Brownells – Frank Talk About Guns January 2010

Brownells – Frank Talk About Guns January 2010

Frank Brownell -
Frank Brownell -

Montezuma, Iowa –-( Shot show 2010 just ended Friday, last week. It was a show of mixed results with 1,023 vendors and 56,000 show attendees.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation says this was the largest show to date, and we certainly had huge crowds at both our Law Enforcement and Gunsmithing booths with people 2 to 3 deep most of the show. We especially want to thank everyone that stopped by to say Hello. I only wish Pete and I had been able to spend more time in the booth meeting and chatting with you.

There was some drama at this year’s show. . . The layout and navigation of this year’s Shot Show held at Sand’s Convention Center, was terribly unorganized and could probably be used as the bench mark for the worst laid out Shot Show ever. I suppose this probably has to do with the Sand’s expo not delivering on their promise for a new convention center when the contracts were signed.

We also had 23 people in the industry arrested on the Shot floor the very first day for some export bribery schemes. The FBI was certainly using something other than the NSSF map to find the bad guys; Pete and I were well into our 2nd day before we could find our booth without a guide using the same map! Then there was the unfortunate circumstance where some high-profile vendors boycotted renting a booth space from NSSF and decided to “backpack” their products to the industry, which means they would put all their products in backpacks and go from booth to booth selling or set up rooms in a near-by hotel for a “off-campus show-and-tell”. Both No-No’s with NSSF.

All the above notwithstanding, the primary mission of all the folks we take along to Shot Show is to get to know our customers and our vendors and the other great people in the industry. From this point of view, we had an enormously successful show!! Here are some of the industry bits of this and that we picked up and would like to pass along to you. (For some wonderful in-depth, detailed reviews of this annual bash, I recommend you go to Jim Shepherd’s website for his “The Shooting Wire”, and check back through the archives for the past couple of weeks. Jim’s a great writer with a finely tuned ear who does a great job of “nailing it”!)

The firearms market took a very deep breath after running the 2009 sales marathon, and are a little apprehensive of what 2010 will give us.

Factories, wholesalers and buyers are looking for “Value” this year. Last year it was all about “delivery”. Value does not mean “cheap”. It means how we can all do business better if we work together.

Everybody seems to be focusing on their “Core”.
The most important for all levels of business is to communicate with your customers, spend the time understanding what they are looking for and why. This is the best way you can learn, and you can direct your business to provide the service/product/solution they want and will pay for.

In retrospect, 2009 was the year for deliveries – getting things actually in the hands of the customers. 2010 is going to be the year of “I don’t know what’s next”. With this big mystery staring us in the face, the best way to go into the next 12 months is to focus on communicating with your customers, finding out what they want. And focus on defining what your Core business really is all about, and make it as streamlined and as efficient as possible.

With these two handled well and under tight control, you’ll be able to face – and deal with – whatever comes at you.

Finally, one of the services we provided at Shot Show this year came from the partnership we made with E-Myth Benchmark, the business development consultant. E-Myth was presented at Shot Show University during a seminar on “How To Grow Your Business”. Essentially, E-Myth is a very regimented and systematized coaching method that has been used world-wide in many different industries over the past 30 plus years. If you feel the gunsmith shop or the business you are running is really driving your schedule instead of you driving your business, this is something you need to check into.

I would recommend first buying the book “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” by Michael E. Gerber (you can find it on or buy at a discount from E-Myth Benchmark at number below).

It’s an inexpensive investment and yet gets the point across of how to take your business and your life to that next level. After you have read the book and want to explore E-Myth further, please contact Benchmark Coaching Center at 1-888-959-0621 if you are a business owner. Please mention you are responding to Brownells WebBench e-mail. The E-Myth team will contact you with a web link to an Online Assessment followed up with a personal phone call to follow-up this assessment with a Business Check-up session. Or go to on the web and check out all the ways you can get further involved with the program.

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