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Dealers budget time and budget in Las Vegas

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Nineteen DSP (Dealer Strategic Planning Inc.) 20 group members successfully participated in DSP’s first budget workshop. The workshop was held at the Monte Carlo hotel during the 2012 SEMA (Specilaty Equipment Market Association) Show in Las Vegas, Nev., recently.

Under the guidance of President Norm Gaither and Financial Specialist Patrick Smith, these independent business owners returned to their operations with a detailed business budget for 2013.

“I've never taken the time to do a formal budget before," says Jeff Webster, president of Take Ten Tire & Lube in Ponca City, Okla. "The exercise was absolutely worth my time.

"I have a better feeling for my expectations next year, and feel like I am better prepared for next year’s market demands. I'm really looking forward to plugging in monthly results to measure how we are doing.”

Gaither says he was pleased at the outcome.

“Having a budget for your business is one of the most important tools for success. Unfortunately, many tire dealers don’t put a budget together for a variety of reasons, such as limited financial skills, lack of time, or the biggest obstacle, working in their business instead of on their business.”

When dealers join a DSP 20 group, they are required to input their monthly financial results using a simple online template. Each month, DSP consolidates individual store results and publishes an online report so that dealers can compare their results to others in their group and the group average. This bank of financial data provides an excellent start for formulating a budget.

“It was great to be away from the office and completely focus on the budget," says Laura Strickland, office manager of Royal Tire Service in Sylacauga, Ala. "It was one of those things that we said we were going to do, but just never quite got around to it.

"Having the workshop forced us to put a budget in writing and be proactive instead or reactive or no action at all to address various issues in our numbers. Everything was set up and ready for us to start plugging in numbers! It wasn’t very hard at all. Now we have a foundation to build on for the future."

Jeff Pohlman, a multi-store owner from Cincinnati, Ohio, says the workshop was a great tool "for forcing me take a look at the entire 2013 year instead of the month-to-month approach I have been using. I’m now more equipped to prepare for the final fiscal year end, and I have a plan on how to make it a more profitable result.”

Based on the interest, participation and success of this initial workshop, Dealer Strategic Planning officials say it "likely" will hold another budget workshop at the 2013 SEMA Show. Independent tire and auto service dealers interested in learning more should contact one of the following people:

Pat Brown, vice president of marketing, at (419) 420-5915 or;

Paul Chizeck at (910) 409-7293 or

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