December 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive
If you’re reading this article, then you’ve already taken the first step to accelerating your BHPH performance results! That’s because the first step in accelerating performance results is to research the topic and identify the solutions available to you. The second indication you have already taken the important first step is that you’ve asked yourself the question, “How can I improve my BHPH business?”
As a consultant and trainer in the BHPH industry, I work with dealers across the country to identify best practices and implement practical solutions to solve the toughest challenges facing their BHPH business. Here are the top three solutions that have helped dealers rapidly accelerate their performance results.
The most important commodity in any successful business is the people hired to operate the business. The degree to which you can successfully hire the right people for the right position will ultimately determine how successful your business becomes. In a small BHPH business, you may have only a few people on staff. In a large BHPH business, the number of people on staff will be substantially higher. In either case, consider the likelihood of success if you ran your business with the “wrong” staff. By “wrong” I’m referring to staff who are one or more of the following: untrained, incompetent, uninspired, unreliable, unprofessional, unethical, lazy or just someone you keep on the payroll because you can’t find anyone better to replace that person.
Many business operators will accept the status quo when it comes to hiring and retaining staff instead of taking a long, hard look at the most valuable component of their business and fixing it if it’s broken. Recruiting and hiring the right person for the job is not as simple as it sounds. However, a little thought and effort in identifying the skill sets required to do the specific job will go a long way in finding the right person to do the work. Hiring a person with the right attitude, energy level, personality, work ethic and desire is far more important than hiring a person based on their job history or previous work experience. So, to accelerate your BHPH performance results, it’s imperative that you have the right staff in place to operate your business.
As a certified sales trainer, I learned early in my career you can’t train anyone if they don’t have the appetite to learn. Stop for a moment to ponder this question: “What is the cost of having untrained or poorly-trained people operating my business?” The true cost would be staggering! So why don’t more BHPH dealers “invest” in their business by investing in training for their staff? In many cases, it’s because they don’t want to incur the expense for training because that person might end up leaving or being fired anyway. Sound familiar? This thought process is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To do their jobs effectively, your collectors should have training specifically geared to effective collections. The person responsible for deal structure should have training specific to effective deal structure and underwriting, and the same rule applies to the people in all other areas of your business. The key is job-specific training. Consider the results you could achieve if you had competent, well-trained people in every facet of your business. This is not a pipe dream; it can be a reality if you make the effort to hire and train the right people for your business. If hiring people is not your strong suit, seek out the professional help you need to recruit and train the best people for your team.
Operating a BHPH business is a tough job that requires long hours, hard work and the ability to do a wide range of tasks. However, working that hard without taking the time to analyze your results can be dangerous. One of the best ways to analyze your business results and understand if you’re really making progress is to join a BHPH 20 group. As a member of a 20 group, you not only analyze your business performance, but you also compare your performance results to other BHPH dealers in the group. A 20 group consists of non-competing BHPH dealers, so sharing your ideas, best practices and business results creates a forum where members can openly learn from each other. In addition, the 20-group format can help you avoid mistakes and costly errors other dealers in the group may have already experienced.
What’s important to understand is that no dealer does a great job in every area of their BHPH business. Regardless of the size of your BHPH business or how many active accounts you have in your portfolio, everyone has something to learn, and everyone has something to contribute in the group. The objective of a 20 group is for the members to help each other improve their business performance and increase profitability. Testimonials from dealers in 20 groups will range from “I wish I had joined a 20 group 10 years earlier” to “Joining a 20 group was the best business decision I have ever made!”
You have likely heard the expression, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” That statement is not only accurate, but is also very good advice for BHPH dealers. There are many dimensions to operating a successful BHPH business, including inventory management, advertising, promotion, sales, cash flow, collections, expense management, pay plans, regulations and compliance legislation, to name just a few. With so many tasks to manage, when do you stop and come up for air? The most successful BHPH operators will tell you that analyzing their business performance is a high priority and a regular occurrence. It is not a do-it-when-I-can approach to their business. “Work smarter, not harder” is the essence of the message.
These three components?staff, training and performance analysis?are the cornerstones to building a successful BHPH business. Certainly, there are other factors that contribute to success, and there are other areas of your business that require attention. However, consider how much faster you could accelerate your performance results if you focused on these three areas as a starting point for building a long-term plan for better results and more profitability!
Vol. 9, Issue 10