Deciphering statistics for your dealership

Tim CalhounMany of the reports and statistics we read on our industry are typically national with a regional breakdown or even a state breakdown of these statistics. These are delivered often, as they are relatively easy numbers to come up with and for a 5,000-foot view they are very relevant to market trends and conditions, but don’t go running at them just yet.

Understand your geography. Unfortunately these stats don’t always directly correlate with your day-to-day business in your local economy. The primary reason for this is that geography isn’t as important as it once was, and even within states, counties and cities, the scale of economy varies greatly these days.

Understand your economy. Bike sales in Irvine, Calif., could be fantastic, while sales in Barstow, about 100 miles away, do not exist. One apparel brand may be selling in Ohio and another in New York. Unfortunately the economy is not evenly distributed nationally or regionally in the current market.

Do your statistics match national or regional trends? The statistics that most immediately turn into profits are those that most directly connect to the people you sell to and the economy you work within. The best scenario is to create your own statistical analysis and to better understand how your market aligns with national and regional stats.

Use statistics to verify your business practices. Pay attention to the statistics that speak to you about your most probable customer – it is always easier to pick the low-lying fruit. Take time to understand these numbers as it should define the products you sell, the brands you work with, the units on your floor, the staff you hire and the way you target your investment in marketing and your store’s online experience.

The strength of good numbers. Solid statistics should reveal the needs of your businesses most likely and repeatable customer. It is considerably more time consuming, difficult and expensive to train your customers to buy what you want to sell versus understanding what they want to buy.

Good luck and good selling.

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