The Importance of Professionalism in Family-Owned Auto Dealerships

In the current corporate landscape, family-owned enterprises are facing challenges as they vie for success against bigger conglomerates and nationally recognized brands. In the automotive industry, where consolidation is prevalent, family-owned dealerships are under significant strain to keep pace with their larger counterparts and stay relevant. One viable solution for family-owned dealerships to gain a competitive advantage is to adopt a more professional approach to running their business.

The Role of Culture in Family-Owned Auto Dealerships

Successful family-owned dealerships or auto groups often neglect formalities that can lead to problems such as nepotism, inconsistent policies, and toxic family/business interactions. These issues can have a negative impact on performance and drive away valuable talent. Without top talent, family business owners will struggle to stay competitive, and the value of the business will decline rapidly. To remain competitive and grow the business, it is crucial to create an attractive culture that retains employees and customers while also performing well.

The Unique Advantage of Family-Owned Auto Dealerships

At the NADA 2023 “Growth Strategies for the Family-Owned Business” workshop, Champ Rawls discussed a unique approach for family businesses to succeed. Rawls suggested keeping the “family” aspect in a family-owned business as it can provide a competitive advantage over private and public companies. Additionally, leveraging the existing name recognition in the community can be beneficial. To achieve success, it is essential to promote your dealership(s) as a local family-owned business while also incorporating the formalities of successful mega dealers and public companies. This approach can help maintain the family aspect while still achieving growth and success.

Strategies for Professionalizing Your Family-Owned Auto Dealership

Elevate the professionalism of your business by formulating, systematizing, and transmitting your fundamental values. Construct a purpose statement, a future outlook, and objectives. And ensure that you and your team adhere to these indispensable principles. By applying this methodology, you can rest assured that your family enterprise will not only endure but also prosper.

The Benefits of Professionalizing Your Family-Owned Auto Dealership

To professionalize your family business, it is advisable to develop job descriptions for all positions, identify and adhere to core values, and establish standardized processes and procedures. This approach will result in increased efficiency and effectiveness in running your business, and also position your business as one that values its employees and customers, thereby standing out in your community.

Contact Us, and we can help you with insights and other resources and see if it makes sense to work together. At the very least, in 30 minutes, you may get some ideas you can apply to your business immediately.

The article was originally published on Digital Dealer magazine: Professionalize the Family Business: Unlocking the Growth Benefits of a Public Mindset

Growth Strategies for the Family-Owned Dealership


If you’re ready to get serious about succession and planning to ensure your business’s future success, we can’t wait to see you at the 2024 NADA Show in Las Vegas.

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  1. Schedule a Complimentary Consultation: Book a meeting at our Booth #2100W during NADA or schedule a free consultation.
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Family Dynamics and Family Governance

Family and Business alignment is hard to find when business issues liven up family dynamics.

However; with proper process, governance policies, and mutual respect built over time, a Family Business can thrive through multiple generations. Click the following links for more drill-down resources on  Family Dynamics and Family Governance.

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We can provide insights and other resources and assess whether it makes sense to work together. In just 30 minutes, you may gain actionable ideas that you can immediately apply to your business. Contact us via phone or email below, or fill out the “Ask An Expert” form.