May '17

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66 • RV PRO • May 2017 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S Failure to Launch Why so many of your business improvement plans fail … and how to prevent such failure moving forward. Most dealership management teams become wedded to their process – and do not appreciate the boss trying to upset their well-practiced daily routine. Creating meaningful change requires that the dealership's top managers implement new strategies for reaching goals, such as identifying key performance indicators and creating a work plan for all stakeholders. By Steve Nickelsen Jim Muntz and Steve Nickelsen are the founders of Nickelsen/ DealersEdge. They specialize in: improving dealership profitability; service department optimization; recruiting, selection and training; customer retention; strategic planning; executive coaching; business development centers (BDCs); and sales and manager training. Learn more at www.nickelsendealers edge.com. T here's no shortage of great ideas and new strategies for improving your RV dealer- ship. How to get your management team organized to succeed – that's a challenge! How many times has this happened to you? You attend a dealer workshop or event and come back with some really great ideas that are obviously a good fit and solution for your busi- ness. You head back to the dealership enthused and ready to implement. But, as happens to so many, your manage- ment team stifles a groan and secretly hopes that this is just another one of the boss's crazy ideas that will quickly die if they just let a few days pass. Three or six months later, you ponder just what happened, often deciding that this "great idea" was just not actually a good fit for your dealership. Why else would it die so easily? Failure to Launch … Failure to Execute You can take some solace in that you are not alone. This is a common failing of many, if not most, small- to mid-sized business leaders. Is this something you can correct? Sure, but it does take a little work and leadership on your part. Let's first fully define the problem. Why does this happen to so many RV and automotive dealers? Is there something unique about your business that makes you susceptible to this "failure to launch" syndrome? Our experience says "yes". RV and automo- tive dealers are still defined by most as small businesses. Some, especially those with many multiple locations, could be called "mid-sized", but that is not generally the case. But even as a small business, you have a significantly complex organization chart. Your individual location(s) typically contain multiple

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