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As Seen in Park Press: Family Business Hurricane

As Seen in Park Press: Family Business Hurricane

Transitioning a family business to the next generation can feel a lot like hunkering down for a tremendous storm. Just like the winds and rain that push the walls and windows of a home, so too can the anxiety and stress in the family business push many past their breaking point. Often, you know the storm is coming with time to prepare, but hoping the storm will pass gets in the way of taking action. And, the closer the storm gets, the less time you have to fully prepare. It is, no doubt, stressful considering the impact of the storm, but ignoring it does not change the inevitable.

Proper hurricane preparation includes gathering batteries for flashlights or they’re not of much use. Gas for the generator and the chainsaw, water for cooking and drinking, screws for the plywood, sand for the sandbags, etc. Preparing well in advance makes the task at hand less overwhelming and with enough time, you can not only double check your work, but also catch anything that may have been missed. Whereas waiting until the last minute gives you fewer options, and you potentially end up huddled together, riding the storm out and hoping for the best. This is not the soundest strategy and sets you and your family up for potential disaster.

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As Seen in Automotive Buy Sell Report - Three Steps to Making Business Planning Fun for a Dealer

As Seen in Automotive Buy Sell Report - Three Steps to Making Business Planning Fun for a Dealer

Some things in life are actually fun to plan, such as weddings, vacations, and special celebratory events. The planning that goes into the event usually leads to a happy outcome, regardless of how long the planning takes and even if there are bumps along the way.

Business Planning, on the other hand, can get a bad rap. Even mentioning business planning to a fast-moving, high-energy dealer makes his or her eyes begin glaze over. So how do we make business planning fun, exciting, and worthwhile for dealers?

Step 1: Think Big

Envisioning what you want your dealership to be is one of the reasons you became a dealer. Allow yourself to think big in the areas of facility design, approaches to attracting and retaining talent, and developing unique customer acquisition/service initiatives. Think: What could I do today that would forever change the way I do business?

  • What can you do to capitalize on in the dealership to drive performance (New/used Car Sales, Parts, Service, etc)?
  • What can you do to build a rewarding culture for your people?
  • What sort of actions are you taking to stay ahead of changes in the industry, including continued generational diversification and new technology in both operations and automobiles?

Read the complete article on the Automotive Buy Sell Website website

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As Seen in The Huffington Post - “Please” and “Thank You” Are Getting in the Way of Your Leadership

As Seen in The Huffington Post - “Please” and “Thank You” Are Getting in the Way of Your Leadership

Consider some of the lines that you use in your day to day business conversations. Phrases such as “Please let me know when we can speak more about this…”, “Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today!”, “I look forward to working with you.” Sound familiar? Most recently, these were my “go to” phrases when interacting with colleagues, prospects and clients, especially through email.

As humans and specifically those with the XX chromosome, we have been conditioned to always mind our “p’s and q’s” and please and thank you are a natural part of who we are. And let’s be honest, when we’re trying to negotiate, sell a new idea, or navigate conflict in some way, we think that having manners and using exclamation points or smiley faces to show our excitement make us seem less pushy, and more likeable. The exclamation points are not the issue, rather, they do a great job of visualizing a distinct difference in male and female written communication.

 

 

Read the complete article on the Huffington Post website 

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As Seen in Park Press: Do Good, Have Fun, Make Money

As Seen in Park Press: Do Good, Have Fun, Make Money

What is your workday mantra? The Chairman of The Rawls Group, Loyd Rawls, reminds us often to “do good, have fun, and make money.” I believe it is a tone to set for the day.

The order in which it’s spoken makes all the difference. I find myself often wondering if I’ll hit all three, in that order, when going through my day. Are the options under consideration going to do “good”? If so, will the outcome feel or result in good, and for whom? What kind of difference will it make to those involved? And, will it be “fun”? If involved in a challenging business scenario, working in a bit of fun while working thru the issue may result in your partners or team members to more likely work together and take on the challenges of growing a business. Finally, I ask myself if the outcome will make money. After all, we are in business to generate a profit, and if we’re not, then how do we expect to survive?

In a perfect world, I’d stop and contemplate each decision or potential outcome and maybe sleep on it to get it right. Life moves quickly and most of the time you must simply see the pitch and hit it. I’ve found that there are three that have helped me in this quick analysis which you may find helpful:

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As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee - The Trouble with Saying ' I Got This'

As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee - The Trouble with Saying ' I Got This'

Designated successors generally have a vision of what being "the leader" is; I will do this better, this differently, and these changes will be made immediately. As one works toward this role of leader or owner, one key component to understand is the practice of humility. Champ Rawls discusses how to avoid the "I Got This" mentality to better yourself and your team during the transition of ownership.

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Juggling Expectations in the Family Business - By Kendall Rawls

Being in the family business is no easy task. You are juggling expectations amongst your loved ones from two different spectrum – family and business– as well as preconceived notions from managers, employees and vendors that you are likely enabled, under-qualified, and of course, grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth. No matter your work ethic, passion, and drive for the business; all family member employees are fighting the nepotism stereotype.

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As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee - Benefits Of Employee Engagement Surveys

As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee - Benefits Of Employee Engagement Surveys

Dan Schneider writes in Multi-Unit Franchisee on the benefits of using employee engagement surveys to better understand your business's strengths and weaknesses, and how to use the results to improve your work culture and performance.

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As Seen in Dealer Magazine - How Do I Deal With An Employed Spouse Who Causes Management Problems?

As Seen in Dealer Magazine - How Do I Deal With An Employed Spouse Who Causes Management Problems?

Loyd Rawls for Dealer Magazine about the Family Business Conundrum: you cannot run a family like a business and you cannot run a business like a family. But what if you work in the business with your spouse? Learn how to overcome the challenges that marriage and joint business operation present.

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As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee - Trust and Teamwork Build Success

Organizational productivity is dependent upon teamwork, which I describe as two or more people working together for a common goal. Team can be expressed or implied, conscious or unconscious, but regardless, organizational productivity depends upon the effectiveness of interdependent, collaborative effort. Teamwork can be fair, good, or great, but there really is no such thing as bad teamwork. If you think about it, bad-teamwork is actually an oxymoron. To further this point, the English language doesn't have one single word to describe the opposite of teamwork. We generally associate "the opposite of teamwork" with uncooperativeness, inter-organizational competition, backbiting, and under productivity.

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How to Improve Teamwork and Increase Productivity

Organizational productivity is dependent upon teamwork, which I describe as two or more people working together for a common goal. “Team” can be expressed or implied, conscious or unconscious, but regardless, organizational productivity depends upon the effectiveness of interdependent, collaborative effort.

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Knowing Your Role and Playing Your Position

Football is one of my favorite sports and football season is one of my favorite times of year! It has been said that football is the ultimate team sport. Success on each play requires each player understand their role, work together, communicate effectively and ultimately execute to achieve the desired outcome. The teams that win consistently have committed players who know their role, play their position and trust their teammates will do the same each play. From my perspective, there is a striking parallel between football and family business. To successfully compete and operate a family-owned dealership or dealership group, requires each family member, manager and employee to understand their unique role, work together, communicate effectively and operate interdependent departments well. Whether you are a team member of a family business or a superstar on a football team, knowing your role and playing your position are key ingredients to success.

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The Culture of People

I admit it. I’m an Apple junkie. Our family has iPhones, MacBooks, an iMac, Apple TV, and several iPads (I bought my 84-year old computer-less mother-in-law one last Christmas and had to increase my data plan just to accommodate her web surfing!). I will not, however, be sporting an Apple Watch since I don’t wear a watch anyway and even with sleek looks, the thought of wearing a ‘computer’ on my wrist reminds me too much of the geeks of yore who wore their calculator watches that required a toothpick stylus to peck at the small keyboard.

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A New Succession Challenge: Private Equity

The automobile industry has encountered significant changes over the last 20 years. We have seen public companies come into the market. We have seen the dot-com balloon inflate and burst. We have seen banks offer money to anyone with an IQ over room temperature and then call loans from the smartest, brightest and most successful in our industry. We have seen franchises devalued, nuked, given away and arbitrated as manufacturers went belly up and gave up control to our government. And here we are with stock market returns struggling to beat inflation and the investment world recognizing that auto dealerships are a good buy at six, seven and eight times adjusted earnings.

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Spell It Out So There Is No Doubt, By Denise Ware

As a successful business owner with young children, homes in several states and a net worth in the millions, you need to periodically review your estate planning documents. Most likely you have taken your attorney’s advice and adopted a Pour-over Will and Revocable Trust. You have made important decisions regarding the disposition of assets upon your death.

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How to Create a Productive and Empowering Culture

How do you create a positive business culture where all those associated view your business feel a stewardship responsibility for its success and/or its failures? To navigate this subject, let’s first focus on what generally gets in the way.

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Exit Strategy: Is There A Role For Me After Transitioning?

I was working with a business owner, John, who was in the process of transitioning management and leadership responsibilities of the business over to a family member. At one point in the process, John asked,

“When Tim takes over my role, what do I do?”

For most business owners, they will develop an exit strategy that unfolds gradually over time. In other words, there will not be a “cold turkey” exit from the business. Developing a strategy that allows a gradual exit rather than a flip of the switch event provides you an opportunity to expand your vision about your future role in the company and identify a new purpose outside of the business. John, had not provided himself that opportunity and felt a little threatened by the fact that Tim would be taking over his role, leaving him feeling “sent out to pasture.”

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Communication Overhaul

As a therapist, my most frequent request is to “Improve Communication.” The family will express they, “don’t communicate well,” however, what I find is that they do communicate well; they just don’t use appropriate communication techniques.

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As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee Report - Positional Power: 5 Ways to Find Common Ground with Your Business Partners

If you happen to be an active majority partner in a business, you may sometimes find yourself struggling for alignment with your minority partner or partners, especially if the minority partners are also involved in the business. They assume because they have some percentage of ownership that they may have the positional power to make unilateral decisions that move the business in a direction that suits their liking. In short, they throw their "weight" around; and they pay little attention to the unintended consequences of doing so.

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When is the Right time to Discuss Succession Plans with Family Members?

In 1988, Jack was thrust into the leadership position of the family business his father started in the late 1950’s. At the time Jack took over the family business there was only one dealership and approximately sixty-five employees. Over the years the business had become highly productive and profitable in large part due to his father’s incredible work ethic, customer focus, business savvy and knack for attracting quality employees. Jack’s father was a humble man who attributed much of his success to luck, good fortune and being in the right place at the right time. “Timing is everything” was a phrase Jack’s father used frequently. From a business perspective, there very much could have been some truth to timing and being in the right place at the right time but for Jack, timing could not have been worse!

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How Do I Become an Effective Cross Generational Coach?

There are multiple generations in almost every organizational and business setting. If not at start up, then during transition periods of one kind or another. Older generations don't get younger ones; and younger ones don't get the older ones. Are you puzzled by why it always seems to be that way?

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