Brownells – Frank Talk About Guns August 1st 2009
Brownells.com – -(AmmoLand.com)- Our newest, latest and greatest – Catalog #62 – is printed and ready to go into the mail the first or second week of August. You should get it about a week later. This one is bigger than our last at 592 pages, has more’n a thousand new products, and we’ve tweaked our product categorization program to make it even better.
Frankly, we’re awfully pleased with this new Big Book . . . seems we keep saying that every year, but they really do get better and better. However, if print media isn’t your bag anymore and you’ve really gotten into the “net”, we’ve got the new website for you to use and enjoy – brownells.com – which is getting rave reviews and lots of activity. Give it a look – between the web and the catalog, we’ve tried to make it wondrously easy for you to pick out the items you want and get them on order to you.
Now to something you really need to do… work on your strategic plan. This is a particularly interesting time in our industry. We all know and acknowledge that the boom we are seeing is a classic “bubble”, with prices driven up on particular guns or shooting platforms and ammunition caused by shortages. These are real shortages, but the manufactures at all levels, from raw goods through gun and ammo factories are not making major capital investments in new manufacturing equipment. They too know this bubble will burst and they will be left with excessive capacity for which they have no need, paid for with borrowed money. No cash stream from the expenditure, but still have to pay for the equipment. Frankly, to stay in business in the long view, these folks have to look at their world this way.
So where does all this turmoil find you? Have you gotten your business strategic plan in place? Obviously the factories do. But do you know what you’re going to be doing after the inevitable bursting of the bubble? You really need to stop and take a good look at your business’s future and your personal future. Preparing for this “future” ahead of time is called your business strategy. It can be overwhelming; for sure it’s going to be challenging to think about, much less create. To help put your mind in the right groove; “Strategy” is defined as “a plan of action to achieve a particular goal.” The word has its roots in the ancient Greek word strategos, which is a military term used to describe the art of a general. Kind of cool, when you think about it! You’ve got to think of yourself as a general as you create and manage the strategy to reach our goals for our business and our life.
To create this strategy for your business, the first thing to do is sit down and make a list of what it is you want to accomplish – what are the most important things to you and how do you want to make them happen? These are your goals. The stuff you’re aiming to have happen. This is not the time to take on the rebuilding of the world order. Start small and take some time to work on your list.
Secondly, you should also think about the things that you don’t want to do or you don’t want to happen. Not going broke is a pretty good goal, for instance. Once you have your do’s and don’ts listed, it becomes much easier to continue to narrow down your initial plan and start adding new exciting ideas, and get rid of the not so good ones.
OK, so here’s the order of things. Write down your goals. “My business is going to Survive” might be one to start with. Then you start on the Strategy to make sure you reach your goal. You really have two simple choices – 1) You can downsize as your market shrinks and work hard to contain costs. 2) You can diversify your product line or service areas and work to bring in customers.
Stretch your thinking. Think carefully about this and write it down. These goals are what you’ll base your strategic plan on. Everything you write down in the strategic plan column should directly correlate to the eventual success of your main goal. For instance, you’ve decided you want to open a gun shop. You have the tools and the skills necessary to do it. That becomes a goal. But, you need to define that goal. What is your goal for the next five years? If you want this to be a full-time job or even a part-time job, then make that your goal.
Part of your strategy for reaching this should be:
- What will distinguish my work from someone else’s and how do I create a niche for myself?
- How do I find and get customers through the door?
- Where should I advertise to find those customers?
- Are there certain sub-categories of gunsmithing that I’m really good at which my customers are looking for?
- Also, think about your location. Are you where your customers expect to find your shop? Is it the neighborhood where potential customers will probably be coming on other business and swing by?
Do a lot of leg work and do your research thoroughly – discover what will make you unique and bring value to your customer and make that a highly important part of your overall goal.
Goal setting and Strategy is all about understanding who you are and what you do. It’s who you want to become and it’s your plan for reaching the goals that you’ve set for yourself. Remember however, that it’s also who you don’t want to be. A good goal will direct your strategies, which will then create boundaries around your goals. And with the right goals and the right strategies you can keep yourself completely focused on moving ahead and being successful – which is the goal for all of us!!
Brownells is the world’s largest supplier of firearm parts, gunsmithing tools, reloading equipment and accessories. Stocking more than 30,000 items, the company supplies armorers, gunsmiths, and shooters worldwide. All of their products are backed by a 100% satisfaction, unconditional, lifetime guarantee. For more information, or to place an order, call 800-741-0015 or visit Brownells.com