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As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee Report - Changing Perspectives for the New Year

As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee Report - Changing Perspectives for the New Year

As we go into this holiday season, many may find themselves thinking, “I just might have had all the family I can handle.” The holidays are wonderful and provide togetherness and memories. But if you work with family, it is very easy to get "over-familied" and with that, a growing sentiment of needing space. The ambient stress, frustration, resentment, and acrimony with spouses, parents, siblings, cousins, in-laws, or children can drain your enthusiasm and consume your patience, blocking your ability to apply your skills and talents towards the productivity of your multi-unit franchisee business. You may find yourself looking at going back to work like another opportunity to stick your hand in the garbage disposal. If this sounds familiar, it is time for you to consider new perspectives that will relieve relationship pressure and potentially reinvigorate your passion for the business and those you work with daily.

"To set the foundation for a new perspective allow me to ask how your feelings of pressure, frustration, stress, resentment, etc. are working for you?”

Caution, do not allow yourself to think you are the victim of the circumstances. Remember, our mind is our only true possession. Within the double hierarchy and standard of both family and business, your mind (opinions, conclusions, and feelings) may be the only thing you truly control. When told to be quiet, your lips may have to shut due to a dumb, insensitive. or resentful comment, but your mind can continue to shout at the top of your lungs; therefore, own your feelings.

 

Read the complete article on the Multi-Unit Franchisee Website website

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As Seen in Digital Dealer - Fallacy

As Seen in Digital Dealer - Fallacy

Dr. Merlot and I met up during a layover in Charlotte in route to a family business operating three semi metro dealerships in the Midwest. In our previous visit, we had been dealing with a daughter with a drug issue. Now we were focusing on preparing the dealer’s son and other daughter to be approved as successor dealers. We arrived at a small airport, and began the short drive to Marge and Bill’s dealerships that they received from Marge’s dad.

“Good morning Marge,” the Dealer; “good morning Bill,” her husband of 37 years and the Service Director. “Trust you have recovered from the stress of our last trip? How’s business? How’s Cindy doing in rehab?”

“We are doing about as well as expected,” responded Marge with measured enthusiasm. “Business remains decent and the family is doing ok as well.”

“Cindy dropped out of rehab,” blurted Bill. “She convinced me she can do it on her own.”

I was shocked at this news. “Is she still in Indy living with her ex-boyfriend?”

 

Read the complete article on the Digital Dealer website 

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As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee Report - Managing a Franchise Business With A Spouse

As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee Report - Managing a Franchise Business With A Spouse

Where the holidays may be a hot spot for family issues, spouses working together in business create opportunities for conflict throughout the entire year.

Marriage vows speak to commitment during "richer or poorer and sickness and in health." Managing personal finances, sacrificing and nurturing individual needs for the sake of the union, and disagreements about replacing the toilet paper makes building a rewarding marriage - work. Throw in the demands of a competitive high-risk working environment, if not managed right, it can put a strain on marriage like nothing else. The bonds of love, commitment, and understanding are challenged by business demands of leadership, market changes, differing styles of management, employee, vendor and customer expectations, performance, and profit. Just as in marriage, because of the work involved to create a successful multi-unit franchisee business, many find partnerships too difficult, which can be observed in the rates of sales and buyout because it's not worth the brain damage.

Because of the complex challenges of both marriage and business partnerships, dynamics between a typical married couple working to maintain harmony and drive business performance can easily create excitement, distractions, and often organizational dysfunction. In the initial stages of building the business, leadership issues are simple. Both parties understand if there are serious marital differences of opinion, the business could fail, and everyone loses. However, after the business grows and supports the desired lifestyle, the independent ambitions of marital personalities can begin to create business chaos.

 

Read the complete article on the Multi-Unit Franchisee Website website

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As Seen in Digital Dealer - Bringing Next Generation Family Members into the Dealership

As Seen in Digital Dealer - Bringing Next Generation Family Members into the Dealership

One of the biggest questions dealers are asking these days is when and how to bring their next-generation of the family in the dealership. The simple answer to this is that they should come into your business when they, and you are ready. Readiness, however, is a subjective term. These three perspectives, should be considered as you are going through the decision-making process:

  1. Yours, the owner
  2. Your next-generation family member, AKA Next-Gen
  3. Your business’

Yours, the owner

Your perspective as the business owner is foremost important. As the dealer principal, you have the freedom of control and the burden of responsibility. So, if you want your Next-Gen on board, feel free to make them an offer. However, if you are a bit reluctant to put on the fraternity or sorority rush, you are likely feeling the burden of responsibility to ensure you are not short cutting your Next-Gen or business.

 

Read the complete article on the Digital Dealer website 

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The Impacts of Family Dynamics on the Transition of Leadership in a Multi-Generational Dealership

The Impacts of Family Dynamics on the Transition of Leadership in a Multi-Generational Dealership

In a collaborative effort to demonstrate some common roadblocks that both DHG Dealerships and The Rawls Group often sees within family-run dealership clients who are in the process of making leadership changes, this case study will briefly analyze the family dynamics between Sam (dealer) and his son, Mark.

Background

At 80 years-old, Sam is the majority owner and CEO of his family-run dealership. While Sam remains active in business operations and decisions, the time he spends at the dealership is gradually decreasing as he currently works about one or two days per week. Sam’s management team is very loyal; however, the micromanagement style of leadership he implements has proved to be a difficult challenge to overcome for his 50-year-old son, Mark, who serves as the stockholder “dealer” and is ready to start exercising more control.

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As Seen in Automotive Buy Sell Report - How to meet the consolidators head-on in the dealership consolidation game

As Seen in Automotive Buy Sell Report - How to meet the consolidators head-on in the dealership consolidation game

Most owners and leaders of privately-held dealerships are wondering what’s going on with the publicly-held dealership groups as they engage in consolidation. These consolidators generally look down upon the privately-held dealerships as competitors because “I previously fired most of their employees”. Furthermore, there is general resentment that the local “dealer club” has been disrupted by “hired guns” working for a hieratical potentate, neither of whom have any idea of the sacrifices required to build a successful dealership.

However, before those of you who own between 1 to 30 roof-tops assume the consolidators are circling the drain, you should consider they have a plan. If you do not understand their “game”, one day you may discover the water is about to boil and your goose is cooked without ever understanding what happened.

Read the complete article on the Automotive Buy Sell Website website

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As Seen in Digital Dealer - A Sad or Celebratory Day?

As Seen in Digital Dealer - A Sad or Celebratory Day?

Some people may skip this article because they consider they take pride in not sweating the small stuff. After all, there are a great many consultants and gurus who consistently preach the message of “don’t sweat the small stuff…and, by the way, it’s all small stuff.” Good for them; they may have become successful by following that counsel. If you are one of those fortunate souls, congratulations.

If you are having trouble expanding your market, keeping people productive, growing your bottom line, and building lasting relationships with family members, clients, customers, vendors, and strategic partners, then you may want to consider sweating the small stuff. It’s the small stuff that makes the difference.

Read the complete article on the Digital Dealer Website website

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Part 2: The Impacts of Family Dynamics on the Transition of Leadership in a Multi-Generational Dealership

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Part 1: The Impacts of Family Dynamics on the Transition of Leadership in a Multi-Generational Dealership

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As Seen in Digital Dealer - Respecting Each Other’s Differences Builds Long-term Success

As Seen in Digital Dealer - Respecting Each Other’s Differences Builds Long-term Success

As owners or managers in the business, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to “do it all”. We like to own the work and too often, avoid delegating or mentoring others for fear of losing our position of power. What happens is that we, as the leader, set an example that others try to follow, and before you know it, people are working in silos. The reality is that teamwork is one of the most crucial foundations to a successful, long-term business and the entry for our future leaders.

Because we are human, the tendency to share and collaborate often does not come natural. We are competitive by nature, we want personal recognition and our personal opinions and beliefs impact our daily interactions with others. All of these influences creates barriers to reaching out to those around us for help or “across the aisle” to another department for insight, diminishing our ability to ensure proper mentorship and growth of our colleagues and future leaders.

Read the complete article on the Digital Dealer Website website

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As Seen in Automotive Buy Sell Report - Selling Your Business Because You Want To Not Because You Have To

As Seen in Automotive Buy Sell Report - Selling Your Business Because You Want To Not Because You Have To

As your business vision develops over time, evaluating the option to transfer the dealership(s) to family, key management, or to sell to a third party can be an emotionally draining process. As a successful dealer, passion drove you to make sacrifices and take risks to develop a strong automotive enterprise. Seeing the seeds of your labor that you planted early in your career grow and develop over time fuels your drive for the business.

Read the complete article on the Automotive Buy Sell Report Magazine website

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As Seen in Automotive Buy Sell Report - Vision Conflict: Aligning Visions of a Group’s Growth Among Dealership Owners

As Seen in Automotive Buy Sell Report - Vision Conflict: Aligning Visions of a Group’s Growth Among Dealership Owners

You're a dealer nearing retirement, but the next generation of ownership has big (risky) plans for the business that put your retirement in jeopardy. There are family and business issues to resolve in this scenario. Learn more as Loyd Rawls and his alter-ego, Dr. Merlot, discuss how to navigate this vision conflict in a new article published in Automotive Buy Sell Report.

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As Seen in Dealer Magazine - How Do I Deal With An Employed Spouse Who Causes Management Problems?

As Seen in Dealer Magazine - How Do I Deal With An Employed Spouse Who Causes Management Problems?

Loyd Rawls for Dealer Magazine about the Family Business Conundrum: you cannot run a family like a business and you cannot run a business like a family. But what if you work in the business with your spouse? Learn how to overcome the challenges that marriage and joint business operation present.

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Protect your Future by Planning in the Present

Protect your Future by Planning in the Present

Most people believe that succession planning is synonymous with estate planning; wills, trusts, estate tax, life insurance, franchisor/manufacturer approval or gifts to family members. No doubt estate planning is an important component of succession planning. However, for anyone who has struggled with family squabbles, successor development, retaining and recruiting top talent, and unreasonable strategic partners I can assure you there is more to succession planning than estate planning. The best estate plan on the planet is no assurance of the continuation of business success.

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As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee - Trust and Teamwork Build Success

As Seen in Multi-Unit Franchisee - Trust and Teamwork Build Success

Organizational productivity is dependent upon teamwork, which I describe as two or more people working together for a common goal. Team can be expressed or implied, conscious or unconscious, but regardless, organizational productivity depends upon the effectiveness of interdependent, collaborative effort. Teamwork can be fair, good, or great, but there really is no such thing as bad teamwork. If you think about it, bad-teamwork is actually an oxymoron. To further this point, the English language doesn't have one single word to describe the opposite of teamwork. We generally associate "the opposite of teamwork" with uncooperativeness, inter-organizational competition, backbiting, and under productivity.

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How to Improve Teamwork and Increase Productivity

How to Improve Teamwork and Increase Productivity

Organizational productivity is dependent upon teamwork, which I describe as two or more people working together for a common goal. “Team” can be expressed or implied, conscious or unconscious, but regardless, organizational productivity depends upon the effectiveness of interdependent, collaborative effort.

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As Seen On Automotive Buy Sell Report - The Right Price is Set by the Market, Not the Value of your Emotional Investment

As Seen On Automotive Buy Sell Report - The Right Price is Set by the Market, Not the Value of your Emotional Investment

Seventy-five percent of family businesses - especially highly demanding automobile dealerships - do not have the 4Cs of Successorship: Capable, Committed, Competent and Community-minded successor. In such instances, selling the family business is a viable succession option.

With all the money that is being thrown at buying dealerships today, the value of dealerships is a common discussion item. In some instances where there is no locked-in successor, I am often at the table helping my clients consider if they want to cash in on this hot market.

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Chimp, Chump, Champ: The 3 Stages of Successor Development

Chimp, Chump, Champ: The 3 Stages of Successor Development

On a limited basis, The Rawls Group provides Successor Development Forums (SDF) for prospective leaders who feel they need coaching and education on the unique challenges of successor development. An SDF is not intended to be a "lucky sperm club;” it is intended to be a “work group" for successor candidates who are seeking coaching that they cannot get at home.

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What's The Purpose Of Your Success?

What's The Purpose Of Your Success?

Succession is dependent upon success. Therefore, mediocrity is not a succession option. In order for you to have confidence your successors can survive the predictable distractions, issues and problems associated with the transfer of ownership and management control your business must perform above benchmark to assure that there is adequate margin for a dip in productivity.

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A New Succession Challenge: Private Equity

A New Succession Challenge: Private Equity

The automobile industry has encountered significant changes over the last 20 years. We have seen public companies come into the market. We have seen the dot-com balloon inflate and burst. We have seen banks offer money to anyone with an IQ over room temperature and then call loans from the smartest, brightest and most successful in our industry. We have seen franchises devalued, nuked, given away and arbitrated as manufacturers went belly up and gave up control to our government. And here we are with stock market returns struggling to beat inflation and the investment world recognizing that auto dealerships are a good buy at six, seven and eight times adjusted earnings.

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