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Third generation owner prioritizes employee retention, offers careers

“Since I could push a broom, I was in the dealership or cleaning a bike,” says John Resciniti III. His grandfather, John Resciniti, opened Motorcycle Mall in 1975 and his father, John Resciniti Jr., began running the business shortly after.

“I worked hand-in-hand with both my grandfather and my father at the earlier stages of my career and throughout my career,” Resciniti says. “It was probably the best education I could have received – in business and in life. It was the honor of a lifetime as well to grow up in the family business and to be able to work in it.”

The original Motorcycle Mall dealership was opened in 1975 and carried Indian Motorcycle. Photos courtesy of Motorcycle Mall

Resciniti says his grandfather’s entrepreneurial skills are what encouraged him to study entrepreneurial studies in college. To help support his family, his grandfather worked as a kid, earning a penny every two weeks until he began changing tires at Sears when he was 13. He then forged his age so he could join the military. While he was in the service he rode Indian Motorcycles, and “From there, the rest is history,” Resciniti says.

Resciniti started at the dealership in 2003, working and bringing new brands into the dealership while he completed school and college. “In college, I would do about 18 credits a semester and about 35 to 40 hours of work [at the dealership] a week. I was the best roommate my roommates never had,” he laughs. He began running the business and working full-time in 2007.

John Resciniti III is pictured with his wife, Dana, and four children. John takes his oldest son to hockey practice before school, and plays on a team with three other Motorcycle Mall employees after work himself.

The original Motorcycle Mall was in the same location for 37 years, then in 2012, it was relocated down the street to a 108,000 square foot facility in Belleville, New Jersey. The dealership originally sold Indian Motorcycle, then took on Honda and Kawasaki. Since then, about 15 brands have been added under the dealership’s roof.

Resciniti says that completing his father’s and his grandfather’s legacy is important to him. His grandfather’s goal was to have multiple locations, so Resciniti says he is working to meet this goal within the next couple of years.

Expectations for 2024

“2024 is going to be an exciting year,” Resciniti says. This spring, he hopes to acquire a new building. “Because we have such a solid team, for some of the people that may want to continue to grow with the organization, [the expansion gives them] the ability to and rewards those people and gives them a lifetime career with a corporation that’s a family business and puts the value on them.”

He expects a year of high volume and says it will be important to pay attention to margins and to good processes. And he says as an election year, there is uncertainty as the election date approaches. “Fortunately, looking at our seasonality, it comes at our slower time of year in the last quarter. However, you will get some uneasiness around that time depending on interest rates. We saw the rates stay the same recently, so I don’t know that there’s any hesitation, but as the season comes, you start to see some discounting of rates. Hopefully, that will give some buyers a little bit of relief and hopefully they’re not still buried from some prior credit issues… ”

Motorcycle Mall is 108,000 square feet and employs between 80 and 90 employees. 

He says his ultimate 2024 outlook is optimistic. “It’s a fun sport, a great recreation and it is an alternate means of transportation with electric and hybrid vehicles coming into the marketplace… There’s a lot of excitement still around our market. We have a great opportunity for growth in not only on-road but off-road, side-by-sides and watercraft. Having inventory is going to help. It will help people ride more and prices should reflect that as well.”

Resciniti says he doesn’t have a magic ball to forecast this year but predicts the best he can using methods he learned in 20 Groups.

Offering a career

He serves on the Dealer Advisory Board for Honda, and served on the DCC for Kawasaki. He is also certified in every brand sold by the dealership.

“Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss put in an honest day’s work,” Resciniti quotes. He says employees respect him when he leads by example and he must exemplify doing the “little things,” like picking up trash, sweeping the shop, putting parts away or making sure units are clean. “That family feel and me being here every single day from bell to bell, first one in and last one out, it makes all the difference.”

Pictured in red is John Resciniti and to his left is John Resciniti Jr. and to his right is John Resciniti III. 

Before the dealership relocated in 2012, he noticed a heavy amount of seasonality, so he began focusing on retaining employees and now has a couple who have worked at the dealership for over 30 years.

“It was really important to me to keep good staff,” he says. “Keep them trained and keep them happy.” So, he implemented health care plans and offers a 401(k), dental and vision insurance, all of which he says provide careers and help build the business.

While he is a hands-on leader, he says that the dealership sometimes employs over 90 employees, so he relies heavily on his management team. “Without their strength and work ethic, we wouldn’t be where we are,” he notes. “It’s not solely on me. It’s on the staff and the great job that everybody does here.” He credits mutual respect between employees and hard work to the success of the dealership.

And the team steps up to hard work when it’s time to have a “build party,” which takes place before or after work. Resciniti provides breakfast or dinner, and a group of employees work together to build 30 to 40 units. During the peak summer months, the dealership averages four to six “build parties” a month to keep up with demand.

While these parties are necessary, so are other types of parties, like the dealership’s Christmas celebration. “The Christmas party is pretty amazing,” Resciniti adds. “We did a Piaggio scooter as a raffle. We did an electric Indian e-bike. We do probably close to 150 raffles to 200 raffles from coolers to full riding gear. It’s really rewarding for the staff. It’s a fun night just to let your hair down and have some laughs with everybody, sit at some different tables and talk to some different people. There may be some card playing afterward.”

The dealership also organizes an annual fishing trip (Resciniti’s grandfather was a fisherman) and annual rides. The staff will ride a two-hour loop after work and stop for wings. He says Covid-19 made getting out with so many employees difficult, so many afterhours activities took place at the dealership during this time.

The business originally sold Indian Motorcycle and now carries about 20 powersports brands. 

This season, he aims to provide more experience events and he will continue to put on “Top Gun” dinners to recognize topperforming employees. Manager lunches will also continue, which bring the team together to roundtable.

Resciniti is focused on building and maintaining a team, but he says it is also important for employees to have time with their families. “Being at events for kids is so important, so I make it a point to let my staff know that if there is an event, to please let me know in advance.”

He says that he wants his employees to be able to leave for an hour or two so their kids can have a memory of them being at their game. “Family is number one, and when you take care of your number one, your number two will succeed behind it.”

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