On October 17, 2013 members of Ohio University Entrepreneurs visited Don Wood’s Toyota car dealership to learn about his story of becoming an entrepreneur. Don Wood invited some of his staff, bankers that lend to him personally, an insurance agent, as well as a leader of Hocking College to hear him speak. Luke Pittaway and some of his entrepreneurship students came along for the presentation as well. His story was truly one of triumph and his success didn’t come without much difficulty and many obstacles along the way.
Don Wood was really excited to speak to us and talked about being able to give back to those of us that want to be entrepreneurs. Some of the words that really stuck with us after his presentation were that experience overweighs cash. Also, integrity is key to running a good business. If an owner cuts corners and takes the easy way out it only creates more problems later on in the future, a lesson he learned after buying the dealership from the previous dealer. He also had a lot of support from his family along the way that made his success possible.
For those who don’t know who Don Wood is, he owns the majority of car dealerships on East State Street in Athens. Don Wood is inspirational to all business owners and those of us that want to follow in his footsteps could all learn from him.
Dealers are typically seen as being greedy and will do anything to make a deal, but Don Wood focuses on the customer service for his customers and retains about 70-75% of his customers. This is because of his character and his commitment to always do the right thing. Soon in the future, OUE will be inviting him back to speak with us again so that we will be able to gain more insights. He is a great person to network with and is excited to help all of us in any way that he can. OUE cannot wait to host him again in the future.
Written by Erin Belka