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STARTING from scratch eighteen months ago, F. L. Schlink, of Portland, Oregon, has made a profit from the beginning by selling, installing, and servicing of car radios exclusively. At the present time, he is the only one so specializing in The Pacific Northwest.

Early in 1932, he rented a small garage for a service shop. It would accommodate only four cars. He had only one service man and did all the selling himself, helping with the service work in spare moments. Even now, while engaged in bigger deals and more of them, if there comes a momentary interim between telephone calls or demonstrations to customers, he is into a car in an instant with pliers or test set, helping the men. It is this drive within him for utilizing every spare moment which, I believe, is in no small measure accountable for his success.

Soon the growth in business forced him to move into larger quarters, and he now has a space accommodating twelve cars, and it is occupied most of the time. Starting with an agency for one set, he now handles several of the best, nationally known lines.

“I dropped an assured position to start this business of my own,” he said. “I was formerly sales manager in Minneapolis for a well-known automobile company. I selected this territory to start because it was practically a virgin one for car radios.

“In this business, I find that success must be built a step at a time, under close personal supervision. Selling sets is not all the battle. They must be properly installed and then serviced until all interference difficulties are ironed out to the complete satisfaction of the customer.

“While it would seem that I might stretch out rather rapidly, and appoint subagents in smaller cities, I find it difficult to get service men for this exacting work. So I am developing technicians here, whom I can send out later to agencies.

“When mine was a one-man organization, I needed some business quickly. I selected the most prosperous industrial companies in the city, especially those having a number of well-paid executives who could afford car radios. When I got one of these men to install a set in his car, it was easy to get most of the others. The first place of this kind to which I went eventually developed into five additional sales for me.

“After the individuals come the county sheriffs, who need short wave equipment to be in on the police calls that are going over the air. Similarly, the city police departments and the state highway police departments are ready markets.

“Generally speaking, with the small organization and limited capital, first go after the cream which will fall with the least sales resistance. Develop the big, complicated things as you grow up.”

As a man who applied himself to a new business and made a success of it during one of the hardest economic periods in our history, Mr. Schlink’s words are worth listening to—and applying to a great many other ventures of this type. —H. W. Y., Portland, Ore.

  1. Stannous says: October 28, 200710:23 pm

    I never knew Adolf Hitler had a job installing car radios

  2. Jim Dunn says: October 30, 20076:45 am

    What a maroon. Electronics in cars are just a passing fad. He’ll rue the day he left the spats- and puttee-manufacturing business, mark my words.

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