Will You Be on Call During the Holidays?

Suitcase Full of PresentsWith the official holiday season kicking off this week, it leads me to wonder what your business plans are? Will you be open over Thanksgiving, Hanukkah (which starts December 6), Christmas and New Year’s Eve?

Though retailers would have us believe the holiday season begins in early November with their barrage of music and festive displays, to me, the official start is this week when millions of Americans take to the roads.

Approximately 42 million Americans are expected to take a road trip this Thanksgiving, according to the AAA. Drivers are expected to pay the lowest pump prices for the Thanksgiving holiday since 2008. Does this mean more traffic for your business? Are you feeling positive about the outcome holiday travel will have on your bottom line? Or are you pessimistic that there will be no impact on business?

Traditionally, it appears as though the winter months show a drop-off in demand for AGRR services … but I wonder will there be an uptick around the holidays? I saw the reports of glass damage that occurred around Halloween. And I wonder if crime will also play a factor? While it’s the time for giving, it also seems like the time for taking—valuable objects left in plain sight in vehicles often vanish.

Personally, I’ll be staying in this year. A good friend is coming to visit and we’ll be celebrating in a non-traditional style this week. But for many, the holidays are a time of tradition. Part of that tradition appears to be sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

As a regular- to large-sized business owner, taking time off seems like a precious commodity. Is there someone in place to watch your business while you’re gone? What about the weary traveler who encounters unexpected glass damage? Are there enough of these to make a difference to your bottom line to keep you open?

What are you thinking this holiday season? Please take our poll on the glassBYTEs.com™ website and email jreed@glass.com your thoughts.

“Don’t Be the Victim”

Jack Welch

Jack Welch

“Don’t be the victim,” said Jack Welch, legendary former GE CEO, during his keynote on Friday at Auto Glass Week™. Times in the industry are tough. Competition is fierce and I hear all the time about the challenges faced by AGRR company owners and managers. Is it easy? By no means. Running your own business appears to be one of the toughest businesses choices you can make in life. Not only is your livelihood on the line, but your employees depend on you as well.

So what do I take away from this advice? The most savvy business owners rise up to the challenges and find a way to make it work. They appreciate their employees and discover ways to ensure their business stands out from the competition.

“You have to find a way to distinguish yourself,” said Welch. “Is it service? … Do you have a differentiated service aspect to your business that you can sell in your territory? What is your unique advantage? Does the other guy do poorer quality? You’ve got to find a differentiator … and highlight that feature.”

He gave the example of a local drug store where he lives. It’s a small, locally owned operation that holds its own against big competitors like CVS and Walgreens. How? Service. If a customer needs a prescription at 2 a.m., someone from this company is there at your house. Their prices are 10 to 15 percent higher than the box chains, but people are willingly pay the price for the service, Welch explained.

“Their service is unbelievable and everybody knows it,” said Welch.

A large crowd watches the competitors in action.

A large crowd watches the competitors in action.

This year’s Auto Glass Week™ was one for the record books. We had a record number of attendees, an impressive number of competitors and vast array of vendors. I even heard word that some sponsors were selling out of new products.

Were you a part of this year’s Auto Glass Week™, share your photos and memories by emailing jreed@glass.com.

Next year’s event will be held October 5-7 in San Antonio, Texas. Auto Glass Week™ is a setting where everyone comes together to benefit the industry. It is a place that helps you find ways to rise above the competition and hone your business skills to help make your company thrive.