Coastal

How did you take the leap

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Hi everyone

I'm new to the website and have loved the reading so far and I just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on starting a used car business.

I have been in car sales for nearly 10 years and have experienced a used car supermarket, a smaller used car dealer and 2 separate franchised main dealers. I was a sales exec (used cars and main dealer) for 5 years,  then moved on to a business manager (used cars) role for 3 and the last 2 years I have been a sales manager (main dealer). I miss the excitement of used car sales and have wanted to open a small independent used car dealer for years now.

I like to think I have a good enough experience to hopefully make this a success and I have roughly £50,000 to get up and running, would look to get between 8-10 cars, but I am worried this isn't enough money or stock. Ideally, I really would want at least 6 months bills covered as well as all the usual up front costs. I have planned for the following costs to be covered, please let me know if I am missing anything.

Trade insurance, trade plates, website builder, a database system, invoicing software, laptop, phone, rent, rates, water, gas, electric, broadband and lastly, wages for myself and one other.

I would look to start off with all the valeting and minor detailing myself and I think I have made enough contacts throughout my time to have good reliable mechanical and cosmetic prep work complete without spending fortunes. I would like every car to leave knowing it has 12 months MOT, at least 6 months service time remaining and having been used car checked.

I'm nervous to take the leap, especially in this current market and would love to know how everyone made that initial change to start trading independently and whether you all think I have enough money behind me to make a success of it.

Thank you

Edited by Coastal
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12 minutes ago, justina3 said:

Have you tried small first maybe a few from the house get the feel for it. 

I have, I have been trading 1-2 units a month on and off for the last 18 months or so, only really ever got stuck with 1 car. I first sold one privately about 4 years ago and that is what has given me the buzz to go independent. Only really been taking minimal profit from these though, average around £300 or so.

Edited by Coastal
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yes you wont get stuck with anything  at those margins...............................  moving  from dipping your to into it to making a  real living from it you really need to be  taking  £1000  net from them sales or else you will not be able to sustain a business, I would state thats the aim £1000  i am not saying i do that on every occasion,

 

You and i have similar backgrounds and all i can say is that you really think you know the business and the industry and you think you know what your doing and you very probably make your dealership a decent profit but when its your business and its your cash funds you have a whole  heap of learning and new experiences still to go, Its  a whole new world when you are literally on your own, Not saying you cant or shouldn't do it just that it will be a real jolt to your system as to how much you really dont know, I am into year 6 on my own now and its still a growing process learning every day and week

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Coastal,

Your circumstances sound very similar to mine. I made the leap a year ago, and to be honest I haven't regretted it. It has been tough, don't get me wrong, but you have a good chance of succeeding as you have a background in the industry.

£60k sounds a good starting pot to me. Start small and build it up. Keep your overheads as low as possible. 

Wish you all the very best.,

7 minutes ago, Blenheim Car Sales said:

You and i have similar backgrounds and all i can say is that you really think you know the business and the industry and you think you know what your doing and you very probably make your dealership a decent profit but when its your business and its your cash funds you have a whole  heap of learning and new experiences still to go, Its  a whole new world when you are literally on your own, Not saying you cant or shouldn't do it just that it will be a real jolt to your system as to how much you really dont know, I am into year 6 on my own now and its still a growing process learning every day and week

And I agree with this 100% 

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hi coastal this job is boom then nothing i think you are very wise to think carefully if 50 g is enough,it would be better if you could trade more from home and maybe rent a secure yard for viewings? this way your overheads are lower,theres nothing wrong with punting out cheaper if you can make the figures work ,good luck or rather happy dealing

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4 hours ago, Coastal said:

Ideally, I really would want at least 6 months bills covered as well as all the usual up front costs.

I like this bit of the plan. 

It's a game where every purchase is a calculated roll of the dice but holding a bit back for quiet times is sensible.

In my opinion £300 per unit is nonsense, you may as well stack shelves in Tesco for that kind of return. 

My only advice would be to spread your risk. 10 cars owing 3K each are better than 5 cars owing 6K each. More return on investment, more chopper opportunities, less risk of high recon wiping out all your money in one go. 

Oh and best of luck!

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I can’t remember exactly but I think My probationer suggested it after seeing the business plan I produced during a prison sentence. 

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21 minutes ago, boring dave said:

hi coastal this job is boom then nothing i think you are very wise to think carefully if 50 g is enough,it would be better if you could trade more from home and maybe rent a secure yard for viewings? this way your overheads are lower,theres nothing wrong with punting out cheaper if you can make the figures work ,good luck or rather happy dealing

100% agreed. Someone on here started with £200k few months ago.

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based on what you have said,

with respect too you i think the next step for you is too spend 6 months selling some dearer cars from home without the overhead to get a feel, the reality is these are the cars you will be needing to sell to make any money, believe me there is a big difference on a monday morning to how much you "try" to earn this week and what you "have" to earn a week once committed to full overheads.

regards 50k, at your stage it is too much especially if you have borrowed it, when things get tuff you will go out and buy more with 50k this will not help you, try 20k across 3-4 cars from home, the biggest issue for everyone starting in this job is contacts and sourcing stock, more money is not the answer at this stage, if you do get established and are earning good profit then don't worry about needing more money, there will be plenty of people happy to give it you if your doing well.

and also, with 20k you will manage the 3-4 cars better and probably enjoy the job until taking the bigger plunge.

good luck.

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27 minutes ago, Rory RSC said:

I can’t remember exactly but I think My probationer suggested it after seeing the business plan I produced during a prison sentence. 

Seriously? 

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Hi Coastal

You might have some good contacts for buying stock from your franchised dealer experience.If you have,that is a big advantage.BTW you don’t need to make a grand per car, just get up and running with your 50 grand and you will find your way.

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Go careful and build slowly. We started with about 6 grand! So 50 should make a nice little start up business.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback, it's great to be able to come to a place like this and get such a huge amount of advice. Can't believe I haven't seen it sooner.

Could anyone advise on a good website builder, one that integrates with external advertising companies such as AT, Motors and so on?

I'll be sure to keep up to date in here and let you know when I take the plunge.

Happy selling to you all

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18 minutes ago, Coastal said:

Thanks everyone for the feedback, it's great to be able to come to a place like this and get such a huge amount of advice. Can't believe I haven't seen it sooner.

Could anyone advise on a good website builder, one that integrates with external advertising companies such as AT, Motors and so on?

I'll be sure to keep up to date in here and let you know when I take the plunge.

Happy selling to you all

Car Dealer 5 - Packages start at around £500 fully integrated feeds to EBMP, FB, AT

Really good guys - ask for Adrian :)

 

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On 12/03/2019 at 9:57 PM, twerp said:

Seriously? 

He was caught chasing ferrets and keeping pigeons. Treason down my way.

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33 minutes ago, Mark101 said:

Car Dealer 5 - Packages start at around £500 fully integrated feeds to EBMP, FB, AT

Really good guys - ask for Adrian :)

 

+1

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On 15/03/2019 at 8:38 PM, NOACROSS said:

I can’t speak highly enough for Click Dealer but I think CD5 is cheaper. 

Would also recommend Click Dealer 

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I know a fella who started his business with £4,500 borrowed, he sold up 5 years ago for 11 million ;)

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On 15/03/2019 at 4:58 PM, EPV said:

He was caught chasing ferrets and keeping pigeons. Treason down my way.

he isn't even up North

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1 hour ago, andymc1973 said:

he isn't even up North

Everyone north of the Watford gap is a black pudding eating, ferret chasing suspect in my book 

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15 minutes ago, EPV said:

Everyone north of the Watford gap is a black pudding eating, ferret chasing suspect in my book 

You're avin one ere aren't you ? Only view of the sarrrrf east worth seeing is in the rear view mirror..

Full of ferrets eating black pudding on reality shows, dreaming of mooovin 'art t cuntree.. so they can get their Mrs ham butty tattoo'd  :huh:

Cooor blimey do wot John knock it on the 'ead as it 'appens... I'll stick to the fresh air, fields and hills, they spend up here too :P..

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