Compliance- AKA the “Rules”

As a small business owner and operator, you know it can be tough keeping up on what’s going on in your business, much less what is going on in the world around you. Its easy to be misled by sensational articles about different state and local agencies, a well federal ones, assigning new regulations and levying fines. But not all articles are just sensational hype, these agencies do enforce the “Rules”.

So how do you find time to address all the “Rules”. Which rules are more important than others? What are the risks involved in not following a “Rule”? How much are typical fines for a particular item? And, most importantly, how do you know where best to spend your time.

The good news is that most of the time you spend on Compliance at your company is simply a systematic look at how YOU, the owner and operator, wish to have things done, and communicating these to your associates.  

  • In order to meet the objectives of the company, there must be a systematic approach to each task.
  • There can be no accountability for completing a task when the company’s objectives are not clear.

There is help! Over the next few posts, I will be pointing you to several places that will not cost you any more to keep abreast of the ever-changing world of the “Rules”.

The first place that you may or may not know about is the State Independent Dealer Associations. These Associations often do a wonderful job of keeping an eye on new legislation and regulations being considered. They usually have a way to let the state bodies express the wishes of the Independent dealers.

According to the NIADA (https://www.niada.com/state_affiliates.php) website:

“NIADA has a well-established nationwide group of federated State Associations that each operate independently of each other but work together for a united cause. At the heart of our collective effort is the drive to maintain strong national and state dealer associations, better serve the interests of the public, provide educational opportunities for our members and preserve a strong legislative and regulatory presence that protects independent dealers from unnecessary litigation, rule-making or legislation that would prohibit them from serving their customers and the public fairly and honestly.  When you join your state association, you automatically become a member of NIADA as well.”

From this website, one may find links to their state association.  Many of the state websites offer monthly blogs, free dealer classes, sales tax help as well as free copies of dealer state specific manuals.

In my next blog, I will discuss some other great resources for you to use when considering Compliance.

There will be further discussion on this and many other issues you face at our National Dealer Seminar in Clearwater Florida, February 19 and 20, 2019. For more information on this seminar, please click on the Seminar tab at the top of our website. https://www.afsdealers.com/seminar.a5w#page-top

Joyce Guest, February 8th, 2019

I can see clearly now…

I was driving home after a business meeting, I had a cooler with cold water, plenty of fuel and the 231 miles should be behind me in just over three hours, barring traffic or construction. I wanted to get home by supper time, enjoy a nice home-cooked meal, sleep in my own bed and spend the upcoming holiday weekend with my wife.

My cell phone alerted via the weather app and I was approaching the two counties where it was said that a storm would produce high wind and hail. My thoughts then turned to my new truck and images of ping pong sized balls of ice bouncing from the hood and windshield. I could see the thunderstorm on my left coming from the South-Southeast. I pulled over on the roadside recalling my always used business advice given to many a client, “It is a poor plan that admits no modification.”  I reached into the console and pulled out the road atlas. Let’s see, Missouri now Kansas now Missouri again. Got it. Travel 21 miles to Butler and take 56 West for 18 miles then resume northbound on 69 highway. Here we go.

 Soon after taking the detour It began to rain and I set my wipers at intermittent mode which worked well for about ten miles. Then the deluge. Hard, heavy rain began to fall. As I turned up the wiper speed one setting at a time, I went to maximum wiper speed before I could clearly see the road. That’s when the thought (and the song) hit my mind, “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone; I can see all obstacles in my way.” Almost immediately the rain began to slow and then fall lightly. I was heading North in only a few minutes this time following the storm. Had I continued with my original plan I would have driven directly into its’ path.

Obstacles to business plans are sometimes predictable and sometimes from the blind side. I frequently tell associates and clients that, “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” As with my road trip I was fortunate enough to have technology and open minded enough to amend my plan. I must admit that in my younger days I would have opted to forge ahead and try to out run the storm. However, even with my weather app and GPS technology I did get a little archaic when I referenced my road Atlas. I liken that to looking that up in your Funk and Wagnalls rather than doing a Google search, but hey, it worked.

My life’s work has been to develop business plans and do analysis for auto dealers and entrepreneurs, finance representatives and lenders and others who need to see more clearly regarding their prospective or current business plan or model. Like any other field of work, we look to those who can offer success stories and share experiences when they did try to drive through the storm and what those results turned out to be. Oh, and for anyone who needs consulting and training or the best technology available in a DMS please contact me at your earliest convenience.

I have a special offer for the first to tell me who the artist was and the year the song was released.

Talk soon.

-Mike Eskina, June 29nd, 2018