May 3, 2010: Catch this to improve your store’s profitability

If you grew up in a household where every want or desire was answered with a monotone “nothing’s free in this world” response, then you’ll appreciate this real-life train wreck.
A buddy of mine heads to Hawaii on a skimpy budget, which obviously isn’t the smartest of moves. He then compounds this error by making a larger one: He tries to fulfill his dream of catching a trophy sailfish by agreeing to a “free outing” on a rather suspect looking vessel. The captain of this shabby-looking tub promises a free ride and angling opportunities in lieu of a promise that everything that is caught is the captain’s to keep.
Once the tub actually gets moving — the smoking, snorting engine was the first omen — the wannabe angler finds the “free outing” is really “free physical labor,” as he does nothing but cut bait and tend to lines that are all but anchored to the bottom of the ocean with forearm-wrenching weights. The captain, meanwhile, keeps busy bellowing orders and downing warm beer.
Turns out the bite isn’t too bad, though, and one of the surface lines draws a large, feisty yellowtail. Many exhilarating minutes later the yellowtail is dragged to the side of the boat, whereupon the captain walks over with a pistol. The gun happens to be fashioned to some sort of a stick, thus allowing it to be shot at water level so a monstrous fish can be dealt with in the ocean rather than in the boat. Unfortunately, a big swell hits at just the wrong moment, causing the captain to momentarily lose control of the gun-contraption, which fires and blows part of his hand off.
Ten minutes later, the captain passes out from shock, and the wannabe trophy angler begins mulling over his choices. How does he stop the captain from bleeding to death with little but oily rags around the boat? How to get back to shore with, as he quickly realizes, no working radar? And yes, what to do with that monstrous yellowtail still flopping against the side of the boat?
And speaking of choices, this as good as any time to really judge that initial questionable one he made in even stepping foot in the ill-fated boat.
Thankfully you won’t have near the same decisions to make when you’re offered something for nothing. You see, for a second straight year Powersports Business is working with its industry partners to provide a much-needed resource: in-store dealership training.
And like last year, this opportunity is presented at no cost to one dealership through the Training Day Contest, an event that provides two trainers for a one-day dealership outing that promises to boost sales of new units and PG&A and improve profitability in both key areas. Providing the training will be V-SEPT’s Derek Sanders, a trainer and consultant, and Jennifer Robison, Tucker Rocky Distributing’s retail environment specialist.
In holding the one-day training, we typically ensure both Sanders and Robison get at least two hours with the appropriate departments. This time allows not only for some general discussion about areas of possible improvement, but specific hurdles or challenges the different departments face.
Powersports Business also is present at the training day, and passes along some of the profitability measures that are discussed in the dealership in a future edition.
The program, made possible by V-SEPT and Tucker Rocky’s commitment to training, is obviously a hugely beneficial event to a dealer that believes education is at least one of the keys to continued and improved business success.
And that’s where we get to choices.
For dealerships, it’s simple. To be entered into the contest, a dealership needs to fill out a “Bold Ideas” entry form. (Downloadable at PowersportsBusiness.com.) This entry form essentially outlines a business initiative the dealership has undertaken in the past year and then describes in very short order the results of that initiative. Powersports Business will then share these “Bold Ideas” in a future edition.
The “Bold Ideas” can detail any number of business steps taken in different dealership profit centers, from the sales department to the service department to clever and results-oriented marketing approaches.
So the choice ultimately comes down to this: Do you spend a couple of minutes to download the form, fill it out and send it to us to receive several hours of in-store training?
I’m hoping you don’t need a radar to detect the appropriate course of action.
Speaking of which, what happened to the wannabe trophy angler? He boated the yellowtail, stopped the captain’s bleeding — not sure in which order! — and made it back to shore with some incredibly good fortune and the aid of another boater.
And, he ate some delicious yellowtail that night.
Which is proper, as the captain now rightly knows, since nothing’s free in this world.

Your thoughts
As you probably know,Powersports Business is continuing its efforts at providing educational opportunities for dealers and the industry at large beyond the Training Day effort. For a second straight year, we’re hosting a dealership conference &?expo that will provide a full slate of educational seminars and panels. But before we announce just what that schedule will entail, we would like your thoughts on “must-do topics.” Go to insider.powersportsbusiness.com and find the blog “Define the industry’s toughest challenge.” From there you can fill out a survey and help us help you. Look forward to seeing you at Profit Xcelerator 2010!

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