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Selling motorcycles/dirtbikes at my shop?


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I've been a dirt biker since I was 12, that's 40 years of riding and racing and it's still in my blood, I ride every week. I have an opportunity to get a Beta dealership. Beta is a small 110 year old Italian motorcycle company who produces the worlds best trials and off road bikes as well as dual sport. They've been breaking into the US market the last few years with their enduro models and have their sites on KTM, who is due for some competition. One aspect of the Betas is that they are physically smaller than other race bikes. My KTM has a 38" seat height and some models are 39". The Beta is 36". This is huge for many riders and makes the Beta a clear choice for a lot of us. And of course they're Italian, and gorgeous!

 

At this point I see them as KTM was 15 years ago, a small Euro company who took over the off road racing market in short order. Beta stands a chance at the same, they certainly are producing a bike that is on par or superior to KTM. To me it's like a ground floor opportunity with an emerging brand that is ready to explode in this market. The investment is minimal, $1200 for parts required to stock and that includes the EFI scan tool/programmer, minimum first bike order of 2, 4 is preferred with one being a demo(at special pricing from Beta). Margins on bike sales are 17% and prices range from $7,300 - $10,000+. No idea how many bikes I could sell in a year, but dirtbiking is huge around here.

 

One hurdle is I would have to get a class A dealers license. Beta requires it and so does the state. Maybe not a huge deal. $15-18k investment initially for 2 bikes and parts. I have very little room in my lobby for bikes, I would have to push them outside every day. Would eat up my time with tire kickers and people wanting to see and learn about them.

 

I'm guessing knowing my area and the riders around here I would sell 5 - 10 a year, so $7500 - $15000 in profits. I'm very passionate about dirtbiking so this fits me personally. I'd get my own bikes and parts at cost, and dang I just ordered a new 2016 Beta a month ago, it's why I'm looking at a dealership cause the closest was over 4 hours away. I'd have the whole U.P. of Michigan and most of Northern Wisconsin so potentially sales could be much more than I'm expecting.

 

Anyone ever sell anything outside of the automotive world at their shops? Any thoughts on this?

 

RR-4-stroke-rear-LR2016.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Decided to move forward with this, sent all the paper work into Beta today. Now have to deal with the state.

 

For signage I think I'm just going to put a banner on my building for now. My main sign is not big enough to add anything to. Plus I'm well known in the dirt bike circles and once I let the cat out of the bag word will get around quick. I wish I had more room here but I can't give up this location for a bigger building.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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