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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you that have your own business, what trial and error did you have to go through and how much finance do you need to start with? I'm thinking of openning a motorcycle dealership but don't really know how to go about it
Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated
 
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Re: starting a business (Fokai)

work at one for a few years. free experiance. opening a moto business is not a small undertaking.
 
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Re: starting a business (hbliam)

Like racing, the motorcycle business is the same. As the old question goes: How do you make a small fortune in racing? Start with a big one.

Jason @ Sect 8 might a good person to ask, he is relativley new to the biz and just expanded into a great looking building, according to the pics he's posted.
 
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Re: starting a business (Fokai)

You need more money than God, you need a damn good attorney, you need a damn good insurance agent and a damn good accountant. Basically you need to be a millionaire with a lot of networth behind yourself. I looked into this a while back and actually got into the talking phase with two manufactorors. When I found out how much money was tied up into this I backed out.
 
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Re: starting a business (drthompson65)

Dr.T, are you trying to tell me, I need money to make money
Thanks for all the info. I might look into SBA (small business association) and see if there are any gov. grants floating somewhere
In all honesty, I know that if I was to try and do this type of business I would need a prime location, financial backing, and some techs. I guess my first step should be to try to work for my local bike shop and try to familiarize myself in the industry
 
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Re: starting a business (drthompson65)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by drthompson65 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">You need more money than God, you need a damn good attorney, you need a damn good insurance agent and a damn good accountant. Basically you need to be a millionaire with a lot of networth behind yourself. I looked into this a while back and actually got into the talking phase with two manufactorors. When I found out how much money was tied up into this I backed out.</TD></TR></TABLE>

I couldn't agree more
It is a very difficult business to make a living in, especially starting from scratch with minimal money to invest and then doing it with a niche brand. Volume becomes King and with a brand like Ducati it is near impossible to have that. Start with a used and service/parts business, if you are successful after a few years consider taking on a brand of m/c but not until you can sustain yourself without relying on sales of new units
 
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Re: starting a business (Dave R)

Yeah, what he said. Start with a small service center, then go into parts, then new bikes.

My best advice is to stay away from selling motorcycles, it's not worth it IMHO. If I could have gotten access to Ducati parts and warranty stuff without selling new bikes I would have.

And also keep in mind that unless you have a ton of expirence, you will need a ton of money.
 
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While bike business may be hard due to enormouse amount of captial you will need. Why not start with something that provides service to that same demographic where the market is lacking.... i.e. entertainment/service business. There is a place that opened near my house called Targa de Florio, a very high end pizzaria that is european motorsport centric. Alot of theme dishes, flat panel displays everywhere, gift shop. It is a cool place and has done really well. My thinking is because there is nothing in the area like it.
 
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Re: (jayhunter)

I guess the two combination that might work (with little finance) is a motorcycle parts and service(dyno tuning) /eatery that is catered to true enthusiast. While also selling apparel. Lots of good ideas on this board.

"Start with a used and service/parts business, if you are successful after a few years consider taking on a brand of m/c but not until you can sustain yourself without relying on sales of new units"

Would manufacturers allow the selling of their bike parts w/out having to sell their bikes?

"My best advice is to stay away from selling motorcycles, it's not worth it IMHO. If I could have gotten access to Ducati parts and warranty stuff without selling new bikes I would have."

Is it safe to assume that in order to get into selling Ducati parts I would need to get into selling new bikes too?
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Fokoi, pretty good adivse from the posts above. I've been thinking about getting into the industry as well (either working in mktg for a manufacturer or starting a biz). Chicken before the egg as I had no direct experience. I started working in sales for a BMW NA owned dealership earlier this year (unfortunately closed after 3 mths just before NY season kicked in). Started looking at more traditional jobs as there're bills/expenses were piling up. Just found a gig (temp for now) on weekends w/ a multibrand dealer including Ducati's to gain more experience.

Took a cursory look at Honda's dealer application for open territory in my area. Daunting in terms of $$$ required and investment for a professional application. I don't have deep pockets. One industry source I chatted with advised against starting a MC business unless I owned the Real Estate. (R.E. costs daunting in this area) Another challenge is finding and retaining good help.

Cliff's BMW Aprilia Ducati, Danbury CT is an excellent example of how a newbie to the biz can start-up and run an impressive operation w/ niche brands. Cliff is bright, has deep pockets, hired great help and is an enthusiast. They just started carrying DUC's.

One approach that could mitigate some risk is in partnering with someone already in the biz who can provide some funding. Starting a service/apparell biz first sounds like one approach if the need isn't currently filled in your area.

Feel free to hit me offline. We can exchange notes. I'm still trying to figure out if this 'daydream' is viable.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
BTW .. . guess we were typing at the same time. Another point ... don't expect to do anything viable w/ just Ducati. Not enough volume. Perhaps all Euro bikes or DUC's as a sub niche.
 
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