As 2018 draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect back on the year and look at what all your dealership or company has accomplished. Perhaps you exceeded sales goals you set at the beginning of the year, or retained a higher percentage of repeat customers. Or maybe your employee turnover rate was down from the year before. No matter how big or small your accomplishments, they deserve a proper celebration, or at least acknowledgement from your customers and staff.
Here are some ways you can make your “year in review” more effective as you look back at 2018:
Send Out a Newsletter
If your company already sends out a monthly newsletter, doing this will be something you already planned for. If not, take the time to sit down and go over some of the biggest highlights of your year.
Be sure to include relevant photos as well, that way there are visual examples of some of your accomplishments. Think of this as a Christmas card from your dealership to your customers and fellow employees. When I receive a Christmas card from someone I don’t talk to regularly throughout the year, I make sure to take the extra time to read about what their year has consisted of and what they have achieved.
The purpose of this newsletter should be to directly speak to your audience in terms of your accomplishments, not to over-inflate or overstate your sales numbers or achievements but to just touch on the important things.
If you don’t send regular newsletters, familiarize yourself with a platform such as MailChimp, Constant Contact or any other platform that fits your needs without overcomplicating what you setting out to do. There are plenty of free options available. Keep in mind that many CRM systems allow you to send mass newsletters out via their software.
Be sure to keep it concise and brief enough that it grabs people’s attention, getting straight to the point without too many unnecessary anecdotes or details. Think about the kinds of cards you like to receive and read for the holidays at the end of the year.
Set New or Higher Goals for Next Year
When you look back at your dealership’s year in review, what areas did you far exceed your goals? Maybe your profits within your F&I department were higher than you expected, or you obtained more followers on Instagram or Facebook than you anticipated.
Also look at the areas your dealership didn’t meet your goals exactly. What were the reasons you did not quite attain the goals you hoped for? Not enough money in your budget? Not enough staff members on your team? Make a plan of action for how to move forward in the new year to achieve these goals in the coming year.
I’m a firm believer in always setting big goals — both for myself and for my work. However, these big goals need to be realistic and logical. I think that goals for your business should reflect what you’ve been doing well and should continue doing as well as areas that could use improvement, no matter how small.
Give yourself and your dealership a strong timeline to fulfill new goals, and celebrate milestones as the year goes on. Find the crucial areas of interest to your dealership and focus on strategies that will continue to keep your brand consistent and strong. Never allow your business to become stagnant or complacent with the things you accomplish, and make 2019 the year you set new, higher goals for success.