As I type this, it is still August in the Midwest. Like most places in the country, we’ve had some staggeringly hot days these last couple months. Weather that can slow you down a little and make every sweaty step in the outdoors seem just a bit more grueling than usual. These are what they call the “dog days of summer.”
Sidenote: I’ve always wondered what this phrase actually means, so I consulted The Old Farmer’s Almanac where I learned it’s got nothing at all to do with a shaggy dog panting into its water bowl on a front porch, but instead refers to a curiously named star in the sky. But I digress.
Hopefully, the summer months treated you kindly. Hopefully, the truck’s A/C kept humming along and laboring customers (or you, yourself) weren’t too short-tempered. Depending on where you live, the temperatures outside can impact everything from morale to speed, and even sales. I’ll never forget riding with independent distributor Geoff Beveridge in Dallas in August of last year. (September 2018 PD cover story). It had been a productive morning for sales; Beveridge was running a GEARWRENCH deal that day and customers were on and off the truck. There was one A/C unit in the back that had just come in; it was barely in the door when a technician purchased it on the spot for his shop where the A/C unit had gone kaput. That was a mighty quick sale for Beveridge – and a godsend for the technicians in the repair bays.
It made me wonder: how many mobile tool dealers make – and even count on – seasonal/relief sales? You’ve got your shop cooling products, vehicle A/C repair tools and equipment, even bottles of water near checkout. If wildly swinging temperatures are the norm in your neck of the woods, it means we are officially soft-shoeing out of summer and heading into the next season of sales. Where summer meant evaporative coolers and fans, fall and winter bring updated gear like heated hoodies, not to mention the winter-season vehicle repair tools to cover the bases for heater systems, windshield washer and wiper maintenance, and oil cooler lines.
Nutritionists will tell you it’s healthy to “eat with the seasons.” I suspect the same can be said for sales. Not only does this natural turn of events keep you and your customers on your toes, but to some extent, it ensures products are rotated and changed out along the shelves of your mobile store. And we all know a little change can be a good thing.
If seasonal sales that support both shop environment and labor inside the shop are a dependable part of your mobile tool business, there’s no need to shed a tear when the leaves turn or even when that white stuff falls from the sky.
Does this type of sale have a significant impact on the bottom line where you live? If so, let us know what products you find move with the temperatures. Or, if you’ve heard a different explanation behind the phrase “dog days of summer” I’d like to hear what that is because I’m still not sold on the star bit.