Family Business uses Smart Growth Strategy

Think about how hard you work at your business day in and day out, and about how nice it would be to have some extra help on some days


"Customers really trust us," Howard said. "I have customers that I don't even have to tell them that I'm shipping a product, I can just send a new product to them." Howard said they really get to know a jobber's business through the phone. "I can send out five or 10 of a new product to certain customers, depending on my judgment.

"I've never really seen a return on that product coming back; it's actually that guy asking two days later to order more of that same product."

GETTING THE WORD OUT

Besides sending new products out to certain jobbers, M. Eagles also gets the word out through quarterly catalogs, fliers and real-time tracking of inventory and accounts online at www.eagletools.net.

The 156-page, full-color catalogs are packed with new tools and information, and are supplemented by fliers.

"It's almost like every six or seven weeks there's a catalog coming out," Michael said. "Plus a smaller eight-page Eagle Scoop which has new products,
specials and hot buys that we picked out to be in there."

There's also a spot for new products on the website, as well as other specials to interest mobile distributors.

"We have something called our 'Top Picks,' which is a list of weekly specials," Howard said. "We also have a new product section that's tied to the new product [spot]" for the specials they're able to be first to the street with.

The website also helps jobbers reach their market with targeted fliers.

"We have something called a 'Custom Flier,' where the customer can go onto our site, pick a product of his choice, create a retail price and come up with full artwork and ad copy" to create their own flier, Michael said. Though the M. Eagles retail flier for the

distributor will include between 30 percent and 35 percent margin for the jobber, the customer "can go out and make his own single-sheet flier and put his own retail price on there, and sell it for the price he wants.

"So we're not limiting that distributor with our retail price."

They're also not limiting the jobber when it comes to returns, trying to process credits within a week.

"I tell [our customers] we're not going to have the best price on every product … but our pricing is fantastic across the board, and we are selling our customer service," Howard said.

"As much of an investment as we have in the customer, they have in us," Steve said. "It's a two-way street, really, and it's been good over the years and we're still here. And we plan on being here a long time."

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