By John Spader
As published in RVBusiness, March/April 2022
It’s official now … for all of its ups and downs, 2021 is a done deal. The only thing left to do is file your tax return and make your plans for 2022.
Hopefully by now you and your management team have set aside some time to do a formal review of 2021. What went right last year? What worked? What didn’t? What do we need to change? While it’s true that many dealers made record profits in 2021, it is also true that the top performers once again found ways to outpace the rest of the pack, in some cases significantly. So even though you probably had a good year in 2021, it’s a safe bet that there are also areas of needed improvement.
Let’s flash forward in time. Soon enough, it will be early 2023 and you’ll be looking back at 2022. What will you see?
Will 2022 be a year where you met clearly-defined budgets and business goals? Or will you take a “hit it and hope” approach, just drifting along and accepting whatever the market gives you? In other words, in 2022 will you develop a business plan and involve your employees (as appropriate) in the achievement of this plan? Will employees have daily, weekly, and monthly activity and results goals so everyone knows where they stand at all times? Or will it be a year of mushroom management, with everyone is in the dark and making all kinds of assumptions about their performance and your business.
Will you look back on 2022 and be proud that you took the time to design a great inventory management system for the year … and you followed it? If the market changes and business suddenly softens, will your inventory plan allow you to make adjustments, or will you just pile them high into 2023? We all know demand has been high and supply short, but will 2022 be the year that you carefully map out the right products for your market and plot your orders in advance … or will you still be taking whatever they are building?
Will this be the year that your strategic planning included vision, mission and values so that you can build a company culture so strong that great employees stay, weak ones leave, and everyone who visits your business knows intuitively what your business stands for and why it is different than the mega-dealer down the street? Or will you steer clear of the “soft side” of the business in 2022, and just hope a good culture naturally develops?
Will 2022 be the year where performance management becomes the core focus of all your managers? Will they commit to the daily one-on-ones, regular results reviews, and all the other best practices of developing high performance? And, will you commit to doing the same with the management team? Will those who support your culture, but need assistance improving results, be offered training, support, and encouragement to move their results needle? And will those who “get the numbers” but do not support your values and culture – you all know the type – finally be shown the door in 2022? Or will they still be there, collecting big paychecks while eating away at the future vision of your business.
2021 is in the history books. Not a thing we can do about that. But every single one of us has the opportunity to have a tremendous impact on 2022. Give some thought to what you want to look back on when 2022 is wrapping up … then go make it happen. You can’t do a thing about 2021, but 2022 is yours for the taking.