Whether you’re a 10- or 100-employee dealership organization, ongoing improvement is the name of the game. Businesses are not static. Your business is either on an upward track or it is on its way down. Making consistent improvements to make your business better is a conscious choice and requires actions to be taken on a regular basis. Not only must you balance your time, but you must also choose the right area of business that will make the biggest impact. The following will help you focus on improving areas of your business that can provide significant gains.
- Measure the Significant Few and Not the Important Many and Keep Score:
I’m always amazed to see how many few dealerships and like kind businesses have an accurate idea of the daily, weekly and monthly numbers which we refer to Critical Performance Indicators -aka- (CPIs) and financial trends in the organization. Because cash is king it’s vital that you spend the necessary time keeping current on cash flow. If you lack the operational and financial skills, talk to your accountant, however still stay in the loop.
- Set Some Competitive Goals That Can Be Achieved And Keep Score:
Setting some competitive goals and objectives while keeping score is an essential part of business success. Setting some competitive goals and using them as an ongoing planning and performance-boosting tool to ensure you continue to move forward in your business is a healthy idea!
- Use High-Impact Marketing:
In the automotive retail industry it’s easy to waste money on ineffective marketing. Learn how to use low budget high-impact marketing to improve your dealership service and sale business. Test one or two new tactics and see which perform best before adding them to your dealerships marketing mix.
- Master Service and Sales Business Presentations:
A powerful value-added service or sales presentation can help improve your dealerships service and sales business by leaps and bounds. Start by learning the essentials of a value-added service and selling presentation. Make your presentations in service and sales memorable.
- Monitor Trends:
The trends are your friends! No business operates in a vacuum. The events and changes in the automotive retail landscape are constantly evolving and can have an effect on your business. Stay current on trends and issues happening in your brand and part of the industry and local community.
- Sharpen Your Service and Selling Skills:
A high return area for business improvement is in the service sales functions. And whether you’re a 10-person operation or managing an entire sales team, you must focus on service and sales improvement.
- Find Best Practices and Make Them Your only Practices:
Every industry has its own ways of doing things that are tried and true. Avoid wasting money and time reinventing the industry wheels. Just be different and make sure your service makes the difference in everything you and your dealership does. Excellent Service makes the difference
- Regularly Motivate Your Staff:
Talented and motivated staff members can bring on big improvements in business. Learn what limits and motivates your employees to generating higher levels of performance.
- Take a Break, Step Back and Take a look Around:
Running a dealership and like kind service and sales type businesses is hard work. It’s not for the faint at heart! Sometimes the best way to improve your business and re-ignite your passion is to take a break step back take a look around and improve things! When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change!
- Improve Your Business Processes; Improve Your Business:
Businesses must constantly be looking to revisit and improve their business processes. How do you fix a broken business process? Identify the broken process. Symptoms of a broken process are:
- Customers are unhappy;
- Some services and things take too long;
- Tasks aren’t right, or need to be corrected often;
- Customer and/or employee frustration;
- Finger pointing and blaming between departments;
- Lots of checking and reviewing.
Look at a situation where customers are unhappy, name the process or department where the symptom is taking place.
Improving business process leads to happier customers and employees, better margins, quicker turnaround times, and more efficiency, there’s so much more, but I’ll stop there for now. Great processes enable you to meet and then exceed stated business goals.
Just a Note: Processes don’t usually become broken because of poor or employees that don’t care; they often just happen over time. As a business grows and evolves, as new technology is implemented, when customers evolve how they purchase vehicles and services; if you aren’t paying attention to how these changes affect each other, your processes will become out of date and ineffective.