CENTRAL TEXAS – When is the whole of a business’ possibilities greater than the sum of its parts? When two successful businessmen decide to divide a dealership group so both entities can expand.
That’s what happened at Family Powersports, where owner Morris Baker recently sold two of his stores to longtime manager Kevin Lackey. Lackey is operating the Weatherford and Hurst stores under a new banner, Freedom Powersports, under a management agreement until the sale is finalized sometime in November.
Lackey was with Family Powersports for 14 years before striking the deal with Baker. Nobody was under pressure to make a deal. It was a natural next step for both. Papers were signed in July.
“It was more that I was realizing my dream, not him wanting to get out of the business,” Lackey said. “It was my time to give it a run, not wait any longer. I had some people behind me with money so it was time.”
No argument from Baker, who praised Lackey’s skills and sees opportunity for both businesses to play to their owners’ strengths.
“He is a wonderful young man that has decided to pursue the motorcycle industry,” Baker said. He’d put Lackey in charge of an “experimental” store in Hurst, which is doing well. But Baker prefers the smalltown environment of secondary markets, while Lackey likes the city lights.
“He’s more of a city boy. He operates really well under the increased competition,” Baker said.
Freedom Powersports operates the stores in Hurst and Weatherford, and Family Powersports will keep its stores in Lubbock, McKinney, Odessa and San Angelo. And both companies plan to expand rapidly, but in different territories. Freedom is looking north, while Family loves the center.
So the plan is, divide and conquer, right? “We’re looking at it thattaway, a little bit,” Baker said.
“We want to dominate the North Texas market. We are looking at stores right here in our own back yard and some in Dallas and Fort Worth counties. We plan to look at them aggressively,” Lackey said. “We’d like to, within the next 18 to 24 months, have three to five stores. We want to diversify our product line and find some dealers that are not having fun doing this any more – we’re very excited about this and I’m excited about what I do every day. If someone is looking for an exit strategy, we’d like to help them out. Or push them overboard, whatever feels right.”
Baker has his eye on the central Texas market. And he hasn’t been wasting any time looking for opportunities. (continued)