Knowing What Options are Available to You Could Alleviate Stress and Reduce Risk
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By Courtney Becton
Over the years, the Axiom Advisors team has had the opportunity to work in many areas serving the retail automotive industry, including working directly in dealerships and for CPA Firms. In these years, a common trait observed about dealership owners and executives, is their plates are always full. Work-life balance seems nearly impossible and getting burned out is more likely, which in turn, increases the margin for error and key operational details can be overlooked. The financial aspects of typical dealerships are unique, highly intricate and can be stressful to maintain. Often-times, owners are wearing multiple hats and haven’t been able to relinquish control over responsibilities to the appropriate personnel. Often, there isn’t sufficient headcount, or the right skill set to effectively delegate all the work that needs to be done.
Having worked in dealerships for many years, I grew to believe that outside help was very limited or even non-existent. After joining Axiom Advisors I started to become familiar with the many services offered to dealers who like I, may not have known were available to them. From DMS overlay software that provides powerful reporting, to dealership specific niche HR and legal professionals. I came from a dealership environment where outside help was not searched for, rather we opted to operate in an environment that was likely more stressful than it needed to be. I’ve come to realize that some dealers may not opt to seek outside help in order to keep expenses low, but I’ve discovered this can end up costing dealers more in the long run.
Partnering with outside industry experts can allow a dealership the benefits of a birds-eye view of how a store is positioned or operating amongst peers. I’ve witnessed firsthand how some dealers will only look to themselves or internal managers for advice related to industry matters that may be outside of their day to day grasp. This is where I believe dealers hurt themselves the most, simply not looking for outside help and trusting their internal personnel is better equipped than professionals specializing in that field. Items like:
- Parts Physical Inventories
- Warranty Claim Processing
- Internal Audits
- Tax Return Preparation
- Handling legal matters from HR to contract reviews (not using an attorney)
- Tag and Title work
- Payroll Processing
In the end, just because a dealer can do the work internally doesn’t mean they should. Choosing the best options, based on your needs will hopefully bring much success and change your experience moving forward.