The automotive part business is poised to increase in the coming years, at least in the U.S. This can be attributed to the better than expected sales of light vehicles in the country. Because car dealers are increasing their inventories, it is but normal to see a swarm of auto parts centers being set up here and there. With the continued national demand for car parts, you may be wise to think of starting your own small car service business.
The Steps for Success
First, assess the market. Enumerate any new and old vehicle dealers in your area. Also include independent car repair centers and other regional car maintenance facilities. Car clubs and groups of people that collect special cars need to be considered as well. Furthermore, bear in mind that a small percentage of the city you're working in is capable of the do-it-yourself approach to car maintenance and servicing. This information gives you an idea of how big your market is - the bigger the market, the bigger the chance of profit.
Second, know your competitors. Just like in any type of business scout the number of shops you are competing against. The greater is the number the tighter the competition becomes. Include all car part suppliers from national to local level. Even the special car part shops like those that sell performance parts for racing cars still need to be noted. You also have to verify if your competitors have special price guarantees and if suppliers offer sales incentives and manufacturer warranties.
If you'll find out that there's less competition in specialty car part shops, identify that niche and focus down that line. If not, you can still continue selling general parts but have a dedicated area for selling a few specialty parts as well. You can lure potential specialty car part buyers by visiting them at popular racing events, club meeting and other highly publicized occasions. This way you can introduce yourself and advertise some performance parts available in your shop.
Next, learn how to market. It is pretty basic for most start-ups to set up their own website. By doing so, you are making your online presence more felt to online consumers. Just make sure you leave your contact details and address so that public will know where your shop is located. You should also offer free delivery to those who shop in bulk online. Marketing also involves developing a stable customer list. Keep in touch with loyal customers, inform them about your perks and post targeted ads at key areas for fresh customers to see. It may also be sensible to consider investing in print advertisements through your local publications.
It may also be a wise idea to hand over a small survey form to your clients. This survey should include naming auto parts that they want you to sell. You can offer small discounts and other gifts if they return the form. Furthermore, do not underestimate the power of referrals. BPO companies often use this incentive program to lure more people to join them. If your loyal customer refers a friend to buy a part at your shop, offer some form of incentive to the former.