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Starting a Car Accessories Store Business – A Complete Guide

Do you want to start a car accessories store? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a car accessories store business with NO money and no experience.

Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample car accessories store business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample car accessories store marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for car accessories stores. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a car accessories store. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.

Why Start a Car Accessories Store Business?

As long as people still use automobiles, car accessories and auto spare parts will continue to be in demand. The car accessories and auto spare parts store business is indeed a profitable business because the replacement of damaged or worn-out auto parts and car accessories is compulsory if you want your vehicle to continue to be on the road and serve the purpose you bought it for.

If you are looking for a business to commence as an entrepreneur and you know you have a penchant for automobiles, then you should consider starting your own car accessories store business. Although you don’t need a college degree to establish your own car accessories and auto spare parts store, but you would need some form of informal training, you might have to work as an apprentice with someone who owns a car accessories and auto spare parts store. It makes it easier for you to learn the ropes on how to manage your own car accessories and auto spare parts store.

It is important to point out that the car accessories and auto spare parts store business is one business that can’t go out of fashion because of the role it plays in the automobile industry. Depending on the scale you want to start, the startup capital for this type of business can be considered to be moderate. As a matter of fact, you can start your own car accessories and auto spare parts store and then grow it big within a short period of time by re-investing your profits back into the business.

So, if you want to start your own car accessories store business, all you need do is to read this article for the necessary knowledge and insight.

Starting a Car Accessories Store Business – A Complete Guide

  • Industry Overview

The auto parts stores industry include stores/shops that retail new and used automotive parts and car accessories, repair automobiles and install automotive accessories. Players in this industry can choose to operate a single store in just one location or chains of stores in several locations scattered all across the United States of America. As a matter of fact, auto stores can be found in all parts of the world as long as there are automobiles there.

IBISWorld projected that the Auto Parts Stores industry is expected to grow slowly over the five years to 2016. It stated that per capita disposable income and corporate profit boosted the demand for auto parts. Furthermore, favorable car usage trends have led to growth in demand for industry products in the short term.

Nevertheless, advancements in motor vehicle technology have made it increasingly difficult for vehicle owners to repair and maintain vehicles without professional help. Going forward, the revenue generated by operators in the industry is expected to grow at the same pace as the previous period.

As the national level of per capita disposable income continues to rise, some consumers will increase their spending on maintaining and fixing their automobiles hence the increase in demand for products and services from the Auto Stores industry.

The Auto Parts Stores Industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in all the countries of the world. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 43,136 registered and licensed auto spare parts stores scattered all across the United States responsible for directly employing about 376,102 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $56 billion annually.

The industry is projected to grow at a 1.9 percent annual growth rate within 2011 and 2016. It is important to state that Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone Inc., Genuine Parts Company and O’Reilly Automotive Inc have the largest chunk of the available market share in the industry.

A close observation of the Auto Parts Stores industry shows that the industry has low barriers to entry. In the United States, the industry is subject to few restrictive regulations, and industry employees typically do not need to be trained formally to be able to carry out their duties.

The truth is that the startup capital for opening an auto parts store especially when it involves establishing a standard auto parts store with products from various automobile companies is on the high side. But if you choose to start a spare parts store like the average mom and pop business, then you would not have to stress yourself because you will only need minimal startup capital to launch the business.

The tough part as it relates to startup cost is most likely the need to establish a supply of auto parts from wholesalers or directly from auto parts manufacturing companies. This is so because an auto parts business cannot be started without sourcing products for sale. Regardless of low barriers to entry, the competitive nature of the industry makes it very difficult for new operators to break even within a short period of time in the industry.

Lastly, the auto spare parts industry is pretty much open for aspiring entrepreneurs to launch their business in the industry. One good thing about car accessories and auto spare parts stores business is that the business can be opened in any part of the United States and if proper market survey and feasibility studies are conducted, then you can be rest assured of the profitability of the business.

Starting a Car Accessories Store Business – Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of those who patronize car accessories stores cut across all genders; male and female above 18 years with the financial means and who own automobiles, hence the demographic composition for the car accessories store business is all encompassing. In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but to all those who own automobiles.

So, if you are thinking of opening your own car accessories store business then you should make your target demographics all encompassing. It should include car owners, auto repair, maintenance and servicing garages, transport companies and haulage companies in and outside the neighborhood where your car accessories store will be located.

List of Niche ideas Within the Car Accessories Retail Business That You Can Specialize in

It is important to state that there is no known niche area when it comes to the car accessories store business. Every player in this line of business usually sells a wide range of car accessories and auto parts from top manufacturing brands in the United States and other countries of the world.

On the other hand, it is important to state that some car accessories and auto spare parts store may decide to major in selling automotive parts and car accessories (critical parts (new), critical parts (used), maintenance parts, accessories and performance parts and/or distributing automotive parts and car accessories and repairing automobiles and installing automotive accessories. So also, some car accessories and auto spare parts stores may decide to build a strong online presence/online store.

The Level of Competition in the Car Accessories and Auto Spare Parts Store Business

The competition that exists in the car accessories and auto spare parts stores industry goes beyond competition between car accessories and auto spare parts stores; you will be expected to compete with auto garages and similar businesses that also retail car accessories and auto spare parts. So, it will be right to say the competition in the car accessories and auto spare parts store business is tough.

The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you stock your store with car accessories and auto spare parts from different car manufacturing companies that are in demand in your business location and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.

But over and above, there are several car accessories and auto spare parts stores scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own car accessories and auto spare parts stores business in the United States, you will definitely encounter stiff competition amongst car accessories and auto spare parts stores and auto garages within your business location that also retail car accessories and auto spare parts. Besides, there are larger car accessories and auto spare parts stores that determine the trend in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.

List of Well – Known Brands in the Car Accessories Retail Industry

In every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and  the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.

These are some of the leading car accessories and auto spare parts stores in the United States of America and in the globe;

  • AutoAnything™ – America’s Auto and Truck Accessories SuperStore
  • Accessories at Pep Boys
  • US Auto Parts Network, Inc.
  • American Car Craft: Custom Car Accessories & Parts
  • Auto Parts Warehouse
  • JC Whitney: Auto Parts, Truck Parts, Truck Accessories
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Francis America Spare Parts
  • NR Automobile Accessories
  • Engine Performance Chip
  • com
  • Atlanta Auto Accessories
  • Carquest – Auto parts store
  • Auto Parts Place
  • AutoZone
  • Napa Auto Parts
  • Quality Auto Parts
  • CARiD Online Auto Parts Store
  • PartsGeek Online Auto Parts Store
  • BuyAutoParts Online Auto Parts Store

Economic Analysis

If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profit, then you need to get your economic analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.

Car accessories and auto spare parts store business is not a green business; as a matter of fact, you will come across several car accessories and auto spare parts stores when you go shopping for car accessories and auto spare parts. So if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of what is required to rent a store, the amount needed to stock your store with car accessories and auto spare parts from different car manufacturing brands, and also the running cost of the business.

Over and above, if you are considering starting a car accessories and auto spare parts store business, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting a store and stocking your store with car accessories and auto spare parts from different car manufacturing brands, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.

Starting Your Car Accessories and Auto Spare Parts Store Business from Scratch vs Buying a Franchise

If you are looking towards starting a car accessories and auto spare parts store business, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get a franchise of car accessories and auto spare parts store business to buy. It is a business that is open to all and sundry.

Besides starting a car accessories and auto spare parts store business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small scale businesses which usually require detailed groundwork before launching the business. With a car accessories and auto spare parts store business, you should just try as much as possible to secure a shop that is close to a major road or mechanic village and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to marketing your car accessories and auto spare parts.

Please note that most of the big and successful car accessories and auto spare parts stores around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success and of course you can build your own car accessories and auto spare parts store business brand to become a successful brand with corporate and individual customers in your city and across the length and breadth of the United States of America if you choose to open chains of car accessories and auto spare parts stores all across the United States of America.

Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Car Accessories and Auto Spare Parts Store Business

If you decide to start your own car accessories and auto spare parts store business today, one of the major challenges you are likely to face is the presence of well – established car accessories and auto spare parts stores and auto garages within your business location that also retail car accessories and auto spare parts. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.

Other challenges and threats that you may likely face are economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. There is nothing you can do as regard these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.

Starting a Car Accessories Store Business – Legal Matters

  • Best legal entity to use for this type of business

When considering starting a car accessories and auto spare parts store business, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some car accessories and auto spare parts store design their businesses for neighborhood market, some for city wide market, while others for national market via franchising.

You have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for a business such as car accessories and auto spare parts store. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small scale car accessories and auto spare parts store especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood. But people prefer limited liability Company for obvious reasons.

As a matter of fact, if your intention is to grow the business and have chains of car accessories and auto spare parts stores across the United States of America and other countries of the world via franchising, then choosing a sole proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.

Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.

These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your car accessories and auto spare parts store business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.

Catchy Business Name Ideas Suitable for a Car Accessories and Auto Spare Parts Store Business

If you are considering starting your own car accessories and auto spare parts store business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • Vitus Lewis Car Accessories & Auto Spare Parts Store, Inc.
  • Bourn Mort Car Accessories Store, LLC
  • Classique Car Accessories Store, Inc.
  • All Nations Car Accessories Store
  • Mark Fernand Car Accessories Store, Inc.
  • Tripod Car Accessories and Auto Spare Parts Store, Inc.
  • The Kings Car Accessories Stores, Inc.
  • George Paulson Car Accessories Store, LLC
  • Ken Garland Car Accessories Stores, Inc.
  • GEJ Car Accessories Store, Inc.

Insurance Policies

In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your car accessories and auto spare parts store business.

Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own car accessories and auto spare parts store business in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance
  • Payment protection insurance

Intellectual Property Protection/Trademark

If you are considering starting your own car accessories and auto spare parts store business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

Is Professional Certification Needed to Run a Car Accessories Store?

When it comes to car accessories and auto spare parts store business, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to start a car accessories and auto spare parts store business. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of car accessories and auto spare parts buying and selling business.

On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to conduct your car accessories and auto spare parts store business, then by all mean try and pursue such certification.

List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Car Accessories and Auto Spare Parts Store Business

The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentation. If you do, it won’t be long before the long arm of the law catches up with you.

These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own car accessories and auto spare parts store business in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Tax Payer’s ID / Tax Identification Number
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Copy of license for the service support facility and/or a recent inspection report
  • Employee Handbook
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use (if you also operate online car accessories and auto spare parts store)
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Building License
  • Franchise or Trademark License (optional)

Financing Your Car Accessories and Auto Spare Parts Store Business

Starting a car accessories and auto spare parts store business can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale by running a car accessories store in a street corner. Securing a standard and well-positioned store facility and stocking your store with a wide range of car accessories and auto spare parts from different car manufacturing brands are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital; but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for funds to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale car accessories and auto spare parts store business.

No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first thing and perhaps the major factor that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your car accessories and auto spare parts store business;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell of shares to interested investors
  • Applying for loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
  • Sourcing for soft loans from your family members and your friends

Choosing a Suitable Location for a Car Accessories and Auto Spare Parts Store Business

When it comes to choosing a location for your car accessories and auto spare parts store, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for such products and easy access to wholesale purchasing of car accessories and auto spare parts store from different car manufacturing brands. Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your car accessories and auto spare parts store, it will give people easy access to your store.

It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to open your car accessories and auto spare parts store business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people and organizations/businesses who own automobiles and with the required purchasing power.

If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your car accessories and auto spare parts store in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business and perhaps giving direction to potential customers.

These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your car accessories and auto spare parts store;

  • The demography of the location
  • The demand for car accessories and auto spare parts in the location
  • The number of automobile owners and the purchasing power of the residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of car accessories and auto spare parts stores in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al

Starting a Car Accessories Store Business – Technical & Manpower Details

On the average, there are no special technologies or equipment needed to run this type of business except for Point of Sales (POS) Machines, shelves and software applications. So also, you will definitely need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.

As regards leasing or outright purchase of a store facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard car accessories and auto spare parts store business, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Merchandize Manager, Store Manager, Sales and Marketing Officer/Sales Girls and Sales Boys, Accounting Clerk and Cleaners.

These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 3 to 6 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard car accessories and auto spare parts store business.

The Services Process Involved in Car Accessories and Auto Spare Parts Store Business

When it comes to buying and selling stuffs, there are no hard and fast rules about it. Basically, it is the duty of the merchandize manager to help the organization/store stock goods (car accessories and auto spare parts from different car manufacturers). They go out there to source for good purchasing deals and they also ensure that they do not only purchase at the right prices that will guarantee them good profits, but also ensure that they purchase car accessories and auto spare parts that are in demand in their business location.

Once the car accessories and auto spare parts are bought, they are properly arranged in the store for customers to see and purchase. On the other hand, they are also expected to deliver car accessories and auto spare parts orders made by clients if such services are available in their store.

Stocks are taken after the close of business every day and accounts are balanced. This will enable them place demand for more car accessories and auto spare parts that are finished or bring more car accessories and auto spare parts from the warehouse to the store.

It is important to state that a car accessories and auto spare parts store may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated car accessories and auto spare parts store business process is not cast on stone.

Starting a Car Accessories Store Business – The Marketing Plan

  • Marketing ideas and strategies

Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a car accessories and auto spare parts store business, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business, because there are well – known brands determining the market direction for car accessories and auto spare parts stores industry.

These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your car accessories and auto spare parts store business;

  • Introduce your car accessories and auto spare parts store by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to car owners, auto repair, maintenance and servicing garages, transport and haulage companies and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your car accessories and auto spare parts store is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your products
  • Engage in road shows in targeted communities from time to time to sell your products
  • Join local car accessories and auto spare parts associations for industry trends and tips
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)

Factors That Will Help You Get the Right Product Pricing for your Car Accessories

One key factor that will help you sell your car accessories and auto spare parts at rock bottom prices is to purchase your items directly from the manufacturers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from the manufacturers, the cheaper you tend to get them.

Another strategy that will help you retail your car accessories and auto spare parts at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.

Strategies to Boost Your Car Parts Store Brand Awareness and Create Your Corporate Identity

If your intention of starting a car accessories and auto spare parts store business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening chains of car accessories and auto spare parts stores and franchising, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.

No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and requires consistent brand awareness and boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Your corporate identity has a lot to do when it comes to building a business that is profitable and lasts long.

Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your car accessories and auto spare parts store;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your products
  • Install your Billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your car accessories and auto spare parts store
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Contact car owners, auto repair, maintenance and servicing garages, transport companies and haulage companies and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your car accessories and auto spare parts store is located informing them about your business and the products you retail
  • List your car accessories and auto spare parts store in local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise your car accessories and auto spare parts store in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your car accessories and auto spare parts store is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and vans are well branded with your company logo.
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