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Doug Meyer purchased a local auto dealership in our community in 2013.  Using common sense principles developed over his years in the retail and service industry Doug sparked new life into not only his auto dealership, but the whole city. His enthusiasm and charisma have been infectious in our community.


"As the Executive Vice President of the Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association, I felt it was important that Doug share his “secret to success” with the rest our membership.  Doug not only joined the chamber of commerce, within one year he was board president.  As other members talked about the problems of retail in small town America ,Doug talked about the opportunities and success that was available to our small town retailers if they changed their approach towards sales and service.


A few months ago Doug approached me about a book he was writing about how to be successful in retail in small town America.  After reading the book, I was convinced this book needed to be available to every retail business in every small town in this country. To those that say small town retailers cannot compete with the internet, big box stores and big city ad blitzes, I say read this book!  The small town “mom and pop” retailers of America have a champion that not only talks the talk but walks the walk."


-Gregg Connell, Executive Vice President Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association



Meyer's Book is a Must-Read


When our publisher, Kate Thompson handed me a book and asked that I read it and write a review, one could say I was less than thrilled.  Although I do enjoy reading, mostly non-fiction, the book handed to me, "Selling in Your Town" by Doug Meyer didn't immediately catch my attention. However, that was before I started reading it.


A quick read of about 60 pages, Meyer writes well. It is a good, interesting book I recommend reading. Meyer who runs a car dealership in Shenandaoh, is a self-made man. The suggestions he makes in his book about running a small business are accurate. I even recommended to  Thompson after I read the book that our ad sales staff read it.


Regardless of whether you are in sales or own your own business, I think you get a lot of helpful advice on building work relationships by reading this book. Meyer said it took him two years to write the book in his spare time and approximately nine months for the publishing portion of it. The idea came to him when he was serving the Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association Board.


"This book includes the things we did that worked in our dealerships and I thought it would work for anybody," Meyer said. The book is available on Amazon, iBooks, sellinginyourtown.com, and at the Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association office downtown. Cost is $8.99 plus tax


-Tess Nelson, Managing Editor for The Valley News



GM Dealer Pen a Business Book


"To those that say small town retailers cannot compete with the internet, big box stores and big city ad blitzes, I say read this book!" Gregg Connell, Shenandoah, IA, Chamber and Industry Association, Executive Vice President.


In 2014 when General Motors dealer Doug Meyer heard several business owners questioning their business processes, he recognized the issues first hand.


His car dealership career had taught him at an early age some basics of doing business in a small town. His family business owns GM dealerships in Shenandoah, IA, Auburn, NE, and now in Maryville.


So, in 2014 he started writing down the business topics and his answers. One chapter led to another and before he knew it there was a guidebook appearing under the title, "Selling in Your Town: Your Guide to Running Your Small Business." Connell was the first to read the manuscript as Meyer was the president of the chamber of commerce at the time. He stamped the document as book material and encouraged Meyer to pursue publishing it to be utilized by every small business in town. "This was my first and probably my only book," Meyer said as he described the prolonged publishing work.


Some of the chapter titles are "Most People Want to Buy Local," "When Walmart Comes to Town," "Price," "Attitude," "Facility," and "Who Are You and Who Are You Selling To?"


Meyer describes Shenandoah as a town about half the size of Maryville, but with more retail stores owned locally and fewer restaurants and taverns. The customer drift to the internet or larger communities was apparent in Shenandoah, Meyer said, the topics covered in the book could be applied as lessons to many small-business owners.


In 2015, the Meyer family purchased Boyles Motors. Meyer and his wife Svetlana, and their three-year old son, Alexander, will be moving to Maryville as soon as their Shenandoah home is sold.


Books may be purchased through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Nodaway News Leader for $9.


-Kay Wilson, Owner/Publisher, Nodaway News Leader



Adams graduate Doug Meyer writes a book entitled "Selling in Your Town"


ADAMS – Adams High School graduate Doug Meyer still has connections to his alma mater despite only living in the community for four years.


“My grandfather still lives in Adams,  and I have some very good, long time customers and friends from there,” said Meyer, who recently wrote a book entitled, “Selling In Your Town.” “This past summer I brought a Corvette to Melvin Dissmeyer that he purchased from me. Melvin drove me around and showed me around the town. It was the first time I was in town for quite some time. Most recently the Eickhoff sisters, Dani White and Jessica Dixon bought vehicles the same day.”


Since graduating from Adams, Meyer has been involved in the automobile dealership business and it’s his 20 years of experiences in that which led him to write the book.


 “The book is just starting to get out there,” Meyer said. “I never thought I would write a book, but I saw a lot of small town businesses that were struggling and I wanted to try to help with strategies that we figured out that worked in small towns.”


The book itself teaches a variety of lessons, with the early chapters focusing on basic premises, such as how to price your items or how to advertise, and the later chapters going into more complicated matters, such as how to get more involved in your community or what to do if a large brand retailer comes to town.


The book is short and straightforward, with most chapters being less than five pages. The entire book being around 63 pages long and can be read within an evening.


The book is $8.99 for a paperback, and $3.99 for an online reader. It can be found on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, or anywhere books are sold.


Meyer was the first of three siblings to graduate from Adams High school in 1996. One year later, he started working for his uncle in the car business.


Meyer’s father, Doug Meyer Sr., owned a trucking company that ran almost anywhere. In 2004 his father sold the company and bought the first dealership so that he and his kids could work together. Currently, Doug Meyer Sr. still owns the company, which has operations in Auburn, Shenandoah, Iowa and Maryville, Mo.


Meyer currently runs operations in Maryville, Mo. and helps with the Shenandoah dealership. He also does a majority of the sales training within the two location.


-Jacob Elliott, Special to The Voice News



Cass County native son writes book


Based on a lifetime of experience in sales, Louisville High School graduate Doug Meyer had so many tips for small businesses, he compiled them into a book, “Selling in Your Town.”


Meyer has even more in common with Cass County than graduating from LHS. “My father graduated from Louisville and my mother was from Plattsmouth. Most of my dad’s family still lives around Louisville,” Meyer said. “Growing up we lived just outside of Manley on Highway 1. I went to country school in Manley until second grade, and then transferred to Louisville.”


In 1992, he and his family moved to Adams. “I started in the car business in 1997, and at that time my uncle, Bob Meyer, who lived outside of Weeping Water was the general manager at Jim Earp’s Chrysler-Jeep in Omaha. My parents have a cabin at Beaver Lake, and my sister and her husband, Chad and Candace Kelley, also have a house at Beaver Lake, and their kids go to Conestoga.”


Meyer started working in the auto business when he was 19. A few years later, he convinced his brother, Brent, to enter into the business. In 2004, his parents sold their trucking company to buy the family’s first dealership. The family now owns several dealerships in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.


In 2013, Meyer became vice president of the Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Board and, in that capacity, he was inspired to write a book. “I started getting asked a lot of questions on how we turned around our business in Shenandoah. I started to write everything down to share with business owners I knew and others I wanted to help,” he said.


The notes eventually grew into the form of a book. “So then I decided to just write a book and see where it went. In the beginning, I definitely didn’t think I would have an actual book, but that is what it eventually turned into,” he said. “It took me about two years in my spare time to write the book. With having a 60-hour work week, volunteering five to 10 hours per week and raising a family, I didn’t have a lot of time. It took almost a year for the publishing process.”


Published by Archway Publishing in 2016, “Selling in Your Town” is 63 pages long with 13 short but informative chapters.


The chapter titles make it clear what small business issues he is expounding upon including, “Most People Want to Buy Local,” “Price,” “Customer Service,” “Attitude,” “Advertising” and more.


“It is best to treat each person who enters your store looking for a donation just the same as you would a customer,” Meyer states in Chapter 1. “If the person is already a customer, then you should be happy that a customer is there asking you for a donation. If the person is not a customer, you should be positive – because he or she might become a customer.”


Chapter 1 also covers how to greet customers. “First, you have to greet your customers in an enthusiastic, positive way. Let them know from the beginning that you are excited they are there,” Meyer writes.


Meyer also advises store owners to make customers comfortable in their business. “Many little things make the customer feel either content or uneasy. You definitely always want your customers to have a comfortable feeling. If they are comfortable they will stay in your store longer and spend more money….An uncomfortable customer can’t wait to get out of your store.”


In Chapter 2, Meyer explains that people will pay one percent more to buy an item locally for the convenience and service offered. Meyer, however, cautions business owners not to expect customers to pay double or triple the amount they might in a city where large stores buy in bulk and can offer lower prices.


Of course, customer service has its own chapter in his book. “Great customer service keeps your customers coming back to you and buying more from you,” Meyer writes in Chapter 3.


Meyer encourages business owners to continually upgrade and change their facilities, but more importantly, they need to keep a positive attitude. “I see so many people become complacent over time. They start their businesses with a great, full-speed-ahead attitude with the goal of being the best operation in town.” Years later, some lose that enthusiasm for the business.


“Success, however, comes from waking up with a go get’em attitude and trying to do your best every day with a positive outlook,” Meyer writes.


If you are interested in more of Meyer’s advice, “Selling in Your Town” is available on Amazon and iBooks.


“If you put into practice the lessons of this book, people will be talking about all of the ways that you can make it easy for them to buy local,” he writes in the final chapter. “They will say that you give them a good reason to buy local.”


-Patti Jo Peterson, Managing Editor, Plattsmouth Journal 



Meyer writes book on successful small-town business


The opening line to Selling In Your Town: Your Guide to Running Your Small Business by Doug Meyer is one that resonates with the general manager of Meyer Auto Center in Maryville.


“Most people want to buy local – but you need to give them a reason to,” said the car dealer turned author.


Meyer has had a hand in the formation of three car dealerships in the tri-state area, which he said provided him with an abundance of knowledge that needed to be passed on.


“I was serving on the Chamber board, and I noticed there were problems that small-town businesses were having, and they were asking us to help them turn it around,” Meyer said. “People were asking us how we did things since we were running successful car dealerships in three small towns and how we were successful in doing so.


“I figured it would be easier to type out our tips for these businesses, and it didn’t even start out as a book. It was just me typing out all of my tips for how we made our businesses successful in small towns.”


The project then started to grow into something that looked like it could be a book full of information for new businesses in small markets. Meyer decided the project needed a fresh set of eyes.


“I took it to a friend, Gregg Connell, who was on the Chamber in Shenandoah (Iowa),” Meyer said. “I told myself that if he likes it, I’ll move forward, and if not, I’ll trash it.


“He read it through and told me, ‘This needs to be in every small business owner’s hands.’ So I pushed forward and made it into a book.”


The project took three years to finish, as Meyer was working 60 hours a week and doing volunteer work in some of his spare time. Connell was so certain of the book’s success that he wrote a short foreword for the book.


Meyer then turned to Archway Publishing, a self-publishing company from Simon and Schuster. Archway seemed a perfect fit for Meyer’s work.


“The traditional way is that you would try to sell your book to publishers, which would take about two to five years to get out,” Meyer said. “Other publishers ask that you give them a bunch of money and they put your book out there.


“Archway was right in the middle; they put in some money, I put in some money. That way it’s a shared venture, it’s both of us that have skin in the game.”


The book was published in August, but has taken off in 2017 partially driven by the visit from Ron Drake earlier this year.


“Ron and I had a conversation for a half hour, we swapped books, and then it started to spread,” Meyer said. “People were reading the book and suggesting it to their friends.”


The book is available from all major book retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, for $8.99. It is also available on e-readers, such as Kindle, Nook, and iBook, among others. 



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