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Bottom Line: Make it happen in 2012
By Garry Bartecki

Ahh, just what we needed: an election year. We have enough problems as it is, and don’t really need to add the distractions of a presidential election. But we are stuck with it, and have to face the fact nothing will happen in Washington until after the election. So it looks like you are on your own again for 2012, which should not surprise you.

I just returned from the AED annual convention and things are looking up in terms of financing availability, more work hitting the market, and dealers learning how to make money from product support and rental. Some said 2011 was their best year ever and not because of equipment sales, but product support and rental.

I am also seeing more M&A activity. It appears capital that has been sitting for a number of years is waking up to the fact that now is the time to buy as the market starts turning around. Manufacturers are also jumping into the game. It might be time to review your company profile and financial performance to see where you stand. And if you are on the buying side you may want to ask your lead manufacturer if they would support your interest and help facilitate a deal.

I too will practice what I preach in 2012, by generating new activities to make dealers more successful going forward. I have been involved with your industry on just about every level and am prepared to assist a dealer with critical financial, tax and accounting issues. What I have done specifically is put together a group of experts who know your industry, that I have worked with before, who are willing to work for cost effective rates under my supervision. From operational issues, to compensation programs, to valuations and M&A activities, we will be able to handle it all. Right now tax matters are of special interest because Post Bonus Depreciation is going to create a lot of havoc. So if you need something, even if it is only someone to talk to or double check something with, you know where to find me. I will keep you informed as this new program moves forward. The new venture is called Dealer-Success LLC and we mean to make things happen in 2012.

I have an interest, as most of you do, in the new healthcare programs we are being forced into and how that will affect your business. What I have learned so far is not many people know what they are talking about, the “law” is in the process of being converted into policy and not many of our elected officials have read this bill they are forcing on us.

I was able to discuss this event with one person who actually read the whole bill and is working on various committees charged with converting the new “law” into a workable process. In short, he is someone who knows more about it than most people. He seems to think smaller companies will probably cease providing coverage and pay the fine, while larger companies will continue to provide health insurance in some form. Healthcare reform is something you need to start thinking about in 2012, so you don’t wind up with a surprise in 2013.

I know this is somewhat far out there, but you can see the insurance companies are going to try and get as much from you as they can before any changes take place. In conclusion, regarding health insurance, you need to check your current plan and make changes to minimize cost and start figuring out how the new healthcare bill affects your company.

The next thing I am working on to make things happen is forming 20 groups working with a national firm to compile the data. Using this process, we will provide quarterly and eventually a monthly Cost of Doing Business Report without much effort on your part. Once you are set up, we will pull your monthly data off of your system and produce a report two or three days later. We pull the data once and it can be used to:

* Present you with monthly industry standard financial statements.

* Provide you with a monthly report covering national averages

* Allow you to belong to an existing or new 20 Group and have available the monthly data from each member of your group.

* Allow dealers to produce a “vendor” report which is similar to a 20 Group report.

This project has been in the works for 18 months and we are ready to launch. The best place to start would be a “vendor group” where all the dealers selling one line provide data and get first quarterly and then monthly comparisons between dealers. This would be highly informative, don’t you think?

2012 is the year to be proactive. To take your business back make things happen irrespective of what Washington D.C. produces.

Garry Bartecki is a CPA MBA with GB Financial Services LLC. You may contact him by e-mailing