The official start to the tax-filing season opened successfully January 23rd, but many businesses may be feeling the effects of IRS laws that are delaying tax refunds as sales from retail to housing to car dealerships exhibit some temporary slowing.
Sales are slowing, but not stopping. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Chris Christopher of IHS Global Insight said that the delays would postpone usual spending until February and March.
With that in mind, don’t let fewer sales in January cause too much concern for your business and its revenue. You are not alone in experiencing this trend. Additionally, according to Forbes, the IRS expects over 70% of taxpayers to receive a refund this year. This translates into numbers that mirror 2016 with 111 million refunds issued. Therefore the question that weighs on your mind should not be whether customers are coming, but rather, whether your dealership has made the necessary preparations to accommodate the rush.
If you’re not prepared and you don’t have a plan in place, then you’re doing your business and your customers a disservice. Plus, with the slow ramp up to tax season, there’s no excuse not to be prepared.
Here are five steps to boost your profitability.
- Have the inventory of vehicles on the lot to meet an increase in demand during tax season. Your vehicles should be in good operating condition, cleaned and ready to go.
- Make your sales process customer centric. Whether you’re a one-person show or have many people on your team, your customer service should be in place to serve your customers effectively and with glowing reviews so they tell their friends to visit you as well.
- Smooth out your procedures so you can quickly arrange and secure a down payment, and work up a contract that’s a win for both you and your customers.
- Perform your due diligence. Even though tax season can be hectic, there’s no excuse for cutting corners. Ensure your team is ready to underwrite your deals effectively but also accurately.
- Have a process in place to verify stipulations before your customers are standing in your lot. Doing so will ensure your customers are able to afford the vehicle they’re wanting making for a smooth sale.
You can take some of the heavy lifting out of your preparation through a best in class GPS solution, like Goldstar. The right GPS solution allows you to take full advantage of the tax-season bump –whenever it comes - grow your customer base by including finance options for credit-challenged customers and protect your assets, all while expanding your bottom line.
Be ahead of your competition and ready for your customers.
Author Bio: David Meyer brings over 28 years of vehicle finance and buy-here, pay-here industry experience to the Spireon leadership team, currently overseeing the company's Automotive Solutions Group as Executive Vice President. A former General Manager of a high volume new car franchise dealership group and a successful owner of buy-here, pay-here dealerships, he understands first-hand the challenges faced by today’s automotive dealers.