Cash Flow Planning

In today changing market, you’re in good company if you’re concerned about your dealership’s financial health and readiness for the future. Particularly if you’re a seasonal business that normally slows down in the fall and winter.

Across the industry, inventory levels are up, boat sales are down and expenses are high. The softening marketplace and lingering uncertainty make preparing for the offseason seem more challenging than ever.

That’s why it’s important to understand, project and manage your dealership’s cash flow – the amount of cash coming into and exiting your business – and your cash on hand. After all, cash acts as a cushion and provides your dealership with operational flexibility. Having confidence in your dealership’s cash position can provide reassurance during times of unpredictability, giving you time to adjust to market ups and downs.

That’s why we’ve compiled resources, tactics and financial strategies from industry experts to help you buckle down and create a cash flow plan for the months ahead. Through innovative marketing, sales and cost-cutting initiatives, you can create a steady flow of revenue from areas such as new and pre-owned boat sales, finance & insurance, storage, parts & accessories, and service, while reducing non-essential expenses. When done right, this pro-active planning can help you unite your team to make the most of an uncertain business environment and avoid reactive and haphazard expense cutting.

Survey: Cash Flow Planning

Learn from other dealers and use the same tactics they are using to upsell in your service departments.

Cash Flow Forecasting for Your Boat Dealership

A step-by-step process on how to set up a simple cash flow forecast for your boat dealership with Chris Capone, Capone & Associates, an MRAA Partner Member.

Key takeaways include:

• learning to keep it simple

• identifying your team to create accountability

• fostering strategic discussions

• staying disciplined and consistent!

Training ‘N’ Tactics: ‘How to Manage Cash Flow in a Crisis’

As a business owner, it’s imperative that you proactively monitor your financials to understand if you’re profitable, have positive cash flow and enough cash on hand to be adaptable to market uncertainty? This episode of TNT revisits an important webinar with subject matter expert John Spader, of Spader Business Management. It was filmed in 2020, but it’s content remains evergreen because Spader shares real-world examples and insight to help you understand profitability, cash flow and enhance your financial wellbeing.

Silver & Gold Members ONLY:

Not a Silver Member? Learn more about Silver Membership!


Sample Net Cash Condition Worksheet

While net profitability is important, cash flow is crucial during slower periods for a dealership. Use the Sample Net Cash Condition worksheet from Parker Business Planning to track your cash flow status at all times.


Normalized Cash Flow Spreadsheet

The single most important controllable factor that affects the price you get for your dealership when you exit, no matter how you exit, is the Net Cash Flow. It is essential to start managing your business to reach your target cash flow now. Your target should be 10 to 14 percent of revenue as Pre–Tax Normalized Cash Flow. Download this spreadsheet from Carrie Stacey of Carrie Stacey International to test your Normalized Cash Flow and monitor it as you work to reach that target bottom line.

Image of MRAA Director of Programs Jason Walz in blue shirt at MRAA's MN headquarters

Lower Your Expenses with MRAA Member Benefits

By closely examining your expenses, you can find areas to reduce costs to help improve your profitability. MRAA Members receive exclusive benefits that can help them save money while keeping their dealership healthier and adaptable to change.


Move More Inventory

Excess inventory. For many, this is a painful reality. But what if a few strategic steps could turn that around?

MRAA Research Specialist Drew Mick explores how simple changes to your inventory listings can garner more prospect attention, sell more boats and help your dealership generate more cash flow.

Graphic chart from Boats Group / Yacht World showing leads per ad based upon number of photos shared with listings

Inventory, Curtailments & Cash Flow

The seasonality of the business has arrived for many, and your dealership is facing a tougher road with growing inventory, declining consumer confidence and other challenges. That’s why it’s important for you to pivot to generate more cash flow prior to the 2024 show season.

The latest “From the Lighthouse” blog from MRAA Strategic Partner Northpoint Commercial Finance shares key industry drivers to be aware of, curtailment essentials and a view of the not-so-distant future.


Expert Quick Tip

With Steve Jones

Today, there’s more pressure on you to free up cash and prevent unnecessary spending. Your parts and accessories department is one area of the dealership to inspect because of slow-turning parts and accessories. Veteran dealership consultant Steve Jones offers you an Expert Quick Tip to help you identify slow and non-moving parts by running a monthly report.

Catch his full MRAA Dealer Week 2023 session “How to Prevent and Address Parts Obsolescence” Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Tampa, Fla.

Not Registered for Dealer Week?

Online Courses to Help you With Cash Flow Planning

Like washing your hands to stay healthy, there are some basic “dealership hygiene” best practices you should always be doing but are more important now than ever. Join Paula Crosbie of CDK Global for a webinar focused on areas of your business that can get missed when times are good. We will discuss overlooked metrics you should be tracking and how to get the most out of Sales, Parts, Warranty Claims, Rebates, Loyalty Programs and more.

Silver & Gold Members ONLY:

Not a Silver Member? Learn more about Silver Membership!

Ease the Pain of Seasonality Through Better Processes

with David T. Foco

As a successful dealership, you sell boats. The problem is you also sell service, parts and accessories, so if you forget to increase the profit of what you already have scheduled for service, you’re missing out on potential revenue. That’s why you need to add billable hours to every invoice! To do this, you need to focus on the science of selling and how this process can be engrained into the conversation of every service writer or advisor at your store. It’s time to get more than just the low-lying fruit.

Silver & Gold Members ONLY:

Not a Silver Member? Learn more about Silver Membership!

ATE: How to Conserve Cash and Stabilize Your Business

with Pat Kennedy

During this webinar we will be joined by Pat Kennedy of Spader Business Management, who will discuss steps you can take now to conserve cash, free up capital and find stability in today’s rapidly changing environment. Topics include how to know when you’ve cut enough, what to do if things get worse and steps to separate your personal finances from your business.

Silver & Gold Members ONLY:

Not a Silver Member? Learn more about Silver Membership!

ATE: Bulletproofing Your Dealership

with Sara Hey

When you look at the numbers coming out of your dealership, does it show that your dealership is in balance? And if not, what does it take to “bulletproof your dealership” so they are?

Sara Hey works with dealerships across the globe, with her focus being teaching dealerships to weather whatever may happen: whether it’s an economy downturn, a weather event, or even a pandemic. In order to do just that, regardless of what happens, Sara’s focus is creating a dealership where each department is generating obscene amounts of money and playing its part in the overall profitability of the dealership.

Silver & Gold Members ONLY:

Not a Silver Member? Learn more about Silver Membership!