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.