Working overtime to help grow the family business
Power Machinery Center (Oxnard, CA) has been in my family for about 60 years. For the last seven, I’ve been working my way through the ranks under my father, company president Rick Power. I didn’t start working for the company right out of high school—I did a series of odd jobs first. By the time I was 20, however, my career path led me back home, where I took a job in the parts department.
Eventually, I worked my way into the company’s sales department, which is where I found my true passion. I spent the next three years traveling across California selling new, used and rental equipment before earning a promotion to sales manager in 2008.
As sales manager, I keep a busy schedule. Not only do I oversee the sales staff, I also order new and rental forklifts, manage factory warranties and approve repair and recondition bids. I also spend a great deal of time negotiating with our vendors. Sometimes, a salesperson will want some help on a call, and I’ll handle that too. I go visit the customer with them and help give that little extra push to win us the deal.
In addition to all of that, I’m currently serving as the sales rep for our Bakersfield, California, location. Ideally, that wouldn’t be the case, but the economy has dictated it. Overall truck sales in our region are down by 50 percent, so even though we’ve been consistently gaining market share, our increased share is of a shrunken market. There really aren’t enough profits for us to pay a dedicated sales representative in Bakersfield, so I decided to step up. Our third quarter numbers were our best in a while, so I’m optimistic we can get a full-time person in that position soon.
It Comes With the Territory
Playing multiple roles is the way it goes when you’re part of a family business. It truly is a part of who you are. No matter what department I was in when I started with the company, I still went home every night and talked shop over dinner with Mom and Dad. I always knew what was really going on. That background has really given me a better grasp of who our customers are and how long they’ve been with us, which has helped me greatly in my decision-making process.
Because I am so closely tied to the company, it’s always with me. It’s not like I can go on vacation and just shut it off and forget about it. Especially in times like these, you always have to be thinking about the next step. That’s why these days I’m working as many hours as I possibly can. Regardless of what’s happening in the economy, our sales department has to keep moving forward. It’s my responsibility to see that it does.