Around 10 million households own motorcycles, proof we’re a nation of keen bikers.
A fantastic way to capitalize on your passion is by opening your motorcycle dealership. Perhaps you’ve been considering it but you’re not sure where to go. Sound familiar?
If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to open your motorcycle dealership.
Decide Whether This is the Best Path For You
You must have enough expertise to pursue this path. The motorcycle community is tight so it’s crucial that you are well-known and respected . If you are, you’re guaranteed to have a successful motorcycle dealership.
Also, decide what a day running the business will be like. Alongside administrative tasks, you must manage the dealership and make sure customers are looked after. You and your team must also have in-depth knowledge about parts, how to properly service a bike, alongside the community and its history.
Create a Business Plan
The first step on how to start a motorcycle dealership is to create a robust business plan. To do this, choose your business’s focus whether it’s selling new or second-hand motorcycles, spare parts, or offering service and MOT tests.
It’s important to note if you want a large motorcycle business then your startup costs will be far greater. You should consider building relationships with manufacturers and wholesale retailers so you can get a good deal on getting your starting products.
When you contact manufacturers, discuss the bikes you want to sell and establish a purchasing order. You should consider warranty options, shipping fees, and come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Ask yourself, how to make the dealership more profitable. For instance, you could run an online motorcycle parts business too or set up a small motorbike cafe where everyone can catch up. Either way, these are great ways of boosting profits without compromising your overhead costs.
Once you’ve decided this, consider your target market. It’s mostly going to be males between 18 to 65 so hone in on a particular section of that (e.g. experienced bikers) so you know who to tailor your marketing campaign to.
Plus, it’s important to note, license restrictions and insurance mean that young riders can only buy smaller machines. This is because older ones are more powerful so consider this when creating customer profiles.
And before you can start a motorcycle dealership, choose a unique and catchy name. Consider the message you want to convey and your target audience so you have a productive brainstorming session.
Form a Legal Entity
When you deal with motorcycles, you must establish yourself as a legal business entity like an LLC so if a customer sues then you’re not personally liable. You will also need to register for state and federal taxes by applying for an Employer Identification Number so you don’t run into legal trouble.
Then, open a business bank account and credit card to, again, protect your assets. A major bonus is once you have financing in your dealership’s name then it’s easier to get better interest and credit rates in the future.
Get Necessary Licenses and Insurance
Out of all the motorcycle dealerships for sale, you’ve bought your dream one.
Now you must get the state permits and licenses so you can legally run your dealership. Alongside this, it’s important to get a dealer policy so run safely. There are other types available like General Liability Insurance which is the most popular coverage for small businesses.
Create a Strong Brand Identity
You must have a strong brand identity. This is what your company stands for, how the public sees you, and the way you stand out from your competitors. Once you know what your dealership represents, it’s time to promote and market your business.
The most effective way is through word of mouth because it’s a tight-knit community, so engage with customers on social media and via your website. You can also place ads in motorcycle magazines so you reach a larger audience.
Consider partnering with local businesses by sponsoring your town’s event or offering a free CBT course when buying a learner machine.
Consider Your Competitors
During the process, look at what your competitors are doing so you can see how they’ve positioned themselves in the marketplace and how they reach customers. It’ll also help you choose a USP (unique selling point) and provide a better service to prospects.
You should also contact entrepreneurs who have industry experience but work in a different town. They can teach you how to reach customers, maintain good relationships with manufacturers, and stand out from the rest.
Hire a Team
Once you’re established, hire a team that is knowledgeable about motorcycles. They must also know about different models and how each bike differs from the next. Plus, your team should recommend financing options to your clients as it’s useful for customers.
That’s How to Start a Motorcycle Dealership
Now you know how to start a successful motorcycle dealership.
It’s important to have in-depth knowledge about the community and motorcycles, get all necessary insurance, and have a strong team who is passionate about servicing bikes. Then get creative with your marketing campaign whether it’s placing an ad in a paper or sponsoring a local race.
Most importantly, get involved with the community and find unique ways to reach new customers. Good luck!
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