The end of the year traditionally has become a time to reflect on the past and to make some resolutions for the coming 12 months.
While losing weight, exercising more and spending more time with family are givens, here are some ideas tire dealers might want to consider for their 2005 resolutions:
Resolve to reserve an entire day early in the year to take a hard look at your dealership and get your business plan in order, including updating and/or developing a company manual.
And while you're at it, make sure you have a succession plan in place that takes into account the inevitable-that you may someday want to retire and turn the reins over to a family member or staffer or sell the business.
Resolve to get up to speed on tire pressure monitoring systems so when they become mandatory on new passenger and light truck vehicles beginning in September 2005 your dealership personnel are prepared to service them.
Resolve to take to heart the words of 2004 Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award winner Joe Meares, who urged in his acceptance speech to use people-first language when referring to someone with a disability and not underestimate the potential contributions of people with developmental disabilities.
In that same spirit, resolve to give back-through charitable giving, civic work and/or volunteer activities-to the community that has supported your dealership. This is not only the right thing to do, but it also can help your business.
Resolve to take time to look at your dealership through your customers' eyes.
Are your counter personnel courteous and knowledgeable, are your bathrooms clean and is the waiting room inviting?
If not, take steps to make improvements in these areas. Vow to treat every customer professionally-every day.
Resolve to seek input from your employees on a more regular basis. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you learn and how this also can serve as a morale booster.
Resolve to be proactive in cultivating new customers. That is, take a fresh look at your marketing area to see what potential business you might be overlooking. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and make some cold calls.
Resolve to support your local state and/or regional tire dealer association as well as the national Tire Industry Association for their efforts in providing training and networking opportunities and promoting legislative issues of benefit to the tire industry.
Finally, resolve to pat yourself on the back every once in a while for doing a good job- since no one else probably will!
All of us at Tire Business wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year!