Launching Special Finance

26This is the third of six articles chronicling the launch of a special finance operation at an already successful independent dealership located on the fringe of a major metro market. It will detail the plan, the strategies, the successes and the challenges encountered over a six-month period. The end goal of the new department is to reach a monthly sales volume of 70 deals at over $230,000 total gross by the end of that period.

End of Month Two and Halfway There

Month Two represented the first time we were fully staffed, trained and operational for an entire calendar month. We were excited to say that we beat our monthly goal in units and gross profit. While we patted ourselves on the back for that accomplishment, we knew there was so much more opportunity in front of us. Here’s where we found ourselves focused on personnel, lead management, marketing, finance company spread and inventory.

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Making Finance the Servant Not the Master

25Today, there is much frustration with the financial sector. Society’s precious savings are not being put to the best of uses — investing for the social good. It is unnecessary to repeat at length what has gone wrong over the last few years. The situation can be summed up as one where greed met incompetence, with near fatal economic results.

This has renewed interest in a financial transactions tax (FTT), sometimes known as a ‘Tobin tax’ (after the late James Tobin, who first argued for a tax on currency transactions to dampen destabilizing speculation). Many recent proposals for an FTT go beyond currency trading to encompass a far wider set of financial transactions. Some forms of FTT are technically feasible. Britain has had a stamp duty since 1694 (currently applied to transactions in shares and property). France seems likely to go ahead with a similar FTT. Some EU member states are pressing for a more comprehensive European-wide levy to tax financial transactions where at least one party is located in the European Union.

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How to Improve Your Financial IQ

24Like many things we know are good for us–exercise, getting a good night’s sleep, laying off the French fries–keeping careful track of your business’s finances is one of those must-do tasks to keep your business healthy. Nevertheless, a huge number of business owners neglect their numbers, and their businesses pay the price.

I tend to see two main types of financial blow-off:

  1. Fully neglecting to track income and expenses by letting receipts pile up (or get lost) and failing to enter data into a bookkeeping system.
  2. Doing a decent job of keeping income and expense records up to date, but failing to use the numbers to answer questions about the business’s financial situation.

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an Essential Prerequisite of the Financial System

23Ethics in general deals with human behaviour that is acceptable or ‘right’, and that which is not acceptable or ‘wrong’ according to conventional morality. General ethical norms encompass truthfulness, honesty, integrity, respect for others, fairness, and justice. They relate to all aspects of life, including business and finance. Financial ethics is, therefore, a subset of general ethics.