A blog by Dealership Advantage and MRAA
When you close your eyes and dream about the future of your dealership, what kind of operation do you imagine running?
Is it a robust, sophisticated store, insulated with processes and technology, driven by goals and expectations, and measured through easily accessible metrics?
That sounds pretty awesome, whether you’re an owner or employee. So how do you stop dreaming and start working to make it come true?
Here are 7 ideas for how to begin:
- 1. Assess your operations: Look in a dealership mirror and honestly answer for yourself questions like:
- How can my location achieve its fullest potential?
- What can we do to deliver a customer (and employee) experience that aligns with today’s customer (and employee) expectations?
- How does this location compare to our competitor(s)?
- How can I improve when it comes to looking under the hood of my dealership and understanding our performance?
MRAA Pro Tip: Another way to assess your operation is to use the Marine Industry Certified Dealership Assessment. Click here to access it for free.
Dealership Advantage Pro Tip: When assessing their operations, an area where many dealers are leaking potential revenue is F&I. However, this missed opportunity isn’t just about revenue. A robust F&I department can improve boat sales and customer experience by allowing you to offer more flexible purchase options, and also protect your dealership from compliance, titling and fraud exposures. Check out MRAA’s resources to help you excel at F&I here.
2. Assess your mindset: Are you and your team in the habit of being proactive, reactive, or a combination of both? Come together with your team to identify where there is room for improvement and start working together on it.
- The proactive dealer drives change, embracing new technology and processes to constantly gain an edge over their competitors and stay ahead of the curve. “If I’m making X now, how can I make Y tomorrow?”
- The reactive dealer waits until their bottom line is affected to embrace new solutions. “Why is my volume down? Why are my fixed operations falling behind?” In some cases, the desire to change can come too late. Slow-to-react dealers can’t keep up with their competitors or with the increasingly higher customer expectations in times of rapid evolution.
MRAA Pro Tip: In the MRAATraining.com course, “A is for Attitude,” by Sam Dantzler, he reminds dealership owners, managers and employees of the power of their attitude in influencing their own performance, the employees around them and even the customer. MRAA Silver and Gold Members: Log into MRAATraining.com now with your username and password to tap into this evergreen blast from the past. It’s an oldie and goodie.
3. Leverage peer groups to better understand what leaders in the industry are doing differently. There are several providers in the marine business. Learn about MRAA 20 Groups here.
4. Start building a plan that considers both short- and long-term needs.
MRAA Pro Tip: In fact, in these uncertain times, you may want to explore ABC Scenario Planning to be sure you’re prepared for whatever is ahead. MRAA Members, download our free guide here.
5. Include your team in the process early so they can understand the changes coming and get a chance to voice opinions, ideas and possible frustrations.
6. Together, pick three goals to attack NOW that process changes and technology improvements can immediately help solve – this will often lead you to larger opportunities down the road.
MRAA Pro Tip: Stuck on which process changes and technology improvements to choose? Sign up to attend Dealer Week 2022, Dec. 5-8 in Austin, to brainstorm with your fellow dealers, exhibitors like Dealership Advantage and expert trainers.
7. Ask for help – change is not easy, but it is imperative for this industry to keep up!
Dealership Advantage Pro Tip: Adopting new technologies and processes does not have to disrupt your operation if planned well. We can help!
About Dealership Advantage: An MRAA Education Champion Partner, this technology provider provides a DMS product built specifically for marine dealerships that it designed to be easy to implement and use. The company says it combines its modern and mobile software with an industry experienced implementation team to ensure dealers aren’t left behind after launch so they get the most out of their software investment. Learn more at https://dealershipadvantage.com.