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Meet Michael at Pacific Coast Highway Powersports in Marina del Rey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael in Marina del Rey.

Michael, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I spent 27 years at IBM right out of college rising to the executive level of Director at IBM’s Global Services Division for the Western United States.

I was able to retire at a young age. I have been a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, so when I began looking around for what to do next, I found that a long time dealership was for sale and I began investigating. One thing led to another and I ended up buying Honda Kawasaki of Santa Monica.

I renamed the business Pacific Coast Highway Powersports (because we’re located on Pacific Coast Highway) and set about remaking the business. It’s been two years of very hard work from refurbishing and upgrading the entire facility, to refreshing the staff, creating and implementing a website, launching a social media presence, and refreshing the inventory.

I upscaled our offerings by adding Vespa, Piaggio, and Moto Guzzi, beautifully designed Italian vehicles.

We are a “one-stop shop” with a service department, a parts and accessories department, and a robust rental department affiliated with the worldwide rental service company, Eaglerider.

I have trained the staff and instilled in them that this is a customer service business, that’s what we sell. We care about our customers and we go the extra mile to make PCH Powersports a place a cut above the rest.

We have clearly differentiated ourselves from the large corporate dealers by providing excellent personal service and standing behind our work.

The result is shown in our strong Yelp rating as well as Facebook and Google Plus.

We are about to achieve back to back yearly growth of 20%.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This is a very tough business. The margins are very small, so keeping the right inventory, with very tight controls has been critical. In addition, unanticipated by me, it is a seasonal business and a rollercoaster of sales volume.

I had to develop a very strong stomach and had to “stay the course” many times as the business was building. Of course, I made many mistakes as I learned the business.

Being a small store, I have necessarily become a painter, plumber, carpenter, electrician, web designer, social media maven, graphic artist, and quite often, a manual laborer. Very different from IBM!

Please tell us about Pacific Coast Highway Powersports.
We have built our reputation as a customer service oriented dealership. We offer a huge variety of vehicles and brands so that we always act as a consultant to our clients in choosing the right thing. We are not a hammer looking for a nail, and we don’t see our customers as walking dollar signs.

Buying a new motorcycle, or scooter is a big purchase and should be an exciting one. Riding is an addictive thrill and we want each customer to light up with just the right bike.

We’re starting to get a lot of repeat business and we’re getting many new customers from our online reputation and word of mouth. That is very satisfying.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memories from childhood are my neighborhood and school. I grew up during the baby boom generation and our little suburb was populated with young families and lots of kids my own age.

Riding bikes, playing outside in the summer when it was still warm at night. It was a great way to grow up.

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