By Thomas Shaughness, NADA Academy Instructor

You can probably name your favorite football coach without missing a beat. But, do you have an answer for, who is your favorite financial coach?

With any athletic team, the coach is a given and built into the strategy of winning. While players are a valuable part of the equation, the true expert in winning is the coach. Outside of the sports world and at the dealership, the accounting team is any store’s coach. The key to success for any dealership is to seek out a financial coach, go through the training and practice to ensure a financial win.

Automobile dealerships are complex businesses. In actuality, a dealership is more akin to four or five businesses operating under one roof including new vehicle sales, pre-owned vehicle sales, service center, parts sales and perhaps a collision center. Typically, a company under an umbrella brand has a financial statement for their independent division; however, a dealership’s financial statement combines all department financial statements into one document that can range from four to fourteen pages – not an easy feat to digest.

A good coaching point for anyone in the auto retail business is: Get familiar with the numbers in your dealership’s financial statement. Begin with cash; it’s your businesses lifeline. Develop a short form that itemizes the largest daily uses and sources of your cash flow, which will help you focus on keeping your contracts in transits to less than three days, collecting your receivables, as well as paying your floorplan, lien payoffs and vendors. By closely watching your cash, you will start to see the timing of the inflow and outflow of cash so that you can make sure that you never end up in a negative cash position.

For more information about cash flow, NADA has some key resources online including Cash Flow Management Fundamentals and A Dealer Guide to Cash Flow Management.

Or, if you are looking for your own financial coach, look no further: NADA is offering a five-day Financial Management Seminar on March 16-2020 in Austin, Texas. This seminar is a great opportunity for your general manager and office manager/controller to learn how to mine information from your financial statement and improve overall operation and profitability. Send one of your staff members or come as a team!

Posted by NADA

National Automobile Dealers Association