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Business Management

The Three P’s Philosophy

In our Destination Dealer profile on FlatOut Motorsports this month, we talk to owner William Starkey about his “Three P’s” philosophy. Starkey says it’s based on an understanding of how retail and Internet sales combine for success.

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In our Destination Dealer profile on FlatOut Motorsports this month, we talk to owner William Starkey about his “Three P’s” philosophy. Starkey says it’s based on an understanding of how retail and Internet sales combine for success. “The three P’s form a triangle; the People, the Place and the Products,” he explains. “If you can put them together, you’ll be ultimately successful. None of the three components are more or less important, they’re all equal.”

The place actually encompasses the building, the location, the proximity to the wealth and how the building flows.“Once you have the right place, next is the product, and that’s really important in powersports,” says Professor Starkey. “You need the products that deliver the profit dollars – not necessarily the percentages but the dollars – you’re looking for. Because when you have the dollars you can hire qualified, good people.”

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“And they all tie together. With the right dollars you can hire the right people, and with the right people you can scale the place to a whole different level.

Even with the Three P’s in place, the jury is still out regarding AIMExpo. The industry is analyzing the numbers In the wake of Columbus. One thing is clear: a large percentage of dealers don’t seem to care about the all-in-one tradeshow. Even with a more central location and good weather, the dealer turnout was lower than expected – even lower than last year’s event in Orlando.

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“As an industry, we must realize we’re not living in the days of Dealer Expo in 2006 when there were significantly more dealers in the U.S. and much easier to get them to attend,” AIMExpo said in an email to exhibitors after the show.

PEOPLE: MIC Events Vice President and General Manager Larry Little and the CEOs of Indian and Harley said during the opening ceremony that we need all hands on deck if we’re going to build a sustainable industry in the U.S. It’s going to take everyone working together to help bring in new riders and to transition from an industry geared toward baby boomers to the younger generations. At this point, we really don’t seem to be reaching the youth in any meaningful way. If you have any ideas, we’re all ears. Send us a note and we’ll get the discussion rolling.

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PRODUCT: One segment that seems to be holding its own is the Recreational Utility Vehicle (RUV) market. Since 2006, this segment has exploded. In our Market Update, Editor-at-Large Robin Hartfiel says that more than 410,000 new UTVs and 210,000 new ATVs will be sold this year alone. And there are several new players jumping in to spur retail activity in the first half of 2018.

PLACE: Finally, we would like to draw your attention to our special International Issue in the middle of the magazine. It’s our second year covering the global market. While we’ve always covered the industry as it affects the U.S. market, this is a little different perspective with a glimpse at international shows of EICMA and INTERMOT as well as AIMExpo and the sales environment in Europe and the UK.

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These markets, with a few exceptions, are the biggest for mid-sized to heavyweight motorcycles and all of the parts and accessories associated with them. For aftermarket companies, there are opportunities in these markets. And for dealers, we think there are some great companies looking to export to the U.S. that can help you grow your business.

People, product, place… this industry has the elements to succeed!

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