Neosho Powersports – Neosho, MO – Dec. 26, 2005

Neosho Power Sports
16194 South Highway 59
Neosho, MO 64850
(800) 231-0667
Mike and Leslie McBroom
Neosho started as a Honda dealership in the early 1960s. The founding dealer owned the shop until 1996, when Mike McBroom purchased the dealership. McBroom was a motorcycle enthusiast as well as a CPA, so he quit his corporate job and bought the business. As soon as McBroom purchased the businesses, he relocated to its current home in Neosho.
At the time of purchase, the dealership carried Honda and Polaris. Neosho now carries Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Arctic Cat, Polaris, California Side Car trikes and sidecars, Champion trikes and sidecars and Lehman trikes. Most brands are full line, but Neosho doesn’t sell any PWC. “We just weren’t selling any of them at all,” says general manager Josh McBroom. The current facility is about 25,000 square feet, with a separate 10,000-foot warehouse building. ATV and motorcycle sales are split nearly in half. “It’s been traditionally a little heavy ATV, but recently we’ve gotten a little heavier street bikes, but it’s pretty much 50/50,” says McBroom. Neosho Powersports has 32 employees, most of which are full time.
“The one thing that worries me is inventory levels,” says McBroom. “The OEs a lot of times will push on us to order a lot of product and they go off last year’s sales numbers. And with ATV sales declining in our area, they continue to want us to order more and more, but the sales aren’t there.”
“The Suzuki Boulevard line has been real hot,” says McBroom. “In ATV, it’s been pretty flat, but if there’s any one line or ATV, Polaris ATVs have been good for us. Mainly in the utility line; sport quads haven’t been real strong. In utility, Polaris has been good.”
“My dad is a Gold Wing rider, and a couple of our managers also ride Gold Wings, so we really focus heavy on the Gold Wing market,” says McBroom. “We pride ourselves on having more parts and accessories for Gold Wings in stock than anyone else. That’s where we’re geared up for the touring market. We sell a lot of Gold Wings each year and we try hard if we don’t get the initial bike sale to make sure that people can come to us for service and all the goodies people like to put on their Gold Wings.”
“We have a dedicated women’s apparel section. We have jackets, helmets, pants, shirts, everything that is geared around women’s riding gear and apparel. We’re getting a lot of women riders. We’re getting a lot of feedback from women who are coming in saying, ‘We need more stuff for us.’ That’s what got us going on this women’s apparel section. We wanted to take their stuff and separate it so it’s easy for them to come in and find stuff and also if their husbands or friends are shopping for them, especially this time of year, they can come in and go right to that section.
“Another thing we’ve added is a Kid’s Corral. We built a split rail fence and some Western décor and we just put all the kids ATVs and dirt bikes in there as well as kids apparel and helmets.”
“We have a big service department,” says McBroom. “We have five full-time techs and there are five bays going all the time back there. We have a service manager and two writers.” Service makes up about 5% of the business, with parts and accessories kicking in another 20%.
One unique aspect to Neosho’s service department is a prepaid maintenance program called Pit Pass. “People can buy prepaid maintenance and anything that is recommended for the bike in the owner’s manual is covered for a set period of time. Ours is three years.” Aside from the eight in service, Neosho has seven people in parts. “We have one manager, a receiving guy and we have a girl who all she does is sell stuff on eBay,” says McBroom. “Old parts and take off stuff and she’s our Internet girl. She and I split the Web site, but she does list all our used inventory on the Web site and keeps up with our Internet coupons.”
“We advertise a lot more than the typical dealer,” says McBroom. “The reason we do that is because we are in a small town and we feel like we need to draw business from the metropolitan areas that are around us. We are fortunate because TV is cheap, so we do a ton of TV. We try to make it co-op if we can, but we do creative TV ads and have a lot of fun with them — goofy, memorable stuff. We have a name in the community for our commercials.
“We do other kinds of promotions, too. We have open houses every year like everyone else does, but we have a customer Christmas party once a year. It’s on a Friday night and we have entertainment and free food. We bring in OE reps; bring in our parts reps, like our Tucker Rocky rep; we do a fashion show; we just really lay it all out for our customers. Last year we had 500 people attend.”
“Of course, the 20 group would be a key,” says McBroom “We’re members of two of them and we get different ideas each time we go. They have been a huge lifesaver for our dealership.
“Also, know the direction your dealership is going and stick to it. A lot of people get nervous about what other people are doing and they let other dealers dictate their business plan.
“You have to have a business plan and you have to know the direction you want to go and you have to stick to it.”
—Blake Stranz
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