So, you’re thinking about starting a car dealership? Great! The car industry is booming, and there’s never been a better time to get involved. But before you open your doors for business, there are a few things you should know. Keep reading for our top seven tips for starting a successful car dealership.
Know the Market Inside Out
If you’re going to be successful in the car business, you must have a good understanding of the industry and market trends. That means keeping up with the latest news, watching for changes in consumer behavior, and being aware of new technologies and features coming down the pipeline. The more knowledgeable you are about the ever-changing landscape of the car industry, the better positioned you’ll be to make savvy decisions for your business.
Have a Strong Business Plan
Any good business starts with a solid plan, and your car dealership will be no exception. When putting together your business plan, be sure to include detailed financial projections and realistic goals. Don’t forget to factor in start-up costs, ongoing expenses, and marketing budget. And most importantly, make sure your business plan is flexible enough to adapt as the market changes. If possible, work with a professional business planner to put together your dealership’s game plan. They can help you avoid common mistakes and set your business up for long-term success.
Choose the Right Location
The location of your dealership is important for both practical and marketing reasons. You’ll need to find a spot that’s easily accessible and has enough space to accommodate your inventory, workshop area, office space, etc. You also want to ensure your location is visible from major roadways and has good foot traffic. For example, a spot near a shopping center or high-traffic intersection would be ideal. On the other hand, a location tucked away in a remote industrial park will probably not draw much foot traffic. And if you’re planning on selling luxury cars, it wouldn’t hurt to be located in an upscale neighborhood.
Plan how to transport your vehicles
You can’t sell cars if you don’t have any to deal with, so it’s essential to plan how you will get your inventory. You’ll need to account for transport costs if you’re buying vehicles from auctions or other dealerships. And if you’re shipping cars from out of state, you’ll need to factor in the cost of an enclosed auto transporter. This is the safest way to transport vehicles, and it will protect your investment from weather damage and road debris. So, before buying cars, be sure to factor in the transport cost.
Invest in Great signage
First impressions matter, so you want to ensure your dealership has excellent curb appeal. One way to do that is by investing in high-quality signage visible from the street and easily read from a distance. Your sign should clearly display your dealership name and contact information while also conveying what kind of vehicles you sell (ex: trucks, SUVs, etc.). If you have any special offers or deals going on, be sure to include them on your sign as well! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your signage. After all, it’s one of the first things potential customers will see when they drive by your dealership. As much as possible, you want your sign to stand out and grab attention.
Stock Quality Vehicles
Of course, one of the most important things when starting a car dealership is stocking quality vehicles. You’ll want to have a mix of new and pre-owned vehicles as well as different makes/models to appeal to a wide range of customers. It’s also important to have a good selection of financing options available so that buyers can choose what works best for them.
Hire Experienced Salespeople
The success of your dealership will largely depend on the skill level of your sales team. They are the face of your business and will play a big role in whether or not customers choose to do business with you. When hiring salespeople, look for individuals who are outgoing, personable, and have previous experience in auto sales (or sales in general). Also, be sure to give them thorough training on your products/services as well as any promotions or specials that might be going on at any given time.
It’s no secret that starting a business can be daunting–but it doesn’t have to be! As a business owner, you have the power to make your dealership succeed. By following these tips, you can set your business up for long-term success. And remember, if you ever need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional business planner. They can provide valuable guidance and insights that will help you avoid common mistakes.