Finding the right answers

matt_new-mug2Denny Hecker is widely known in the Minneapolis/St. Paul-area. A long-time auto dealer based here in the Twin Cities, Hecker's career changed abruptly this year when, under the pressure of the economy, his numerous area businesses collapsed dramatically. Over the course of the last few months, Hecker's empire has come crashing down around him in unimaginable fashion. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, this is a short list of his experiences: he's been sued by Chrysler, Ford and GM (the latter of which eventually dropped the case); 21 of his stores were foreclosed on; he's the subject of a criminal investigation; he's being sued for alleged fraud; several of his properties have been raided by investigators; and he has been charged with DWI.

Now the latest news out of the Hecker camp: he's launching an auto dealer consultancy business called New Dimension Advisors.

Really? Really. And perhaps the most shocking part is that someone's loaning him $100,000 to do it.

Downturns like this have a push-pull effect on consultancy businesses. On the one hand, difficult markets force many businesses with a chance for survival to go looking for answers. They need those answers, and they need them fast. And conveniently or not, at their service now — due to budget cuts, layoffs and as in Mr. Hecker's case, failed businesses — are an inordinate number of newly minted "consultants." In some cases, these business-people-turned-experts-for-hire provide excellent insight and can make a profession of the calling; often times, however, they diminish the perception of what quality, proven consultants bring to market.

The truth is, today's consultancy market can fool you if you don't pick the right company or person to partner with. Fortunately, for those dealers in the marine business, we here at Boating Industry have done your homework for you. And we're delivering some of the industry's top consultants with the most timely messages to one location: the 2009 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, to be held in Orlando, Nov. 16-18.

Among the speakers at this one-of-a-kind event will be marine industry consultants John Spader, David Parker, Noel OsborneJan Kelly, Joe Verde and  Don Cooper. These are all experienced consultants/trainers with whom we've worked and are crafting presentations that are critical to your business success, especially during these difficult economic times.

It is vitally important that the questions you have in your business on a day-to-day basis are answered with proven solutions from qualified, trustworthy experts. And that's exactly what this event will deliver.

You could pay to bring Mr. Hecker into your dealership, but we think we've got the better deal. We hope to see you there.

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