Pre-season, season, post-season, and… slow season. Regardless of the type of equipment your dealership sells, at any given point of the year, you’ll find yourself in one of these seasons. Slow season may have a bad reputation, but it’s important to understand that slow season is not all bad. Although many dealers view it as a stressful time, slow season is a perfect time to make adjustments in your dealership and take some much-needed time off before the next season starts.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to take a look at some different ways that you can take advantage of the slow season from cash flow, personnel, and dealership standpoints. Let’s start with the most important thing: Preparing for Slow Season.

It’s no secret that slow season puts a different type of demand on the dealership. Reduction of cash flow can cause things to fall apart if you’re not prepared. Payroll, taxes, lines of credit, and bank loans don’t care if your dealership is or isn’t busy. You can’t wait until slow season to improve slow season.

As dealers are coming out of season, but before they’ve moved into post-season, we work to help them burn off excess inventory in both wholegoods and parts. With wholegoods, you could do something as simple as having an End of Season Tent Sale with special pricing and service packages that will slim down the inventory that you just can’t afford to carry through to next season. I always feel confident that all dealers will have the opportunity to buy more from the manufacturers during the year-end order writing campaigns.

Follow the lead of car dealerships as they begin their year-end clearance sales. Many of you have local, county, or state fairs that you participate in. Be aggressive with your pricing and work through as much inventory as possible during these events. That will get you in the position to take advantage of any special offers that the manufacturers will be making. While I know that you’re working hard to hold margins, cash flow is always tight during slow season, and paying interest is the last expense you need.

Next week, we’ll look at some creative ways that you can burn your parts inventory down to add valuable cash flow to your slow season.