Rory, managing partner of a tire center in Creswell, Oregon, told Session 3B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"About 9 years ago, my partner, Bill, and I, after 17 years of being in the same location, decided to take a big risk in our little town with a population of approximately 10,000. Our existing building was built for industrial use and on the cleanest day it had a dirty appearance. We had to risk some personal assets and take some cuts. We could visualize the rewards. We had good communication on potential pitfalls and decided to take the plunge towards our dream. After several moths of preparation, which included scoping out our property location, traffic count, accessibility, building structure for appeal and usability, we looked at projected influx and possible location of the influx. We drove around the state looking at other stores and their ideas and layouts, which included our competitors' stores. We plunged into the building of a brand new retail tire store from the ground up. The risk included such things as added overhead, doubling our workforce, and adding a quick lube oil change center which we had no previous hands-on experience running.
Our doors opened in November 2000. Our building was designed with a quick lube and additional bays with plenty of room to expand. Now as you enter our showroom, the fresh popcorn and complimentary coffee mask the smell of tires. The custom wheels sparkle in the well lit showroom which invites curiosity. As the
customer is pulled past the oak cabinets and counter, they notice the cloud signs hanging from the ceiling promoting our high ideals and trusted products. Our bathroom was designed to cater to women, surrounded by tile floors with the tile reaching up the wall as if you are in a five star hotel. The oak cabinets overflowed from the showroom and the brass fixtures add the finishing touches. Our showroom would hopefully be considered one of the states' finest.
The benefits we have gained are substantial. We doubled our store sales and are continuing to climb. I believe we have the ability to "exceed our customers' expectations" with this facility. The challenge now is to employ and train my team to have the passion to "WOW" our customers day after day. Will a new expansion be our next risk?
The lesson I learned from this experience is that when I have an idea or a dream (large or small), with proper preparation, a vision, and the ability to use the resources that are available, I can approach that ideal, that dream with the ammunition to succeed.
I challenge you to find something that you are uncertain of the outcome and take the plunge. Plunge in with your eyes open and know the depth of the water. Listen to your resources, and your competition can be a great asset.
The benefit you will gain will be the joy of a purpose-filled life worth living. Your life will be an adventure and you will be alive every day of your life."