Texarkana Outdoor Power Equipment — A Small Business That’s Big on Service
Father and son team, Ed Lewis and Alex Lewis, own and operate Texarkana Outdoor Power Equipment in Texarkana. Son Alex, who we spoke with, said the men pride themselves on putting their customers first -- a philosophy that's worked for the duo since they first opened their doors in Texarkana.
Q: Who owns the business and when did it open?
A: We are partners and we opened in 2011.
Q: What products/services do you sell?
A: Outdoor Power Equipment like Ferris, Bobcat, Walker Mowers, Snapper Pro, Husqvarna, Echo, Shindaiwa, Zero Turns, Lawn Tractors, Push mowers, Chainsaws, and Various other handheld equipment. We have a full service shop, a large parts inventory and accessories for everything we sell.
Q: How did you start this business? How did you come up with the idea?
A: We actually already sold Ferris zero turns in Ashdown before 2011 and our sales rep, Jim Cox, came by to see us one day and mentioned he had a dealer in Texarkana who was looking to retire. So we looked into it and we were wanting to branch out into the Texarkana market anyways. So we Purchased L&L Hunter Power Saw and moved them to a building we already purchased before purchasing L&L Hunter Power Saw.
Q: How did you get the financial backing to open your doors? Did you start out small or jump in big?
A: We financed it from own from our own hip pocket. We started small and kept reinvesting. We had another business in Ashdown that did Powdercoatings, Sandblasting and Fabrication etc., etc. We didn't think we were getting in too deep but we didn't expect to see a huge jump in customers whenever we made the purchase and opened our doors at the new location.
Q: How many customers would you estimate that you’ve served since you opened your doors?
A: Gosh! We have over 10,500 customers in our computer system and it's only two years old so there's no telling!
Q: Do you love what you do?
A: We do thoroughly enjoy what we do. We have great customers who deal with us for our service and friendly staff. We like being part of Texarkana and the Ark-La-Tex community. Every single day is something different so it never gets boring for sure!
Q: What’s the biggest mistake that you’ve made as a small business owner?
A: I would have to say not using an operator system to inventory our business efficiently from the start. From a small business standpoint, we wanted to get our feet on the ground before we spent big money on an operating system. But if I could go back and do it over again, I would've purchased it on day one. We would have saved so much money on the little things over the years and invested it differently.
Q: What’s the greatest benefit of being a small business owner?
A: You get to mold your store your way. Set yourself apart from the competition. If we don't like it, we make a change. We control our store and how we run it. You won't get that working for anybody else. The greatest tip for starting your own business in our area is all about service. Take care of your customers and they’ll take care of you.
Q: What separates your business from others like yours?
A: Our service. We cater to our customers first and foremost. If you buy from us, you're underneath our umbrella when it rains, so to speak. Don't get us wrong. We help other customers to the best of our ability, but if you come in with one of our machines versus a competitive branded machine at the same time, naturally we are going to take care of our customers first. Those customers invested in us when they purchased their machine so we take care of them!
Q: Describe your repeat customers.
A: Awesome! They are guys and girls who come in and deal with us on a weekly basis whether it be for supplies, parts, service, new equipment etc. etc. They see what we offer for them as far as service, and our friendly staff, not to mention our selection of parts and supplies. We know them by name and there is nothing like a smiling face who is eager to do business with us as they walk in the door!
Texarkana Outdoor Power Equipment
2002 New Boston Road
Texarkana, Texas 75501
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