International Door & Operator Industry

SEP-OCT 2012

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 24 of 132

DOORDEALERDIALOG (continued from page 21) door industry as an employee of a building supply company that sold garage doors and provided installation. He was trained to be an installer, but never had any idea that it would ultimately lead to him owning and operating a garage door business. The couple shared with me how the IDA (and the Far Western Garage Door Association) had been of benefi t to them from the very beginning. From the early versions of Dealer-Fit and visits with Jack Landis (the former program administrator), to the current educational offering at the annual IDAExpo, Lawrie and Melissa explained how they both have learned to be better business owners. They told me about how during an early day visit with Mr. Landis, he was amazed that the business balance sheet didn't show any bank debt only to learn that the couple paid cash for everything. I was amazed to learn that the practice of paying cash remains to be one of the primary keys to their success…if they can't pay for it now, it just isn't necessary. "I learned a lot from some of the pioneers in our industry such as Bud Harris," Lawrie stated. "One of the things that he told me back then and it sticks with me today was if I don't have it, I can't sell it," he added. It became quite apparent to me that Lawrie is an individual who appreciates the wisdom and knowledge gained from experience. It is no doubt one of the primary reasons he and Melissa remain active IDA members. They have never felt the need to stop learning. When they attend an IDAExpo (and they've only missed three), they not only learn from the workshop leaders, but just as importantly, from their fellow IDA members. "Our industry and especially the IDA is actually a family," exclaimed Melissa. "And, a family that cares for each other and is willing to share with each other," she added. One tip provided to him years ago from an 'old timer' was that a dealer's hourly service rate should be at least three times what he pays his lead installer. I asked if this still was applicable and he responded by saying, "It works for me." He noted that he isn't saying it has to be that way, but that for him it seems to just Continued on page 25 22 International Door & Operator Industry™

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