Steps to Take NowBy Garry Bartecki
Article Date: 12-01-2009
Copyright(C) 2009 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Do you know how many free resources are available at your finger tips? Small companies, this is critical for you, too!
Today's advice is called:
Steps to take now. How about we change that to Things to do now, and if that still sounds like I am asking for a lot of work on your part how about Easy things to do now. That better? Good, now let's get to it.
1. Sign up to receive AED's blog right now. It is titled AEDToday and you can sign up by clicking the button on the homepage or going straight www.aednet.org/aedtoday. Do it right now so it comes directly to your Inbox at the end of every day, and after you do make sure you read Kim Phelan's posting on Nov. 2 about the CIT bankruptcy. There is plenty of free info being dished out on this blog every day, including operating tips, tax tips, financing tips, industry discussions, etc. What's even better is your ability to ask questions or post comments on your own. All managers in every dealership should be required to sign on and participate. This is a new, important and free information and dialoguing tool available to help you get through these tough times. Please use it!
2. Take a hard look at AED Summit taking place in January in San Antonio. I know things are tough, but if there ever was a meeting where you can find all the players you need to talk to about our industry and how to plan for the future this is the place. Pay special attention to Michael Marks' workshop about the "New Normal" for dealers of the future. I checked the program myself and plan to ask certain speakers to include topics of interest to me, and I know they will do that. Put your plan together and bring your questions with you – I am sure you will come away with a better understanding of what you need to do to survive and prosper going forward.
3. Tell your CFO you are participating in next year's Cost of Doing Business survey, and to get ready to do that if you don't already. If you ever needed a benchmarking comparison of all your departments, the spring of 2010 is when you are going to need it. We are only talking about a two-hour prep time. Well worth it in every respect.
4. Visit AED's Action Center online (http://capwiz.com/aedaction/dbq/officials/?lvl=C) to look up the contact information of your state and federal legislators. When you get that info, send them an e-mail and tell them you expect them to spend their time working to:
- Create jobs
- Get banks to finance small business
- Stay out of the health care business
And then continue to monitor events coming out of D.C., many of which are highlighted in AEDNews, the monthly Washington Insider newsletter, and our blog – send us your comments and suggestions regarding any or all pieces of proposed legislation. It is time to take back control of Congress because they are totally out of control!
So far I have asked for about 10 minutes of your time, and it is time well spent if you follow through.
This next part will take a bigger commitment, but it is probably time you are spending already putting together a game plan for 2010 and beyond. To get started, go back to the blog Kim wrote (aednet.org/aedtoday) and re-read the paragraphs discussing future business expectations as expressed by Ron Riecks (Wells Fargo Construction President) and Mark Killpack (former CIT executive and current Senior VP of BOKF Equipment Finance). Both are telling you the old days are gone and you need to deal with your "new" situation by right-sizing your business. For budgeting, use 2009 results as a guide for 2010. In short, make it work to fit 2010 expected revenues while managing debt at the same time.
That last part is tough, especially since 2009 has been so bad to begin with. The point I am trying to make, however, is that AED has resources to help you with these issues, especially smaller dealers lacking the internal resources to professionally deal with these problems.
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