It is no big secret that one of the main driving forces behind any small business owner is the desire to succeed at doing something that you have a passion for. Small independent dealers are of course no exception. You face the same challenges as any of the bigger guys and are looking to not only grow your customer base, but thrive in today’s tough business environment.
Through sound business decisions about the tools you use in your business can help you seize opportunities that are certain to put you ahead of the game.
Managing cash flow
Any bank manager, accountant, or savvy business guru will tell you that “cash is king” and that it is also the lifeblood of any business, no matter what operations it may be involved in. Just as a body needs to keep fresh blood flowing through its veins, a business also needs a smooth movement of cash running in and out.
One of the key factors in positive cash flow management is to keep the funds coming in at a rate that will sustain the regular outgoings of the business. This requires a skilful balancing act on the part of the owner in ensuring that anything that cash is tied up in isn’t sitting around doing nothing.
This is where a good DMS comes into its own – by managing stock levels and instantly invoicing completed jobs. With the ability to accurately ascertain stock levels and outstanding accounts at the press of a button, small dealers are able to successfully manage the cash flow of their businesses.
Growing a loyal customer base
Whilst there are many factors that contribute towards the success of any business, you are going nowhere unless you have those all-important customers coming through the door. There is no shortage of clichés about the value of customers to a business, but the inescapable fact is that customer loyalty is hard to gain but easy to lose.
Choosing a DMS that allows you to keep a detailed track record of your customers’ history and easily find their details as soon as they call you up to book in a service is really important to delivering awesome customer service.
Not only that, the more information your DMS collects about your customers the easier it is to market to them in down season. For example, reminding them that their due for their next service or letting them know you’ve received some new merchandise they might be interested in.
By turning out prompt and professional invoices, ensuring that parts are always available, and sending out timely service reminders, a DMS will play a major role in affirming the loyalty of your customers. After all, if dealing with your business is easy, transparent, and hassle-free, why would they want to go anywhere else?
Plus when you choose a DMS that is cloud based means this data you collect about your customers is always backed up, and always secure. So even if you change locations or need to access your DMS from home, it will always be there.
Hiring the right people
Of course, the biggest and most important investment is in the people that you rely upon to get the job done.
As with your customers, if you want to retain loyal employees, you have to take good care of them. A part of that at least means creating a satisfying and pleasant working environment. The best employees are those that are allowed to get on with what they do best, and in the case of your technicians that is keeping the customer’s motorcycles or scooters on the road.
When you invest in a reliable DMS, your employees will be free to get on with the jobs your customers pay your business for – servicing and repairing their vehicles. Thanks to features like instant make and model information, spare parts lists, and fixed working schedules (that you should be able to find in a reputable DMS), they won’t ever need to walk away from the job to find the information that they need.