Boating Industry

May 2016

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Page 33 of 51 34 | Boating Industry | May 2016 y ou probably got into the boating industry because it was fun and you wanted to enjoy your job. But you also probably did so with the as- sumption that you would be making money. So while budgeting may not be the most exciting part of running your dealership, it is without a doubt one that needs your de- voted attention. But where should a dealer start? For one, the very fi rst thing a dealership needs to have are good, clean fi nancial statements. If you don't know what your cash and fi nancials look like, it can be incredibly time consuming and expensive to fi x mistakes down the road. "You need to have good fi nancial state- ments to make good use of a budget process. You need a good fi nancial foundation of man- aging your cash and fi nancials to have a budget and have any use from it," otherwise you're just running blind, said Andreas Majewski, control- ler of Lake Union Sea Ray. A way to guarantee this is to hire an ac- countant or bookkeeper in-house. Majewski is a CPA and an MBA, and his full-time job is to manage Lake Union Sea Ray's budget. This has been benefi cial because most managers are bogged down with the hectic atmosphere of running the dealership and they don't always have the ability to focus on the numbers. "They're just so busy trying to do their jobs and sell and work with the public that they don't necessarily have the time or the motivation to really drill down into their details," said Majewski. "They've got a good organic idea of how the month's going … but I've got a little bit more of a luxury of [having time to] delve into it a little bit deeper. Spe- cialization is what it comes down to." There are several tools available if the task of building a budget seems daunting. Compa- nies like Parker Business Planning and Spader Business Management offer online budgeting programs that allow dealers to plug in num- bers for every line item of a dealer's fi nancials and create detailed budgets seamlessly. These programs help calculate your net profit, gross margins and more without having to do complicated work. "Tracking it is just as easy as dropping your monthly balance into the system each month and it pulls a variance report," said David Parker, president of Parker Business Consult- ing, of his online budgeting program. "There's a one-page summary and then the details behind it for every line item. We track that month- and year-to-date." Building a better budget Creating, managing and tracking your dealership's fi nancials PHOTO: ©ISTOCK.COM/RAPIDEYE BY BRIANNA LIESTMAN

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