Operational excellence is a philosophical term that describes the various actions that go into improving your business, whether those involve delivering outstanding customer service, creating a positive working environment for your employees, or fostering a culture of teamwork. Below, you can discover five of the absolute best tips for creating operational excellence in your own dealership so that you can build your legacy.
#1 – Plan Your Work
You would never set out across the country without some sort of map, whether you prefer a traditional roadmap or GPS from your smartphone. It’s important to think of your dealership in much the same way. You may know where you want to go, but if you don’t have a plan for getting there, you’re going to run into traffic, roadwork, and other issues that could have been avoided. Create a clear plan for your operations, including a long-term roadmap that will help you realize your ultimate vision.
#2 – Communicate Clearly
One of the most important things you can do to achieve operational excellence in your dealership involves not only communicating clearly yourself, but encouraging others to communicate clearly, too. Things like implementing an “open-door policy” in which your employees can come directly to you with questions or concerns about things that are happening within the company is a great first step. You might also choose to hold weekly meetings and encourage discussions about the week’s events.
#3 – Measure What Matters
If you think of operational excellence in the same way as athletic prowess, there’s only one real way for you to measure your abilities: keeping score. If you want to know how your dealership is doing, you must be able to measure your success via some sort of scorecard. Make a list of your KPIs (key performance indicators) and understand what goes into each one. Then, create the best possible method for measuring those KPIs and ensure that everyone knows exactly how they are performing by making the “scorecard” accessible.
#4 – Implement Quality Control
In an auto dealership, quality control is all about making certain that your employees ae working hard to meet the KPIs you’ve set without sacrificing quality. For example, if you expect your employees to sell X cars in a month, your employees should be able to meet that goal without resorting to black-hat tactics that might sacrifice your dealership’s reputation. Offering surveys to people who visit your dealership and regularly tending to online reviews is just one way of controlling your dealership’s quality.
#5 – Reward Good Results
If you want operational excellence, it’s important that you reward it when you have it. When you appropriately reward the good things that drive excellence forward, those behaviors are far more likely to be repeated. For example, if employees exceed their KPIs, offering them some form of recognition in front of their peers is by far one of the best ways to continue to encourage exceptional KPIs in the future.
At the end of the day, operational excellence in a dealership is all about ensuring that you and your employees are taking the right steps to drive the best possible customer experience in every single interaction to convert more of your lot’s visitors into happy and loyal buyers. These five tips can go a long way toward helping you achieve that goal.
Succession planning involves recruiting and developing individuals to fill key roles within companies as employees leave an organization, and that includes your own successor when the time comes for you to retire. Here’s what you need to know about succession planning and finding the right person or people to carry on your legacy.
Planning a Successor for a Privately-Held Dealership
In a privately-held dealership, your goal will most likely be passing your legacy on to a family member – usually one of your children, or perhaps a niece, nephew, or even grandchild. Though this would certainly be ideal in almost every case, it is not always a feasible option. You may not have children, or your children may have no interest in owning an auto dealership once you retire.
In this case, you may have other options aside from keeping the dealership in your family. Perhaps you have a lifelong friend who has helped you manage and run your business for many years, or maybe one of your employees who has been with you through thick and thin understands the ins and outs and is willing to take on the responsibility. In either case, it can be incredibly gratifying, particularly if the person or people you choose share your passion and your business values. Another option available to you involves selling your dealership to a third party and investing the funds you receive to help carry on your family legacy for many years to come.
What Succession Planning in the Auto Sales Industry Should Entail
When you’ve narrowed down your choices for your successor, the next step involves making certain that the transfer of ownership flows smoothly. Ultimately, the factors you should consider will vary depending on the successor you choose.
Deciding who will take over your auto dealership when it is time for you to retire might seem like a stressful endeavor, but with the right information – and with the ability to think critically, even when it comes to friends and family – there is little doubt that you will make the decision that is best for you and your family.
Speaking to an audience can be terrifying for some, but for others, the feeling of truly connecting with people who share your passions and those who need the information you can deliver is almost euphoric. Below, you will find five tips to engaging with your audience so that when you speak, you speak with impact, fervor, and passion.
#1 – Start Your Talk Off with an Interesting Story
Numerous surveys and studies have shown that people have very short attention spans and pay attention to speakers for about eight minutes before they start to daydream or otherwise stop paying attention. Regardless, you can captivate your audience and hold its attention for much longer if you start your talk off with an impactful story. You might try surprising your audience with something they don’t expect or telling them a heartwarming personal story as long as it relates to the message you are delivering.
#2 – Make a Promise (and Keep It)
Next, make sure that your audience is aware of exactly why they are about to sit and listen to you talk. What is it that your speech or talk is going to deliver? What can your audience take away from what you are about to say, and how can they put it to use in their daily lives? “When you leave here today, you will be prepared to increase your revenue by as much as 50%” is a great example of a clear and concise promise that your audience can focus on throughout your presentation.
#3 – Enunciate and Be Concise
Your words can be some of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal, but that’s only true if your audience can understand them. Make certain that you carefully enunciate your words, that you use terminology your audience is sure to understand, and that you avoid going off-topic and rambling. These things are surefire ways to lose your audience from the start, so keep them in mind.
#4 – Get Your Audience to Interact with You
When you’re speaking to a group and you want your words to truly mean something to them, the worst thing you can do is lecture them. Some ideas include having short question and answer sessions during the event, singling out members of the audience to give you information, such as a name or state of residence, and even organizing group discussions that make your entire talk interactive from start to finish.
#5 – Use Calls to Action
If you were writing a letter to persuade someone to give you a million dollars, your goal would be to convince that person of the reasons why you deserve to have that money and what you plan to do with it. When you deliver information during a talk or speech, you need to think along those same lines. Use calls to action to give your audience a reason to act on what you say.
Engaging with your audience is critical to ensuring that you can deliver your message accurately and truly make a difference in the lives of those listening to you. These five tips will help you do just that more powerfully, with impact, and with passion that your audience will feel.