What Tools Do You Need to Start a Used Car Business?
Of all the technological advances that have come and gone, automobiles are one that have never touched the endangered list. Sure, the auto industry has seen difficult times, but there has never been a time where people didn’t need vehicles. Because they’re such a necessity, even the used car business is extremely profitable.
Starting your own used car business isn’t difficult, but there are a lot of hoops to jump through, not to mention a high initial investment. However, if you start small and work your way up, you can cut some of your startup costs and simplify the process. Keep reading to lean about some of the tools you’ll need to start your business as well as handle operations.
One thing you must have before you can open your dealership is a surety bond. Surety bonds are issued by surety bond agencies to guarantee that the issuer will pay any fees you incur due to infractions against your dealer’s license agreement. These infractions can include failing to pay taxes, breaking state Lemon Laws, or failing to provide adequate titles.
Choosing a location is a crucial step in the startup process. Part of your license agreement is that you get adequate space in a proper location for your car lot. You also want to secure a prime location to maximize your dealership’s visibility to car buyers.
The best place to put your used car lot is near other car lots. Your goal is to grab the attention of car buyers, and what better way to do that than to be in an area people already frequent to shop for automobiles? Sure, it will probably be tough sledding at first trying to compete with the more established dealerships in the area, but as long as your car selection and customer service are good, your business will be too.
Pinning down a reliable supply of vehicles is key to running a successful dealership. Being that you’re dealing with used cars, you can expect to have to do some maintenance, but you can’t afford to spend the bulk of your operations costs on maintenance. Furthermore, you don’t want to get a reputation for selling lemons — as you read previously, there are laws against that.
The best source of used cars at wholesale value is car auctions. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered many on-site auctions, you can still get high-quality used cars at online auto auctions. Once you’ve perused the auto auctions and built up a nice inventory, you can get your small business off the ground. Auto auctions have both cars and motorcycles available for incredible prices.
When buying vehicles online, it’s important for you to do your research. You should familiarize yourself with what used vehicles are the most reliable and target them. Learn about the vendor running the auction. When you find vehicles you’re interested in, be sure to do a thorough search into their histories.
Building your enterprise infrastructure is one of the most critical aspects of getting your business revved and running. Your enterprise infrastructure is your mode of operations. It impacts everything from sales and customer experience to data security.
Customer satisfaction is the single most important indicator of your dealership’s success, so you would be wise to invest significantly in your customer support staff and infrastructure to ensure a great customer experience. Life has become so convenient that your customers expect to able to get support around the clock. Of course, no car dealership is actually open 24-hours a day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still provide your customers with the available customer service teams to manage any customer issues they need handled whenever they need them.
Call center software solutions like virtual contact center Bright Pattern offers allow you to communicate with car buyers across multiple channels around the clock. Furthermore, your support staff can work from their homes, which cuts down on turnover and allows your support team to be there for your customers at any time of the day or night.
Contact center software will also be an effective tool for your sales team because it will allow them to engage with online shoppers via live chat on your website. You can also set up chatbots to automate communication with potential customers.
Once you get your dealership up and running, your most valuable tool will be your reputation. Used car dealerships have the stereotype of being shady, so you want to go the extra mile to show your customers that your dealership is elite in terms of its products and call center services. This will give you competitive advantage over other dealerships who haven’t invested in a better customer experience for their buyers.