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Key Idea: Be Patient

Host Hattie Bryant say that David's secret to success was to take his time to do things right.   More...

Key Question:


Be patient and put the building blocks in place.  David Arnold was a teacher and football coach when he started in business part-time.  It took him years to become the person who could lead a big business but he decided early on that he would try to hit singles and not worry about hitting a home run.  This meant that he moved forward slowly and eventually he proved himself to one of the world's largest manufacturers.  His patient commitment to quality and to technology separated him from his competitors.

Think about it

How long do you want to be in business?  Are you willing to slow down to fix problems before they get too big to fix? 

Clip from: The King Company with David Arnold

Austin, Texas:  He was a high school coach that loved watches.  It all began with a stop watch and became a love for any kind of watch.  The trunk of the family car was always filled with samples. And, he and his wife would go just about anywhere in Texas to find a new drugstore to carry his brand of time. When this story was taped, David had 65 employees and $50 million in annual sales. To create this American dream story, David did a lot of things right.

Look at ways he applied the most sophisticated technologies to the business of ordering, warehousing, selling, shipping and financial transaction processing (collecting on accounts receivable within minutes not 30-60 days).

The watch industry is one of the oldest, but here we learn about some of the newest business practices to create profits and a foundation for the future.

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The King Company, now SMI Direct

David Arnold, founder

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Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1991

Be Patient

HATTIE: (Lightbulb in the studio) David has never tried to hit a home run. He simply wants to advance himself slowly and carefully around the bases and is happy if it takes time to score. This strategy has paid off, because as he competed with other watch distributors, he went after small and medium-sized accounts, not the big guys. This gave him cash flow and time to put the building blocks of a strong company in place. When it came time for Seiko to limit its number of distributors, David always made the cut, because he delivered the sales and the service, which can only be done by a team which he built carefully over time.

Dolly Parton said, `It only took me 25 years to become an overnight success.' David is the sole importer of Lorus because he took his time to do things right. He never tried to hit a home run and never expected to score big without putting in years of focused effort. Slow down, step back, think, plan, find people to work with you. You don't have to hit a home run. Just keep moving in the right direction.

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