Running any kind of business is a challenge, but running a car dealership is especially tough. Cars and trucks are expensive, difficult to maintain, and take up a lot of space, meaning you will have to have a good-sized lot to be able to show off a decent inventory. Using auto dealership software can make the process easier. Here are a few tips that will help you be successful with your car dealership.
Your first step when starting your own dealership is getting a license. Without a license, you are only able to sell a limited number of vehicles; this is usually reserved for those who want to sell their personal vehicle. You should be able to get a license at your local department of motor vehicles or DMV, but the requirements and fees will vary from one state to the next.
You will also need to decide whether you will be selling vehicles as a retailer or a wholesaler. A retailer will only be able to sell vehicles to the public, while a wholesaler will be able to sell to other dealers. Each option has its own licensing and zoning laws, so make your decision before you get licensed or choose a location. Consider an auto dealership software suite to match your sales intentions.
Getting an Inventory
Having an inventory can be difficult since you’re dealing with cars and trucks. As we said before, these vehicles are expensive and can be difficult to maintain. A good place to start shopping would be at a dealer-only car auction in your area. These auctions are only open to dealers, and they can be a great place to build your inventory if you plan to sell used cars. Otherwise, you will have to build your inventory through trade-ins and purchases from other dealers. Start making contacts before you get your business off the ground so that you actually have an inventory before you have your grand opening.
Manage Your Dealership with Auto Dealership Software
Computers have gone a long way in making running businesses of all kinds easier, and car dealerships are no exception. In fact, there are some great auto dealership software programs out there from companies such as CAR-Research XRM that could be perfect for your dealership. These programs can help you manage your inventory, your finances, and your expenses with relatively little trouble, so check it out if you want to reduce some of the stress from running your own business.
Find a Good Mechanic
Cars – even the most reliable makes and models – are difficult to maintain. You will need to hire a good mechanic to keep your inventory in working condition, especially if you’re planning to sell used cars. Even new vehicles may be subject to some wear and tear if they are exposed to the elements and routinely test-driven. In other words, never assume that a vehicle is going to be perfect just because nobody has ever owned it.
Running a car dealership is a challenge, but so is running any kind of business. It is risky if you don’t understand the new and used vehicle market, but it can also be very profitable if you know what you’re doing. The right kinds of cars and trucks will sell very well as long as you are offering them. Keep a cool head and don’t get discouraged, and you should do just fine.