Careful GROWTH After a Smart Purchase by ProQuest


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   By Lisa Danes

                                        After a Smart Purchase
With a customer base that reaches an estimated
40-mile radius, the dealership makes deliveries
cost-effective by adjusting pricing with distance.

                                             Purchasing a dealership without any power
                                             equipment experience is a tough decision
                                             made easy by having a staff to back it up.

                                                           aving a dedicated, knowledgeable           “Two of our guys had worked with the previous
                                                           staff along with loyal customers is                                  ”
                                                                                                      owner for over 30 years, shares Carole. “They are
                                                           what helps a dealership achieve suc-       still with us and are invaluable. They were the only
                                                           cess. That is especially the case for      employees two years ago and now we have 10.      ”
                   BERTELS SALES &
                   SERVICE                   Bertels Sales & Service located in small-town
                   Dorsey, IL                Dorsey, IL.                                              Working Together to
                      Carole Miller bought the already-established          Improve the Business

                   FOUNDED: 1929             dealership in 2002, when the power equipment                Everyone on staff and in the family plays a role
                   OWNERS: Carole and        business was strong. With little experience, she         in the business’ day-to-day operations. Vance helps
                   Vance Miller
                                             relied heavily on her staff for the next few years as    manage the business and is one of their best
                   EMPLOYEES: 6 full-time,
                   4 part-time               the industry took a turn for the worse. Despite the      salesmen. His wife Kelly has taken on the role of
                   ANNUAL SALES: $1-3        industry’s downturn, their sales have grown every        bookkeeper. Darren, Carole’s youngest son, also
                   million                   year since she took over the business.                   helps by taking care of new projects and keeping
                   SALES MIX:
                   60% wholegoods,                                                                    computer programs updated.
                   40% parts and service     Employees Help Transition the                               “Their help gives me the time to take care of
                   CUSTOMER SALES MIX:       Business to New Ownership                                advertising and networking with business groups,   ”
                   70% consumer,                Carole and her son Vance took over the deal-          explains Carole. “I also enjoy traveling, and the
                   30% commercial
                                             ership without an ounce of background in the             staff knows that if I’m not at the business I’m just
                   SHOP LABOR RATE:
                   $60 per hour              industry. Their experiences in learning the business     a phone call away.”
                   MAJOR LINES: Ferris,      and taking steps to improve it have all relied heavily
                   Husqvarna, Shindaiwa,     on the staff and their supportive community.
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