By Myril Shaw As a provider of F&I and Compliance excellence, we are always looking to make the best better. As part of that quest for continual improvement, we get excited when we find dealers who are hungry for growth. We find them most often in 20 Groups.
Full disclosure here before we go any further. We do not facilitate 20 Groups. However, we do enjoy working with 20 Group dealers.
David Parker is the founder and owner of Parker Business Planning, and he does facilitate 20 Groups, among other things. He likes to talk about the four modes that dealerships can be in:
Growth mode - always looking for improvement
Trouble mode - not succeeding like they want and knowing it
Steady mode - content
Know-it-all - Too smart to learn anything new
The key to these four modes is that Growth Mode is healthy and will continue to improve. Trouble Mode recognizes they have have issues and are working on it. Steady Mode and Know-it-all are both in trouble and just don't know it.
20 Groups are a great way to move out of trouble and maintain growth, as 20 Group dealers share best practices, learn from each other and focus on continual improvement.
"The true 'deliverable' of a 20 Group is that it drives continuous improvement in ways that a manufacturer cannot duplicate," wrote Parker in a Boating Industry article. "Belonging to a 20 Group creates peer pressure among members to improve their financials, facilities, processes, procedures and CSI. This improvement feeds on itself; as one dealer’s improvements are reflected in the financials of the 20 Group report, the other members are motivated to implement the same practice. Each dealer leaves a meeting with an 'Action List' of ideas to improve his or her operations."
It is certainly possible to grow and improve without being in a 20 Group. It is also possible to lose weight and get the best shape of your life entirely on your own. However, for many of us, it is easier in a group. Getting motivation from others and providing motivation is a great way to improve.
Here are some of the ways membership in a 20 Group can improve your operation:
• Service bay tips, techniques, and profits
• Personnel management and staffing levels
• Sales, signage and advertising
• Revenue targets
• Profit targets
• F&I profit levels and targets
• Compliance approaches and focus
• Industry trends
• Manufacturer issues
• Insurance and protection topics
Are you in a 20 Group today? If you are, stay there! If not, you may want to ask yourself why not?
Yes, there is power in 20. While 20 Groups are not the only way to drive continual improvement, they are a fantastic way!
And if you have stories of how membership in a 20 Group has helped your boat busines, we'd love to hear them.
Myril Shaw is the COO of Dealer Profit Services and a member of the Boating Industry Top 100 Leadership Alliance.