For some reason, I just can't get excited about 2024 as I sit here staring at a blank screen. I need some motivation. Let us look up "motivation" in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Motivation: forces acting either on or within a person to initiate behavior. The word is derived from the Latin term motivus (“a moving cause”), which suggests activating properties of motivation."

Got to love the English. My Dad put it in simpler terms when he said, "Get your gluteus maximus to work" in a tone that needed no interpretation. He was the bestest motivational speaker I every listened to. Remembering a speech he gave about placing his #12 shoe somewhere, I seem now more motivated to travel into the future. Took me a while to get started, didn't it? So, here we go: our top 10 Dealership New Years Resolutions!

  1. Become a high-volume, low-margin dealership. I read the article about the Farm Equipment Dealer of the Year and the dealer stated that this is what their major supplier wanted from them, so they would comply. But wait. I just went through an expensive training session that stated the opposite: "Sell your dealership's value and customer service, making them feel that doing business with your dealership is a positive experience worth the extra cost associated with dealing with you." One does not want to sell oneself out of business. So, I guess I will have to study on this one a bit and circle back to you.  
  2. Manage your cash flow better.  I have heard it said many times: "If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will become your downfall." We read where the majority of businesses fail due to lack of the ability to cash flow the operation. Therefore, we plan to have all our customers make purchases and pay their accounts just before we need the money to pay our bills. We also will make sure when an engine blows on the fork lift, the rod will exit the block on the day we sell that used kumquat planter that has been in paid inventory for 2 years. Manage that cash flow in '24 (if one is from the South "flow" and "twenty fo'" rhyme — the poet in us).
  3. Laugh more. This should have been #10, but I can't get this word program to cooperate. Someone said: "One never matures until one learns to laugh at oneself." (There are too many ones in here. Just like my cash drawer, but one gets the point, right?)  
  4. Diversify? Forbes states all business should strive to diversify the work force with new hires. As in previous writings, you have read my sentiments being pro-diversity, IF the prospect can do the job. Set the goal to let us hire the best candidate for the job that fits OUR need. 
  5. Lose Weight. Most of us should do that on a personal level, but why not on the business level. Get rid of things that take our time and do not produce an income. (Maybe limiting the ability to access Facebook like venues ?)
  6. Exercise more. Read good "stuff." (Ok, I may be cutting my own throat here) that helps us learn from others. 
  7. Look forward and keep building a succession plan as we age. Make life as easy or as miserable for your heirs as you deem fit. (Like the will that read "Being of sound mind and body, I spent every frazzling dime I had before I passed").
  8. Make up with your mother-in-law. I have been working on this for 44 years, and it is still a work in progress. It affects your work, or at least mine.
  9. Write letters of appreciation to your sales reps, suppliers, UPS, Fed EX and USPS and others that serve you that you complain about all the time. It will do little good, but it will make them think about your mental stability and motive.
  10. Get check-ups. Both from your doctor and your accountant. Make sure the blood work has no warning signs of pending issues, and you are ready for an election year business cycle. 
  11. Vote. If you are reading this, your vote is the one the nation needs.
  12. Tell the powers that be of this publication how much we appreciate their efforts and the worth of seeing news and bits of info that help us stay abreast of the environment we have to operate in. Also, suggest doubling the salary of contributors. My little Kelly really needs that operation.

How many noticed there were 12 items in the top ten? That is so you can edit out 2 and still have a top ten list. Are we user friendly or what?

 'Til next time wishing you miles of smiles and a bang up 2024 (gotta get a new word program).

Told from the perspective of an in-the-trenches owner/operator — Tim Brannon of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn. — Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon will inform, entertain and provide a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.



More From Tim Brannon: