In past blog posts we have mentioned that our car dealership, Approved Auto Sales, is a member of a Twenty Group industry consulting group. As a member of a Twenty Group we report all kinds of car lot data ranging from sales and collection figures to inventory turnover and personnel expense. Our data is then compared to the data turned in by the other nineteen members who make up the Twenty Group. This statistical analysis, or benchmarking, allows us to see how our dealership is operating compared to other well run dealerships across the country.
In our consulting group’s monthly magazine, The Dealer Business Journal, I came across an article spelling out the importance of benchmarking. The article goes on to make the point that merely collecting an array of statistics each month is not enough. . . it boils down to what you do with the data. Do you act on it by implementing policies and procedures that move your business in the right direction? Or, do you just make excuses? The article I speak of really hit on the importance of not making excuses and I thought it was worth sharing.
Taken from the article:
“Resolve to separate yourself from your emotional attachment with your business. This will always be a difficult task. The dealer’s tendency is to defend weakness and to make exceptions for poor performance because most will identify themselves personally with their dealerships. How many times have you heard or said, “my market is different” or “my customers are different.” Is this a valid point or merely an excuse tendered to soothe your ego? It is imperative that you do not formulate excuses for your deficiencies. Dealers must realize that the dealership is an entity unto itself and must be analyzed objectively. How would you critique your benchmark data if you did not know it was yours? Isn’t that the most honest and objective assessment you can make?
Although the article speaks of dealerships I think it touches on most all in business and life in general. It is easy to be critical of others but it is most beneficial to be critical of ourselves.
I hope you have a great week! — Luke
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” George Washington