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Opinion

Making a Difference

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Just as your vote had an impact on election results, your involvement in industry initiatives can have a positive effect on your shop’s bottom line and on the vitality of the marketplace where your goal to build a business took hold. Those of you who have reached out to the industry to offer assistance or input, or those who have benefited from the expertise and experience of others, know all too well the value of teamwork and the power of a cohesive spirit.

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Some of you are members of an association, some of you may contribute your time to automotive vocational schools, others may work to recruit new technicians to the field, while others may work behind the scenes for the betterment of the industry.

Whatever your contribution, you are involved because you care enough to take the time to make a difference, and you realize that such efforts produce reciprocating benefits – for your shop and this industry.

If you are not currently involved in an industry initiative, but this column has sparked your enthusiasm, there is an upcoming event where your participation could pay huge dividends.

The 2005 Aftermarket Legislative Summit, set for March 1-2 in Washington, D.C., is this industry’s opportunity to come together with a collective voice to make an impression upon policymakers – the folks who make decisions that impact important aspects of our business. According to AAIA, the goal of the Summit is to help ensure that legislators have the information they need to make educated decisions about major issues facing the aftermarket, including The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act, association health plans, anti-counterfeiting and asbestos litigation reform legislation.

The Summit is gaining momentum, with more than 200 aftermarket industry executives expected to attend the event. It’s a unique opportunity for members of the various aftermarket segments to meet with their legislators to discuss the issues that directly impact our industry and their businesses.

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As you begin the new year, think about the things you need to do to improve your business. Think about the daily details of running your business, interacting with your employees, communicating with your customers, delivering quality repairs, surpassing customer expectations, and the like. Making a positive impact in these areas produces tangible results, so they usually top your list of concerns.

But, don’t neglect looking at the big picture – peering down the road to see how you might best ensure your shop’s future viability and profitability. Getting involved in one or more of the many industry initiatives, like the Aftermarket Legislative Summit, may just be the new year’s winning ticket.

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