Car dealerships are experiencing an extreme version of what most small business owners should be doing in a tough economic time. Dealerships are being forced to make drastic changes. They are being upgraded, sold, rebuilt and retrained. One of the hardest hit industries is was the auto industry. As part of the recovery, many manufacturers are requiring their dealers to get a facelift to reflect the changes in the brand. These changes are causing a ripple effect.
Some dealers cannot afford to make the required changes and thus are forced to close or sell to other dealers. These changes are drastic enough that other non-required changes seem appropriate given the great turnover. The look of showrooms is changing. The technology of how information is presented to customers is changing. Even the promotions that we are used to are becoming a thing of the past. Basically in short car dealers that survive this economic storm will come out stronger then they went in.
While this is an extreme version of adapting to the times and is forced by the auto manufacturers, it is something that most small business owners should be working toward. Find a better location for a lower payment then you have now. Update technology to make your operations more streamlined. Purchase a struggling competitor’s business. These are just a few of the options that are available to a small business owner that can be done for below what it would cost when the economy is booming. Once the economy rebounds your overhead will be reduced, your operations more efficient or your customer base will be expanded already. These adaptations help your business in the short term and in the long term as well. As always, it’s all about having the right strategy and finding opportunities that fit.
Source: “Renovate or Die: Car dealers must adapt to market changes, manufacturers’ demands” by Joe Boomgaard of MiBiz