Tag Archives: support small business

Time to get your 69 fastback ready for winter storage

Pretty soon it’s going to be fall and you’re going to need more storage space

Even though we’re trying to not admit it, the calendar doesn’t lie. Pretty soon it’s going to be fall, and if your household is anything like ours, storage space is going to be at a premium. Maybe its time to get your 69 fastback ready for winter storage, finish up that project you’ve had spread all over the garage this summer, or make some space so the family van doesn’t get covered in snow. It might be time to trade out the lawnmower for a snow blower, or put away the four wheeler and get out the snowmobile.

No matter what your garage is going through this fall, Backyard Buddy has you covered.

Our flagship four-post vehicle lifts can help you finish up your projects faster, easier, and better. Our 7,000 pound lift can be assembled in your garage or driveway on a Saturday and has all the flexibility and accessories you need to put the suspension on that chassis on Sunday, or change out your fluids for winter on Monday evening. Our 7,000 pound lift comes in three heights, with clearances of 63 inches, 71.5 inches, and 84 inches.

If your projects tend to be on the heavier side, our 9,000 lb. lift will let you easily get the knobby tires on your jeep, finally put that snowplow on your old truck so you can clear your driveway in your t-shirt this winter, or get that lift kit in your pickup without crawling around under it. Our truck lifts offer 67 or 84 inches of clearance.

Backyard Buddy’s accessories

Backyard Buddy’s accessories make your lift even more useful. Our caster set lets you move your lift around your workspace, even when it’s fully loaded with a vehicle. Our jack platforms, air jack, and hydraulic jack allow you to raise your car off the lift’s ramps to work on brakes, tires, and suspension even while the car is in the air.

In addition to these accessories, our lifts are so strong and stable that you can add our crane kit and lift and move up to a half ton. Using our crane, you can lift your snowmobile into your truck without trying to push (or ride!) it up ramps to take it in for service, move that Chevy big block into the corner by yourself, or pull the body off your project car.

Because you can never have too much garage space, Backyard Buddy can help with storage too. Our lifts are strong enough that you can lift your summer driver and park under it all winter long, or lift your warm-weather projects out of the way to make room for your mower, the kids’ bikes, or your patio set. We make a specialized boat trailer lift that is 104 inches wide to accommodate most boats and trailers so that you can store your bass boat in your garage without losing a parking space. We also offer a deck accessory that fills in the space between your lift’s runs so that you can store smaller items like ATVs, motorcycles, or snowmobiles suspended on your lift.

As always, our US-based customer service staff are available to help you come up with solutions that will give you more floor space in your garage, make working on your vehicles and toys easier, and help everything make it through the winter safe and dry. Give us a call at (800) 837-9353 between 8:00 and 5:00 Eastern time and let us find an answer for you.

Support Small Businesses

Backyard Buddy as a small business

Looking around our factory floor and seeing the intricate dance of workers and machines, you may find it hard to think of Backyard Buddy as a small business, but on a global scale — and compared to some of our foreign competitors — we definitely are.

We don’t say this as something we’re in a hurry to change.

Small businesses, which for our sector is those with fewer than 1,500 employees, are one of the largest drivers of the American economy. The economic recovery since 2009 has been almost completely reliant on small businesses, including people who are self-employed. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, businesses like Backyard Buddy, with less than 500 employees, were responsible for 74% of the jobs created since our economic recovery began in 2009.

Unfortunately, you’d never know this unless you dig deep into the media. Most economic reporting focuses on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (mostly made up of the largest companies in the world) and the S&P 500 (made up of 500 large companies). While both of these are showing positive signs, it is companies like Backyard Buddy, and thousands of other small businesses that are quietly driving our recovery, creating jobs, and making sure the American economy stays strong.

Why does this affect you?

If you’re an American, and you’ve got the device and internet connection to read this, you’re part of the American economy. In a very real way the economic growth provided by small businesses is one of the reasons that you have a job (and by the numbers, your job is likely to be at a small business) and can provide for your family. Even if you’re retired and think this doesn’t apply to you, your pension or investments depend on the continued growth of our economy, driven by small business.

If that’s too esoteric for you, consider that small businesses are better for the consumer. In our case, we’re able to make a better product than our competitors because our business model needs to be centered on a quality product and happy customers. We don’t have or want the capacity to make our living on getting junk products out the door as fast as possible.

In addition to a better product, customers get better service at a small business, where the person you’re talking to on the phone or in the store probably has detailed knowledge of the product or service that they sell, and in many cases has made the product themselves. Thanks to the global economy and manufacturers controlling prices of their products, you will often pay the same for something purchased from a local business as you would from a multinational big box chain, and get the added benefit of service, something almost impossible to find in chains.

Still looking for more reasons, maybe something nobler? When you buy from an American small business, your money stays in your country, and in many cases right in your community. Small businesses are also far more likely to then also spend that money in your community, either through paying salaries to local residents, or investing it back into the business. When you buy from a global business, your money almost always leaves the U.S. and far too often ends up in an offshore bank account where it pads the company’s cash reserves or just makes a wealthy person wealthier.

As the holiday season approaches, we ask that you spend your hard-earned money at small businesses to not only give someone in your life a gift, but to give all of us the gift of a strong community, a strong job market, and a strong national economy.

To find small businesses in your community (for everything other than vehicle lifts and accessories, which you know exactly where to find), check out this searchable map from the American Express Shop Small program: https://shopsmallnow.americanexpress.com/shopsmall.

Let’s Work Together

I don’t know about you, but if I never see another political ad again, I’ll die a happy man.  This was one of the most tumultuous presidential elections I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve been around for a little while.  Whichever side of the aisle you stand, you have to admit that there was far too much negative rhetoric being hurled at the other side.

The result of this election stunned “the establishment,” shocked the mainstream media, and left the pundits asking, “How could we have been so wrong?”  Even The New York Times’ publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. admitted the paper failed to appreciate Donald Trump’s appeal.  He is quoted as saying, “After such an erratic and unpredictable election there are inevitable questions: Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?”

He’s not the only one asking those questions.  And there are a large number of people who are pretty damn angry about him winning.  But the Electoral College spoke volumes on election night; it was a sea of red.  Our president-elect is a candidate who appealed to Americans who felt unheard.  He listened.  They voted.

I employ nearly 30 hard-working, blue collar workers; many who have families to support.  During this economic decline; they’ve had no voice.  I stumbled on an explanation of this year’s presidential election outcome by Mike Rowe, former host of “Dirty Jobs” on The Discovery Channel.  He wrote a Facebook post comparing Trump’s White House win to his 2003 “Dirty Jobs” pilot on The Discovery Channel.  His reasoning sure makes sense to me.

This is an excerpt from a November 11, 2016 article in The Washington Times, titled, “Mike Rowe Explains the Real Reason Donald Trump Won” —

“It wasn’t pretty or careful. It took place in sewers and septic tanks, and featured a subversive host in close contact with his 8-year-old inner child who refused to do second takes,” the 54-year-old wrote. “Everyone agreed that Dirty Jobs was totally ‘off-brand’ and completely inappropriate for Discovery. Everyone but the viewers.

“Dirty Jobs didn’t resonate because the host was incredibly charming. It wasn’t a hit because it was gross, or irreverent, or funny, or silly, or smart, or terribly clever,” he continued. “Dirty Jobs succeeded because it was authentic. It spoke directly and candidly to a big chunk of the country that non-fiction networks had been completely ignoring. In a very simple way, Dirty Jobs said ‘Hey — we can see you,’ to millions of regular people who had started to feel invisible. Ultimately, that’s why Dirty Jobs ran for eight seasons. And today, that’s also why Donald Trump is the President of the United States.”

You see, the silenced finally found a voice; they found someone willing to listen.  Celebrity elitists just don’t represent a majority of the electorates.  (Have any of them packed up and moved out yet?)

There are lots of angry people out there; some of them are still protesting.  And because they live in this country, they have that First Amendment right – the rights that allow us to march in the streets, to worship freely, and to share our thoughts through blogs like this one.

Speaking to supporters at a victory celebration, Trump said it best, “It’s time for America to bind the wounds of division.  I say it is time for us to come together as a united country.”

I agree. Let’s start working together.

Get Out and Vote

This year’s political scene is unprecedented.  No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, it’s been an ugly, heated and tumultuous battle of wits and words.  People are passionate about their candidate and are just as passionate about their disdain for the opponent.  I’ll refrain from expounding on my political views, but what I will do is implore you to get out and vote in November.

The United States of America may just be the world’s oldest continuous democracy; something we should never take for granted.  Voting is a privilege and a right that many Americans fought hard for and struggled to win.  There are people around the world whose voices are never heard; their opinions never known.  Thanks to our soldiers, our freedoms and the democracy we embrace are protected.

Stop and think about this; which would you rather contend with?  You arrive at your polling location, you’re running late for work, only to be met with a very long line and just two poll workers to handle the rush. Or, you live in Afghanistan (you’re already concerned about backlash for simply voting), the line at the polling booth is long, leaving more time for exposure to potential threats, outright danger, or terrorist violence just because you’re trying to cast a vote.  I think I’d rather be late to work.

You get the gist – voting is a privilege.  Honor that privilege.

We live in a free country, so our voices can be heard through the votes we cast.  This is an important way to show support for the issues that matter most to us by helping to elect the representatives who can best implement policies and effect the changes we want to see.

Consider voting a civic duty.  It is one of the most important rights and responsibilities that U.S. citizens have.  Not only it is everyone’s right to vote, it is also everyone’s duty to vote in order to ensure freedom of expression, equality, and well-being of this country we live in.

Be American. Vote.

Your Guide to American-Made Products Online

We proudly proclaim that Backyard Buddy is an American company, using American steel and American workers.

For years, you also know we’ve been helping to promote other companies that can also stake that claim.  Given the state of our economy and the high unemployment rates, it’s crucial that we all make a conscious effort to search out American-made products.  We want every American to know that they have the power to fix the economy, provide jobs for themselves and their neighbors, and to increase the quality of the products they buy.  Vote with your wallets and purchase high quality, American-made products – Be American, Buy American!  There are many online resources for shopping “Made in the USA” products so we’ve gathered a few here for you to peruse:

Made in America Store

This is an excellent source for a huge assortment of merchandise, including clothing and accessories; groceries; toys and games; hardware; stationery; and outdoor, home and pet products.  The site offers free shipping on orders $100 and over.  And be sure to check out there amazing “American dream,” comeback story – “The Beginning, The Crisis, The Opportunity, and the Future.”

This site is all about “Gettin’ America Back in Business” by asking Americans to commit again to buying products from our neighbors.  There are 24 product categories, and it’s easy to search alphabetically for the nearly 1,300 businesses listed under company bios, with a link to each of those sites.  Mark Reasbeck, founder and patriot, said it is his hope that the site “will link consumers and manufacturers arm-in-arm across the country.”   

This site was created to provide consumers with an easy to use and highly accessible means of finding products made in America, which strives to “help keep good jobs here.”  Want to keep your dollars in your home state?  This site also features American-made product directory by state, so you can support your closet neighbors.   (We’re happy to plug that Backyard Buddy is listed on this site.)

Made In USA!
This website is a product search engine and database for those looking for products made in the United States.  Companies can add their “Made in the USA” listing for free.   The MadeInUSA! organization behind the site is dedicated to bringing jobs and prosperity back to the United States of America.

Toys Made in America
Here’s a fun site – for the kid in you!   In all seriousness, this site was launched in 2007 (after so many China-made toys were recalled) to provide a listing of safer, American-made toys and products.   There’s a variety of merchandise, listed alphabetically and by toy companies.

Trump is the Answer

If you’ve followed Backyard Buddy, you know our strong position on cheap, imported steel; especially steel coming from China.  No cheap, foreign import steel used in our lifts like with so many of our competitors.

Foreign steel, produced with minimal regard for quality or worker safety has flooded the worldwide market, putting thousands of Americans out of work. Cheap, imported steel is not only a bad product, it’s bad for our country.  It’s time we stand up to China…and there’s only ONE person willing to fight for American businesses and workers – Donald J. Trump!

In short, his plan “is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China.”  Trump supports threatening China with a significant tariff on its exports.  To fully understand his position on US-China trade reform, visit his site, https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/us-china-trade-reform.

As Americans, we have an incredibly important decision to make concerning the future of our nation. For so many reasons, this country needs a strong business and world leader, not another Washington insider, status-quo, establishment politician.  Trump is the answer.

The “establishment” certainly doesn’t like him because he’s different, and frankly, that’s a good thing.  He’s not reliant on donors so no one “owns” him.  And let’s face it, Trump says what most people are thinking; he’s just not afraid to say it.  What’s wrong with encouraging his fellow Americans to boldly stand up for their beliefs about what’s best for our nation?  He’s given us our voice again!

“Make America Great Again!”  Vote for Trump!

The Power of Referrals

Think for a moment about how you discovered your favorite restaurant. Though a few of us may be the adventurous type who see a place pop up and immediately go to try it, the rest of us probably check out a new place because someone we trust recommends it to us.  That’s a very simple example, but restaurants, especially ones that don’t belong to huge chains, are prime examples of businesses that thrive because of referrals and satisfied customers.

If you were wondering how all this relates to car lifts, no, Backyard Buddy is not starting a restaurant. We are, however, a member of that group of businesses that run on the power of referrals.  Our customers are so excited about our products that they can hardly help telling their friends about the rugged craftsmanship, highest-quality materials, and personal service Backyard Buddy always provides. They trust us enough to send their friends to us, and we consider that the highest praise we can be given.

Referrals are even more important for everyone in an industry like ours. For restaurants, the customer’s stakes are lower—if you go to one you don’t really care for, all you’re out is a few extra bucks you would have spent anyway, and the new experience and time with friends usually makes up for it.  But with an important investment like a car or truck lift (which itself protects the even more important investments you’ve made in your vehicles), you simply do not have time to try out one you don’t like or one that isn’t strong enough to get the job done. The cost is just too high.

That’s why our customers recommend Backyard Buddy lifts and accessories so consistently.  There is no better way to save your friends time, money and worry than by introducing them to the products you trust on a day-to-day basis. Not only is it a service to your friends, it’s the best way you can show a business your appreciation for their quality product or service: help them provide that same product or service to someone else!

So as we start the new year, everyone at Backyard Buddy says thank you to all of you who have helped grow our business with the power of your referrals.  We wholeheartedly appreciate it, and look forward to serving you and your friends for many years to come!

Small Businesses Are a Big Deal

With Small Business Saturday fast approaching, Backyard Buddy would like to salute and celebrate our fellow small businesses for their incredible impact!  Some may be unaware of it, but small business is a huge driver for the American economy, both at the national level and (especially) locally. The vital role of small businesses and their entrepreneurial owners is irreplaceable and should not go unnoticed.

When most people think of business at the national level, their minds probably jump to the “big box” stores like Wal-Mart, Costco, and the like. While these stores also have many benefits, did you know that small businesses are making an even bigger impact than these titans in the workforce?  According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses have created approximately 63% of all new jobs in America since 1993. That means they outpace the big box stores by almost two to one in terms of job creation—truly a success worth celebrating!

The vital impact of small business goes much deeper than just the national level, though. Small businesses are almost always the biggest benefit to local communities. The main reason is that they tend to provide higher incomes to people in the community, thereby stimulating long-term economic growth and health in the area. To illustrate this point, consider that about 75 cents out of every dollar spent at a large national retailer often goes back to that company’s corporate headquarters located elsewhere. That’s like taking money directly out of a community, and it may actually serve to depress local economy at the expense of the national!

On the other hand, small businesses have the reverse ratio—usually at least 75 cents of every dollar spent at a small, local business stays in the community. That leads to many benefits, such as increased charitable giving to the city’s important causes, more tax dollars helping support local infrastructure, and more jobs and income for local residents.  Those things in turn make the community safer, cleaner, wealthier and more attractive to other new businesses and entrepreneurs. It’s a cyle of prosperity, and small business drives it.

Even beyond all the numbers, small businesses give a community character and atmosphere that the big, national stores just cannot produce. Studies show that people trust small businesses more than large chains (and rightly so!), and everyone appreciates being treated like a real person rather than like part of a machine—for example, the way every person who calls or visits Backyard Buddy will get to speak to a real person who can quickly and accurately answer their real questions!  Small businesses also offer specific selections that national retailers may not, and they certainly look nicer on the streets of the community.  For all these reasons and more, Backyard Buddy celebrates small business, and we will continue to help drive the national and local economy alongside our fellow great small businesses!

Small Business Saturday

There’s really nothing like a traditional American Thanksgiving — turkey, pumpkin pie, family, football, standing in line outside of a big box store at 4:00 pm…

OK, let’s scratch the last one.

We can’t begrudge retailers for wanting people to do a lot of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. A lot of people have the day off, Christmas is about a month away, and businesses need to finish out the year with a bang. But in the last few years, Black Friday has turned into “miss Thanksgiving Thursday” as stores started opening at midnight, then 10:00 pm, then 8:00 pm, and now are opening by mid-afternoon on Thanksgiving day.

The result? People missing time with their families to stand out in the cold for the chance to get a deal on some cheap, Chinese electronics…people being trampled (and even killed!) by crowds rushing into a big box store to get to this year’s hot toy…entire families up all night in a frenzy of shopping. There’s really no way to describe this new trend, but insane.

The solution to this insanity? Small Business Saturday.

As you may have guessed from the name, Small Business Saturday is a movement to skip Black Friday sales and support local small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving. First observed in 2010, Small Business Saturday has gained a groundswell of support from businesses, advocacy organizations, and even the President in its first five years.

The National Federation of Independent Business and American Express reported that 88 million people participated in last year’s Small Business Saturday, up nearly 15% from 2013. These consumers spent $14.3 billion at local small businesses and restaurants on that one day, a major boom for small businesses. These are the businesses that account for between 60 to 80 percent of all American jobs and pay more than $2 trillion in salaries every year.

If you’ve read our blog, you know that Backyard Buddy is proud to stand up for American workers and American small businesses. We fully support Small Business Saturday, and encourage you to skip the big box insanity this year and instead visit some locally-owned businesses. Go to www.shopsmallnow.com to search for local businesses that are participating in Small Business Saturday, and to find deals in your area.

We also encourage our fellow small businesses to participate. Visit shopsmall.com to join the movement and get personalized marketing materials for your business. The site will also connect you with “Neighborhood Champions” who are groups, organizations, and businesses that rally neighborhood support and plan local events for the day.

So this Thanksgiving, loosen your belt, have an extra slice of pie, and pick a side in the evening’s Bears/Packers game. Then enjoy a nice relaxing Friday while you rest up for some Small Business Saturday shopping. And just a reminder: a Backyard Buddy lift would make a great holiday gift for the mechanic in your life. They even come in Christmas-appropriate red.