Laine Harbaugh

Never love the money; Love the business, Love the industry.


Laine Harbaugh is the Owner of Southern Idaho RV & Marine LLC, a third-generation business. As the previous owner, his father ran an automotive business as an independent owner at this location in Jerome, Idaho. When Laine joined the business, he began detailing cars and continued to learn his father’s business. Eventually, he added recreational vehicles to their inventory. As Laine started out in the business, so has his son, learning about his father’s business and has earned his way up to a management position with the company. Together, the family has served Magic Valley for many years.

At Southern Idaho RV & Marine LLC, they will only sell name brand products. They can provide factory direct pricing as well as technicians who were factory trained for service. Their mission is to provide the best pricing and service in the area. More importantly, they want to create long-term relationships with their many satisfied customers.

As Laine Harbaugh looks to the future, he is very pleased that his son is working with him at the dealership and has an active role in management. Laine is looking forward to passing it on.

Southern Idaho RV & Marine LLC are a dealer for Hideout Travel trailers, Montego Bay Pontoons, MirroCraft boats, and more.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

My father had a car dealership. He wanted me to join him in the business. I recognized that selling cars was not my preference. I went from the Automotive end of the business to selling boats alongside of the car dealership. My preference was to add a recreation side of the business. That was how I started the business.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I am at the business between 5 and 6 in the morning. I make sure all of the bills are paid. I make sure that all of my employees hit the ground running every day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I have meetings with my employees bi-weekly to address any concerns or ideas. When there is an idea to consider, it would be addressed during one of our meetings.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Trends are kind of a flash in the pan. We really don’t follow trends. We tend to plan long-term.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am dedicated to the business. I stay active with the business. I am dedicated to my employees, I look out for their well-being. If I focus on those things rather than being out on the golf course, we will continue to run smoothly.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would just tell them myself to continue to on the way I started. I didn’t get in the business for the money. I got into it because I loved the business. Never Love the money; Love the business, Love the industry. Don’t ever go into business for the money. Go into business because you love it and it can pay the bills. It will be what you make it.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Most people think that you are in business to make the most amount of money that you can. Your employees are there to drive your business forward. You can only build it so far before you have to turn it over to your employees. Your employees are there to take care of the customers. When they focus on their customers, the money will be there.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I show up every day. I put in a full day’s work. I make sure everything is running smoothly or I am putting out fires. You cannot become a business owner and then slack off. But most important at this point, you have to take care of your employees.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I hired an advertising agency rather than doing it myself. It made me pay more attention to the details of the business. They are a professional outfit who know what they are doing and how to have attention focused on our business. It was a good strategy for me.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I would have to say that the reason why I hired my marketing company is that I didn’t feel as though marketing was my strongest suit. I resolved that problem by hiring the right professionals for the job. I appreciate the service.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

You have to stay in front of the public eye. You cannot get stuck in a rut. Marketing changes every year. You have to stay on top of it all.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Southern Idaho RV & Marine LLC just gave away a 30k trailer to the United Way to provide for a needy family. That is the best money that we spend.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

We use dealer track software. It helps us streamline all of the paperwork that we have to do. We have to have titles done, track financing, and track customers requirements. That software is essential for us.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The only book that I count on for business, as well as my personal world, is the Bible.

What is your favorite quote?

Today is new because it has never been before and will never be again. Value today. By Laine Harbaugh.

Key Learnings:

• Never Love the money, Love the business, Love the industry.
• Go into business because you love it and it can pay the bills.
• You can only build your business so far before you have to turn it over to your employees.