Hardware Retailing

MAY 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | May 2017 136 maximizing our current location's top-end sales. We had nearly doubled the potential predicted by the experts. I felt our growth opportunity was in acquisitions. By focusing on top-line growth, we were able to start extending our brand and business model to adjoining communities. This also created operating efficiencies that would help to increase profitability for the business. We are again looking at market potential reports to find more of these opportunities. Then we will analyze their business situation and project our model into their location. By looking at the growth opportunities and risks associated with each business, we can then calculate a ROI for that location. This process was made significantly easier by the relationship I have established through NRHA with the good folks at Aubuchon Hardware. Marcus [Moran, Jr.] and Josiah [Gates] have been instrumental in helping me establish evaluation metrics for the acquisition process. I would again like to thank them for their time and professionalism. HR: What unique challenges do you think independent retailers face in today's market? SJ: We want to continue to cultivate our relationships with our current customers while also preparing to fulfill the needs of our next generation of consumers. We identify want they want, and we make it happen. Online retailing is here to stay, but people still crave personal interaction. Interpersonal communication is a must in our business. Even with our 360-degree marketing plan, we make it personal, and we make it relevant. We utilize print advertising and some direct marketing through our customer rewards program. On the digital side, we utilize our website, email marketing, social media and Google AdWords to promote the Farm & Home Hardware brand. Thanks to Independent We Stand, Small Business Saturday by American Express and other organizations, being a small business is cool again. HR: So acquisitions will play a major role in your future growth? SJ: Acquisitions are definitely an opportunity for our future, and we are working every day to find the right fit, but both parties must get a fair deal in order for that to work. I want to be able to look the owners in the eye, shake their hands, and tell them that they have done a great job building their business. I want them to know we are only adding our story on to their legacy. There are plenty of great hardware people in the business today. Quite a few are ready to retire and hit cruise control instead of investing time or money in growth. Unfortunately, their stores become stagnant and their business starts to decline. Finding these opportunities to work For Scott Jerousek, who bought the family business in 2008, future growth lies in acquiring additional businesses and adding categories. Rural Rewards Despite being located in the small town of Wellington in rural Ohio, Scott and his team have maximized their marketing reach through their customer loyalty program. Today, they have amassed more than 13,000 rewards customers while operating in a town of just 5,000 residents.

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