Modern Tire Dealer

NOV 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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Page 81 of 111

B u s i n e s s I n s i g h t M T D N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 8 78 position of the company to divulge to the top employee. However, for a store manager to even be able to come close to doing their job properly, they must be allowed to have the ability to assess the business in the sales, gross profit and payroll areas, so they can properly manage head count, while leading, coaching and directing employees on the proper course of actions to take in selling and fixing cars. To ask a store manager to run a shop without this information is setting up the store manager for failure. A sales manager does not nearly have the level of responsibility a store manager has. Nor do they have the level of authority. ey are expected to manage the quality, quantity and process of the sales force, and occasionally fill in other roles. With a sales manager, the responsibility of all the other areas falls back on the owner. A store manager, or owner acting as a store manager, needs to be able and have the authority to make independent decisions on the activity the business is engaged in. As a business owner, if you do not or can- not allow a store manager to make those decisions, you are the source of most of the frustrations from your store manager, and it isn't fair to them by any standard. A sales manager is good at following orders. A store manager is one who comes up with orders to be followed. But they can only create duties and give direction if they are fully empowered to do so. Small business owners who have learned to delegate and manage from either a short or long distance are usually more comfortable with giving a store manager a fighting chance at success. A store owner who keeps a lot of duties and informa- tion close to the vest, and likes to involve themselves in the day-to-day operations, is usually more suited to a sales manager being the number one employee. e difficulty, of course, is developing trust. Many times an owner is terrified of handing over such big responsibilities to someone else. And this is understandable, it carries huge risk. What if they make a bad decision? What if they make a decision that puts your business in legal jeopardy? I understand the concern associated with those questions. I can also tell you that employing a store manager, and then rescind- ing their power and authority, will do even more damage. It will create high employee turnover, less than satisfied customers, and create more work for you. It is imperative that you spend time up-front educating them on how you make decisions, and asking them early on to simply run their ideas by you first. is will take time at first but save time for you in the end. As you get more comfortable that their decision-making has comes in line with your thinking, you should allow them "more rope." Just don't forget to actually let them do things that don't always line up perfectly. If you are always shooting down their ideas, you are falling back into a trap, and should hire a sales manager instead of a store manager. ■ Dennis McCarron is executive director of Dealer Strategic Planning Inc., a company that manages multiple tire dealer 20 Groups in the U.S. ( To contact McCarron, email him at

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