Upfront: Mid-year review preview

By Steve Noe

With your busy season and spring behind you, summer started, and the first six months of 2014 officially in the books, now is the perfect time to analyze what transpired in the first half of the year and strategize for the second half. As a result, we chose to make “Mid-year review” the primary focus of this edition of OPE — which I’m proud to say is my 200th as the editor of this magazine.

In the cover story, titled “Mid-year review of your dealership,” on pages 12-13, Jeff Sheets of OPE Consulting Services stresses the importance of knowing and tracking your numbers frequently. He also delves into which numbers you should be paying the closest attention to and why, so you can make the necessary adjustments in your business. To illustrate his points, he cites his consulting work with Jerry Clay from Clay’s Outdoor Power Equipment, a dealership in Raleigh, N.C.

Immediately following the cover story on pages 14-15, we share the results of a dealer survey that we recently conducted in our “OPE Dealer Mid-year Progress Report.” As you will see, we asked dealers about their expectations heading into 2014 and how they fared in meeting those expectations in the first half of the year. We also asked dealers, based on their first-half performance, what adjustments they planned to make in the second half of 2014, and what was their outlook for the remainder of the year. I would like to thank all of those dealers who took the time out of their busy schedules to complete the survey. If you did not participate in the survey but would like to weigh in, please feel free to e-mail me your responses to our questions at snoe@specialtyim.com and I will be happy to add them to the online version of the article at www.outdoorpowerequipment.com.

Arguably the best and easiest way to know and track your numbers is by investing in a business management software system and website services. Therefore, we bring you the latest trends and technological advances on those two fronts from the industry’s leading providers in our “Business Management Software System & Website Services Survey” on pages 16-21.

Speaking of website services, Heather Blessington, ARI’s chief marketing officer, also informs you on how to use paid search to target mobile shoppers in her article on pages 22-23, giving you yet another strategy that you can employ in the second half of the year.

Hopefully, all of this advice leads to a successful second half of the year for you and your dealership. Best of luck the rest of 2014!

OPE Editor Steve Noe


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