of Palm Beach hit those sales numbers each year is the fact that they are newer to bike sales, and many of the units they sell are also new to the Palm Beach area.

“Everything is kind of hot because we’re a new dealer in Florida and Palm Beach,” Mommone says. “Vespa hasn’t been around here forever. Aprilia hasn’t been around here forever. Moto Guzzi has never been here. Piaggios haven’t been here forever. When we put all of our inventory on Cycle Trader, we exploded with people looking at stuff. Making sure the inventory is up is important.

“Moto Guzzi has been really good for us. We’re one of the only dealers on the eastern seaboard of Florida. Vespa and Aprilia have also been good. We’re going through the bikes and we’re going through the accessories. However, the Piaggio Group has probably been the best for us just because it’s new, it’s fresh and the store is set up with all their stuff to make it look good. Our used sales have been good too.”

Staying at the top of your game as a dealer is tough work. Carefully monitoring various markets and trends is critically important, because it changes all the time. As a growing dealership, Mommone has had to overcome a few challenges within his business to keep progressing forward.

“We just try to keep our ear to the ground listening and hearing and feeling what the market does and try to anticipate what happens before it happens,” he says. “The biggest challenge I’ve faced would be the financial aspect of the business. I can run a $350,000 business standing on my head. I could probably run a $1 million business standing on my head. A $7 million business is out of my pay grade.

“When we hired our CPA in 2018 or so, she came in with all her experience and got the business financially right. We just kept growing and growing and growing until I got to the point where there was too much stuff moving around. That’s when she came in and leveled the playing field to where I can do what I need to do.

“The even harder struggle right now is finding clean, used bikes. In today’s market, I’m not only fighting call centers, I’m fighting AI and hundreds of others out there trying to buy a bike. It’s just extremely difficult. Auction prices are high and no inventory is out there. I work with multiple dealers. I hunt bikes on the street. I do all kinds of different stuff to purchase inventory where most dealers are extremely one-sided. They’re only getting trades. They might buy from the auction or a wholesaler. I have seven or eight avenues to purchase units. That’s the only reason we’re able to have units now is because I have developed that with relationships over the last five or six years.

“As far as our growth, we haven’t really had any real issues. No staffing issues. It’s a good place to work. I treat my guys with respect and honor and they get paid well. I haven’t taken a raise in probably three years. I’d rather continually build the business rather than continually build my kingdom, if you will. There will be a time for that, but I’m trying to be the leader that I’m called to be all the time. I want to make sure I’m actually leading and not bossing. I’m here and my people know I’m here and I’m not just out hanging out on a boat — we’re grinding. If I’m not here, you better believe I’m out trying to do something for the shop.”

To help market the dealership, Powersports of Palm Beach stays on top of social media posts and remains involved on a daily basis with various groups and discussions. They also host events that feature food trucks and fun things at the dealership on a monthly basis.

“We’re always trying to figure out ways that we can continually stay on people’s mind,” he says.

To help communicate better within the dealership and to customers alike, Powersports of Palm Beach employs a few different software tools that make the business operate efficiently.

“We use a lot of software tools like Simple Dealer, Trello, DX1 and Cycle Trader,” he points out. “I use the gamut of things to make things extremely efficient to where nobody has any guesswork. As long as the data is getting put in, everything is kosher.”

New and used bike sales have been flowing and service work has been a large part of the dealership as well. Mommone says that one day the service department will only work on the brands carried at the store, but for now, they work on most vehicles that come in needing a part or repair.

As for the future outlook of Powersports of Palm Beach, Mommone says he plans to embrace electric vehicles (EV) and will continue to keep inventory rolling in and out his doors.

“We’re going to get on the EV train,” Mommone says. “We have a rental program in the works right now, so we’re going to be renting EV scooters and motorcycles. The EV business is not super big in motorcycles yet, but in order to bring down some of the walls we’re going to start renting them. It’s a revenue stream and we already have the inventory.

“Other than that, we’re just going to keep grinding away finding motorcycles. Keeping the inventory rolling and making sure that you stay on top of not having stuff here more than 120 days is really what keeps the ball rolling in sales. Ultimately, I believe in our process, and no other dealer is going to outdo us with the brands we offer.”

Powersports of Palm Beach

1422 10th Street
Lake Park, FL 33403
(561) 287-6177
561powersports.com

OEMs: MV Agusta, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Vespa, Piaggio
Distributors: Western Power Spots, Tucker Powersports, Parts Unlimited
Number of Employees: 13

If you would like to nominate someone or be featured as a Dealer of the Week, reach out to Greg Jones at [email protected] or Meagan Kusek at [email protected].

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