National Small Business Week

All this week, in the United States, there is a celebration of National Small Business Week. Since 1963 the federal government has set aside a week for a Small Business Week Imagecelebration that is critical to our economy.  A few Small Business Facts:

  • There are roughly 29 million small businesses in the U.S. which account for 54% of all sales in this country;
  • Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs in the U.S. and 66% of all net new jobs;
  • There are 600,000 franchise operations here that employ over 8 million people;
  • The American small business sector occupies nearly 50% of all commercial space up to 34 billion square feet.

Astounding yes?

Many, if not all, of our NTPDA Regular Member Businesses would fall under 500 employees so, this week is also your week.  What can you do to take part in Small Business Week?  Some thoughts:

  • Share Your Story - Contact the local newspaper, radio or television station. Let them know this is National Small Business Week and share your small business story. Take a moment and share what your small business means to your employees and customers and how money spent with you stays in your local community. Believe us, reporters are looking for stories they can use all week long;
  • Get Social - Grab the National Small Business Logo from this post and share it on your social media channels...and tell your story there as well;
  • Say Thank You - Remember your customers...they are the people that keep your business in business. Post a note on social media, send a note to customers, enclose a note in your shipping items...let people know how important they are to your small business;
  • Email the Message - Send out a coupon or at least a thank you reminding your email list that this is National Small Business Week...many of your customers are also small businesses.

Happy National Small Business Week!

 


Old Tractors & Old Folks

Go to any country or state fair and walk among the old tractors that are displayed often as FFA projects and you'll no doubt see man and women nearly as old Ford 8 N Tractor Restoredas the iron on display. What is the draw to that old tractor? Is it the memory of life on a farm, long ago replaced by technology or is it that we see ourselves in those old tractors. Perhaps we've got a little rust here and there and our hair is sort of like the faded paint and maybe our joints get "froze up" if we sit too long. 

Those are some of the thoughts in this article (The Last Windrow - Shared traits with a little Ford tractor) we found in the PineandLakes Echo Journal written by John Wetrosky. It's about an old Ford 8N tractor...who doesn't remember and love those little machines?

But, with a little "spit and polish" some exercise and a better diet we can begin our own, personal, restoration project. Maybe that's part of the reason we've got hope in the future.

If you've got a story about your restored, or hope to restore, tractor let us know!  Replay to this post and let's talk...it's always fun meeting others who enjoy the hobby.

Thanks for coming by for a brief look at what the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association does...and is. Hope your Spring is off to a great start!

 


It's More Than a Tractor...

Every so often we run into a heartwarming story about a tractor. That's what happened this morning as we were searching for some news about tractor parts. Farmall H It was a great restoration story out of Lawrence Township, Ohio. If you want to read...here you go.

Now to some folks who have lived all their lives in the city that might not click. However, for those of us who have spent time on the farm...we get it. Who among us doesn't remember their first tractor? Mine was a Farmall Model H. Every time I see one my mind races back some 40 years and I can smell the gas, oil and grease. It's like that for so many of us.

So, why write a piece that talks about memories and old tractors? Because we are the people who have helped countless restorations come to life. Sure, you can look out at your salvage area and you see rusted equipment lying there waiting for the weeds. But, look again. If you concentrate you can see a field of opportunity. Of course you'll sell some parts to people you've never met. You'll sell parts to farmers who come to you to get through another season. But, you'll also sell parts to folks who are bringing back a memory.

We'd like to hear your stories. We know that you've got 'em. Hook us up with a recent (or maybe not so recent) restoration project that your company helped with. We'd like to take some time and tell the story. Send me 50 words on your story and some contact names. We'll get it done.

You see, it's more than just parts...

Thanks for being a member of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association...it matters.


A Car? A Tractor? Both?

We're always on the lookout for interesting stores about tractors, tractor parts and the people who use them. This story caught our eye 11938 MM UDLX Tractorthis month and it's out of Kansas and has to do with this 1938 Minneapolis Moline UDLX also known as a "Comfortractor". It is one of only 150 built but it never really caught on. Why? More than likely the price. Remember this was in the depths of the Great Depression and the UDLX listed for $2,155 new.

The vehicle was, no doubt, a marketing effort but there are reports that they were used for mail delivery and snow removal. Pretty classy way to ride and a road gear that could get you to 40MPH! 

We were wondering if any of our members in Kansas might know of the restorer Curtis Rink and his very rare "Confortractor". The article, which you can read here, says the value of this very cool design is now about $200,000.

Not too shabby...

Thanks for reading and if you've got a neat story like this make sure you share it with us! (Photo: Mike Berry - The Wichita Eagle)

 


Online Sales Smash Retail Sales

For years many of our National Tractor Parts Dealer Association members found value in adding e-commerce to their sales efforts. Sure, it was a difficult Online Add to Carttransition and it cost money to staff call centers and online chat professionals but it has paid off because online sales are crushing traditional retail efforts. How do we know?

Let's look at one example...Wal-Mart. 

Retail giant Wal-Mart reported solid fourth-quarter results last week with the U.S. business producing another quarter of comparable-sales growth. But the star of the show was e-commerce. Get this, U.S. online sales for Wal-Mart soared by 29% year-over-year, an acceleration driven by the company's investments in the acquisition of Jet.com. E-commerce is still small relative to Wal-Mart's brick-and-mortar operations, but that won't remain true for long.

According to the Department of Commerce in 2016 total e-commerce sales in the United States rose by 15.1%. And that is far faster than the overall 2.9% growth in total retail sales.

We understand that our members are not Wal-Mart however the trend is clear. Your customer is just as likely to come from five states away than five miles away and those numbers will continue to grow. Your challenge is finding a way to build your digital business while continuing to serve your local consumer. It can be done and many of our members have been very successful in their marketing efforts.

If you would like to share your thoughts...please do!

 


"Where Can I Get Parts?"

Recently Rachel Gingell wrote a blog piece for Farms.com and she said this truly was a key question before a person buys a used tractor. "Before you buy a used older model/antique tractor, ask yourself this single most important question: where can I get parts?" You can read that article here.

Woman QuestionsShe went on to say there are many different kinds of parts and many different outlets and she did mention salvage yards, "If something big like an axle breaks, a salvage yard is often the best place to get a replacement for an older-model tractor."

We wish she would have done a search for "Used Tractor Parts" or "Used Ag Parts" because the NTPDA website would have popped up and she (and any buyer of a used or older model tractor) would have learned more about our members and our association and the availability of parts.

Our National Tractor Parts Dealer Association (NTPDA) not only can find "something big" but we can also get aftermarket parts, rebuilt parts...you know...tractor parts.

In addition because of the wide range of member dealers and associate members we can put machinery owners in touch with the part they are looking for not only online but also in person. The members of NTPDA have talented and knowledgeable counter and phone staff that have been in the business for decades and can often answer the question before the caller gets the full question asked.

So, yes, Rachel is right, a buyer better have a place where he or she can be assured that the part is available. And that's why we exist. That buyer should come into contact with NTPDA. We've got you covered!


NTPDA Scholarships!

Diploma ScholarshipOne of the benefits to being a member of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association (NTPDA) is that the association offers some generous scholarships to deserving students who are members, employees of members or dependents of members or employees who are planning to enroll full-time (12 or more credit hours) at an accredited college or university for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Details and the Scholarship Application for download can be found here.

Completed applications must be returned to the NTPDA office by Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Please share this information with member, family members and employees.

Becoming a member of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association does have it's benefits and good luck!

 

    


We Are Thrilled!

Thank you, from all of us here at the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association (NTPDA)! We are thrilled that so many of you took the time to read our most recent post about our Annual Meeting and Trade Show in San Happy KidsAntonio.

The number of you who not only responded to our phone calls but also took the time to read what your fellow members had to say was great. We had fantastic response on Facebook as well as Twitter.

So, thank you!  Sometimes it might seem like we are "talking to ourselves" but your recent review of #NTPDA17 and your input is welcomed.

As we leave January 2017 behind us please know that we are already working on #NTPDA18 and listening to what you have to say. Our goal is, and always has been, to create real value for your membership. It doesn't matter if you are a Regular Member or an Associate Member...you are all important and we want to hear from you.

Thanks again for taking the time to communicate with us and for sharing your thoughts!

 


So, How Did We Do?

By all accounts you had a great time and you learned so very much. We call that adding value to your San Antonio Grouping for Blog Use membership. But don't just take our word for it. Here is what some of our members had to say about #NTPDA17 in San Antonio:

Terri Stevens - Tractor Barn

"I have to tell you it was fantastic. Of course I love seeing everybody but what was so good for me and our company was some of the new displays in the trade show. Because we are a Mahindra dealer it was great to meet a new parts supplier. That made the trip worthwhile for me. The training was also excellent. Mel and his ideas about hiring the right employee first was something I really needed to hear. And, because I need help, Crystal and her training on social media was excellent. You know, I really wish we could have had even more training and education because that's what we really need."

Mike Winter - Worthington Tractor Parts

"We took hard goods for the trade show and it was excellent. Our goal in going to the NTPDA Annual Meeting & Trade Show is doing business and I can tell you we did a pot full of business. If only I had been feeling better it would have been off the charts. But, spending a day or two down with a lousy cold and maybe the flu took me out. Next year!"

Phyllis Cox - NTPDA

"Time, I wish we had more time. DJ was so very entertaining, Mel kept everyone involved and Crystal had lots of information about social media especially LinkedIn. One hour just wasn't enough for her to cover, in detail, all the things our members wanted to hear.  Of course the social events were great but I too, like Mike, came down with a nasty cold. Drat!"

Linda Benton - Southeast Tractor Parts

She gave us a one word response when we asked. "#1 Fellowship!" We'll take it!

Dan Waters - Waters Tractor 

"Great time at the NTPDA with a great group of people. And of course a special thank you to Atlantic!"

Jeff Griggs - All States Ag Parts

"I think the training was outstanding and the piece on hiring was so valuable to us that we started to implement some of those items as soon as we returned. The entire event was well worth our time and effort."

So, how did we do?  As always we're interested. You can hook up with NTPDA on Facebook here and our Twitter Stream is @NTPDA!

Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing more from you! 

 


All My Bags Are Packed...

We know, it's going to be like an ear-worm when you sing just that line from "Leavin' on a Jet Plane". The National Tractor Parts Dealer Association 33rd  Jet
Annual Conference and Trade Show is just days away. Here are a couple of updates for you:

Shuttle Service - If you need a ride from the airport to the hotel we are using the Super Shuttle App head there for more information.

Wednesday 18 January - If you are displaying you can set up in the trade show area between 2pm and 5pm. Then it's on to our Early Arrival Party that will be held at Charlie Wants a Burger on the Riverwalk. This is always a great time and we'll even have live entertainment during our event.

Thursday 19 January - If you are not yet finished setting up your display in the trade show area you've got time between 7am and 3pm. We'll kick things off with breakfast (remember your breakfast ticket) at 8am and then it's off to learn some valuable information from D.J. Harrington who is going to give us a "Check Up From the Neck Up" really critical things that can help your business grow and prosper. Then Mel Kleiman will hold our San Antonio Speakersfeet to the fire with his program, "Hire Tough - Manage Easy". The entire program is based on how to better recruit and retain employees...you asked for it!  Spouses who have come to San Antonio get to head out for "Art & Dine". Yes! Then we'll focus on digital marketing with Crystal Washington. What is it and how does it work and how can you track effectiveness. Crystal is with us between 2pm and 3pm. We'll kick up our heels a bit at the "Welcome to San Antonio Party" and celebrate the opening of our Trade Show. The action gets underway at 5pm and rolls through the evening!

Friday 20 January - We'll so some networking over coffee (much needed) starting at 8am and then our trade show doors open at 9am to give you a full day of "Meet & Greet" with our supply members. We'll break at 11am for our Annual Meeting and election of Board Members and then have lunch in the trade show area. The trade show winds up and we'll have our Display Meeting at 3:30pm. We hope our Board Members will attend. Next you'll get to take some time off and get ready for our cocktails, dinner and entertainment by the Jackie Myers Band!

It's all about education, meeting friends, doing business and having a great time.

Wheels up!  See you in San Antonio!