Bart Sherwood has used his retail experience, personal brand and lean approach to operations to build a successful rural lifestyle destination store. It is because of this and other factors that Sherwood Tractor was awarded Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s Dealership of the Year award in the multi-store category.
Sherwood is looking toward what’s next for growth and the next generation of family leadership. He expects to achieve $10 million in sales by 2019-2020 and then will concentrate on maintaining profits. He doesn’t expect to expand his current locations or acquire another location and says he is not being pressured to do so by his manufacturers.
“In 5 more years, I’d like to cut back on my role a bit and in another 10 years be pretty much retired,” he says. Two of his sons work in the business. Stephen works full time in operations and Parker is in college and works as inventory manager and online parts fulfillment specialist.
Sherwood has strict requirements for family members to enter the business after they first complete 2 years of missionary service. “They must earn a college degree and they must successfully complete at least 2 years of work outside the business. They must work in inventory control, parts, service, marketing and sales. Once they have completed at least 1 year of service in each of these areas and a minimum of 5 years with the company, they are eligible for management positions and stock options in the company based on company performance,” he says.
Sherwood’s son, Parker, is making his way through those requirements and shares his views about working at the family dealership as well as what the Sherwood brand means. “People think of us as honest people who follow through on what we say. I love the business and I can definitely see myself being part of it as my dad phases out,” Parker says.