For many dealers, these tough economic times have literally meant a struggle to survive. And even with the recent uptick in business, there is always a question about the future …What should we do to stay current and viable? How am I going to maintain or increase profits in this competitive environment?
As annuity accounts have dwindled in many markets and the need for new business development has risen, dramatic changes have been forced upon almost every selling organization. In many dealerships the old paradigm of salespeople doing it all—finding, closing and managing the projects through job closeout—has evolved into distinct separation of business development and account/project management roles. This shift has forced dramatic changes to the process model that supports the sales efforts.
Did you know the majority of closely-held and family owned businesses will change hands within the next five years? Are you like many business owners who are simply too busy working to think about how you would transition the ownership of your company, think you’re too young to consider exit planning or just do not know where to begin?
Our industry has spent the last 10+ years adapting to ever shrinking margins and volume. We have all been forced to embrace the “close to the bone” business model. Dealers have honed the multi-positioning of key employees and the painful release of others, while many if not all manufacturers have introduced more complex products but reduced the amount of dealer support they provide to bring them to market. The big question today: How much or how little “people power” should a dealer put in place to win and manage the work? How can a dealer create a robust, low-risk, flexible model for sustainable future growth with innovation, knowledge, stability and healthy margins? Many dealers struggle daily to manage their staff and resources through the constant ebb and flow of business that comes with the occasional tide wave of demand.
Outsourcing or the use of marketplace partners has become the norm in business today. Though a relatively new and limited concept for office furniture dealers, this practice has been fully embraced by many other industries. In the technology industry, hiring on an “as needed” basis is widely accepted because it is simply too costly to hold a permanent skilled brain trust in-house.