A big slice of luck?

10 September 2013

It’s that time of year again! Quarter 3 is done and many dealers are thinking of the best way to hang onto the profit they have made so far.

A big slice of luck?

It is also the time when thoughts start to turn to 2014. Manufacturers have already done their numbers, and soon they will be knocking on your door with Car Sales and Parts targets. For most, that’s the time to complete the budgeting process.

But often a budget is all that is prepared, and the management team reach the end of the last quarter without having identified how they are going to make the budget. By then it’s too late without a big slice of luck…..

Switched on dealers will do more than prepare a financial budget; they will build a business plan that maps what they are going to do to achieve the budget, who will do it and when they will do it.

It is fair to say that 2013 has been a better year than many expected and for most businesses, this is on the back of a strong new car market, and not through any particular new initiatives of their own. Even though few would admit to this, retailers have been LUCKY!

The best leaders “look out of the window” to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well and they “look in the mirror” to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck, when things go poorly.

When we are looking at how we plan to achieve budget, we cannot plan to change the things outside the window, (like the growth or decline in the market) but we can change things that we see in the mirror. The trouble is, looking in the mirror isn’t easy for most of us!

Plan 4 Growth is a programme developed by Coachworks to help dealers to look in the mirror when assessing how they will hit their financial budgets. It is a programme that has delivered tangible results helping dealerships to hit plan in troubled times.
The programme involves working with the business leaders and Departmental Managers across the whole business from Sales to Accounts to identify the “input actions” required (human and operational) to deliver the “output results” (KPIs / CSI / Bottom line profit)

It is a challenging but positive process and it ensures that there is a robust action plan to sit alongside the numbers in order to excel.

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