Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why isn't there more entrepreneurial thinking at dealerships?

You'd think that dealerships would be a hotbed for entrepreneurial behavior. That's what manufacturers that use dealers expect: the manufacturer builds something and the dealer sells it. By why is there so much friction between those two entities?

One answer is that dealerships quite often are not entrepreneurial. Sure, they started out that way when Dad or Grandpa or Grandma founded them. But today, most dealerships are family businesses and it's the second or even third generation that is in charge. Those second and third generation folks are smart, but quite often they're a different breed. They're more conservative, less risk-taking. They are focused are maintaining the business, less on growing it.

Sometimes dealerships are started by enthusiasts or technical people, such as engineers or mechanics. Again, they may be brilliant, but thinking like an entrepreneur is a stretch for them.

It's time we realized that training is an answer--but not the traditional product, technical or soft-skills training. We need a new kind of training and development: to awaken the entrepreneur at our dealerships or at least open their eyes to entrepreneurial thinking.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

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