AFC

Showing 193–208 of 219 results

  • Keep your guard up at tax time

    Fall 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 698

    Abstract: This year, profits are down and losses up for many dealerships — maybe this is a year, one might reason, that Uncle Sam, and his IRS agents, might give dealerships a break. Forget about it: small business audits have been on the rise. But there are steps a dealer can take to satisfy an IRS auditor, including proving an intent to make a profit, even when losing money; keeping salaries reasonable; tracking cash sales; and keeping accurate records of previous years’ LIFO invoices.

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  • I will survive – Your manufacturer’s undoing needn’t be yours

    Fall 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 690

    Abstract: Those dealerships still standing at the approach of 2010 deserve congratulations. But the war is far from over. Surviving manufacturer upheaval is no easy task, but the odds improve with proactive planning and professional expertise. It may be possible that a sound business plan will convince a manufacturer not to pull the plug, but there are options to stay in business even if the franchise agreement is terminated. These include undergoing a brand change or sharing resources with another dealership. But, in the meantime, it’s important to assuage customer concerns.

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  • Use vehicle sales tax deduction to convert browsers into buyers

    Fall 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 1022

    Abstract: As year end approaches, customer interest in the new sales tax deduction on new vehicle purchases could grow. Dealers report that the vehicle sales tax deduction is a particularly useful selling point for shoppers straddling the fence about new car purchases. But many shoppers are still unaware of the deduction, so it’s important to get the word out. This article lists some myths about the deduction that a dealer can dispel, while offering a specific example of potential savings. A sidebar describes a couple of other tax breaks that are presently available.

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  • What makes you special? Finding a USP that differentiates your dealership

    Summer 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 374

    Abstract: Competing on price alone is a tough way to survive – it requires significant sales volume to turn a profit. In today’s economy, successful dealerships differentiate themselves with a unique selling proposition (USP). A USP is a focused message that promises something unique that others can’t (or don’t) provide. When choosing a USP, you should consider your strengths, your competitors’ weaknesses and, perhaps most important, who your best customers are and what they want.

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  • Buying while the buying is good

    Summer 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 637

    Abstract: In this downturned economy, many dealerships in sound condition are wondering if this is a good time to expand by taking over dealerships that are for sale. But this is a decision that should be weighed with the utmost care. It will be necessary to size up one’s own financial health, calculate the risks, and look at the strengths and weaknesses of the prospective workforce.

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  • How to protect your assets in a divorce

    Summer 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 697

    Abstract: Divorce, one of life’s most stressful experiences, can drain one’s emotions — and bank account. Not only must divorcing dealers’ personal assets be divvied up, but their business interests also might be at stake. Fortunately, an accounting professional can help with the financial side of divorce. He or she will evaluate whether the dealer’s interest in the dealership is part of the marital estate, and whether state laws consider goodwill includible. The professional also will choose the best valuation approach to determine the dealership’s worth.

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  • Parts and service lifeline – A well-run back shop can save your dealership

    Summer 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 961

    Abstract: For the average dealer, parts and service accounted for all its operating profits last year, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). To help dealers maintain this lifeline through this rough economy, this article provides tips on catering to customers, exploiting technology, providing perceived value and working as a coordinated team. A sidebar discusses whether customer service index ratings or other measures provide the best gauge of customer satisfaction.

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  • The subprime market – How credit-challenged borrowers can help you

    Spring 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 572

    Abstract: In the wake of the credit crisis, lenders are gun-shy. Finding affordable credit can be especially challenging for consumers with credit scores below 550. But the below-subprime market is the fastest growing credit tier, according to finance research group Experian Automotive. Dealers can help them close the deal with creative financing alternatives. Those who are willing to work with credit-challenged customers stand to create a win-win solution on both sides of the transaction.

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  • Keeping staff in a down economy

    Spring 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 445

    Abstract: A successful dealership is a team of individuals that work together to score sales. Yet, in a down economy, having too big of a team could be untenable. Then again, losing key players could cost you as well. The trick is finding the right balance. If pay raises are not an option right now, other means of retaining key employees may include flextime, training and incentive programs.

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  • Going for broke – Dealers weighing bankruptcy face difficult choices

    Spring 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 764

    Abstract: The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) reports that one in ten dealers will close this year, assuming no manufacturers go under. If the federal bailout doesn’t meet expectations, that estimate could skyrocket. But there are different kinds of bankruptcy, and even options short of that. Dealers who tackle their problems early have a fighting chance against Chapter 7.

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  • Prepare for the unexpected with a buy-sell agreement

    Spring 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 959

    Abstract: Are you prepared for the unexpected? You may not be if your dealership lacks a regularly updated buy-sell agreement. This legal contract between business owners stipulates what happens when the owners voluntarily or involuntarily part ways. Similar to a premarital agreement or a will, a buy-sell agreement helps owners handle life’s curveballs, including retirement, divorce, partner or shareholder disputes, or the death or disability of an owner. This article discusses financing sources and the importance of obtaining an accurate valuation.

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  • Social networking can boost business – 6 principles for success

    Spring 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 600

    Abstract: Social Web sites aren’t just for kids anymore. Increasingly, businesses are tapping into the power of virtual communities, such as MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn, as a way to market their products and better leverage Web-savvy employees. The recession-friendly bonus is that social networking is free. You need only invest time to reap its benefits. This article shows how.

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  • Think outside the newsstand – Retool your advertising budget and sell more

    Winter 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 623

    Abstract: Even when cash is tight and sales are slow, dealers can advertise smarter by reallocating spending to less expensive — and more effective — alternatives. Take a minute and consider your advertising mix. Is it giving you the biggest bang for your buck?

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  • 2 F&I compliance areas that demand your attention

    Winter 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 668

    Abstract: Credit reporting laws and Truth in Lending/Regulation Z are two areas of consumer protection that continue to demand priority attention. To avert trouble, you need to develop clear policies and procedures and update them as needed; train F&I employees thoroughly; and monitor and enforce adherence.

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  • Is it time to gift?

    Winter 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 879

    Abstract: The holidays are over, but you may want to consider one last gift for your family members: an equity position in your dealership. Now may be the optimal time to transfer shares because you can take advantage of low market values and decreased marketability.

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  • Baby, it’s cold outside – Tap into your frozen cash stash

    Winter 2009
    Newsletter: Auto Focus

    Price: $225.00, Subscriber Price: $157.50

    Word count: 980

    Abstract: Every dealership experiences cash flow problems from time to time. But right now shortfalls seem the norm, rather than the exception. Stricter credit policies and frozen lines of credit are forcing dealers to look beyond traditional bank loans to make up the difference. Here are some ideas to alleviate the cash crunch.

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