Are You Maintaining Your Business Or Growing It?



We’ve all had some great ideas about our businesses. We read articles, we study treads and stay up to date on the latest trade information, but sometimes we seem to be treading water. We all know what we think a great business is, the question is how do we get our business to be that one? We have a great customer experience and wonder; “How to I translate that to my place?” 


I’ll give you the first easy answer. If your not in a position in your work place to make changes, you can’t. But even if your not a decision or policy maker, but work for a company that listens to good ideas.....maybe. But listening to a good idea and launching a good idea are two VERY different things. 


Now what stops us from launching a good idea? Easy, your spending too much time maintaining your business.


Now for those of us that have been in the car industry for a while, we’ve seen the good and the bad. We’ve seen numbers both high and low. The question to ask yourself is “Did you have anything to do with it?”


One easy way to find out is to check market treads in your field and see what everyone else did. If the market was up and so were you, guess what, maybe you shouldn't be patting yourself on the back. If the market was down and you were up, well now maybe you deserve a pat, but again, this is the car business we are talking about, so don’t get too happy.


If your daily duties include; checking on your employees too make sure they are doing what they should be doing, if it includes politicing with manufactorers or even internal politicing.....guess what, that’s maintaining.


Now that being said, these things are all necessary and certainly and valid part of your job (depending you what your job is) but they may also be the things that are keeping you from growing your business.


When we discuss great marketing strategy or relationship building with other companies or even reaching out into our communities to make a difference, and these things never get launched, that doesn’t mean your not doing your job, it means your spending too much time doing another part of your job. 


So there is the rub, how to we spend more time doing one part and less time doing the other part? 


The first way is to trust your people. Do you allow your team to make decisions? And if you do, how do you treat them if they make a “bad” decision? The easiest and best way for to focus on growing your business is having the right people in place to maintain the business. If you articulate a clear goal for your team and trust them to make the right decisions, your on your way to growing your business


So now that you've freed up some time to grow, what is it that you do to do that? Well, marketing is a great start. But before we go any further, if you think marketing means coupons and discounts, you've been in the car business too long. 


Our self destructive “race to the bottom” that the car business has been doing for years is not helping anyone, including the customer. 


Do you think if there was a certain brand of car dealer on four corners of a block, that they would spend time with clients talking about service and benefits of purchasing a vehicle from you, or would they “race to the bottom” to see who would give the client the cheapest deal. If you don’t know, you haven’t been in the car business long enough. 


Now there are some exceptions to that rule and I’m lucky enough to work at a place that is one of them. 


An example of a successful marketing campaign that we launched at the dealership was that we met with local businesses and showed them the advantages to working with our dealership. We showed them the benefits of working with us and gave us the chance to opportunity to help them as well.


This is growing a business!!


Now if we were spending all day maintaining, the opportunity would have presented itself, but would have never launched. 


We all have the ability to recognize great ideas as a matter of fact, a lot of you have the ability to create GREAT ideas. Now is the time to launching those ideas. And the first way to do that is to make sure your have the time and the way to make sure you have the time is to stop maintaining and START GROWING.

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Comment by Rex Weaver on August 24, 2011 at 6:29am
Thanks Bobby, your opinions and insights are greatly appreciated!!

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