Saturday Business Seminars to Cover Management, Marketing & Ethics

Mar 13, 2012

The number of business seminars presented at the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show has doubled this year, offering attendees more opportunities to learn from experts and join discussions that will help them better run their businesses.

SEMA‘s ARMO council will presents  four one-hour business seminars on the morning of Saturday, March 24 inside the Lucas Oil Stadium.

“ARMO is really pleased to continue to expand our relationship with HRR and delighted to host four sessions this year,” said Laura Bergan, ARMO chairman and vice president of marketing with American Collectors Insurance Inc. “Every year we carefully analyze the feedback we receive from attendees and form next year’s content based on that.”

This year’s seminars, which will be held across two sessions from 8-9 a.m. and 9:15-10:15 a.m., will cover business management, Internet marketing and business ethics.

The Business of Small Business

During the first session, a panel of shop owners and manufacturers will present “The Business of Small Business” in Rooms 1 and 2, a seminar targeted to small business owners and managers that will cover many business management basics.

“The panelists will answer questions and give insight into how they achieved and maintain success in their own compan[ies],” said Jim Skelly, council director at SEMA. “Questions will cover topics like identifying and marketing to a target audience, how to find and keep quality employees, changes in the industry and how those changes affect marketing strategies.”

The panel will be comprised of John McLeod from Classic Instruments, Dennis Overholser from Painless Performance, Vic Pompino from Ecklers, Lenny Schaefer from Chop-Shop Customs and Scott Whitaker from Dynamat.

Harry Weimann, an HRR contributor and the director of education at WyoTech Blairsville, will moderate the panel.

Marketing Your Small Business 101

Also being held during the first session is “Marketing Your Small Business 101,” where a panel of industry experts will discuss Internet marketing basics in Rooms 3 and 4.

“We’ll discuss tips for website visibility/search engine optimization, why content is so critical, how to develop content easily and affordably, and delve into social media a bit,” said Bergan, who will serve as moderator of the panel. “[Social media] is something many business owners still can’t really determine a return on investment but everyone will agree that it can’t be ignored.”

Eric Saltrick from Steele Rubber Products and Tyler Tanaka from CIE Studios will serve as panelists for this seminar. Both were panelists on the “How the Internet Can Help Your Business: Internet Marketing on the Cheap” seminar at the 2011 HRR Trade Show.

“What impresses me most about Tyler and Eric is that both panelists are chock-full of ideas and suggestions that do not cost an arm and a leg or take years to pull off,” Bergan said. “Their ideas are reasonably easy and affordable to implement, which can help businesses expand their online footprint.”

Sales Ethics – A Relationship Strategy

During the second session, Dick Dixon will present “Sales Ethics – A Relationship Strategy” in Rooms 1 and 2, where he’ll cover various ethical issues impacting industry shops.

“As we take on economic challenges, we also need to master sales and marketing strategies as a valid point for enhancing the relationship[s] buil[t] in our B2B and B2C market ethically,” Dixon, chair of the Automotive Education Alliance at California State University San Bernardino, said. “With knock-offs and factors of integrity in question [now] more than ever before, the small business person requires additional understanding of how compliance works within the aftermarket.”

This seminar is targeted to all aftermarket businesses, according to Dixon, and discussion points will include copyrights, trademarks, intellectual property and authorized use.

“Any aftermarket business person will find value relat[ed] to prudent practices which can further develop their growth and sustainab[le] business prowess,” said Dixon, who presented “The Art of Selling” at the 2011 HRR Trade Show.

Marketing Your Small Business 201

Bergan, Saltrick and Tyler will continue the Internet marketing discussion in “Marketing Your Small Business 201” during the morning’s second session.

“Building on the 101 session, we’ll illustrate a real-life case study and analyze a website and social media footprint,” Bergan said. “We’ll do this ahead of the session so that during the session we can really focus on suggestions and recommendations. Though we’ll do this for one business, many of the businesses attending will be able to take advantage of the assessment and suggestions made.”

By presenting two sessions on Internet marketing, ARMO is showing how important the Internet is for shops today, according to Bergan.

“Simply put, your customers are there and you need to be, too,” she said. “By making sure your website presence is all it can be, you’re ensuring that your customers (and potential customers) can easily obtain information from you, a credible source, rather than turning to other sources.”

For more information on all of the educational seminars being offered on Saturday during the 2012 Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show, click here.