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Performance shop

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by erebunicrx, May 4, 2005.

  1. erebunicrx

    erebunicrx my name is Dale

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    well me and a friend are getting all are information together to start a local performance shop. we will mostly do hondas and neons. we already have someone to help us out to get a loan.

    so, what would you like to see when you walked into a performance shop? what would you like a shop to have in stock so you dont have to wait to have shipped. we plan on having a big showroom. Thanks and any advise is helpful.
     
  2. Harms Way

    Harms Way Senior Member

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    Well, my local performance shop basically has a bunch of eye candy sitting under glass counters that wrap two sides of the shop. Ex: turbo's, cam gears, cams, blowoff valves, short ram and cold air intakes with 2 kinds of filters, the K&N and the sponge filters, with Mugen valve covers hanging behind the counter and a rack of all kinds of wheels and a rack of strut bars just sittting out in plain view. It is setup just so that a customer cant simply walk in and take something and walk out without being noticed, because basically everything is under the glass counter and there is always a guy up front answering questions and giving estimates.
    I feel that a customer is more willing to buy something they can personely see and/or touch if they so do desire. I mean, i love to just go in there and drool over everything that i can't afford and have left just purchasing a shift knob and a strut bar.
    Oh, and i almost forgot, they have a small waiting station where customers who are having something small done to their car can sit in some chairs and wathc T.V and/or look at magazines. Good Luck!
     
  3. Jeef

    Jeef NO MA'AM Moderator VIP

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    Rice sells, get some in there even if you don't like it. Don't overload your inventory with shit to fill the shelves. Its going to be expensive, and you may never sell it. Stock a lot of common parts and special order the rest, use RT Speed as an example of this. Half the shit they have there has been there since I was 16 (9 years ago) Try to get in with another performance shop (probably someone somewhat far away so they don't think you will steal their business) who is established and try to get some of their better pricing, also you can drive over there to get it if the customer needs it that day. Remember inventory is going to suck up a lot of your cash, which down the road can mean you not being able to expand or buy more equipment. Get your name out there, build a show car for say Manchester Honda Rice nights and stockpile business cards on it and throw cards on windshields of people watching the show.
     
  4. Bl6CRX

    Bl6CRX Senior Member

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    Honestly, I say have a chill shop. Treat everyone as if they where your bros, encourage everyone to come by and chill. Loyal customers who can network for you and promote your shop will do you wonders.

    As for setup, id say have a fair amount of high moving parts for popular car models. Target the trends around you, I know out here in Cali trucks are hot right now and customers pay top dollar for their parts, I wouldn't exclude them if you are planning on having a large shop. If rice is still hot, buy rice, if not, look elsewhere.

    Also, focus on making VERY good connections with your suppliers. I worked the wholesale/distribution side of the bussiness and let me tell you, if I liked you, I could make you soooo much cash. There were a couple guys who were just sooo cool Id love to hook them up. Every supplier is gonna have some items they can get great deals on, whether they pass them onto you is up to them. Especially on Carb legal intakes, mufflers, and certain tail lights, I would mark them up (or down) 100% depending on who was calling.

    Also, do lots of promotion, have BBQ's/car shows, you just got to make a name for yourself.

    As far as retail goes, your in for a very tough one here. Your number 1 enemy is the internet, and you will find that the prices you get wholesale are often the same as,(or maybe even higher) than what is availble online.

    Also, I would make sure you have a good mechanics working for you. A rumor of bad work will kill you.
     
  5. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    2 words: hondaswap discount

    :D
     
  6. Dustin_m

    Dustin_m Active Member

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    Alright i guess i got a couple ideas here. personally i dont go to a lot of performance shop really, but when i was younger i used to go hang out at the local skate shop often, and i think some of the same ideas apply here. you're basically gonna run a glorified hobby shop, soo, i dont know if i am going off on a tangent, but think about what makes a hobby shop different from say Micheal's (some of you might not know, but its a huge craft store), or what makes a skate shop different from Big 5 or Sports Authority. it's all about atmosphere. yea the big stores can offer a lower price, but a lot of people prefer the smaller shops because they offer a more comfortable atmosphere.

    when i was younger we had a skateshop in my town ,Mainland Skate and Surf. it was a normal place, decks, wheels, clothes, shoes, shit like that. it was a good place but the guys kind of gave you the feeling that if you werent gonna buy something, then they kinda dont want you around. eventually they closed that shop. so time went by that we didnt have a skate shop in town. A few years late a new skateshop opened up in town. The first time i went in i noticed that this place was ten times better than Mainland. It was a smaller shop, with less product, but the place seemed like a hang out spot. they had a couch, with a TV that was constantly playing new skate vids, and i htink that kind of surprised everyone. the people working were cool,a dn didnt mind if you you came just to look or hang around. A thing i noticed also was they got involved in the community. They "sponsored" some of the local guys who were good on a skateboard,a nd even a couple guys who rode bikes, and worked to give people who rode bikes and skated a better image. So basically this place is still there and is doing really good still, adn i figure will be there for a long time.

    If you didnt get a few ideas from that, then this is what i am suggesting.

    --Get a nice lounge area setup in there, maybe even drop the cash on soem different racing seats to sit in. that is one of the common things i hear people complain about here on this board, that they wanna see the difference in the quality of the seats. its hard to find a place to try em out yourself.

    --Dont make you image that of a shop where a person needs to come in and buy some expensive parts to get soem respect from you. people will be hesitant to come in if they think that they will look stupid by buying some cheap parts. when those guys who hang around and never buy anything actually have the cash, they will probably think of you to go buy stuff

    --B16CRX had some good points too. Get your name out there. put out flyers and throw a good grand opening event. maybe soem free hotdogs and stuff. just offer something back to the people who are willing to come check out your place. I am sure paying for soem hotdogs is a lot cheaper than giving 40% off of stuff for the first week to get people in the door. maybe if you make it throught the first year, plan to make it a BBQ/ small car show every year

    --maybe think about "sponsoring" soem guys to sport your stickers. It doesnt have to be anything big, maybe a discount off of your products with the amount depending of how big the decal is. you know, 5 % for a small decal, maybe 10% for a bigger window decal. go as a groupl to local car shows and stuff.

    --As far as your main question of what products to carry, i agree with the other guys. Rice sells, as much as we hate it, its true. its not a bad thing to carry it, but dont base the inventory strictly around the rice. show that you guys do know real performance by getting soem nice parts. i think the ricer guys are gonna be more impatient about waiting for you to order parts, but guys who come there for good shit will probably be a little more understanding.

    --try to price match and be as competitive as you can. yea its common sense, but soemplaces dont price match. and maybe if you cant beat another places price, try to throw in some incentives for the guys to come there. if you lose a little money on the first sale, they might return and bring you a lot more cash in the end



    sorry if that shit is too long, but i kinda just lost track of how much i typed, oh well. hope i didnt just tell you a bunch of stuff you already thought of.
     
  7. micah

    micah Senior Member

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    now we are talking
     
  8. preludebuddy

    preludebuddy Senior Member

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    Import yourself an r34, paint it some outrageous color and you're good to go. get your stickers all over that baby and drive it around for a few days. let the other shops and tuners know whats up.



    on a more serious note...
    you want to make a performance shop...do exactly that. yeah rice sells. all those intakes and short shifters are a good thing to have but honestly the only reason i go to a shop is because of the work they do. not for the parts. I do most of my own work, but if i run into a problem I cant handle, I take my car somewhere. not to the local honda dealer either. I take it to the best in my area. if i was looking to make my car fast, i'd take it to the shop that makes the fastest cars. It's all about reputation thought, like Brian said, you gotta do good work.
     
  9. civicious

    civicious FüK-VTEC VIP

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    Strippers and beer.
     
  10. erebunicrx

    erebunicrx my name is Dale

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    wow, i got a better responce then i thought i was going to get. thanks forthe great ideas maybe i'll become a vendor on here too.
     
  11. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    if you're not online, you're missing out on 80% of your possible sales. thats all there is to it.
     
  12. Battle Pope

    Battle Pope New Member

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    :werd: on the online thing.

    And watching my friend run his shop here, 75% of his profit comes from labor. Most of that labor comes in the form of body work, because he's been in custom fiberglass and paint for 23 years, and his work reflects his skills.

    Yes, the ricers will be the most difficult customers. They have the fewest dollars (quite often) and also the littlest patience. Ebay is your #1 competitor. Keith had a kid with a DSM come in and buy a generic cold air for 70 bucks. Not a bad price to buy from a retail establishment, right? Well, the guy went home and found one on ebay for 45 (with 15 shipping), and returned the one he'd bought an hour earlier. I mean, he's saving 5 bucks, but he's contributing to the closing of one of the only performance shops in town. See, that's the kind of thing you'll run into with rice parts - people don't care what happens to you, as long as they get the absolute lowest price. It doesn't matter if they're buying something that's gonna break in 5 minutes, if it's a buck less they'll buy it.

    It's sometimes different if the quality is obvious (ebay headlights versus TYC for instance), but most of the time people just don't care.

    You'll have a lot of people come in asking if you do body kits, or you will if it's anything like it is here locally. If you know people who are decent with fiberglass and paint, think about getting them involved, at least maybe on a contract basis. You'll see a lot of problems here as well, unfortunately.

    Body kits are a very mediocre field to be in. You'll get everyone from the pennypinchers to the "do it the right way or not at all" crowd. I, personally, am in the "do it right" crowd.

    My point is, ebay is not your friend. Then again, I suppose you could turn that around - keith gets a lot of his rice parts off ebay. :lol:
     
  13. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

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    dale, dont forget to stock mirage and dsm parts ;)
     
  14. ripperbone

    ripperbone angry bear

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    nos refill and a dyno would also be a benefit
     
  15. 92dxhatch

    92dxhatch Senior Member

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    couldn't of said it better myself :lol:

    there are some really good ideas that i've seen, but probably the two best are to have a welcoming and entertaining shop where you have a really cool sitting area and front desk with all sorts of goodies to look at, two the internet thing, because then all the HS members that don't live near you can purchase from you with our HS discount card :lol:
     
  16. CoreyR

    CoreyR Senior Member

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    the thing is a couple of the places we are looking at do not have garage bays to do work in but will be half the price in rent. half the performance shops dont even have bays or do thier own work. and thats a thing im worried about, we do all our own work on our cars and im not worried about anything happening to our cars but a customers car, what if something gets fucked up for whatever reason. thats what i worry about with installing parts.

    i was also thinking a dyno and N2O refills would be good. the only dyno within a half hour from here just moved to east hartford (bristol dyno) and i think another local dyno could do some decent business since it would be part of the store and you wouldnt have to make a prior appointment to get on the dyno like bristol dyno was. you could walk in and say you want to dyno and can get it done right then. same thing with N2O there arent any places local that do refills.

    and of course we wouldnt be cocks and act like we dont want you there if your not buying something huge. if anything we would want people around then it looks like its a cool place to be and other people stop in.. i also like the idea of buying some racing seats and turning them into seats to sit on.

    keep the ideas comming, we need to do as much research possible before dumping 100K+ into a business.
     
  17. micah

    micah Senior Member

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    just get hooked up with a good mechanic shop and a good body shop, then you can refer customers to the shops for work after they buy the parts from you.

    try to hook up like a 10% referal discount or 100 bucks off with the mechanics and body shop, or something similar so you all generate more business for eachother.
     
  18. neonmike

    neonmike Senior Member VIP

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    well you need to hook up with an installer for the car audio, hint hint. you know people are gonna want the custom trunks in there hot cars
     
  19. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    i understand that rent is half the cost, but if it were me, i wouldn't even consider opening a car business in a building that doesn't have at least 2 bays and at least 1 lift.
     
  20. Seany-izzle

    Seany-izzle New Member

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    hopefully you guys are going to plan this all out and take your time to do it right, just dont "research" and ask questions to other car enthusiats for advice. Consult people who help people, like yourself, start their own businesses. Your town or county or district or state should have some sort of small business offices and shit with people who can help you out. There are SO many other aspects then just opening up a shop, stocking an inventory, and selling parts. Take your time to plan it all right down to a T. I knew two kids that basicly just opened a shop in a shitty area, did minimal advertising, no installs, no inventory, and they lasted less than 6 months... they did everything wrong. Remember you need to get permits, licenses, fill out a bunch of paper work for the state and fed govt. A good thing to make is a business plan and have someone who is knowledgable with business start up take a look at it. A great thing to do is check out your local colleges or Commuinity colleges and see if they offer and Small Business 101 courses, every little bit counts. One more thing, be prepared to go into alot of debt during startup and quite possibly for a few years...

    You need to figure in allllll expenses, not just rent and payroll. You need to distinguish yourself from all other competitors, what makes YOUR business stand out compared to the average shop? You need to think of your pricing strategy, your marketing and advertising, employing people and providing a steady and consistent payroll for everybody. I sure hope one of you knows accounting so you can get all your accounts payable and recievables to equal, along with the other things you need to keep track of. Also coming up with a system to store and organize all your transactions, purchase orders, and all that good shit. Who is your target market and how are you going to appeal to them? How will you compete with the internet?? No matter what you do, you will NOT be able to sell less than an online retailer. YOu need a hook for getting people into your store, you need to stand out. Dont just be another guy opening a store hoping to make some money. Starting a business isnt cheap, and doing it right takes more time, energy, effort, and money.

    Get some books about starting up businesses. The Retailing Kit for Dummies is a great book for someone who has no knowledge of opening a business. Hit up your library (doubtful theyll have anything), Borders, Barnes & Noble, go to amazon.com, do a google search or any materials that can help you out to gain knowledge about how to approach starting a business and executing it with some degree of success.

    i bet alot of the things i just said have already been said, i didnt read every post, but hey... cant hurt.
     
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