Three keys to success

June 5, 2017
Independent distributor Lynn Bazile shares his three areas of focus to run a successful tool-selling business.

Independent distributor Lynn Bazile, based in Orlando, Florida, has worked in the mobile tool selling business since 1978. 

He attributes this success to the fact he follows three simple rules:

  1. Know how to collect. This means asking for payments every week, and letting the customer decide how much they would like to pay.
  2. Buy smart. Understand the proper inventory, take advantage of promotions when buying from a franchise or warehouse distributor and maintain cash flow.
  3. Know how to run a successful business. Be on time, and stay true to promised commitments such as delivering products.

Bazile shares insights on the details of his adopted practices below:

First of all, you have to learn how to collect money. The best way to collect money is to ask them what they want to pay on it. Never tell them how much they’ve got to pay. If you tell them how much they’ve got to pay, that’s what they’re going to pay. I’ll ask them, “What do you want to do today?” I ask everybody for $100. You don’t always get it.

If you learn how to collect money, you have cash flow. And if you have cash flow, you can run your business properly ... because 90 percent of the failures in this business are related to money. They’ve (mobile distributors) got a big house payment, a boat, kids. If you can’t pay the bills, the next thing you know, you start robbing inventory to pay the bill. Then the inventory is gone. You can’t recover.

The second thing is, you have to learn how to buy. You have to learn how to take advantage of the specials. This is how you’ll make the money – you buy this set right here (from his warehouse distributor), and you get one free. If you buy two of these sets, you get two free and a $50 gift certificate. That’s kind of a no-brainer. Sell the two free ones, and take your wife out to dinner with the gift certificate. It’s pretty smart business. I do a lot of volume buying.

The third thing is to learn how to run your business. You have to stop at the same time every week. Be consistent. You have to have tools on your truck, and your truck has to be clean and half-way neat. You have to be dressed well, with your name and business on your shirt. Have the name of the business on the side of your truck. Do what you say you’re going to do. 

About the Author

Erica Schueller | Editorial Director | Commercial Vehicle Group

Erica Schueller is the Editorial Director of the Endeavor Commercial Vehicle Group. The commercial vehicle group includes the following brands: American Trucker, Bulk Transporter, Fleet Maintenance, FleetOwner, Refrigerated Transporter, and Trailer/Body Builders brands.

An award-winning journalist, Schueller has reported and written about the vehicle maintenance and repair industry her entire career. She has received accolades for her reporting and editing in the commercial and automotive vehicle fields by the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA), the International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC), the Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Azbee Awards.

Schueller has received recognition among her publishing industry peers as a recipient of the 2014 Folio Top Women in Media Rising Stars award, acknowledging her accomplishments of digital content management and assistance with improving the print and digital products in the Vehicle Repair Group. She was also named one Women in Trucking’s 2018 Top Women in Transportation to Watch.

She is an active member of a number of industry groups, including the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC),  the Auto Care Association's Young Auto Care Networking Group, GenNext, and Women in Trucking.

In December 2018, Schueller graduated at the top of her class from the Waukesha County Technical College's 10-week professional truck driving program, earning her Class A commercial driver's license (CDL).  

She has worked in the vehicle repair and maintenance industry since 2008.

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