Starting a used car dealership takes time, money, and a whole lot of patience. While it’s true that a good majority of the population will always need cars, better infrastructure and public transit options are drawing some younger would-be buyers away. That’s why, if you’re going to start a business, you need to put in the extra effort to truly succeed. That means being clever with your marketing, sourcing from the right vendors, and learning the ins and outs of the industry. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Market smarter, not harder
Ever heard of geofencing marketing? It may sound complicated, but once you break it down, it makes a lot more sense. Think of your average fence. It contains a set amount of space, right? The same applies to geofencing except, in this case, the fence is virtual. By using geofencing marketing, you’re limiting your marketing efforts to a specific area. This limits the number of unqualified leads that come in. After all, if you’re looking to operate locally, maybe even semi-regionally, you don’t want to field a flood of inquiries from across the country, do you?
When certain smartphone users enter into the geofenced area, they’re able to opt-in and receive messages from your business. These could be promos, limited deals, and sales to draw in potential customers.
By knowing how to better interact with potential leads, you’re setting yourself up for a smoother acquisition process. That’s not all, however, as customers who enjoy the service experience and outreach you provide become more likely to return in the future. Customer retention is incredibly important these days since brand loyalty is a quickly fading concept. Another way you can improve your outreach efforts is by investing in outbound calling software. This makes it so, even as a smaller business, you’re able to provide a more effective customer service experience. Outbound calling software can dial to warm and cold leads without requiring manual input. It can also help route calls more effectively. Sounds like a winner, no?
Find a vendor
Now that you have some of the additional know-how, it’s time to cover some of the essentials. You have a location picked out. You know a bit more about how to find and keep customers. What’s missing from this equation? Oh, right. The cars. Now, finding used cars to sell can be as simple as buying a few outright. Or you can find a dedicated vendor for your business.
Organizations like the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association are dedicated to providing small business owners with the tools they need to succeed. This includes access to training, vendor databases, and legislative materials to make sure your business becomes and remains compliant with the necessary regulations.
If all else fails, it never hurts to turn to friends, family, and even the classifieds. This is a tried and true method for acquiring used vehicles. Plus, you may even be able to acquire a few gems at a cheaper price if you come across anyone more interested in having an unwanted vehicle gone as opposed to turning a profit. Do some digging to find what would work best for your business.
One step at a time
Few, if any, businesses succeed right out of the gate. While you might be the next overnight success, the used car industry is highly competitive. That means that any progress is amazing progress. Don’t be down on yourself and try to be as patient as possible. By going slow and steady, putting in the effort, and providing a stellar customer service experience, you’re setting your startup used car business up for success.