How do you know if you’re running your company too lean? When you start to hear your em-ployees complain (as long as they are focused on doing the right things), then you have probably
your employees complain, that is good sign that you can run your company leaner; start looking
for what resources that you can live without.
advocate doing both. Also, your top people who perform well, and are always there through
thick and thin, don’t cut back on that. Support those people, and give them plenty of recogni-
tion; even during the tough times. Everything outside of that should be considered discretionary
answer yes and yes, that is the definition of a loyal customer, and you need to guard those cus-
tomers with your life! Do you keep track of the customers that you lose versus the ones that you
keep? If not, you need to take immediate action on doing that, and resolve to improve that
number in 2012 from where it is in 2011.
It is not just about finding customers, it is also about keeping them. The more customers that
you can keep improve your chances for overall growth!
goals. The goals need to be specific. Increase revenue in 2012 is not a goal. Grow revenue 10%
in 2012 versus 2011 is a goal. You need to identify the Top 3 Critical Goals in your business for
2012, make them specific, and everyone in the organization must know what they are. You want
to do that so your employees won’t spend time working on things that are less important. Al-
ways ask your employees: How is this project helping us achieve our critical objectives?”
seem to get it done. It is not the most popular problem to deal with, but you have to deal with it
head on. If you don’t, you end up increasing your cost structure because you have people work-
ing for you that are not getting done what you need to get done. When times get tough, you
look at potentially downsizing your work force, and you may not have needed to do that if the
people working for you produced the results that you need. Be tough on performance, and
make sure that you take care of your people along the way.
can be. You need to know at a moment’s notice which people on your team are on target for
their quota or not, so that you can work to consistently hit those quotas. Get senior manage-
ment involved to help close important new business. Also, make sure that your people are only
pursuing business that they can win.
off, it is difficult to make future investments in the company, because you are not really sure
what is going to happen. Have a specific sales process in place, and have all your people drive
that same process, so that your sales people can consistently hit the numbers.
paying, and you have to remember that you are not the bank. It is important for your customers
to pay you on time.
that your internal processes are not part of the problems why those invoices are that old; and
start solving those problems. Once you have done that, start targeting the invoices that are at 75
days, and go through the same process. Then target invoices at 60 days. You can see the direc-
tion we are headed. Remember: You are NOT the bank!
ees or 100 employees. However, the most of our expenses are employee related. How do we
know how effective the people are that we have? Productivity does matter, but measuring pro-
ductivity without the right goals makes no sense.
where you could see a 10% or more drop in revenue? Do you foresee inflation from your com-
pany’s expenses, where you are unable to raise your prices to pass along that cost increase?
When you do, don’t wait! Think about the things that you would have to do to combat that chal-
lenge, and then act as if it has already happened! Act immediately! Take the steps to run your
company leaner than you would like to, and your company will have the opportunity to perform
when things get tough.
leaner than you would like to, especially during the good times, you give your company the op-
portunity to be stronger during the tough times.
It all comes back to focusing on the previous points, that will help you recession proof your busi-
ing strategies that can make your dealership even more profitable during the most challenging
economic times of this century?