Planning a Business Strategy

Planning a Business Strategy

This month, our contributors explain why coming up with a good strategy is the key to having a successful year.

David Clarke
Managing Director, Autosupplies (Chesterfield)

“After what was an incredibly busy and successful year here at Autosupplies, we have been busy preparing for 2017 to ensure business growth and customer satisfaction continues to thrive.

“It is important for motor factors to consider initial objectives for the year and begin to think of a strategy to achieve these goals. We look at previous trends month-on-month to determine what the
customer wants and when they want it.

“Every year we have experienced business growth and therefore have invested in more staff, more delivery vehicles and have recently carried out a 7,600 square foot extension.

“If a factor is struggling to meet current customer demands, it should take the leap and invest in one more delivery van or a few extra staff. We have always felt the benefit of such investments along with the customer and it enables the factor to continue to provide a high level of service.

“Each year we get involved with sponsorship of local community events or charity initiatives. This is not only a great way to raise staff spirit, but it also helps us to build relationships with the local community.

“Last year Autosupplies was nominated for, and won, a number of both industry and local awards, highlighting our strong reputation in the industry and local area.

“Ultimately, in 2017, it is now clear to everyone that the aftermarket is changing and we need to embrace these changes and start to look for solutions or otherwise face getting left behind in what has become a constantly developing marketplace.”

Peter Welch
Proprietor, Scotland’s Ash Garage

“A lot of potential aftermarket threats were raised and discussed last year and, heading into 2017, we needed to make sure that as an independent garage, we were geared up to tackle any issues head on.

“Firstly, we need to lock-in customers. This can only be achieved through excellent communication. Garages need to better communicate with the public to build stronger relationships if they want to gain
repeat business.

“In a world where it is all too easy to head straight back to the main dealer when a problem arises on a vehicle, we need to produce a strong level of trust so that customers can fully rely upon their local independent to get the job done for a more cost-effective price.

“Garages should be asking whether they know how many cars are in a customer’s household and if they have just purchased a new one. Customers can drop off our radar quickly and in the future we could be left wondering why our customer base is dwindling.

“What’s more, we expect to face issues such as the connected car on a much bigger level and we encourage the aftermarket to begin to prepare for a huge shift in how we do business. The solutions are there; it is just a case of whether we take action and begin to invest in these opportunities.

“Social media is another simple and immediate way to communicate with customers and we will be assessing this year’s social media strategy to determine best practice going forward.

“We also need to ensure that we work closely with motor factors throughout 2017 and plan with the customer in mind. This means selecting the correct suppliers that can provide quality, reliable products almost immediately.”

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