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
bertelssales.com 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
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
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
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.