During this week of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share reasons to be thankful to be in the rural equipment industry. My hope is that these thoughts might give you a boost going into the final weeks of 2019 so you can celebrate a stellar year.
First, this is an easy one. Our market is mostly insulated from commodity prices, poor planting or harvesting weather and trade disruption. Our sister publication Ag Equipment Intelligence reports in its 2020 Dealer Business Outlook & Trends Forecast that its Dealer Optimism Index, which measures sentiment among dealers compared to the prior month, has yet to move into positive territory for this year.
In contrast, at the start of 2019, RLD’s Dealer Business Trends & Outlook Survey showed that 59% of rural lifestyle dealers expected revenue growth of 2% or more. (We’re gathering responses now for our 2020 survey. Go here to take the survey, which closes Nov. 30, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.)
Next, think about the excitement in the automotive market over electric cars and self-driving cars. Those developments are happening right now in our market with battery-powered and autonomous mowers. This is a unique time of massive change that many businesses don’t get. Check out this product round-up and Tech Walk-Around video from this year’s GIE+Expo for some highlights.
Third, people’s homes and properties are both an investment and a source of pride. Any business involved with increasing its value and appearance is given a golden ticket to a lifelong customer. And, dealers are finding new ways to interact with customers that streamline the sales process and fit how customers want to communicate. For instance, Derek Alexander of Wright Implement has his own mobile app. RDO Equipment has a social employee advocacy program. Watch for a story to post soon about how two of its employees are building business through Instagram.
Fourth, and this is my personal observation after 7 years of talking to dealers, the rural equipment market is made up of genuine, hard working and smart people who want the best for their employees and their customers. Be grateful for who you are and what you do. I know I am.
All of us at Rural Lifestyle Dealer wish you a blessed and bountiful Thanksgiving!