On September 1, 1975, Doug Rosser and his wife Janice transitioned from the poultry industry to entrepreneurs as they purchased an Auto Supply store in Piedmont, Alabama. Although the focus of the business was auto supply parts, the family-owned business also sold Snapper lawn mowers.
The store added Radio Shack products in 1977. Rosser was always looking for ways to expand his business and in 1982, he brought in a technician to operate a muffler shop in the rear portion of his building. The muffler shop was in operation from 1982 to 1992.
When Rosser brought on the John Deere line of products in 1991, he had no way of knowing the direction his burgeoning business would follow. The Stihl product line has been offered at the store since the mid-80’s. Doug has always been an outdoor enthusiast which swayed his decision to make an ill-fated foray into the ATV market. Hindsight shows the Rosser family business moved into the ATV game at the end of the height of popularity (and profitability) boom.
Doug Rosser realized he had tried many ways to expand his business and was not being very efficient at any of the ventures. He revisited the Alabama SBDC at Jacksonville State University in 2012 for business guidance. Rosser said “The Alabama SBDC at JSU helped us formulate our business plan to adapt to the ever-changing business environment. Changing has helped us survive and succeed.”
Working with the Alabama SBDC at Jacksonville State University, Rosser began identifying parts of the business that were not profitable and was able to focus his efforts on the lawn care industry. Gone were the days of offering mufflers, Radio Shack, and auto parts. The business bought an adjoining auto dealership building that provided a new showroom for the products offered by Stihl, Honda generators, and the latest line of zero turn commercial mowers by eXmark and John Deere. The company changed their name from Auto Supply to Piedmont Outdoor to properly reflect the line of products offered.
The business may have changed the products offered from the early years, but Rosser still takes pride in the exceptional customer service provided by his experienced staff of five sales associates and three service technicians. Rosser also takes great pride in the fact that his four children (and eight grandchildren) were able to learn a work ethic from working in the family business.
The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce recognized the Rosser family and Piedmont Outdoor in 2014 with the prestigious Sustaining Small Business of the Year Award. The Alabama SBDC at JSU is proud to present Piedmont Outdoor as our SBA Success Story for 2016.