When I realized my dream of owning a motorcycle dealership, I believed I was prepared. I was ready for the undertaking and the challenge. After all, I had worked in and managed every department in a motorcycle dealership. From parts sales to motorcycle sales, finance department to service department, you name it, and I had done it. Dealership management course 101 had been successfully absorbed over the years, so what else was there? Oh yea, the Dealer Principals Acme Directional A to Z owner’s manual and guide — hand me one of those, and I’m ready to go.
But, there was no manual, or guide with directions. There was no “you have to know this, too” included in the box that you wished would have included instructions. Being a great general manager or department manager is one thing. Owning a dealership and being a dealer principal is a different gig. No matter what our managers or anybody else thinks they know, ownership has its privileges, responsibility for the whole kit and caboodle. That’s when whats and whys and the reasons for doing, take on a whole new meaning.
Planning success and achieving success are two different things. To achieve takes commitment to a plan, and the resolve to do what needs to be done, daily, weekly, continually. You can plan all you want, but if you don’t do, it won’t do it for you. You will not be as successful with “I was going to do that.” Success starts with “I am doing what’s best for my business daily, weekly and always.” It’s having a solid foundation with which to build upon and a vision that continually looks for ways to be better at what it is we do. It’s not having an ego when we’re reminded that we might be missing something. It’s goals, and excitement with their achievement. It’s contentment in a job well done. It’s realizing that we don’t know everything we think we do, and appreciating what it is we do know.
I was handed the keys to something most only dream of. In the beginning, I knew it all. In the end, there was still a lot more to learn.
Learn and be open to the philosophies of practice’s that guide success. Mindset. Have the motivation and dedication to sound business practices with the understanding that talent and knowledge are not enough. That improvement and our search for it are ongoing, and our reasoning should reflect that. That every step forward is the reward to that search, and setbacks are only temporary, unless you don’t move forward again. Our commitments and expectations of ourselves define the quality of our businesses.
Mark Mooney is director, retail performance for Pied Piper Management Company LLC, a Monterey, Calif., company that works with motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers to maximize performance of dealerships. One of Pied Piper’s most popular services for the powersports industry is Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) sales mystery shopping to help turn more motorcycle shoppers into motorcycle buyers.