House of Power Cycles
4515 Babcock St. NE
Palm Bay, Fla. 32905
Glenn Sandler is a certified public accountant. While one could argue accounting is a good skill to have if you’re going to own a powersports dealership, it doesn’t seem like the most likely pairing. It works for Sandler, who is the business-minded, forward-thinking owner of House of Power Cycles in Palm Bay, Fla., which lies on Florida’s east coast. Sandler and House of Power are relatively new to the business: the dealership opened in June 2002, although it had been in business for more than 25 years under a different operator. House of Power is a 43,000 square-foot facility, with about 17,500 square feet in showroom space. There, the dealership displays Honda, Kawasaki, Schwinn, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha products, which include ATVs, motorcycles, scooters, UTVs and PWC.
Sandler has taken his biggest concern — motorcycling’s public image — and is making bold steps to remedy it, not only in his area, but potentially across the country. “A lot of people don’t think that it’s safe, that normal people don’t do it,” Sandler said. “As we continue to bring people into the industry, we realize how image sensitive [motorcycling] is.” One day, the solution came to him and he started a nonprofit group called Motocrossers Against Drugs. “We as dealers have a responsibility to let people know how safe and how rewarding this sport really is,” Sandler said. The organization has been approached by a number of riders who want to be sponsored. The stipulation is that they have to follow the rules: no long hair, no tattoos and, of course, no drugs. Sandler aims to take Motocrossers Against Drugs to all 50 states in the near future.
Sport bike sales have continued to grow for House of Power. Sales are typically 50 percent motorcycles, 40 percent ATVs and 10 percent everything else, and sport bikes make up 60 to 65 percent of motorcycle sales at the dealership, Sandler said. ATV sales have been falling off a bit because of riding area closures, he added.
Investing in innovative ideas like Motocrossers Against Drugs and other programs and business solutions are necessary to keep powersports moving forward, Sandler said. “These are the changes we need to look at to grow the industry,” Sandler said. “I feel the industry is in its infancy. Businessmen are starting to get into the business. Dealerships are open seven days a week with service available every day of the week. There are many things being done that haven’t been done before in the business. Thinking is shifting to what needs to be done as opposed to what’s being done.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Accessible and convenient parts and service make for eager customers. House of Power is working on both fronts. Service writers and technicians are on-site seven days a week. The dealership has placed vending machines outside its service department area for fast-moving parts, like oil and spark plugs. “When customer wants to ride, they have to be able to do it,” Sandler said. “When we try to open a new store, we’ll try to be open until midnight seven days a week.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
House of Power holds three open house events throughout the year with a unit giveaway at each event. The day includes barbecues, hamburgers and hot dogs, free dyno runs and free T-shirts via shirt cannon. While these events are well attended, one of its bolder promotional moves was hiring a spokesperson. HOP’s spokesmodel does all the dealership’s television commercials.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Act like an entrepreneur,” Sandler said. “What needs to be done in the business hasn’t even been thought about yet. Be involved. Be excited in all the processes. Stay involved with employees, know them. Have a passion to be successful and there’s no business more fun. If it’s not fun, don’t do it.”
Copyright 2007 Powersports Business