Being the manager or owner of a Buy Here – Pay Here dealership brings a lot of responsibilities with the job. Not only do you need to manage your employees to get the most production out of them, you also need to manage your customers to keep delinquency in check and cash flowing. You must manage your inventory, manage your expenses and manage your regulatory compliance. To be an effective manager takes knowledge and skill. Here are 6 tips on how you can be more effective:
1. Deal in realities
Deal in known, provable facts. Making decisions based on guesses or suppositions can get you in big trouble. We all know what “assume” means. Do not make hasty decisions. Do the research, gather the facts and the evidence, and then make an informed decision. Taking a logical road to making decisions will increase the likelihood that the decision you make is the correct one dramatically. Be smart, play the odds – the more information you have, the better the decision.
2. Learn to be kind, but not weak
Both your staff and your customers will have events occur in their lives that stop them from being able to keep the commitments they have made. BHPH managers face this kind of situation almost daily. First, you must be able to determine the truth of the situation and then you must be compassionate. Understanding the issue and assisting your staff member or customer in dealing with it through kindness will net you the best results; however, it is a fine line between that and being weak and letting them take advantage of you.
3. Learn to be strong, but not rude
You are the leader. It is your responsibility to be strong and take control of every situation. Some people mistake rudeness for strength. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Being rude is just a way of compensating for being weak. Take command but do so in a way that allows everyone to maintain their dignity.
4. Learn to be bold, but not a bully
It takes boldness to be a great manager. You must be willing to take action, to do what needs to be done. You must be vigilant in watching for the first signs of problem then be bold in solving that problem before it becomes a major issue. However, you cannot do so by being a bully and expect positive results. Employees and customers alike will fear you, not respect you, if you bully them and they will become less cooperative, not more.
5. Learn to be proud, but not arrogant
It is almost human nature to become at least a little boastful when your dealership is operating well. Pride in doing a good job is an important motivator. However, when taken to extreme, this can lead to caring more about personal accolades than the actual health of the business itself. In BHPH, this can also manifest itself in the development of a “better than you” attitude. If you, or any employees, ever begin to think or act like you are better than your customers, your dealership is headed for real trouble.
6. Learn to use humor, but not folly
Humor can be used to diffuse difficult situations. It can break the tension in a situation. It can help you bond with your customers. It’s OK to be witty, but not silly. It’s OK to be fun, but not foolish. And humor should never come at the expense of one of your customers or employees. Being funny can be helpful, making fun of someone will always be counterproductive.
These tips can help you be a better manager or owner. Not every skill will work equally well for every leader. Some may work well for one leader, but nor so well for another. Everyone is different. However, these fundamental skills of leadership can be adapted to work throughout your life; at work, in the community and at home.