Opening an auto battery business can be a lucrative move. As with starting any business, though, it requires a lot of advanced planning.
Don’t just buy some inventory and pick a date for that grand opening. Instead, check out the following four tips for how to get an early start on ensuring the business’s success in its local community.
Learn About Regulations
There are some regulations that apply to all businesses, such as the need to register the business and others that only apply to niche industries. Safe shipping and packaging of lithium-ion batteries is a regulated activity under DOT Final Rule HM-224F, so it’s important to understand what these regulations require so they can ensure that their businesses comply with them. Future business owners can see safe packaging options from reliable suppliers to determine how much shipping in new inventory safely will cost.
Write up a Stellar Business Plan
The first step entrepreneurs need to take before starting up a new business is to come up with a comprehensive business plan. Business plans offer insight into all the essentials of how the business will get started, how it will operate, and how it will grow.
A good business plan should include comprehensive, accurate financial information, a description of the products being sold, and information about potential customers, competitors, and employees. The overall effect should be to offer a solid, easily accessible plan.
Include an executive summary that gives readers an overview of the business plan. The rest of the plan can be tailored to its intended audience to some degree, so that business owners who plan to use it to secure financing can focus on how much startup capital they’ll need, what it will be spent on, and what guarantees they have that they’ll be able to make it back.
Most business plans are divided into four sections: opportunity, execution, company overview, and financial plan. Future auto battery business owners can use this basic template to outline why the community they plan to serve will buy their batteries, how they plan to sell them, who they plan to hire, and how much money it will take to get it all done.
Review Competition and Location
It wouldn’t make sense to start up an auto batteries business in a small town that already has plenty of competition in this niche market. While the prevalence of nationwide chains in America makes it impossible to start a business anywhere that will be completely free from competition, future business owners should choose their locations wisely. If the town or city seems under-served by other auto battery shops, a new one will have plenty of room to grow and thrive.
If the town seems like its consumers already have access to plenty of options for buying new and used auto batteries, it might be better to look elsewhere in the area. Once future business owners have determined the right market for their products, they should also carefully consider the physical location of their businesses. Entrepreneurs should seek locations for their auto battery businesses in easy-to-access places like on main roads or in shopping plazas that also feature other big-name stores, as this can help them attract new customers as they get off the ground.
Before opening up shop, business owners should also learn about their local audiences. They must cater to this customer base through targeted marketing and product selection. If the area is affluent, customers will be more likely to buy their batteries new but businesses that plan to operate in less wealthy areas should also carry used inventory that can be sold for lower prices.
Do Plenty of Marketing Research
If a new business opens and local customers have heard nothing about it and don’t know what it sells, chances are that business will fail. Business owners need to perform plenty of marketing research in advance so they’ll already have a customer base that’s excited to take advantage of their products.
Those who have followed the first three tips should be well on their way to having a marketing plan, as most experts agree that studying the competition is an essential means of understanding a target audience. They also must do some research into local population demographics. The same advertising campaigns that are great at attracting the attention of older, more affluent members of a community might fall flat with younger generations or those living in poorer neighborhoods.
Find out who lives nearby and who drives in the neighborhood. Don’t stock inventory based on this demographic research alone, but make a point of trying to determine what kinds of batteries will be best sellers in advance.
Advertising for the business’s grand opening should also be tailored to its expected audience. Come up with a professional website and establish a social media presence prior to opening up the doors and make sure that local consumers know when the grand opening is happening and what they can expect.
There’s nothing wrong with hiring a marketing firm to help with learning about the company’s expected audience, coming up with effective digital marketing strategies, designing a website that stands out and creating a plan to generate lots of hype around the grand opening. If business owners aren’t computer savvy, it’s usually worth the investment, but they should include this expenditure in the business plan as part of its marketing strategy.
The Bottom Line
Starting an auto battery business takes a good deal of advanced planning if business owners want their new companies to succeed. Even with the best-laid business plan, advanced marketing, and perfect market, it often takes a few years to get a business off the ground.
Business owners that follow the tips above will find that they can bring their new businesses out of the red and start making profit earlier than they would have if they hadn’t taken the time to plan. They can also rest assured that they won’t be blindsided by unexpected complications since they’ve already taken the time to figure out what to expect and how to deal with potential problems.