How to Suceed in Business

It constantly amazes me how many businesses don’t realize you can’t make money without customers. I went out recently to take a couple of test drives (the Muttrox family is upgrading). Probably everyone in the world but me knew that no car dealership is open on Sunday until noon.

Why not? Their job is to serve the customer. I know I am not the only one who goes out shopping on Sunday morning. Every hit Home Depot or Costco? Lines out the door. Even at the closed dealerships, I saw a good half-dozen either people like myself who figured as long as they were there they might as well poke around.

Here is a simple idea. Stay open all weekend. Close on your lowest traffic weekday. You should be open when customers are most ready to interact with you. To do otherwise is idiocy. Dealerships should be open 9-9 Sat and Sun, and close down some other day if they need a break. On weekdays, their hours should be noon through 9, so people can shop after hours.

It’s not just car dealerships. Many industries can’t seem to grasp the basics of how to get paying customers in the store. We’ve all heard the phrase “banking hours”, it’s well-known for a reason. What about doctor’s offices? Why is it on the weekends you can’t find a primary care physician, the best you can get is “Doctor in a Box”. Why shouldn’t a successful practice be fully staffed on weekends. Wouldn’t most people rather not take off work hours if they could help it? Suppose something goes wrong on the weekend, should you end up at the emergency room, clogging the system for people with real problems? Any retail business serving consumers would be better off opening late and closing late, and staying open weekends over weekdays.

Late one night, a drunk guy is crawling around under a lamppost. A cop comes up and asks him what he’s doing.

“I’m looking for my keys,” the drunk says. “I lost them about three blocks away.”

“So why aren’t you looking for them where you dropped them?” the cop asks.

The drunk looks at the cop, amazed that he’d ask so obvious a question. “Because the light is better here.”

Many retail businesses are looking for their keys in the wrong place.

2 thoughts on “How to Suceed in Business”

  1. That always bothered me too, but I asked a dealer about it during an interview and they have a good reason. Since many people view going to a car dealership as going to the dentist, they actually don’t show up so those people can walk around the lot and look at the cars without interference. I’ve had salespeople tell me that sometimes they park nearby and just watch who shows up so they know more about them later that day.

    What really sucks is that the bodyshops and service are closed on weekends. That makes no sense to me at all.

  2. There was a time when I thought that if a car dealer dealership did it, it meant that they had thought it out and it was an optimal strategy and they just knew more than me about how it all worked.

    Those days are long behind me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *