Forecasting & Budgeting for Success Next Year

Brooke Samples presented a popular workshop topic- “Forecasting- Why Fresh Ideas and New Perspectives are Needed for Success.” This blog post is a segment of the 10-page Executive Summary that resulted. This Summary is for all department managers. It is designed to be a thought-starter and to answer the questions of how and why dealers and managers should pay closer attention to their forecasting process and how and why many are missing great opportunities!

You Will Learn:

· Why CHANGE is the only way to think…Fresh Ideas & New Perspectives

· How to Calculate each Department's Full Potential using Benchmarks

· When to include rank and file employees in the forecasting process

· How to create the action plans that will result in goals that are actually achieved

· How to stay "on track" through the forecast period


Forecasting is about preparing for the future. About taking time to evaluate your current operations and to see what needs to change to improve your business.

Brooke’s clients who had between 25% and 100+% improvement all have one thing in common...they made big changes to achieve their goals.

They also know that even on their best month they still left money on the table.

So if your goal for next year is higher profits then your first step should be to FIRE YOURSELF!


  • Because the “old” you will struggle to make a huge difference and...

  • Because you were good at your job you have received positive reinforcement for what you have done in the past and...

  • Because you developed the processes that are in place today and...

  • Because you work with the people who are in place today and you know their stengths and weaknesses.

  • But the biggest reason is that you have convinced yourself that the obstacles that prevent you from obtaining higher profits cannot be overcome.


Take an honest look at:

· Your processes. Are they efficient? Are they customer friendly?

· Your people. Are they the kind of people you would hire if you were starting fresh?

Then ask yourself:

· What would you do differently if you had the freedom to change things?

· If you were a new manager at this dealership, how would you approach improving it?

Brooke profiled some managers who experienced double digit net profit and improved CSI

They did this, not because of a forecast but because they knew that they could do better and they wanted to win!

So with winning in mind, Brooke offered some ideas for the recently hired New You.


Get yourself a notebook and list up to three obstacles or challenges that prevent you from setting record profits.

Now that your challenges have been identified, be on the hunt for new ideas.

· Spend time in other departments. In addition to helping you, your fresh perspective might help another manager.

· Visit other dealerships. It always seems that it is easier to see what others can do better but less so for ourselves.

· Visit other types of types of businesses especially since your customers are comparing you to them. For example: How Trader Joe’s cashiers greet their customers. How encourages impulse purchases.

· Bring “outsiders” to your dealership. They don’t have to be paid consultants, they could be friends or neighbors.

· Don’t make excuses because they see things differently than you do. Because when you make excuses, so will your employees.

· Ask your employees for ideas. “What is the dumbest, stupidest thing we do around this joint?” (From Robert Kriegel’s book SACRED COWS MAKE THE BEST BURGERS)

So now that the new you has identified challenges and finding new ideas, it’s time to create a forecast for your best year ever. But how?

A forecast has three parts as illustrated in the Forecasting Pyramid.

1. The Executives set the goals.

2. The Managers strategize how to reach those goals. The smart ones involve their staff.

3. The Productive folks along with management guidance execute the plans.

A good forecast will start with the question: “How much money did we leave on the table this year?”

If you’re not sure, Brooke offered these benchmarks (Minimum Acceptable Performance or M.A.P) and an example of how they can be used.

In this case, when actual performance is comapred to their target, Paradise Motors (our case study) appears to have left about $1,254,100 on the table.

Brooke goes on in this Executive Summary to do a Case Study that applies these principles.

You can get the complete Executive Summary on Forecasting featuring Brooke Samples, plus 7 more Summaries on Forecasting and Planning Topics. Mailed Hard Copies and shipping is Free. Just $19

Executive Summary Reports in this Special Forecasting Package:

  • Forecasting… Fresh Ideas and New Perspectives

  • How to Forecast & Budget for Potential Downturns

  • Auto Dealership Staffing Metrics - Right Sizing

  • Align Pay Plans to Labor Market & Economy

  • Attracting & Rewarding Key Employees...Options

  • Expense Management: Lower Grosses & Rising Costs

  • Expense Controls– Don’t Lose Focus

  • Turn Balance Sheet Profits Into Hard Cash

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