Now that thousands of auto dealerships have learned their fate, the survivors have an opportunity to remake their businesses — even in this down economy. As John Baldoni points out in his post on Harvard Business Publishing, many of these dealers are small business owners who have endured decades of economic expansion and contraction. This longevity, according to Baldoni, can be linked to plain and simple business excellence.
Here are the key principles Baldoni underscores about the way local auto dealers operate:
- They know their customers and offer a range of vehicles to choose from.
- They offer honest and reliable service.
- They invest in their communities by sponsoring causes ranging from education to sports.
- They seize opportunity.
Baldoni's bottom line is that local auto dealers know how to run their businesses to make a profit for the long-term. One detail that he doesn't mention is that auto dealers have historically been one of the largest spenders in local ad dollars in both print and TV. Now that we know which businesses will survive the most recent shake-out, it might be time to visit your dealer with fresh ideas and remind them that consistent advertising comprises another key to long-term success.[Source: Baldoni, John. What You Can Learn from Small-Town Auto Dealers, Harvard Business, 5.18.09]