5 Hacks That Dealerships Can Use To Open New Locations

5 Hacks That Dealerships Can Use To Open New Locations

Car dealerships can cater to those looking for a dream car. You may also be selling a young student their first taste of freedom. If you already own a car dealership and are expanding to another state, you may need to earn new certifications to fulfill the requirements for that state. It can also be a good idea to find a bank branch that suits your needs.

 

Choose The Right Location

For those staying in the same state, expanding the dealership will probably not require gaining additional certifications. Do let your accountant know that you’re considering an expansion; there may be city taxes that you need to address on your next return. Your attorney will also need to help you review local regulations and certifications.

 

Your location will have an impact on the security you require. It may also have an impact on the financing options you will need to offer. Many people have suffered hard hits to their credit but really need a car for a new job. Being ready to offer financing to folks who can prove their income may mean that your financing department will have to get very creative.

 

If your new dealership location is going to offer financing, you will likely need a cash collection point. Carefully review the security and storage in place at the front desk. If your new location doesn’t already offer cameras and locked storage, put those features in place before you open.

 

Connect With Quality Repair Professionals

If you have already chosen your new facility, you need to determine whether or not you will offer a maintenance and repair shop. Should you find that your facility doesn’t really have the room for outside repairs, you will want to build a relationship with a repair shop that specializes in the make and model that you will be selling.

 

For dealerships that will be focused on used cars, your local repair shop may need to be able to help you assess the quality of a trade-in. If your space is limited, you may need to hire your own mechanic to come in and review the quality of trade-ins. These technicians may need to work for you on a part-time basis; be ready to offer evening and weekend hours to these folks so you don’t limit your hiring options.

 

A simple option for bringing in a part-time mechanic is to check with local senior centers. There may well be retired mechanics who no longer need full-time work but would like to earn some extra cash in addition to retirement and social security. Consider also checking in with local technical schools; you may be able to offer part-time work to students near the end of their schooling.

 

Contract With Local Security

As soon as you sign the lease or contract on your new facility, hire a security team to patrol the facility. Get the exterior lot security checked; consider adding security fencing around the back of your facility, especially if you’re going to offer a repair and maintenance shop to your customers.

 

A simple addition to the security of your dealership is to upgrade the lighting. Motion-sensitive lighting around the building can reduce the risk of vandalism and save a lot of extra work. Once you have possession of the building, reach out to local police and ask for drive-bys of your new facility to check on things. Make sure your new building shows signs of life.

 

It is critical that you act quickly to capture the attention of local residents. Once the lights are on, you may need to set up temporary office spaces while painters and flooring professionals work in other areas of the showroom and office area. Be ready to show vehicles as soon as interest is expressed; people can buy cars from almost anywhere. If they have to wait to talk about financing, you may lose the sale.

 

Move Your Inventory

Once your exterior security is in place, you’re ready to start loading vehicles. Power up the lighting around the exterior of your lot so you can show off your inventory. Because of the extra labor and fuel costs of shipping your car to distant locations such as Hawaii, you will want your financing team and sales professionals readily available to shoppers.

 

Carefully review the risks to your inventory in your region, particularly if you’re selling used cars. If you’re selling cars in the desert, don’t put them on the lot until the windows are tinted. If you’re selling trucks in Minnesota, you’ll need block heaters and power. Ocean breezes can increase the risk of corrosion. If you’re shipping used cars to the islands, carefully assess the critical features that vehicles in this new region will need.

 

Hire Personality, Train Skills

A good salesperson can sell almost anything. If you find a sales personality that knows nothing about cars, hire them and train them. Find their focus; if they’re young, they may be passionate about speed. A young parent may be more interested in safety.

 

In such cases, unofficial training may be just as helpful as real classes. For example, a retired mechanic can offer a young sales professional a lot of wisdom outside the classroom. Allow folks time, particularly when assessing a trade-in vehicle. A quality mechanic with a lot of experience can help you assess a trade-in with an eye towards

  • signs of poor maintenance history
  • outcomes caused by driving habits
  • known design challenges

 

Ask them to show your salespeople obvious signs of both good and poor care taken by previous drivers. If you take in a trade-in that looks great but has engine damage due to rough driving, you may have a hard time selling the vehicle and suffer damage to your reputation.

 

Whether you’re selling new or used, the cars that you have for sale can offer a great deal of security and freedom. Selling quality vehicles at fair prices can help you build a strong reputation and a business that will earn the loyalty of customers.

Founder & CEO of Digital Treed | Digital Marketing Professional & Business Coach.