Because our retail pressure washer business unexpectedly evolved from our self-serve car wash business several years ago, we had never devised a comprehensive business plan or adequately prepared for the challenges that came with this new aspect of our company. I would say we were more reactive than proactive.
We made sales, serviced machines, and were what I considered relatively successful. However, when I took part in the Benchmarking program offered by CETA prior to last year's Power Clean show in Kansas City, I garnered a whole new appreciation for how to look at my numbers to come up with effective strategies for the future.
The Performance Analysis Report, provided by the Profit Planning Group (PPG) differs significantly from the monthly reports I receive from my accountant. The report compares my information to others in our industry--not so much to see how my business measures up to others, but to see where I can improve my bottom line.
I wasn't real excited about sharing my financials with outsiders, but I took the PPG at their word that my information would remain confidential, and it did. The value of the Performance Analysis far exceeded my expectations and I encourage other CETA members to take advantage of the insight you can gain from this type of assessment of your business. “You won't regret it!”
Twig Wood American
As a small, specialized business I have always found it difficult to find comparison information for our business. Our accountants compare us against what ever other type of equipment distributor they may have as clients. When CETA started promoting benchmarking last year, frankly I did not know what it was. With a little education we soon decided to participate and give it a shot. Once I got our report back I soon discovered, in the words of Gregg Brodsky, “We were definitely hooked”. We now have a real comparison to our business; something to judge and aspire to, no more guessing.
I am thoroughly impressed at the information provided and am still digesting what this could mean to my business. With the help of this report we have already implemented ideas and practices to make our business more profitable and better equipped for the future.
CETA has always struggled with bringing more value and meaning to its members. Well here is a shiny example of what CETA can do for you! A program that can bring direct results and financial benefit to you and your company. “I would strongly encourage all distributor members to participate and make this program even more successful.” With participation CETA can use this program to deliver even more benefits in the future.
The Benchmarking CETA provided last year was exactly what I was looking for and I signed up for it immediately. It answered many of the questions I’d been asking for years and then provided additional information that helped me to ask better questions.
The report provided a great deal of information…both bad and good. For example, having a business in an area with such high real estate costs, I assumed my “Payroll Expenses” and “Occupancy Expenses” would be a great deal higher than most others. The report confirmed that the “Payroll Expenses” were 20% higher.
But my “Occupancy Expenses” were a little bit lower (that may account for why we are a little crowded). I have a few places that we did quite well in, a lot more areas where we were average, and too many others that I wouldn’t want anybody to see.
“The information I received in this report is worth much more than I paid.”
Always Under Pressure
San Jose, CA
A year ago I didn’t know what benchmarking was. After learning it was a confidential analysis of our pressure washer business compared to peers of our industry, we sent in our information. We figured in a very competitive industry it is good to have a competitive edge and this might be it. Benchmarking gives a very complete report of how we measure up to other businesses in our industry.
As soon as we received the report we could immediately see areas where we excelled and others where we could improve. Some of these could be improved with little change to our business but would have very profitable results. Others will take time but will still provide big results in the future. Profit planning group does a great job at suggesting how to improve weak areas of your business at the end of your report, making the report even more valuable. Benchmarking is a great advantage of CETA and the cost is extremely low compared to what you get in return. “I figure this report will change my bottom line by many times over what I paid to participate.”
Bens Cleaner Sales Inc