While it’s true COVID-19 might’ve thrown a monkey wrench into your plans for the year, it doesn’t mean you have to take the setbacks lying down. A lot of dealerships are trying to adjust to what a lot of people—the media, industry experts, etc.—call “the new normal” but blindly submitting to an idea that is foisted upon you by outsiders is not going to help you grow.

The concept of a “New Normal” is presented by many as something that you have no other choice than. But that simply isn’t true. There is always a choice. And there is always an alternative. Accepting falsely constructed ideas of a “New Normal” is like accepting that you’re in a situation that you have no control over.

That means you’re just letting change happen to you instead of creating the change your business needs in order to grow. If anything, this new normal is your new opportunity to create your own reality and build the business and life you want to have.

For most dealers, that means building growth, especially after the setbacks of the past couple of months.

And if you really want to grow, first you need to establish where you want to be.

After COVID-19 where you want to be just might mean getting back to where you were before the craziness. You also might want to grow your dealership beyond where it was before COVID-19 struck.

But in order to do that, you need to turn your setbacks into advantages. Instead of just accepting some “new normal,” you need to grab the bull by the horns and take control of your dealership’s future.

Here’s some ways you can take the reins and help your dealership grow in the wake of COVID-19 “setbacks.”


Right now you’re probably trying to reduce overall spending. The easiest way to do this is to cut superfluous spending and expenses that don’t align with your goals. As business owners ourselves, we know that payroll is a large portion of your expenses. This may be a good time to reexamine your pay plans, titles and incentives.

Payroll is frequently one of those things that gains its own momentum, but consider this a big reset button, and give yourself the permission to go back and examine the people, pay plans, titles and incentives. Are they all in line with your goals right now?

We also don’t want to come across as uncaring, but if you have any employees who weren’t pulling their weight or were negatively impact the culture of your dealership, this may also be the entire to reexamine whether they truly fit. If they don’t, with so much skilled and available talent on the market right now, it may be time to level-up your team.

Unfortunately, one of the things that’s the first to get cut when budget get tight is marketing. But we can guarantee you one thing: if your goal is to grow, then marketing is your only option. To cut your marketing or to stop it altogether will only lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of less traffic and fewer sales.


There’s never been a better time to hit the reset button at your dealership and re-establish a strong leadership team. Make sure your leadership team is working cohesively and efficiently.

Consider conducting weekly development meetings with each member of your leadership team to sharpen their skills and encourage them to conduct similar meetings with their direct reports too.

You should also bring the leaders of every department together for a weekly meeting, so you can make sure that all the components for your machine are working together towards the goals you’ve set.


It might seem crazy that we’re recruiting at a time like this. And honestly, it requires shifting your view of the current situation from tragedy to opportunity. We know that before all of this happened many dealerships were struggling to recruit high-level talent, especially for skilled and expensive positions.

With unemployment at an all-time high, if you have any hard-to-fill positions at your dealership, now is the time to recruit for them. And you’ll find there are hard-working people out there who want to work for you. We are sensitive that to the fact that a lot of people our out of work right now.

If you’re in a position to recruit, not only you will be staffing your dealership for success, but you’ll also be helping a member of your community get back to work and back to being more financially secure.


In our opinion, the one thing you can do right now that will make everything else easier is to build or reinforce your dealership’s culture. You have a big job in front of you, to push the rock back up the hill to where you were before the pandemic hit.

Building a strong culture will make the whole process easier. It gives your team guidance, it attract the best employees and it flows over into a positive experience for your customers.

Don’t wait! Start today but outlining your mission and values. Establish what type of environment you want your employees to foster and setup systems to reinforce it.


When it comes to getting things done, the worst thing you can do is have your staff flying by the seat of their pants or making things up on the fly. You need to create or even re-evaluate your systems and processes to ensure they’re aligned to help you achieve your goals.

It’s also important when you establish any new systems or processes that you are clear with your staff, so they understand your vision and can execute tasks correctly. This is a systems business. Taking the time to invest in building systems now will pay dividends later.

Don’t just submit to a new normal.

Don’t take somebody else’s word for what the new normal will be. Instead, use this as an opportunity to create your own “new normal.” Build the business you want to run and the reality you want for your life.

For more ideas about how to grow right now, check out our free eBook How To Prepare Your Dealership For The Economic Bounce-Back And Hit The Ground Running. Click here to get your free copy.