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I’ve Got Your Back


3/24/2008
By Mark Phillips

Rather than just be an editor, I’d hope that all of you, as Counterman readers, also look to me as a friend and a guy who will go to bat for you.
 
Mark Phillips

Hi. You probably don’t know me, but I’m your new editor.

In fact, I’m the new editor of Counterman magazine, but I’d rather look at myself as your editor. If you ask anyone who works in magazines about what an editor does, they’ll probably tell you an editor chooses and writes articles that appear in a publication; that an editor looks over budgets, hires writers and makes sure the magazine gets in your hands on time. Well, all of that’s true.

But rather than just be an editor, I’d hope that all of you, as Counterman readers, also look to me as a friend and a guy who will go to bat for you.

Here’s a little about me: After spending more than a decade in the newspaper industry (as an editor), I made the change to business magazines. Why? Because I love business. I love the entrepreneurial spirit. I love thinking of new ways (or making changes to old ways) to make money.

To me, it’s about focusing on solving problems, getting products to customers more efficiently and with fewer errors, and running a business wisely. Getting those things right ultimately leads to the money, in my estimation. I think focusing solely on making money isn’t really the best way to actually make money. That’s when people and businesses cut resources, sometimes too far, which can pull the legs out from under the business.

The magazine I edited before coming to Counterman focused on dealers of outdoor power equipment for professional landscapers. There are a lot of issues that keep them up at night: margins, finding and retaining good employees (including technicians), competition from other stores… Sound familiar?

While my immediate observations of the outdoor power equipment and automotive aftermarket revealed a lot of similarities, there is one glaring difference. And it’s a good one. Of the parts professionals I’ve talked to in the short time I’ve been here, I found them to be rather upbeat and pretty positive. I already know many parts professionals are very engaged people. The evidence is based on the amount of phone calls I’ve gotten congratulating me, letters to the editor emailed to me, and by those who spend the time filling out the “letters to the editor” cards found inside every issue of Counterman. And please, keep those coming!

To me, all of this is a good sign. It’s probably because, while there are any number of issues that keep parts professionals up at night, there are some exciting and positive things happening in the industry.

I really enjoy interacting and working with small business owners, mostly because there’s nothing small about their attitude. They have the heart, passion and determination to surmount any obstacle.

While part of my job as an editor is to bring you information and analysis related to our industry, it’s also to have your back, as they say, when the chips are down. I want you to think of me as your advocate in the automotive aftermarket.

So, if there is anything on your mind, please let me know about it. If you have an idea for the magazine, I’d like to hear about it. If I’m not traveling, I’m almost always at my desk. I can be reached at 330-670-1234, ext. 299. My email is mphillips@babcox.com.

Take care and keep in touch!

———

A special thanks to Automotive Parts Associates for their hospitality in San Antonio, Texas, during their Annual Shareholders & Manufacturer’s Conference March 6-8. We’re looking forward to next year’s conference in Phoenix.













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