Nobody can say when the economy started tanking, there are lots of opinions. But, it seems to me that Fall 08 was the start of our current situation. Let’s decide it was September 08 for sake of argument. Are you doing anything different today that you were 7 months ago? If so, what? If not, why not?
There are countless ways to improve. Countless initiatives, strategies, plans, changes and adjustments that COULD be made. Most folks are doing the same things today as they were last fall, most folks have changed nothing. Because of this, they get what they deserve - less of everything. “If you keep doing what you always did you are going to keep getting what you always got” - or something like that, you know the saying. That was generally true in the past. But, wait, think about it for a minute. This is not necessarily true anymore.
One of the biggest challenges facing dealers today is the rapid pace of change - outside of their dealerships. The fact is, if you keep doing what you did (in good times or bad), you are not necessarily going to get what you always got. You see my friend, times are changing and changing fast. Take Twitter for example. Last fall Twitter was a trendy up-start. Today, millions of folks post Tweets multiple times per day. Twitter is on pace to out-number Facebook in the next few months. That seems impossible, Facebook has 250 million users! How? Tough to say for sure but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s happening, with or without you. Unfortunately, there are are thousands of dealers and industry pros ignoring these everyday trends. Why? Because the change is happening outside dealer walls, office walls and trade-show walls. Look over the wall my friend!
So if things are changing at a record pace, if our personal and professional lives are fundamentally different, how and the heck can we expected to keep up? I’m not convinced anyone can keep current on ALL the trends of our complicated world. But, you can, and should, choose a few trends and try to stay current on those.
My advice is this: Choose three mass-accepted communities, main stream outfits like Twitter, Facebook, Craigs List or another online giant. Next, take the time to understand how the three you chose work. Get involved. Read. Post. Participate. What do they do different? Who are they helping? What problems are they solving? Why are millions of people lining up to participate?
You may surprise yourself at the insights you gain by simply participating. Humans are habit oriented creatures. Get into the habit of checking in, looking around, opening your eyes and mind. Discover something. You do stand something to gain by developing a deeper understanding of the new world order, our new global network? I’m not the only one that things this, am I?
Part of the problem with change is not understanding what’s happening around you. Gaining a new perspective on how others are changing may help you discover what needs to change in your dealership so you can position yourself to be better off 7 months from now. I have no idea what you need to change but I can guarantee that something in your organization has room for improvement. I don’t have a crystal ball to tell you what that something is. However, I do believe that your participation in growing social trends will help you discover for yourself what changes make sense.
Don’t do what you’ve always done, don’t get what you’ve always got. Change something already!