Choose a Focus and Become Obsessed with It

Publisher’s Perspective: Danger, Will Robinson!

Choose what your businesses’ focus is going to be and focus on that. Become obsessed with that and stay on it. Keep an eye out for dramatic changes in the marketplace, but only react if it’s a game changer for your direction.

Facebook, eBay, DVD, Blu-Ray, CD, MP3, Wii, Xbox, low-VOC paints, airbags, collision avoidance systems, gigabytes, the cloud, Windows, the Internet, ACA, high-strength steel and composites in vehicles, GPS, PDAs, satellite TV, digital smart devices, NACE, Chipotle, MAP Sensors, DRPs and who knows what else? What do they all have in common? Thirty years ago, they did not exist except for in a comic book. In fact, some on this list have already come and gone.

What does this all have to do with our business? Well, if you look at the demographics of our industry, 30 years ago is about the time you and I got started in this business.

Whether you view these changes as positive or negative, the fact remains they have happened and will continue to happen. If you go to that list and pick out all the pertinent items and set out to do them, you will fail! No one can possibly deal with all the fires that are burning in each of our perspective backyards, if you will. There are simply too many shiny objects to try to focus on.

Last month, I talked about distractions. All of these shiny objects are the distractions I was talking about. They exist in our business lives and then spill over into our personal lives.

In our businesses, we need direction. It is not possible to be all things to the marketplace. The list of merchants who tried to be all things to all people is long and being added to every day. As much as we would like to be the best at everything, it just can’t be done. Shops just can’t be a DRP and a highly specialized niche repair facility. They can’t service high-end exotics and entry-level, day-to-day drivers. Parts suppliers can’t be OE and aftermarket while providing 30-minute delivery. If any one provider could do it all, then there would only be one provider and that won’t happen. Besides, the government wouldn’t allow it anyway!

Choose what your businesses’ focus is going to be and focus on that. Become obsessed with that and stay on it. Keep an eye out for dramatic changes in the marketplace, but only react if it’s a game changer for your direction.

Industry changes are inevitable, but usually minor course changes are all that are required. The old saying, ”This too shall pass,” comes to mind. Just like many of the things above came and went, we need to be sure we are all around to see the next great thing come and go.

See you at NACE and/or SEMA, I have to go pick up an autonomous car!

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This year’s SEMA Show held a new surprise for me — a secret drop-off at our booth in the form of a mysterious sticker.

There are always surprises at the SEMA Show, which is one reason why it’s such a special event. New faces to meet, old faces that you haven’t seen in a long time with which to reunite, new technological wonders … the list goes on and on.

This year held a new surprise for me, however — a secret drop-off at our booth. Visiting the booth one day to make sure the magazines on display were still neat and tidy, I noticed a roll of stickers on the table. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the stickers read: “Collision Repair Equal To Mechanical Repair Rates: Why Not?” And there was also a mysterious symbol that my wild imagination took to be the logo of some secret society. But it wasn’t so mysterious after all; the letter “Y” and the drawing of a knot was a visual representation of: Why + Not. Haha, very clever!

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