January '21

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18 • RV PRO • January 2021 rv-pro.com a beautiful chance here," Spader said. "Is it Staples that has the 'yes' button? What COVID has given us in the RV industry has been a big reset button." Too often over the past several months, he said, he and his colleagues have dis- cussed clients wanting to make emotional – rather than rational – business decisions. Instead, when things are as they are, that's a time to return to proven, solid business practices, according to Spader. One place to start is for dealers to ask themselves: Are they focused on stability or growth? "In highly uncertain or volatile times, I don't care if you're a top 20 percent-er or a bottom 20 percent-er, or somewhere in between, the answer is usually 'stability,'" Spader said. In practical terms, he said, that includes: • Having a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.5 percent or lower. • Having a profitability margin of 25 to 30 percent. • Creating and maintaining a strong culture where employees feel wel- comed, particularly those in the service department. "Kudos to the thousands of you who have really put the industry on their back," Spader said of these front-line workers in the service departments who have had to deal with the struggle to get parts and sometimes angry customers. Other "must-do's" for dealerships right now, Spader said, include: • Pay very close attention to inven- tory – what's selling, what's not. • Identify your "mini-max" volume level, because that will help deter- mine how much staffing you need. • Build up a six- to 12-month cash reserve. • Mostly for tax's sake, but also just to move it, clear out all the aged inventory by the end of the year. "If we can't get rid of that aged inven- tory in this market, when do we think it's going to go?" Spader said. The bottom line? Using this time to hit that "reset" button will pay off once the COVID days are over. And they will be over – even though right now nobody knows when. "Bad habits are made in good times; good habits are made in bad times," Spader said, asking rhetorically, "What bad habits are we slipping into?" Multitude of RVDA Educational Sessions Available Online The RVDA Virtual Convention/Expo offered many educational sessions aimed at keeping sales teams' approaches fresh and on point. In addition to more than 40 on-de- mand sessions covering all aspects of dealer operations, vendor exhibitor booths are open for attendees throughout the on-demand portion of the convention/ expo, which closes on Jan. 31. To learn about all of the resources available, click on the following link: www.rvda.org/convention. RVDA President Phil Ingrassia (pictured here at a previous RVDA Convention) thanked his staff for their tireless efforts during a challenging year. Read Read RV PRO RV PRO Coverage of RVDA's Coverage of RVDA's Convention/Expo Convention/Expo Economist: Broader Economic Signs Bode Well for RV Market http://rvpro.ly/pez41 Expert: Make Your Dealership a Magnet for Top Performers http://rvpro.ly/gpiiv RVDA Keynote Speaker Stresses Importance of Customer Experience http://rvpro.ly/z0dbe Dewalt: The Best Success is Found in the Process http://rvpro.ly/sigr4 Rees: Don't Wait to Implement Changes to Keep New Buyers http://rvpro.ly/2c11d O'Rourke: COVID Initially Put KOA in Deep Hole http://rvpro.ly/0i1vr

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