Setting up your office is important for your used car dealership. Generally, it is one of the most essential steps to establish a business. Because an office is a place where you will be managing your business and finalizing your sales. So, you need to make it professional, clean, and pleasant for your customers.
In one sense, your office is the face of your dealership. If your office appears professional and inviting, your customers may develop a positive impression of you and your business. Thus, they may be interested in doing business with you.
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Most states will not issue you a dealer license if you do not have a physical location and an office. if you are planning to move into an already established building, make sure that the place is in a convenient location and gets a good amount of traffic.
If you pinpointed a good location, you can buy or rent portable office buildings instead of building permanent ones.
It is not nice to make your customers wait on their feet. You need to buy several chairs as most customers come with a family. So, you should give them comfortable places to sit.
Doing paperwork without an office table is almost impossible. Also, you need a table to put your computer and printers on. If you are on a budget, you may get the used table from Craigslist or any other local classified sites. I am sure some people are selling used office furniture in your area.
However, new things are always pleasant as they make your office look fresh. For those who are on a budget, there are good deals on Amazon. Plus, they have greater options to select from.
A reliable computer
We are living in the 21st century. Car-buying and selling are steadily transitioning from a paper-based process to a digital one. Most car dealerships use software solutions to streamline their paperwork process.
Computers are essential to do your sales paperwork and to post your cars up for sale online. I recommend buying a computer with a bigger memory since you will need to save lots of car pictures in it, depending on the size of your inventory.
A printer with the copying/scanning functions.
First of all, a computer without a printer will not help you to transition to digital paperwork processing. Although we do sales paperwork through software, we still need to print that paperwork to take it to a tax collector’s office when we need to transfer a vehicle to new ownership.
Some printers do not have a scanning function. They just print what is on the computer. You will need a printer that has both copying and scanning functions so you can convert crucial papers to digital format and save it on your computer.
A stable Internet Connection
In this day and age, internet connection is an integral part of the sales process. As a used car dealer, you may need to post your cars for sale on various sites such as Craigslist, five miles app, Offer app, Facebook, or any classified sites. All those postings will help you to draw a big number of internet shoppers
Internet stability is crucial. From time to time, you may need to access online car auctions to buy used cars. In that case, you want your internet connection to be stable so you won’t miss your bid.
The Stock of Office Supplies such as A4 paper, pens, pencils, glue, whiteout, tape, etc.…
Apart from the mentioned supplies, you may stock up other office supplies that you may think you will need during the sales process. These may sound like small items but their functions are quite larger when you need them.
Especially, if you are out of A4 paper, you may not be able to print out your sales paperwork for signing. Having an extra set of ink cartridges is also recommended, because your printer may run out of ink at a crucial moment. Let not small things hinder your huge deals.
Lockable Filing Cabinet
As a licensed car dealer, you are required to ensure the privacy of your customers. That means you need to securely keep the customer’s personal information along with other crucial documents such as agreements, licenses, and car titles in the locked file cabinet.
Fireproof File Cabinets are even better to ensure an extra set of security. They may cost a little bit extra but they may save you from huge troubles in the case of unexpected events such as a fire.
Cooling water dispenser with single use-paper cups
Believe me, people get thirsty and your customers will too. It will be nice of you to offer them cool water so they can refresh themselves after all that vehicle checking and test driving. It is a cheap option to create a good impression on your customers.
There are various types of cooling water dispensers. You can just choose the one that fits your budget.
You need to have a stack of paper cups. Why paper cups? It is environment-friendly compared to plastic ones.
It will be even better if you put one of those small fridges and fill it up with all sorts of soft drinks. That will be a great treat for your customers.
If you are setting up your office in the hotter climate, you must need an air conditioner. The same is recommended to others as well no matter where they locate. An air conditioner with cooling and heating ability will allow you to create a well-balanced temperature in your office.
No one likes to be in a hot nor cold office so spend some money to create a professional environment inside your office.
Cleaning supplies such as glass cleaner, floor map, air freshener, and wet wipes.
If you do not have someone specifically hired for that job, you may need to buy those cleaning supplies and take the matters into your hands.
A nasty floor, dusty tables, and unpleasant smell should be eliminated from the office. Our goal is to make the office look professional and fresh.
Frames to hang your licenses and certificates on the wall
Showing your credentials usually creates a sense of relief in potential customers. Knowing that you are a legit dealer or licensed seller, a customer will act with greater confidence.
When I say frame, just get the ones with minimalistic style. Do not get the ones with extra whistles since they do not look that professional.
A camera (if your cellphone has a poor-quality camera)
A quality camera is essential to post your car online because attractive pictures grasp more attention. You may use your cellphone to take pictures of your vehicles only if it takes quality pictures.
Outdated cameras are not a solution since they distort the true color of your vehicles and in turn, low-quality pictures fail to get the attention of potential customers online. Here are some of the digital cameras that other car dealers use.
Security cameras, also known as surveillance cameras, are important to ensure security inside and outside of the office. Depending on the memory, those cameras can save the recordings for months. That means dealers can review the old recordings anytime by selecting the footage from a certain day and time.
Additionally, wireless surveillance cameras allow dealers to monitor the dealership premises remotely. They can connect those cameras to their smartphones and watch the activities that are taking place in real-time from any location.
Television with the wall hanger
I am pretty sure that most businesses have a TV in their office. It is a good way to make the wait times more enjoyable.
TV is also a kind of time killer for you as well. You can get updates on news and other information while working.
These were the 15 must-have things to set up an office for a used car dealership. Of course, there may be some other items you may need, but the ones I mentioned are essential and commonly used by most of the used car dealerships.
I understand those items will come with hefty costs. If you have a limited budget, you may get either used ones or get the ones that cost cheaper.