You invest many resources in your dealership. Out of those, perhaps the most valuable is time. For this reason, time management is critical for all businesses. Without it, time is squandered on misplaced priorities, and money flows out instead of in.
It’s a Mindset
If you’ve never managed your time well before, are hoping to improve your time management, or what to implement new time management practices in your dealership, the very first thing you need to do is to accept a fresh mindset. New approaches only work if you understand that time management–and all that comes with it–is an investment. You need to view time as you would money. What are your financial priorities? How do you divide funds? Time can and should be used in the same way.
When taking control of time at your dealership, you need to know how much time you currently have and where it’s being used. This is important because when you examine how time is used at your dealership, you should be able also to find areas where other resources might be being managed inefficiently.
Visualize the Change
What would your dealership look like if time was appropriately utilized? Create a vivid picture for yourself of what smooth, well-run, timely operations would look like. Consider what your priorities are: what are things you consider urgent and essential, versus just important or just urgent, and think about how your perfect version of the dealership would handle these as they arose Write down this ideal so you have a clear idea of what your final product would look like.
Work Towards Your Goal
Knowing where you want to be, it is time to choose which methods or programs can help you keep your dealership on task when it comes to time.
For some, simple is best. Create a detailed schedule, along with contingencies that cover most unusual circumstances, and then go over it with your team. Adjust the plan based on their feedback and then hand out the final schedule so that everyone is on board.
However, if you’re having trouble coming up with something from scratch, don’t panic. Today, there are a plethora of time management programs and platforms available for easy implementation. Apps like Wunderlist and platforms like Trello, Google Keep, and Slack can help you keep your team on task by coordinating everyone. The key to using one of these is to choose one that everyone uses and stick with it. Having groups on different platforms or constantly turning over to another option breeds confusion and will end up compounding any time problems you already have.
Readjust as Needed
As you implement your system, remember to review it periodically to make sure the system is working. When something’s fresh and exciting, it’s easy to overlook problems the new approach brings. Don’t be afraid to change something or scrap and start over if there are things that aren’t working. Remember that it will be worth it in the long run as your investment grows.