Steve Zarwell: Keep Your Cool

Publish Date: 
Aug 21, 2009

A DEALER FRIEND of mine sent me an e-mail the other day that expressed how you should be running your business right now. Keep your, display your, react with… Composure.

Composure is much more than a fancy word for keeping your cool. For those of us who have raced before we know what that means, it means softening our bodies and letting the bike do its thing. In auto racing they talk about "soft hands.” A good friend and I went on a ride this weekend and encountered rain, wind, traffic and maybe snow (not sure, we were at nearly 12,000 feet elevation) and could barely see where we were going. Composure was a good thing!

So when you think of your business I think composure is a good idea. Look, business has been dicey at best, but we all know that there are things we can do to make it through these times and come out better than ever. Composure is the first step to making good decisions, not hasty decisions.

Here are some key elements that can make a difference right now.

1) Look at your traffic: do you have the correct staffing? That's a hard reality when looking at a great team and having to lay some off.

2) Cost containment.: A Line-by-line review of your expenses. That doesn't mean cutting everything! Keep your composure and make the right decisions.

3) Raise your investment on the things that can actually keep and build your business. Things like bringing your repeat customers back, like staying in touch with them and offering them opportunities that WILL bring them back.

It is fairly common when we talk to dealers that there are things right on the surface that could make this coming Fall and Winter a lot better for the checking account.