Three businesses in Hillsboro saw change in recent months, change that revolved around meeting customers’ needs by expanding, adding new products, or moving into new space.
Owners and managers at Wright Motors, Carquest, and Supreme Floor Company have more in common than they realize — they are all out to please customers and thus ensure survival, even success, in a weak economy.
Doug Wright of Wright Motors on D Street in Hillsboro knows that paying attention to what customers want keeps his business on track.
“Three years ago, when we lost the Chrysler franchise, we didn’t offer many Toyotas and Hondas,” he said. “Now I keep at least 15 in stock. The Camrys and Accords are popular in this area. I just sold three Toyota RAVs last week. It’s what the customers want that counts.”
Innovation helps Wright meet another customer need in the area. He recently added recreational vehicle reconditioning and sales.
“I kind of fell into the first one when a friend didn’t have room to store his 2012 RV and then wanted to sell it,” Wright said. “I’ve always had an interest in them, but it makes sense to add them into my line-up because there really isn’t anyone else nearby selling them.”
Wright finds used RVs on the Internet and purchases them at a reasonable price. He and his dealership crew of two keep busy stripping, repairing, and refurbishing the trailers before offering them to customers.
“I could get by with doing less,” he said. “But I am fussy about providing my customers with a finished product, not something they will have to work on yet.”
Wright is currently working on a trailer he purchased in Louisiana. The former occupants were victims of Hurricane Katrina several years ago.
“There was a lot to fix on this one,” he said. “I replaced all the seals and moldings; put in a new microwave, stove, table top, cushions, curtains, couch, mattress, everything. When it’s done, I will be able to provide someone with a good deal.”
Wright said filling his lot space with two or three recreational vehicles was a better investment than buying 20 or more cars.
“This is something we had thought about doing for some time,” said Carquest store manager Bob Williamson. “At this time last year, I had no idea we would be doing this, but I am really, really pleased at how well it has taken off.”
Williamson and Carquest of Hillsboro business owner Mike Kleiber added 75 square feet of additional space onto their store at 603 Orchard Drive in March. The additional space houses Hustler lawnmowers, a new sales line for the company. Recently, service for Hustler mowers became a reality for the Hillsboro-based business.
“Since March we’ve actually sold quite a few mowers, even without a lot of rain to grow grass,” Williamson said. “Now the service area is taking off. We just got in two mowers from Harvey County East Lake needing repair. We are filling a need in this area.”
Williamson said counter employee Matt Hein was the Hustler mower service technician.
“We have all these models represented here because the company wants to fulfill all our customers’ needs,” Williamson said. “We have a waiting list of people who would like that 72” front deck diesel as soon as Matt gets finished with it.”
Meeting customers’ needs is something Williamson is very comfortable doing on a daily basis.
“I’ve worked in much larger cities in Texas and Denver where we had exponentially larger numbers of customers,” he said. “Here we get to know our customers on a first name basis and learn to know what they want. It is very important to recognize that our survival links very closely to the farm economy. People don’t have spare money so we work very hard to get what they need and pay attention to the details.”
Supreme Floor Company
Space is also important to Stuart and Leah Isaac at Supreme Floor Company. They recently moved to a new building across the street, and quickly filled the additional space at 117 N. Main with decorating ideas.
“More space allows us to create more showroom displays,” Leah Issac said. “This way the customer can see what can be done and get ideas for what they might want to do.”
The Isaacs and their employees have used a variety of floor coverings, wallpaper, furniture, pictures, lamps, and other accessories to create several room decorating examples.
“It’s so nice to have all this space to expand into,” Isaac said. “And it doesn’t hurt to be right next to the coffee shop either.”