December '17

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68 • RV PRO • December 2017 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S When Times Are Good, Prepare for the Worst – Part 2 Best business practices for dealers include staying on top of unclaimed warranty, open repair orders and parts and service receivables to avoid leaving money on the table. Getting buried in open repair orders is a sure way to put your dealership in a bind. So is failing to collect warranty accounts receivables and parts and service receivables. By Lee Berryman Lee Berryman is the founder and president of the RV Profit Group based in Daytona Beach, Fla. He can be reached via email at lee_berryman@cfl. rr.com or by phone at 386-235-5038. T his is the second half of a two-part article on dealers preparing for the worst. I am going to replicate the first few paragraphs from the first article, as the same information applies. In 2009, I wrote an article for RV PRO called "20 Good Things in a Bad Market", which listed the positive opportunities that are available in a down economy. The article I wished I had authored would have actually been written in 2006 or 2007 – and it is this one. If I had a time machine and could write one article in 1,500 words or less to dealers back then, it would address what an RV dealership must do in the 12 months before the Great Recession, Depression or economic downturn. Here is what has happened since then: The market for RVs began its sharp descent in Sep- tember 2008. However, for the prior six months, the market slipped a percent of two each month, but it was very slight decline. Then, over the next 12 months, RV sales for my clients plummeted 45 percent and bottomed out in September 2009. It was a very miserable period of time. While it was stressful for my cli- ents, as they had to make many changes, nearly all of them survived and some even thrived. Starting in October 2009, the RV market has been in a steady growth of about 15 per- cent annually. This means that the market has been up nearly eight years. This is the longest stretch of economic growth in the history of the United States.

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