The automotive industry is one of the most lucrative in the United States. People need vehicles for everything from work to recreation, and that’s why the over 18,000 new and used car dealerships in the United States generate over $800 billion in revenue. A car dealership is an ideal business idea for an entrepreneur with a love for automobiles.
Even though selling cars is relatively easy because almost everyone needs a vehicle, there’s a lot more that goes into running a successful dealership than simply buying and selling cars. Whether you want to sell cars, trucks, or motorcycles, there are certain steps you have to take to make sure your business gets off to a smooth, trouble-free start. Continue reading to learn what it takes to learn how dealerships get their start.
Stock the inventory.
The most critical part of starting a car or motorcycle dealership is stocking your inventory. Automobiles and motorcycles are expensive items, which makes building your inventory something that takes time and capital.
If you’re selling used cars and motorcycles, the most important skill to have is the ability to recognize a good value when you see it. In the automotive industry, one driver’s trash is another driver’s treasure, but it still takes a keen eye to differentiate between the trash and the diamonds in the rough.
One of the best ways to get the best prices on used cars, trucks, and motorcycles is to go to an online car and motorcycle auction. You’ll get to compete against other bidders on cars and bikes, and of course, the highest bid takes all.
Even if you don’t have a car lot, you can begin stocking your inventory if you have enough space for a few bikes in your yard. As long as you keep a nice and consistent inventory of four or five bikes, you’ll be able to build yourself up to a lot and a full inventory of premium used bikes in no time.
Hire automotive technicians.
When bidding on used vehicles, there’s always a chance that the cars and bikes you purchase will need some preventive maintenance and repairs. It’s important to have auto technicians on your staff to make sure your buyers don’t have to leave your lot and head to the nearest mechanic.
When hiring mechanics, you need to be certain that you get mechanics with certifications from a respective automotive and diesel technology program. At the end of the day, the quality of the cars you sell will either make or break your reputation. Hiring mechanics with the proper certifications will help to make sure every vehicle that leaves your lot is truly ready for the road.
Even if you don’t have the capital to hire full-time auto technicians, you should build relationships with the car, bike, and truck mechanics in your area. If you can provide them with consistent work, they’ll be more willing to give you discounts on the work they do for you.
Create a robust customer service infrastructure.
No matter how you get your start, if you want your business to grow, you have to make customer service a priority. One of the main things dealers do before their car lot opens for business is to hire salespeople and customer service reps they feel will represent their brand well.
The Steve Lewis Subaru Dealership in Hadley, MA is an example of what prioritizing customer service can do for a business. -Not only do they offer a vast inventory with high-quality vehicles, but they also make it their business to provide a customer experience that far surpasses industry standards.
Get the proper licenses.
Before your business is ready to open for operation, it’s important to register your business and get all the proper licenses. The process is slightly different for car dealers than for most businesses because your inventory is more expensive and is a large investment for most car buyers.
Registering your business declares to the state that your business exists. To get your registration, you have to provide information like the name of your business and your tax status. You will also have to get additional licenses to sell vehicles and ensure the quality of the vehicles you sell.
Start marketing before your business opens.
If you want to be in a position to draw customers from the time your business opens, you have to start marketing to increase your brand awareness before you open for business. Social media is a great marketing tool for small businesses, and used cars are among the most highly sought-after items on social media.
Creating a social media profile for your business is the best way to reach out to potential customers and expand your customer base. You can shoot short ads with your smartphone and post them to Facebook and Instagram and build your following quickly.
If you want to be a successful auto dealer, the first things you need to do are stock your inventory, hire mechanics, and hire salespeople and customer service reps who are enthusiasts for providing customer satisfaction. Once you do those things, you have a solid foundation for a successful and long-lasting automotive business.