Small Business

Wish You Were Here!

We are in Mobile for the 2019 NTPDA Annual Meeting and Trade Show and if you didn't make it...well, we wish you were here. We have so much coming up Mobile AL Night Shot that we know will help move your business and our industry forward. And, yes, we'll have time to get together with friends and actually do business.

For those of us who are here, and on the ground, the next few days will fly by. Our Early Bird Gathering is Thursday evening and, if you've ever been with us, you know it will be great.

On Friday we'll launch into "Going Beyond the Brand" which has everything to do with employee and customer engagement. How can we get our employees to become more engaged in what our customers want and need. Karen Video Grab 5 Oct 2018And, know what?  Most of that has to do with listening and being responsive. To get there Karen will talk about transparency and the customer experience. It's not always price but it is about winning.

Also on Friday we'll dive into your online presence with "Online Excellence - Redesigning Your Website From THe Ground Up".  What is it that consumers want to know and see when they first get to your site?  How can you use technology to create a winning relationship with your customer and how can your website engage? Nicholas will have answers to your questions.

And by the time we get to Thursday evening we'll be in our Trade Show area with dozens of opportunities to do business here in Mobile.

And, that's just Friday!!

We really do miss those of you who can't be here and we're going to do our best to get you to see the value, along with the fun, of being at our Annual Meeting and Trade Show.  Be watching out Facebook Page and our Twitter Stream @NTPDA all week long for updates, video clips and more.  You can also follow us by using the hashtag #NTPDA19!  Easy, no?

And, we haven't even talked about Saturday...yet.

 

 


Look Who Says "Hi!" - Meet Karen McCullough

Our Annual Meeting and Trade Show is quickly approaching and we figure you want to know more about our speakers....right? Presto! Meet Karen McCullough who will be in Mobile to talk to us about BRANDING. What is it? How do you sustain it? How does business live it? Who creates it? How does it work?  Yes, lots of questions and Karen will be with us to explain it all!  And, she's fun!  Save the date, registration will be opening soon!

 


See you at the Spa!


Natural Disasters, Oil Spills and Community Effort

Over the past month a number of our NTPDA members have had to deal with weather related disasters. In Iowa there has been a rash of flooding and then in Rock Valley there was a major oil spill.  Rock Valley is the home base of our President Scott Schelling. We sent an email to Rock Valley Flood 2018 Scott to check up on him. We thought his answer mirrored so many of our members and their communities that we're sharing it with you:

"Sorry for the delay in responding.  I have been out for over a week for various reasons including sandbagging and flood relief.  We are getting back to normal, the river is back in its banks but we still seem to get rain every couple days so it doesn’t go down much.  We set an all time record back in 2014 when the river got to 22.7 feet over floodstage.  This year we topped out at 21.5.  We were more prepared this time and we knew where and what to do so things went a little smoother, but ultimately we still got our butts kicked by the river.  We were able to avoid the major property damage with the work we did and most people just had to empty their basements Rock Valley Flood 2018 Twoand pump water.(they still are pumping water)  We took some steps after 2014 to prevent that same event in the future, we built a permanent berm on the north end of town to keep the river out and bought a couple huge pumps to pump out our storm sewers.  When the river is in flood stage it is higher than our storm sewers and cant run away so we have to pump it out.  And that takes a HUGE pump to keep up when you keep getting rain and everyone is pumping water out of their basements.  We also made some changes to make the river flow away better so it don’t dam up as high.  All the steps we took helped, but we still can do more.  I’m sure we will have more ideas to help for future events. 

 

The oil spill was just 6-7 miles upriver from us and I understand it was the worst oil spill in the US in the last 5 years.  The last number I Rock Valley Oil Spill heard was 230K gallons spilled, and as of last Thurs, only about 100k of that was recovered.  We could see oil in the river and of course it puddled up along the banks in the quiet water.  You could smell oil all thru town on Thursday and Friday.  We had to shut down the city wells to try to keep oil from getting into them.  The DNR has been out and testing dirt in places as the river recedes to see how bad the contamination was.  They have cleared the soccer fields and ball fields to be played on, they say the contamination was minimal in those areas.  The cleanup crew that BNSF brought in was excellent, they went right to work with cleanup and repair and last Thurs the trains were running again down those tracks.  We will see how long before they are finished with oil cleanup, but they don’t stand around, those people are here to work. 

 

The silver lining of it all is the way the communities come together to fight back against the water and how they come out to help others that are in need.  We again had several thousand volunteers from the surrounding towns come to us and help, and they still are coming to help people they don’t even know with cleanup.  This is the reason I love to live here, we don’t just throw up our hands and cry about it and quit, we show up any time of day, and help out people we might not know, and we stand shoulder to shoulder in chest deep water throwing sandbags all night, and we pick each other up when things seem like they are hopeless.  It is a beautiful thing to witness, and it keeps you going even after no sleep, or when your muscles don’t want to go anymore.  I love my town!!"

Scott Schelling - Rock Valley Tractor Parts


New Member Benefit - Omaha Streaks!

Everybody already knows that the best steaks in the nation come from Omaha, Nebraska. What? You don't? Well, let us introduce you to Omaha Steaks a new Omaha Steaksbenefit for our members. See, we told you we bring value to your membership!

All you need to do is be a member of NTPDA and follow this link to Omaha Streaks and BAM! You've got mouth-watering goodness delivered to your home or to your business. Think employee appreciation? 

The goal of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association is to offer you real value through education, involvement, public policy and...yes, your tummy! 

Thank you for being an NTPDA member now remember to season correctly!

This is your National Tractor Parts Dealer Association making a difference every day for our members and their customers!  Thank you for coming by! 

 


A Month Away!

It's hard to believe that in just a month we'll be gathering for the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association Annual Trade Show and Corpus Christi SkylineConference! With all the holiday cheer and excitement it's sometimes easy to forget about the middle of January...  We get it. If you have not yet registered and made plans to join us in Corpus Christi now is the time to make that happen. Here is a link to our registration page complete with the schedule of events and our top of the line speakers.

Come to Corpus Christi, where we hope it will be much warmer, and hang out, have some fun and learn how to become a better business owner/manager/employee. (A nudge to our Canadian Members...think...warm!)

Coming up a THANK YOU to so many who have decided to help NTPDA with sponsorship. We figure a little recognition is in order...right?

See you in Corpus Christi...remember, just a month away.

Yikes!


You Should Be Very Afraid!

It is Halloween and the spooks are out...no really! But if you are fearful of ghosts that is nothing compared to missing the National Tractor Parts Dealer Annual Man Shock Meeting and Trade Show. Missing that adventure should really send shivers down your spine!

We'll be headed south to Corpus Christi, Texas in January and there is no time like the present to make plans to attend. We've got some frightfully dynamic events in store including our great headquarters hotel the Omni Corpus Christi. Check it out by clicking on our special page...go ahead and the price won't scare you away!

In addition to a great location we've got a boiling cauldron of great information to help you better run and manage your business! 

  • Richard Flint on Embracing Change - Folks are often scared by change but it's coming any way. Richard will offer up "Six Steps to Embracing Change" in our first session on 18 January.
  • Crystal Washington on Advanced Digital Marketing - She's baaack! Crystal was with us last year and you enjoyed her so much she is back for a second round of training. This time she will be helping you better understand the best methods of using digital (think computers and smart phones) marketing. She will also be presenting on 18 January.
  • Got the Right People? - Richard Flint joins us for an afternoon session that same day and talks to us about hiring smart and retaining well. We all know how difficult it is to find the RIGHT person for the job. Richard will help take the horror out of the effort.
  • Got Skills? - Then on the 19th Richard is back with "Mastering the Five Skills for Effective Leadership". What skills are necessary to be able to get people to their most productive level? He'll have the answers!

Don't miss out on this fantastic training...it ain't at all scary!

One other thing:  "Knock, knock" (Who's there?) "Booo!" (Booo who?) "Don't cry it's Halloween!"

Thanks for reading...see you in Corpus Christi! 

 

 

 


How Does Your Business Measure Up?

Today is National Tape Measure Day! No kidding, we looked it up. It seems it is celebrated every 14th day of July. Who knew? But, that got us to thinking about business and how we measure our success and our relationships with our members and friends of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association. Tape Measure Image

So, how do you measure success? Sure, we can look at sales (the easiest way to gauge how we are doing) we can measure expansion of our business and it's business model. We can measure customer satisfaction. We can measure our willingness to give back to our community. We can measure our ability to attract and retain employees. We can measure so very much and many of us do.

But what happens if we find out we're "coming up short" in our measurement of success in any of the areas above? What do we do about it? Might we chalk it up to mistakes, miscues, or is it mismanagement? 

Those are tough questions to ask ourselves and ask about our relationship with customers, vendors and employees. How do we measure up and what might we do if we find an area where we can improve?

One of the things your NTPDA attempts to do on a regular basis is take the measurement of what we're doing to enhance the value of membership. Where is it that we can improve in our communication our training our involvement with our members?

We'd love to know what you think. Take a moment and let us know. You can comment here on this blog or drop us an email or give us a call or check us out on Facebook. We're here and we'd love to know how you measure success and if we are measuring up to your expectations.

Thanks for reading!


The Value of Membership

One of the benefits of being a member of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association is our Scholarship Program. Since 1992 NTPDA has been awarding Diploma Scholarshipcollege scholarship funds to deserving students of our members. To date your association has delivered 510 scholarships with a value of $461,250.

Think of that for just a moment. We have been able to impact the lives of several hundred young people because the NTPDA Board has seen the value in sharing our good fortune with our member families. It's called a return on investment.

True, you can invest in a host of other groups but here, at the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association our mission is to provide our members with service, value and business training. It's what we do on a daily basis.

This year NTPDA has awarded nine scholarships at $1,000 each. NTPDA kicks in $750 per student and the sponsoring member adds $250 to hit the one-thousand dollar mark. Be looking for our Summer Bulletin for the names of our scholarship winners.

We're proud to be able to help train the next generation of business leaders and grateful that you and your business are part of our continuing effort to offer concrete reasons for membership.

Don't you think this is something we should share with others?

 


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!