If you are looking to make a little side income through starting a part time motor trade based business, or maybe you want to become a full time trader but start part time, here are a few tips to help get started.
The benefit of Starting or being a Part Time Trader
Going self employed within any field will always place a strain on your finance, as such, being a part time trader will allow you to maintain a primary income and either earn a side line or progress over without having to find huge initial financial outlay.
Being your own boss also allows you to work around your current commitments. Becoming a part time trader will still bring its own challenges but it is a safer way to go about starting up.
What is The Motor Trade Industry?
The term ‘Motor Trader’ is a cover all term for every element within the motor trade industry. Before starting, you will need to take time to consider what type of trader you wish to be.
Many part time traders chose car sales, typically because it don’t require a skill other than to workout your costs after vehicle purchase. You may however wish to start a repairs and maintenance business, potentially even small bodywork repairs.
Our advice here though would be to stick to what you know and are good at, if you don’t know any element but still strongly considering a part time motor trade occupation, then maybe enlist on a training course or start studying.
Where do you intend to locate your business?
Where you wish to trade from can affect things such as your ability to find cheap part time traders insurance and the demand on what you are offering. Many part time traders often trade from home utilising spare space for vehicle stock or a garage as a repair centre.
Take time to see how many competitors you will have in the area to which you wish to trade, if the area is over saturated with part time mechanics and you wish to be a mechanic, finding work will be very hard. Place yourself and trade from a lower competition area. This won’t mean you have an endless supply of work but it will better your chances.
Never set out on such challenges blind, it will quite possible be the worst decision you make.
Once you have decided what type of motor trader you wish to be, start to research the market, work out who your competition are. Once you know your competition, study what they offer, how they operate, and then offer an improvement on what they offer. You will read that you need a USP (Unique Sales Point), a USP will be what sets you apart and gains you the chance of work.
Once you have this plan of action together, work out who you wish to sell to, and don’t think it is everyone, you will need to work out a genre. Will you buy and sell high value cars to those of a certain income, will you offer cheap body work repairs to those on small budgets?
Start to Build Your Business
Your business will start with a name. If you don’t wish to trade under your own name, spend some time coming up with different trading names that are both catchy and memorable. Be sure however to check that no one else is trading with the same name!
Create a Business Plan
Not all, but most successful businesses started with a business plan. A business plan enables you to put you ideas on paper, form a plan and better visualise what you need to achieve.
Find and Apply Funding
Your business will not trade with nothing in the bank. You will be required to either buy vehicles, parts or repairs materials. Nobody will be prepared to pay for this all upfront, at best you may get 50% in advance for a repair job but otherwise the whole enterprise will require initial funding from you.
Many part time trader self fund but you can also consider a small business loan if you have quite big aspirations. This will require a strong business plan though on how you intend to generate and repay the loan as well as make a living.
If no one knows about you, no body will come to use your services! When first starting up, you may not need your own website but Facebook does now provide a very good opportunity to create a page that people can find and contact you through.
There are many ways of advertising but we would always recommend having an online presence so people can find you when searching Google etc.
The more people that know about you, the greater chance you have of gaining new business that once you have done a good job, you can turn into repeat business.
Insure your Part Time Business
We get it, you don’t always want to pay for insurance, it is however a legal requirement and is absolutely essential in making sure that should something go wrong, you are covered!
Part time traders insurance will cover you for vehicle theft or damage or mistakes in craftsmanship as well claims against you but more unfair customers. Be sure to tell the advisor you speak with exactly what you need cover for.