Only those who work, or have worked in the auto industry know the unique challenges and gratifications it offers. Whether you work in selling vehicles or work on the after sales, repairs and maintenance side of things you come to expect punishingly long hours, 6 or 7 day weeks, unpaid overtime and exhausting work days as standard. But we also get to experience the undeniable pleasure of giving great customer service, and the joy of working with cars. The internal combustion engine was one of the defining technologies of the 20th century but over the past few years the humble automobile has undergone enormous technological changes. If you’ve grown weary of enduring the harsh conditions of the motor industry to improve your employers’ profits it’s likely that you’ve considered striking out on your own and setting up your own dealership.
While this is a worthy goal, and there’s plenty of scopes to allow independent motor traders or franchises in the industry, a great vehicle technician or sales professional needs to recalibrate their skills slightly in order to make it as a successful entrepreneur. In order to achieve success in the motor industry (as in all business), entrepreneurs must walk the fine line between investing adequately and keeping overheads manageable. This means keeping eliminating wasteful spending and investing heavily in areas proven to insulate businesses from risk or lead to a substantial return…
Okay, so insurance is a no-brainer, but it’s vital to invest in the right kind of insurance and find the best motor trade insurance for you and the needs of your business. You need to not only protect your stock from damage or theft but while they are on the road being transported from the supplier to your dealership or to a workshop off-site.
Technology has always driven the motor industry forward, but as we accelerate into the 2020s a consumer demand for unparalleled digital connectivity and greener operational technologies has led to an increased emphasis on new technology. Your brand could be compromised if you fail to put your emphasis on technology front and center. There are lots of ways in which you can make innovative use of customer-facing technology. Many dealerships are beginning to experiment with virtual and augmented reality or simply using videos to show after-sales customers the undersides of their vehicles so that they can inspect their own tires, exhausts etc. Technology can show an innovative spirit and an emphasis on transparency, that can give you a leading edge over other smaller dealerships.
Strong sales are essential in driving the motor industry, but auto sales are historically a high volume, low margin endeavor. As long as you’re unable to follow up your sales with a robust aftersales package, you’re placing a virtually impenetrable ceiling over your profits. While a well-equipped workshop represents an enormous overhead, it won’t take very long to pay for itself. Offering your customers servicing packages or discounted rates on brake disc pad and fluid changes, Haldex oil changes or timing belt changes can generate a tidy stream of profit-rich revenue to supplement what you make in sales.