As dealers, we sometimes get caught up in the day-to-day of our dealership. But sometimes we need to look ahead and see what is coming, and how we need to prepare. It’s time to ask the hard questions to see if your dealership is ready to tackle the future. Here are seven critical areas that will be impacting dealer operations in the next three to five years:
1. Hiring and motivating the perfect sales team. Turnover in the industry is still extremely high, even with desires to make changes and lower it. How is your dealership going to change pay structures, company culture and flexibility to reduce turnover and save money? How is this high turnover hurting the industry and what can you do to help?
2. Used vehicle strategy. How will used car sales look in five years? Discussions about the economy and changes in politics all motivate how used vehicle sales will change over time. What is your dealership doing to be on the cusp of these changes?
3. Millennials and car buying. Mobile, social media and ride-sharing are all major innovations that industry professionals should be considering. Many manufacturers and brands are working extremely hard to stay up with these changes — what is your dealership doing to also compete?
4. Fixed ops retooled for competition. Economists’ outlook on softer sales numbers means that fixed ops needs to step up. What is your dealership doing to ensure that numbers will stay profitable even in downward sales years?
5. Marketing in a mobile first world. More than half of car buying traffic happens on mobile devices. Does your dealership have a strategy to work with mobile marketing and improve social media? If not, your competitors might be outselling you.
6. Overcoming new dealer model threats. Competition for the dealer model is coming from all over; Amazon even announced recently their online car-buying Website. So what can your dealership do to fight these new models and stay profitable?
7. Innovating on customer experience. Customers are expecting more and more when it comes to the car buying experience. You must learn about new technologies and see how you can keep a competitive advantage.