Raise Your Hand — Get the Help You Didn’t Know You Needed

- April 18, 2012

Remem­ber when you were in grade school, you had to raise your hand to ask the teacher a ques­tion, get help or to give your answer to the teacher’s ques­tions?  The shy stu­dents or under-achiev­ers would sit at the back of the class and not par­tic­i­pate while the smart stu­dents sat sit up-front to learn, under­stand and get rec­og­nized as a great stu­dent.

Well, that was years ago, but not too much has real­ly changed. Even in the auto­mo­tive busi­ness, Deal­ers have to raise their hand for many things – OEM assis­tance, train­ing, pro­gram enroll­ments, mar­ket­ing events, fran­chise oppor­tu­ni­ties and even more inven­to­ry.  So why not raise your hand for help with com­pli­ance, inter­nal con­trols, busi­ness improve­ments, account­ing issues?   There could be three rea­sons why:

1. Deal­ers get bogged down in busi­ness oper­a­tions, finan­cials, per­for­mance reports, meet­ings and the busi­ness of sell­ing vehi­cles.  They are not that close to details, what’s going on behind the scenes and all the rules/requirements.  They rely on their man­age­ment teams and employ­ees who don’t always do things right or as required.

2. Deal­ers think they don’t need help — not ask­ing all the right or tough ques­tions or chal­leng­ing employ­ees.  They think every­thing is good and cor­rect; but it’s not.

3. Deal­ers’ per­son­al­i­ty type – they “roll the dice” and take chances vs. being proac­tive.  They only want to deal with it when it hap­pens, suf­fer­ing the con­se­quences lat­er.

Which one are you?  Regard­less, there is too much at risk for either mind­set.  Com­pli­ance is a great exam­ple.   It’s the “new game” in town and should be amongst the top on all Deal­ers’ Top 5 Pri­or­i­ty List.  Whether it’s incen­tives, war­ran­ty, safe­ty, or federal/state reg­u­la­tions, the con­se­quences for non-com­pli­ance are very cost­ly.   The list goes on.

Help comes in many forms an assess­ment; inter­nal audit; per­for­mance review; analy­sis of account­ing records and busi­ness process­es.  All should be done by an out­side pro­fes­sion­al or your inter­nal com­pli­ance offi­cer.   But the first step is to ask for it!

Pro­tect your assets and prof­its by know­ing how you size-up, where the risks are; then stay focused on com­pli­ance, improve­ments and the bot­tom-line.  So raise your hand — ask ques­tions and get help.   It will be one of the smartest things you’ve done this month.

Sher­ra­lyn Peter­son, , can be reached at 312.310.8380 or email www.sherralynpeterson.com.

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