Five Ways to Optimize Dealership Expenses On a Tight Budget


Decreasing revenues are something that all companies, regardless of sector, will have to face this quarter—and possibly for the rest of the year. Nevertheless, the automotive industry has been uniquely hit a bit harder than most as car sales have dipped. This event can bring about some stress regarding what you can do to fulfill those line items in the budget.

In addition to inventory, salaries, benefits, and everything else, costs related to operations, logistics, marketing, and training may be in danger of falling by the wayside. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can optimize your budget to meet these needs still.

Whether you need to offer lower-costs training or need some financial breathing room in operations, here are some ways you can still maintain some of your dealership expenses on a tight budget. 

Outsource Operations You Don’t Have The Personnel For 

Outsourcing is a significant cost-saver. Many times, outsourcing agreements allow you to pay for only the work that is done—instead of an annual salary. They also don’t require you to pay for other standard costs associated with hiring. As a result, you can save money by outsourcing some of your operations and logistical services. For example, you can have a freelancer take care of your content creation, day-to-day bookkeeping, or data entry and management. Outsourcing allows you to receive good service at a much lower cost. 

Switch From Print and Television Advertising to Digital Marketing 

While billboards, magazine ads, and television ads can be effective, they can also be a considerable drain on the budget, especially in current times. Recent data has shown that many customers turn to the internet to research the next car they want to buy. So, it would benefit you to invest more of your time into digital marketing practices. Many tactics, like using SEO, online ads, retargeting, and email campaigns, are more affordable than traditional marketing. Additionally, social media allows you to engage with your audience and promote your dealership for free. 

Related: The True Cost of Education For Your Team

Invest in Virtual Training 

The COVID-19 outbreak has made it likely that we won’t see large gatherings like conferences or networking events in the near future. However, even before the outbreak, platforms like, Coursera, General Assembly, and Skillshare have made it easy for professionals to skill-up. Unless a conference is happening in your area, it can be a lot of money to fly employees to professional events. Investing in digital training platforms allow them to receive training still, but at a much-reduced cost. Also, networking doesn’t have to be a thing of the past. Eventbrite and General Assembly have numerous events that offer online networking and workshops and training. These platforms provide affordable and practical ways for your employees to learn new skills while interacting with others. 

Go Green 

Going green and adding sustainability practices to your dealership can allow you to save on overall costs. If your workers have come back into the dealership, take time to replace all lightbulbs with LCD bulbs as they can save on your light bill each year. The same is true regarding efficient A/C units, sealing up any doorways or window areas, and replacing blinds. All of these strategies can reduce your overall energy costs each month, which can add up to higher savings each year. 

Take a Closer Look at Your Inventory Costs 

Are there ways you can cut back on your inventory management and storage costs? While these expenditures may seem fixed, there may be ways to reduce your inventory expenses. Other than the initial purchasing of everything you need (cars, equipment, office supplies, and everything else), it is crucial that you consider all the costs associated with acquiring, selling, and using the supplies you need. Take another look at your supplier agreements, and order quantity to see where you can cut. Can you save by ordering more things in bulk? Can you negotiate for better prices? Is it possible to alter your inventory management strategies? Look at your current processes and see where you can change things. 

You Can Still Succeed on a Tight Budget 

It’s never easy to have to scale back your budget. Nevertheless, you can still succeed and get most of your needs met. Most of the strategies above require you to take a closer look at the money you are spending, locate any wasteful spending, and sharpen the approach to your budget. With a strategic eye, you can begin to save money at your dealership and put it toward places where it may be harder to cut costs.

Did you enjoy this article from Chanell Turner? Read other articles from her here.

Car Biz Today, the official resource of the retail automotive industry.

soundcloudBe sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.

This has been a JBF Business Media production.