From the Editors

Congratulations on a great 2011!

Congratulations to all of you dealers who made it through 2011 and are still open, still thriving, continuing to learn and hopefully seeing increased profits.

These past few years haven’t been the best, but if you’ve made it through with your business intact — though likely slimmer in many departments — you should consider yourself a success. A lot of dealers can’t say that anymore, and it’s definitely something to be proud of.

As the holiday season wraps up, take time to reflect on your year. Look at 2011 and recognize what went well and what you will do differently in 2012. After that thorough investigation is complete, really dive into 2012.

For many dealers, January and February are slow times (except for those lucky ones that thrive on snow/cold season sales). If your dealership is slow, don’t let your staff slack off or become bored. Instead, encourage everyone to get excited about 2012. After all, the next motorcycling season is just around the corner.

If you haven’t yet, start clearing out and carefully packing the holiday decorations, so they’re ready for next year. And, if you have time, start a thorough cleansing of the dealership. Take time to dust, clean off the counters that haven’t had a scrub in a while, replace old lightbulbs and really brighten up the place.

Also, start looking into your 2012 marketing plan if you haven’t already. What promotions are you going to focus on? How are you going to let your customers and prospects know about those promotions? What will be your social media strategy? Have you considered other marketing avenues? Now is the time to think about all of that, especially for dealers who aren’t seeing a lot of traffic now, because staff from all departments can be pulled to help formulate a plan. It’s better to think about this in advance than worry about it when traffic starts spiking.

Here’s a final thought for you: My parents recently walked by a bar in Minnesota, and in its window, it had a sign that read, “Husband Day Care Center. Need time to relax? Need time to yourself? Want to go shopping? Leave your husband with us! We’ll look after him for you! You only pay for his drinks!” The first thing I thought when I saw that was this would be a great pitch for any dealership. We work in a fun industry; don’t forget to have fun with your promotions, merchandising and everything else in your business.

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