Blog posts tagged with 'productivity'

5 Tools Everyone in the Golf Cart Industry Should Be Using

With every job you do you will always find that it is easier and faster to accomplish if you use the correct tools.  If a tool can save you time it can save you money and everyone like to save money right.  I would like to highlight a few tools that I have found not only increase our speed and performance but also our dealers as well.  Now when I say tools I don’t specifically mean a hammer or a wrench (I will include a few of those) but I also mean software tools as well.  These tools not only help you with the golf carts but also help you with your business.

1.  Custom Battery Cables

Cutters, Stripper, & Crimpers

Now if you often replace battery cables on the golf carts and find you also do custom builds you may find it necessary to cut and crimp your own custom cable lengths.  Many dealers just use a standard utility knife to cut back the sheath and use a hammer punch to crimp the ends and this does work it is just not the best way.  We have a great line of industrial cutters and strippers that can give you a clean cut with little effort and can strip back the casing fast and you won’t risk cutting yourself in the process.  As for crimping the ends on we offer a very handy hand crimper that will allow you to actually crimp the ends on in the field and this would eliminate the need to walk back and forth to your work bench to finish the job.

Wire Cutters Stripper Crimper

2.  Determine Battery Capacity & Find defective Batteries in a Set

Battery Discharger

If you are buying and selling carts it is a good idea to make sure that the batteries that are in the carts you buy are actually good.  Everyone will tell you they have new batteries even if they were in fact replaced a few years ago.  Using a discharger on the battery set will allow you to measure the battery capacity expressed as the percentage of time at which shut-off voltage was reached.  This can be seen from the example found in the operating instructions for our Lester Battery Discharger:

Example: An 18 cell battery set rated at 107 minutes @ 75 amp discharge rate is to be tested to a shut-off voltage of 31.5 volts. Upon discharging a set of fully charged batteries, the discharge     unit shut off in one hour and 32 minutes (92 minutes). Battery capacity is therefore expressed as:  (92/107) * 100% = 86.0%.

Discharger

3.  Good Cordless Impact Wrench & Drill

Makita LCT209W 12V Combo

The Makita 12v combo kit is what we use for our installations but keep in mind we do not do as many installs as a dealer would do but these units are small, lightweight and have a lot of power behind them.  Makita also offers an 18v model which may be better suited for constant use.  Whichever model you chose it is worth the investment because it can greatly increase the speed when installing rear seats, lift kits, clays baskets, etc.  It will also allow you to do these repairs and upgrades on the road for mobile installations.

Tool Combo

4.  Credit Card Processing

Square, Paypal Here, Intuit Go Payment

I went into depth on mobile credit card processing systems in the post: Processing Credit Cards on the Go.  So I won’t go into too much detail here but to say if you don’t have a way to easily accept all forms of payments your customers may begin to dwindle.  These days you can now get mobile notifications on your wrists so the technology is there you just need to determine which is right for you and your customers to both benefit from.

Credit Card Processor

5.  Automation!

This is one of my favorite things.

Automation

If it is a computer task that you do repetitively most likely there is a computer that can do automatically.  How awesome is that!  I just get so excited about this subject because with little effort you can set and schedule routines and have daily, weekly, and monthly operations handled for you.  For instance you can setup an automated email welcome series that will send new customers an email immediately after signing up and then you can set how often and how many additional emails are sent.  Also if you update several different social media sites but you want to make sure they all have the same information posted to it you can use a service such as www.IFTTT.com which stands for If This Than That.  So if you like a photo on Pinterest it can then post that photo to facebook, twitter, and even download that photo to a Dropbox folder.  You could also use a site like www.buffer.com to schedule posts to facebook or twitter to post at random intervals.  So if you spend 10-20 minutes you can schedule a few weeks’ worth of social media updates.

Here are some automation websites to look into:

www.MailChimp.com – Newsletters
www.IFTTT.com – Social Media & Alerts
www.buffer.com – Social Media
www.hootsuite.com – Social Media

Most of these sites offer extensions to Google Chrome & Firefox to allow fast and easy scheduling as well.

I hope that these few tips help you and I’m sure we didn’t include some of the essential tools you use on a daily basis so please leave us a comment with what tools you couldn’t live without so we know what works for you.


Steve WilmerWritten by Steve Wilmer

Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint.  This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.  Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.


Why an Ecommerce Website for E-bay & Amazon Sellers is a Must!

Ecommerce Store

If you have a brick and mortar store it goes without saying that you need to also have a digital storefront.  If this is in the form of an E-bay store, Amazon Marketplace store, or Facebook Page makes no difference you still should have a dedicated domain address such as www.YourGolfCartStore.com.  This way you can get away from Gmail, Hotmail, or AOL and use a professional You@YourGolfCartStore.com email address.  There are many advantages of having a standalone Ecommerce website beside adding parts you can include information such as store hours, special coupons, customer photos, blog posts and an FAQ’s page.  All of these items might seem silly or unnecessary, but with the amount of people searching the Internet to find answers, if you don’t have them they will go straight to your competitors who do.

E-bay and Amazon

Selling on E-bay and Amazon Marketplace is great because people go to these sites with the intent to purchase.  They are already a customer you just have to make sure they find you.  A good way to do that is with a solid common name.  If you sell on all available sites and your own don’t change your name if you are Your Golf Cart Store don’t sell on Amazon as Your Golf Cart Shop keep your identities the same so your customers learn to know who you are. 

With the wide variety of Ecommerce platforms and the increase of Ecommerce sites being created all the time developers are constantly creating additional plugins or add-ons for these platforms to allow you to connect your Ecommerce site with various other outlets such as E-bay and Amazon to allow you to control your inventory from one central site and have these inventory and price adjustments reflect on all outlets.  With little upfront cost you can have your order fulfillments handled at a central hub to ensure that orders are never missed or duplicated.  They even have add-ons so that you can automate the fulfillment process and generate purchase orders that are sent to your suppliers with all the information that is required so it is getting to the point where you website will be able to run with minimal effort on your end, after the initial setup that is.

EcommerceIf you currently have an Ecommerce site, E-bay store, Amazon Marketplace, Facebook page, we would love to hear from you what you have found that worked or didn’t work.  We are also working on ways to supply you with the information that you need to help with this automation process such as live inventory feeds with image urls and tracking feeds with shipping information once orders are fulfilled we will have more details on that in the upcoming months.


Steve WilmerWritten by Steve Wilmer

Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint.  This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.  Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.


Use a Summer Slowdown to Boost your Business

It happens to all businesses; that dreaded dry spell, but there is no reason to let a slowdown stop your business in its tracks.  You can take this time to boost your business and create momentum that will actually help you grow a stronger and more profitable business.  There are a few main things that you can do when things slow down to re-energize your company. Here are four of our suggested tasks.

Develop and Rewrite your Marketing Message.

Who knows your product and services better than you?  Sometimes we have a difficult time packaging and delivering the message of what it is you do or have.  Take this time to sit down and make sure that your marketing materials, such as product ads, brochures and other materials clearly states what your message is and relate that to your customers.  If you don’t have the time or skills to rewrite these materials you can always hire a professional copywriter who can do it for you.

Take another Look at Your Lead-Generation Strategies

Now that you have your product packaged with effective copy it is time to work on the delivery and get it to your customers.  It is important to work several strategies to guarantee success.  You never want to have all of your eggs in one basket.  Use this time to develop and try new lead generating ideas such as placing online ads, attending Chamber of Commerce events, writing articles online, begin work on social media, etc.

Call on Existing Customers

People who have purchased from you in the past and are happy with your product or service are your key to growth and viability in the future.  Take this time to review their buying patterns and call on them to suggest reorders or offer additional services.  It is important to stay in the spotlight when it comes to past customers.  If they don’t hear from you they may forget you are there.

Retrain Employees

Down time is the perfect time to talk to your team members and work with them on how they should be engaging customers.  This is the time to help your team build strong customer relationship skills.  Hold meetings, develop scripts and work in small groups until everyone is clear on what is expected and how to react.  Don’t forget the importance of having your team also educated on your products and services.  There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than a salesperson that doesn’t know what is offered.  If you have many products break them up into sections and have individual experts in each section.

These tips will help you not only survive a summer slowdown but thrive!


Steve WilmerWritten by Steve Wilmer

Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint.  This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.  Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.


Save your Sanity with this 18 Minute Routine

It happens to all of us.  We start the day with a mental list of things that we would like to accomplish that day, and then the phone rings you find you have to answer a few urgent e-mails and the next thing you know the day is almost over and you haven’t been able to scratch one thing off your list.  If you’re like me you do one of two things, you take your work home and finish it their or you push it to the next day’s list.  Well this can get you into trouble fairly quickly.  The good news is there is a better way.  Peter Bregman author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done says that to stay on track “It needs to be an ongoing process we follow – no matter what – that keeps us focused on our priorities throughout the day.”

His plan is broken down into steps to make them easier to follow.

Step 1: Plan (5 min.)

As soon as you sit down at your desk take out pen and paper and jot down the tasks that you need to complete that day to make your day feel accomplished.  Next schedule those tasks on your calendar to make sure that you have sufficient open time to complete them.  When you right your tasks down you are more likely to follow through with completing them.  Always make sure that you prioritize by hardest and most important first to make sure that these items are addressed right away. Generally earlier in the day you will encounter few distractions.

Step 2: Refocus (1 min. each hour)

Bergman suggests getting into the routine of setting an alarm to ring on the hour this way you can stop and refocus to make sure that you spent your last our productivity.  This will help you get back on track if you happen to get sidetracked.  I have found a great free app in the app store called 30/30 it is a simple time program that allow to set alarms at any interval I find this is a great way to stay focused.

Step 3: Review (5 min.)

This step is important to do every day.  You need to evaluate what worked and what didn’t for you.  Where did you get distracted?  Where did you lose focus? Is there something you did that really worked well?  What can you do differently tomorrow to ensure that your goals are met?

For example, did you accomplish a lot in the morning but found you lost focus in the afternoon?  Well then you may want to schedule taxing tasks like getting inventory numbers updated, creating purchase orders, or writing marketing materials, that require more focus for those early hours and easier tasks like replying to e-mails and review web posts for the afternoon.


Steve WilmerWritten by Steve Wilmer

Steve started with Stenten’s in October of 2011 and currently maintains Stenten’s digital footprint.  This includes contributing to our Blog, monitoring our technical Forum, and posting to our various social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.  Along with increasing Stenten’s digital market Steve also has knowledge on many performance parts for golf carts including controllers, motors, and tire & wheel combinations.