International Door & Operator Industry

JAN-FEB 2018

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 27 of 142

V O L U M E 5 1 I S S U E 1 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 MANAGEMENT Continued on page 26 by John Zoller & David Bowen, Zoller Consulting, Inc. V O L U M E 5 1 I S S U E 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 8 25 Business is very good now, and has been since the Great Recession. We have had eight (8) years of recovery, granted a slow recovery at times, but all indicators point to continued growth for 2018. However, at some point, the good times will wane. Business growth will recede. Prudent managers are always on the lookout for signs (think data!) to alert them of any changes in business, both up and down. Be vigilant! By carefully analyzing your dealership business, eventually, telltale signs of a slowdown will appear. The manager who is able to observe signs of a slowdown quickly has the upper hand. By observing these early signs of a decline in sales and productivity and hence lower gross profit, the prudent manager can make adjustments to orchestrate maximum performance at the beginning of a sales slide before his or her competitors realize there is a problem. Making the right moves at the very start of a decline in business often allows for the best results for the duration of a slowdown in business activity. On the other hand, for owners unaware of, or not understanding the early signs of a decline in business activity, trudging on as if nothing is wrong often leads to disastrous results and owner bewilderment (what happened!), worry, and panic. A late reaction to a slowdown makes it doubly hard to right the business. What are the signs of an impending decline in business activity and what can be done to mitigate the negative effects of a slide in sales and profitability? This is not to push the panic button today, but rather to encourage dealership owners to be alert to economic changes. If a downturn were to start today, what signs should the strong manager notice and what signs are valid areas of worry? • An increase in unemployment – currently, at 4.1% unemployment, the U.S. has virtually full-employment. Be Vigilant!

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