The Regional Riff
Dealerscope: What are some of your most pressing business problems—what worries keep you awake at night?
Perry: Finding, hiring, and finally keeping custom installation people with our company past two years remains a challenge. Our buyers have certainly had their challenges in trying to figure out "Where's the product?" In September, we placed scheduled orders with all video suppliers through December.
SooHoo: A couple of matters—one is finding really good talent. That's limiting my growth right now. We're always searching for them and the response has been less than spectacular compared to other years. We think part of the issue is that the big-box retailers burn out some of the good talent out there and give them a bad taste about our industry. Because their pay's been cut significantly, or commissions were dropped, their motivation to be in this business is reduced significantly. Another concern is how to move my company more into the service side of the business. Every hybrid custom retailer is still using, to some degree, the service model that worked for the retailing side. The key is to make sure that services are paid for and profitable. We're not talking about delivering TVs on time or taking care of customer complaints. We mean all aspects of customer service.