In Part 1, I told the story of Craig Bendele, a dealer from Florida who increased his revenue 50% each year for the past two years, while at the same time drastically cutting his work hours. Then in Part 2, I covered some of the sales and marketing strategies he used to get this impressive growth in revenue.
Now I’m going to discuss how he was able to cut his work hours.
What’s the one big difference between a McDonald’s and the average floor dealer? (HINT: it’s not the product getting sold.).
If you walk into any McDonald’s, odds are you won’t see the owner in the back flipping burgers, taking orders, wiping down tables, doing bookkeeping, or any of the other day- to-day tasks required to run a burger joint. In fact, you probably will never see the owner. He’s too busy either
- pursuing other business opportunities (like opening more McDonald’s franchises) or
- jetting around on his ski boat.
However, if you walk into the average flooring dealership, there’s an excellent chance the owner will be working the showroom, managing the warehouse, handling employee problems, and generally running in 27 different directions with his hair on fire. And he’s likely doing this 50 to 60 hours per week, including weekends.
So, what’s the difference between McDonald’s and the average dealer? For that matter, what’s the difference between a dealer who owns ten stores (and can’t possibly spend 60+ hours a week in each location) and the single-location dealer who can’t figure out how to stop working 60+ hours per week? One word:
The McDonald’s and the 10-store dealership are system-dependent, meaning the business runs on systems even when the owner isn’t around. By contrast, the typical mom-n-pop dealership is owner-dependent. If the owner doesn’t show up every day to babysit, things start falling apart.
The System-Dependent Dealership
Craig was able to cut his work hours because he transformed his business from owner-dependent to system-dependent. Here are the basic steps I train dealers to take when making this transformation:
- First, make a list of all the day-to-day tasks you are personally handling.
- Next, create written, step-by-step instructions on how these tasks should be performed. If it’s not written down it’s not a system, so make sure you write down the steps.
- Then delegate these tasks to different team members, training them on how to perform each task, and holding them accountable.
You should have a written sales process with scripts and procedures. That should include how the prospect gets greeted, how they are led into the sales process, how the in-home measure is scheduled and conducted, and so forth until the sale gets closed. I recommend weekly sales training to insure each team member is following the steps. That’s an excellent time to troubleshoot and refine your process. All the steps after the sale closed should be outlined, with detailed instructions and procedures for each step. Ordering the product, tracking the shipment, delivery, scheduling the installation, and customer follow-up.
Working On Rather Than In Your Business
Once your systems are in place and tasks are delegated to team members, your job shifts from doing tasks yourself to managing and refining the system. If a system breaks down, resist the urge to jump back in and do it yourself. Instead, fix the system. That is called working on rather than in your business. Getting there is a process that can be done a bit at a time over a period of months.
Some dealers might be thinking, “Wow, Jim, that seems like a lot of work.” True. But what’s more work? Implementing systems, or spending your entire career working 50 to 60 hours a week, stressed out, never able to grow your business beyond a certain level, and wondering if you’d be happier as an employee?
To Tons Of Customers!
Jim Augustus Armstrong is The “Coach”
Jim Augustus Armstrong is the President of Flooring Success Systems, a program that equips dealers to double their profits, cut their work hours in half and beat the boxes! Many dealers have totally transformed their businesses and their lives for the better after joining Flooring Success Systems.
See what real, live dealers are saying!