Barry & Matt Kargas
Father-son team Barry and Matt Kargas started shooting together in 1995. Their love of archery was instant, and that love quickly began to blossom. Before long the dynamic duo were entering 3-D and target archery tournaments and, never settling for mediocrity, escalated the popularity of the Kargas name. As their archery prowess in the area grew, Barry and Matt began tinkering with the idea of opening their own shop. In the meantime, Matt started work as a part-time bow technician and Barry spent time coaching younger archers. Then, in 2005, the pair took the bull by the horns and Minnesota Archery was born.
A short time after opening the company, Minnesota Archery began to outgrow its original location. Something had to be done. So in 2010, Barry and Matt moved the store to a 6,400-square-foot facility located in downtown Litchfield. Today, Minnesota Archery is a bustling hub dedicated to 3-D, target archery, and bowhunting. One half of the building boasts a large, 14-lane range, and the other half is devoted to a fully stocked retail showroom.
Barry and Matt run the shop along with help from Matt’s wife, Jenny, who works in the office and is in charge of marketing, and Jeremy Lewerenz, a part-time employee who specializes in sales. Barry and Matt oversee everything and are involved in all aspects of sales, servicing, and coaching. Thanks to Barry and Matt’s dedication as well as help from their staff, Minnesota Archery is a trusted destination for archers throughout the Gopher State and beyond.
Archery Business: What are some specific keys to your success?
Barry Kargas: It may sound cliché, but our philosophy has always been to enhance and improve our customers’ total archery experience. Focusing on each customer’s specific needs in a friendly way while providing them with a comfortable environment is how we operate. This is the only way to build solid, long-term relationships.
We also work hard to grow our new customer base. Making archery easily accessible and providing solid guidance to new archers can take much of the mystery out of the process for them and makes the new experience a comfortable one.
Finally, we strive to keep up with technology. Using social media, listening to our customers, and testing new products help us keep pace with this rapidly changing industry. Trade magazines such as Archery Business are a key source to our success as well. By simply thumbing through an issue we obtain reliable information and stay in synch with what’s new and exciting.
Archery Business: Any tips for new dealers on achieving longevity?
Barry Kargas: Longevity requires many things, and consistent performance is one of the biggies. Customers come to expect a certain level of service from you, and as their dealer, you must consistently meet their expectations. Also, you must be open to change. Change is constant, and if you see a way to improve or freshen up your shop, you must do so at every opportunity.
Matt Kargas: Stand in the center of your business. If you don’t know what’s going on in all facets, you are compromising the efficiency of your company. Plus, never compromise your integrity to sell a product. Be honest. If a product won’t work for someone, don’t sell it to them. Yes, you want to move product, but dishonesty will quickly lead to an empty showroom. Lastly, have knowledgeable employees. It’s embarrassing when a customer comes into your store and knows more about the products you are selling than the person selling them. If and when you hire someone, invest time training and educating that person about the products you sell as well as about the philosophy of your company.
Archery Business: What are some of your archery industry pet peeves?
Matt Kargas: Shop wars. Talking smack about your competitor to a customer doesn’t make them want to buy from you. Please understand that. When you talk trash about a competitor, you’re the one who looks like a big cry baby. Focus on positive things. People are sick of negativity and will search for places where they can escape negativity and be comfortable. Spend more time focusing on the needs of your customer and less time focusing on telling them how great your shop is in comparison to others. Stay positive and give all your attention to your customers and you will watch your sales increase.