Looking Ahead to 2013

It is amazing to look at our year end reports for 2012. Our sales increased by nearly 90% over the previous year, our direct mail units more than doubled and our team size doubled. We achieved the growth with very little in the way of outbound selling - instead, I think we simply have the right product at the right time and we deliver it with quality and integrity.

We are very aware that our growth and success came because of the generosity and support of our excellent customers, and our friends and partners at Trek. Thank you to everyone who played a role in our business during 2012.

We are also very aware that our continued growth will happen only if we can continue to contribute to the growth and success of our customers. Most indicators that we see in the market show that this is a difficult time to be in bike retail. We feel that we have some answers to help increase traffic and increase sales through better marketing, but there are still more mysteries than we would like and we feel we have a lot of room for improvement.

With that in mind, 2013 will be an important year for Harvest. We are going to moderate our growth so that we can focus on offering more comprehensive and value-added service to our existing customers, while we focus on building new relationships with the most successful Trek dealerships in the country. We learn from working with great dealers, and we want to expand our knowledge base in order to make a national difference.

One of our goals is to help dealers implement a proactive four-quarter marketing plan to help them take control of their destiny while still allowing them to focus on their core business. We've built what we think is a solid plan, now we need to apply it to a variety of different markets and dealership profiles. This is no small challenge and I'm infinitely grateful to my team at Harvest and my trusted business advisors for all of the help they will give in the process.

Another major goal for 2013 will be to continue our experimentation with techniques to bring new customers into stores. With the marketing budgets available to bicycle dealerships, this is a huge challenge. Even in the new marketing environment of micro-targeting it is difficult to achieve significant reach on a limited budget.

Personally, my goals for the year include more travel to different markets to visit existing and prospective dealers. I want to complete another update to our customer profiling models to achieve even better targeting with our direct mail products. And finally, I want to implement at least one web conference to facilitate conversation among the nation's best dealers to set a course for marketing bike retail over the coming years.

This will be an exciting year for Harvest, and hopefully a very successful year for our customers. Once again, thank you to everyone who has helped make Corey and my dream come true. We wish you all a happy and prosperous 2013.

Ryan Atkinson, President
Harvest Retail Marketing

About The Author

Ryan Atkinson

Ryan Atkinson

Ryan is a proven marketing professional who entered the cycling industry in 1994.