July 25, 2005 – Purpose: The first P in profit

In the June 6, 2005, issue of Powersports Business magazine I wrote about the four P’s of profitability. There was such a great response from readers like you wanting more information on the subject that I plan to elaborate in more detail on each “P” in profit in the next several issues.
You may want to go back and re-read the previous article about the four P’s to ensure a better understanding of the importance of each P to the other and the developmental order or why the first P (Purpose) must come before the second P (People), the third P (Processes) and the fourth P (Performance)
PURPOSE: the first “P”
This is the simplest of the Four “P’s” to describe but the toughest to really execute well. If done well, it is truly the key to exceptional success. It is not uncommon to spend a great deal of time during our PHD 20 meetings helping client dealers learn how to stand out in THEIR marketplace. When it comes to purpose there is NO one size fits all.
There could come a day when walking into a Kawasaki or Yamaha dealership could be like walking into McDonalds or Fuddruckers: Both sell hamburgers made of quality ground beef with your choice of lettuce, tomato, pickle or onion, but there is no mistaking which establishment you are at because each has a unique purpose or core value.
Most powersports dealers don’t even get to the level of McDonalds or Fuddruckers. However, a few take their businesses become more than just a Honda or Suzuki store by becoming a Powersports store that understands and caters to the unique needs of It’s marketplace.
They learn that ALL real opportunity comes from focusing on the needs (problems) of their customers and coming up with the best solutions. These Top Gun powersports dealerships don’t get hung up and out of control focusing on the competition, the manufacturer, the economy or anything else outside their circle of influence or control. These rare individuals learn how to dominate by staying focused on things they can control and in time it seems that everything that matters is under their control.
So who are you? Someone just sitting there waiting for whatever big brother the manufacture sends your way? You might say what dose it matter what I want the core value and character of my business to be? How could I change it?
I sell and service touring motorcycles, sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, motorcrossers, sport ATV’s Utility ATV’s, family ATV’s, personal watercraft, sleds, trailers, generators, and whatever else is the hot flavor of the month.
So, it is obvious that my PURPOSE is selling to whatever type of customer is attracted by the manufacturers I represent.
And, furthermore, if I don’t represent the products offered by my manufacturers, they could pull my sales agreement.
Right you are, if all you want to do is work hard for wages.
If you are going to be a Top Gun dealership and dominate your marketplace in major unit sales as well as after sale products and services, you must learn to work smart and control your destiny. Just like sailboats going in different directions but all using the same wind. Do you know the direction the wind is blowing in your marketplace or do you even know the direction you are going or the direction you want to go?
Developing Your Dealership’s Purpose
Here are some basic recommendations for developing your dealerships purpose.

  • First and foremost, know your marketplace. What are the needs (problems) of the majority of your potential customers? Will your hours, location, policies and procedures, advertising and staff be able to satisfy or exceed the expectations of your marketplace?
    Break your potential customers into groups based on the types of products you sell. Are they rush hour commuters or rural country folk, union workers, farmers or military?

  • Second, discover the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. Be very careful about attacking their strengths because you must be really exceptional to stand out in that crowd. Instead, see if any of your natural strengths cover one of your competitor’s weaknesses. By applying your strength against his weakness, you’ll have an opportunity to really shine in your marketplace
  • Third, learn your personal strengths and weaknesses in the business world and within the industry. Learn how to cover you weaknesses and how to PROMOTE your strengths.
  • Fourth, make sure your purpose is evident and consistent in everything you do from location, hours, décor, staff selection, staff education, advertising, promotions, and events. psb

    Next time we will discuss the second “P” in profit your People.

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