From A Rep's Perspective

Mike Root

Merry Christmas to all…

December 13, 2013

Happy Holidays if you prefer the politically correct version!
This time of year the factories begin to crank down for the season, retailers begin to crank up for hopefully a bright after Christmas season, and those of us that supply the trades have a chance to take some time to enjoy the fruits of our hard work over the past year.

It's time to take a step back and thanks those that helped make us successful this year

• factory personnel who made the product
• customers who bought the product
• associates that made us look good or helped us in one way or another
• spouses and families that let us be away from home often for work
• our trade association (IHFRA) and others who made our job easier
• any mentors that might have shown us the shortcuts or referred us to new revenue streams

I thought at the beginning of the year 2013 would be challenging. All kinds of headwinds for the consumer like increased taxes, healthcare reform, Washington gridlock and Nebraska football going 8-4 (Cornhusker fans may not be as optimistic if the football team loses).

Our firm worked exceptionally hard for our customers and factories helping both of them meet their goals for our products. If it didn't work we changed it and if it did work we let it run. We had many more winners than losers and ended up with a great year to show for it.

And so I feel really good going into the holidays to enjoy the company of family and friends and to spend time in reflection for the reason for the season. I hope you feel the same way and can recharge a bit over the next couple of weeks.

For many the last two weeks of the year will be a quieter time at the office. Few want to see the reps, people are tied up with the holiday hustle and bustle, trucks are not running as much and the factories will be closed or in quiet mode. You can certainly take the end of the year off and watch lots of football, eat lots of Christmas cookies and drink plenty of holiday cheer.

But remember, January 1 starts a new year and a new set of challenges!

If you have transition in your business then maybe this year was not quite as good and you wonder how you will make 2014 better. Or maybe you're like me always looking to improve on one hand and cautious about downsides of economic challenges on the other. We can celebrate and relax but be sure and set some time aside to look at what your plans will be for your business next year.

If you happen to be one of those listed above who have helped us this past year, thank you for all your support. To all others reading this I appreciate your interest and support of this column. Merry Christmas to all.


PS. If you are a rep and have not joined or gotten any of the benefits from our trade association including information on the health plans, go to or call Kathy or Jennifer at 336-889-3920 to learn more. Do it before December 31, 2013 and get your tax deduction.