Are You Working 'In' or 'On' Your Business?

Are You Working ‘In’ or ‘On’ Your Business?

How you answer that question might determine the future of your store.

They’re just two little words: ‘on’ and ‘in.’ But oh, what a difference they make.I’ve seen Donald Cooper speak before, and each time I listen to him, I find nuggets of information that I think should be passed on to Counterman readers. I was again reminded of this when I heard him speak at the recent Automotive Parts Associates group meeting last month in Las Vegas.

During his presentation to the program group members, Donald asked a very simple question: How much of your time is spent working in the business and how much of your time is spent working on the business? The two questions are similar, save for the two little words ‘on’ and ‘in.’ How you answer that question might just determine the future of your business.

At least in this case, it’s much better not be part of the ‘in’ crowd; those business owners who spend the majority of their time working ‘in’ the business are merely treading water, running in place. As a business owner, you should be working to expand the business, generating new revenue streams and strategic planning for the future – not working the counter, making deliveries, pulling orders or sweeping the floor.

Conversely, those people who spend the majority of their time working ‘on’ the business are busily engaged in the very important business of building the business.

Can’t get away from the counter to work ‘on’ the business, you say? Perhaps you’re just very short staffed. In that case, hire someone. But if your store processes and employees just aren’t efficient enough to allow you to work ‘on’ the business, then you need to consider an investment in employee training.

This neatly leads me to the theme of this month’s issue. This month, we present several articles that address training needs, from both your employees’ and customers’ perspectives. Also be sure to check out our special section on vendor training programs that begins on page 70.

By working ‘in’ the business, you’re not doing yourself or your employees any favors. Work ‘on’ the business to build it for the future – both yours and theirs.

* * * *

On a somewhat related note, Counterman is very pleased to announce that WIX Filters has become the official sponsor of our annual Counter Professional of the Year honor. We’ve been awarding this very prestigious award for two decades, and we’re excited about WIX’s participation. Start thinking about the real stars in your company – every distributor has them and they deserve to be recognized. We’ll begin seeking nominations in June.

You May Also Like

What Will the ‘COVID-Era Consumer’ Do in 2022?

The beauty of the automotive aftermarket is that the economic conditions always seem to work in the industry’s favor.

Online Shopping

Remember the tariffs? Nathan Shipley does. Back in 2019, “that’s all we were talking about as an industry,” Shipley recalled, during his “Aftermarket Outlook 2022” presentation this past November at AAPEX.

Looking back at the “Distribution Preview” in the January 2019 issue of AMN/Counterman, aftermarket leaders consistently expressed concerns that former President Trump’s tariffs – and China’s retaliatory tariffs – could disrupt aftermarket supply chains, leading to higher prices and even production interruptions. Tariffs remained on their radar in January 2020, although it looked like the aftermarket was weathering the storm.

Right To Repair, Trade Associations And You

In the fight for Right to Repair legislation, aftermarket trade groups can’t do it alone.

Veterans Can Be Heroes Off the Battlefield Too

Veterans bring an incredible amount of value to the civilian workplace, in terms of nontechnical and technical skills.

Veterans and Vehicles
What’s Really Driving The Automotive Aftermarket’s Growth?

NPD’s Nathan Shipley looks at the many moving pieces contributing to the industry’s recent spike in demand.

aftermarket growth
Strength In Numbers

The automotive aftermarket is filled with great people. In fact, many say it’s our strong suit.

Teamwork automotive aftermarket

Other Posts

Never Stop Learning

With so much internet-based training content available, it’s never been easier to expand your knowledge base.

Continuing Education
Welcome To 2035 – What Things Might Look Like

The future is what we make it. We need to start addressing technology now so 2035 becomes a bright future.

Future of Transportation
Seems Like Everybody’s Talkin’ About Electric Vehicles

Not only are people talking about EVs, but according to the latest U.S. sales figures, they’re also buying them.

Tesla Electric Vehicle
Still Time To Nominate Someone For Counter Pro Of The Year

We’ll be accepting nominations through Aug. 1.