Warning From New Orleans

I’m writing this from New Orleans at the NADA Convention. I was also here in 2009 and it’s a much different environment this week than it was back then. To say the dealers were depressed in 2009 is an understatement. Everything I’ve seen thus far at the convention is optimistic almost to a fault.

Many dealers are coming off an all time record profit year and optimism has never been higher. It’s easy to become complacent and have a certain amount of self-assured confidence that you are a rock star, on a roll, and you can do no wrong.

It’s a fact that dealers make the most money when they are coming off of tough times. The reason for that is pretty simple. When things are tough, dealers get back to the basics and grinding it out. As business gets better, they are in a great position to make a lot of money because they have cut all the fat out.

But the better and better business gets, dealers tend to add this and that to the expense line and get further and further away from the basics.

I know you’re a “Smart Leader” because you read my stuff. And because you’re a “Smart Leader,” you know that to get to 4 to 6% net to sales you need to continue to evaluate everything you are doing, every dime you are spending, and every process “you think” you have in place.

Are you as efficient as you can be? That’s all I’m gonna ask, Tommy Gibbs