Yoda Talks Buy Here Pay Here
“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”
Many BHPH dealers find themselves in a dark place. Any tax season rush is over, sales are down and delinquency is up. Now is the time to take a good, hard look at your dealership and determine where it can be improved. There are numerous industry magazines, websites and other sources where you can find the knowledge to help you optimize your operation.
“A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind”
The first step in improving your dealership is to commit to making the necessary changes. Changes you make will not be effective if you do not believe in them. Taking a half-hearted approach will lead your staff to believe these changes are not really important or necessary. You will not be successful in improving your operation if you do not have faith in the importance of doing so.
“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.”
As you assess your current processes and your business in general, it is important to understand that many of the things you do, you do because that is the way you have always done them. They are rooted in the past, in the way the business used to be. You must realize that you may need to evaluate those beliefs from a different point of view in light of today’s marketplace, changing technology and best practices.
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
You must be ready to jettison processes and practices that no longer meet the needs of today’s customers. You must look at your company with fresh eyes and be prepared to get rid of previous beliefs that may be obstacles to contemporary success. Build your revamped dealership on present concepts and policies, not dated thinking from the past.
“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”
As part of the process, you must know what the issues are before you can begin to address them. Make a list of the worst consequences that could drive you out of business and then develop your plans to make sure your fears never come true. Be specific. It is actually much easier to devise plans to address detailed issues than it is vague ones.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Don’t let your problems overwhelm you, however. Once you have decided on the issues you need to address, you must focus on the solutions, not on the problems. Allowing yourself to focus excessively on the problems creates an atmosphere of negativity and is counter-productive.
“Control, control, you must learn control!”
Setting a new policy or procedure will not be effective unless you also have a method of
exercising control over them. As the owner or manager, you establish the way you want things done but, if you don’t have a system in place to monitor the actual compliance with your wishes, you will not be effective. There is an old business saying, “You must inspect what you expect”. Failure to do so can be as fatal to your operation as having no plan to begin with. Make sure you design an adequate system of controls to monitor what is happening at your dealership. Lack of control creates chaos at a dealership.
[Luke:]” I can’t believe it.” [Yoda:] “That is why you fail.”
To make change successful, you must believe in those changes. If you have carefully thought out and researched the issues, received good advice and information from reliable industry sources, created a comprehensive plan, and explained and trained your staff on the new plan; there should be no reason to doubt that it will be effective. Believe in your plan and your employees will believe in it too.
“Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.”
Banish the word “try” from your vocabulary and your dealership. As Yoda says, “there is no try”. You either do something or don’t do something. Commit to doing whatever you believe is necessary for improvement. Full bore, with no doubts…no try. That will move you well down the road to being successful.
“Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.”
There is an old saying, “Knowledge is power”. If you have conducted this process properly, you have learned many things about this industry and your business. Do not let this knowledge go to waste. Put it to work for you. Let it help you build your dealership into the undertaking you always dreamed it could be. And always keep learning. This business and the market changes every day. Stay up-to-date on the developments that affect your success. Learning never stops.
“Always pass on what you have learned.”
Share what you have learned. Be active in your state associations. Attend industry meetings and conferences. Read as much as you can about the BHPH industry and issues it faces. Be willing to share what you have learned with others because that is the way they will become comfortable in sharing with you; increasing your knowledge and theirs.
All become more successful and realize our dreams, together we can.
OK, I made that one up but that doesn’t make it any less true.
by Al Mosher
Al Mosher is the General Manager for Constellation Automotive Solutions. Al has almost 30 years experience in the auto industry; having served in both sales and finance management at new vehicle stores before spending the last 13 years as a Manager, General Manager and consultant in the Buy Here – Pay Here industry.
Al worked as a consultant for CarBiz USA beginning in 2000 and joined Constellation’s DCF Consulting Group in 2008. He added the role of GM in January 2012. He has written numerous training manuals and conducted seminars for dealers in the Buy Here – Pay Here business. Al has also been featured as a speaker by the NIADA and his articles regularly appear in industry publications.