Chris Kersting

Success Multiplier: Technology

Ever have the feeling as a small business that it’s tough to compete and stay ahead? That’s pretty common. And yet there are companies out there—some might be your competitors—who make it a priority to use technology to multiply their capabilities.

SEMA offers specific programs and benefits to help members access a variety of key technologies that are changing business in the automotive aftermarket.

Global Markets: The Door Is Open

The 2011 SEMA Show is a memory at this point, but some of you who attended the banquet Thursday night might recall our leadership presentation. In it, we highlighted some of the interesting ways that companies are entering new markets and finding new ways to do business.

One area we touched on is the opportunity for sales in overseas markets. Recognizing that the U.S. economy will be slow in the coming years, we think it’s especially important that companies take notice of offshore markets that are healthy and where enthusiasts are eager to buy.

A Bridge to Market Growth

We’ve been getting very positive feedback from those of you who were at the 2011 SEMA Show and are gratified to hear that this was a productive Show for exhibitors and buyers alike. Those who attended may have heard our core message behind the “Ideas Alive” theme: Innovation is not just for products—SEMA businesses must also innovate and find additional market opportunities.

Plugging in to New Markets

Following a successful SEMA Show, it’s time to catch our breath and perhaps take a moment to ponder where we go from here.

Feedback following the Show suggests that the economy might not be booming, but many of our member companies are making progress. Those businesses have dug in and made the moves that will make it possible to thrive during a prolonged recovery period. That’s a reasonable strategy, since it seems clear that significant growth in our traditional markets is still somewhere out in the future.

Innovation: It’s Not Just for Products Anymore

This year’s SEMA Show once again has innovation at every turn, including the pages you are now holding in your hands. Regular SEMA News readers will notice that, for the first time ever, we have combined the SEMA Show Directory with the Show issue of the magazine so that both publications reach more readers earlier. Many of you first reading this in your offices will now have a chance to preview the SEMA Show Directory two weeks prior to the Show, which should make your Show planning faster, easier and more productive.

The SEMA Award: Vehicles of Opportunity

The SEMA Show exists for one core purpose: to help grow sales for our member businesses. At last year’s Show, we introduced “The SEMA Award: Hottest Vehicles of the Show” to help drive consumer interest in our industry’s innovative and outstanding products. The SEMA Award does this by honoring the models that industry experts—the SEMA Show exhibitors—most often feature in their booths as the hottest rides for the enthusiast market. Media coverage of SEMA Award winners last year was such a success that we wanted to share more about what the award really means and why we have even higher goals for it in its second year.

Your Team in D.C.

One might argue that the single most significant year-round benefit for SEMA members is our ongoing work in government affairs. What’s clear, however, is that having an effective presence on national and state levels has made an important difference for SEMA members and the specialty-equipment industry as a whole. To support this important strategic initiative, SEMA maintains a dedicated and well-connected team in Washington, D.C., working to make member voices heard on regulatory and legislative issues that affect a range of market niches.

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