If you are passionate about cars and being self-employed, opening an auto parts store is one way to reach your career goals while being surrounded by something you love. Opening any business involves risk, but if you do your research and plan carefully, running your own auto parts store could be a rewarding and fulfilling venture.
Research your local area to determine the need for auto parts in your area. If your community is saturated with auto parts stores, evaluate their services. You can offer the auto parts that they do not. You can also consider offering parts for different types of motorized machines, including motorcycles, lawn mowers, and other machinery.
Develop a business plan that demonstrates your goals and aspirations for your auto parts business. For instance, highlight your intentions, if any, to expand your store and any means you will use to increase your profits. You should also state the more important information that investors will be looking for, such as your monthly expenses and predicted cash flow. For free examples of business plans, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration online
Obtain start-up funds for your auto parts store. Apply for federal and private grants. These are available to just about everyone and never have to be repaid; however, the application process is tedious. If you prefer a quicker route, apply for a small business loan at a bank or credit union. Speak with family and friends about offering becoming an investor in your auto parts store. Don’t be afraid to show them your business plan as well. Your professionalism will play a large part in convincing reluctant brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents to invest in you.
Find a suitable location for your auto parts store. This should be accessible and preferably close to heavily populated areas. This will help your business stay alive due to the constant patronage of your consumers. You can buy, build or lease a store. All three options have their perks, such as being able to avoid paying for expensive structural repairs by signing a lease instead of real estate documents.
Visit your local courthouse or municipal office to apply for the proper licenses, permits and a federal tax identification number for your auto parts store. These documents must be obtained for the legal operation of your auto parts store. Consult your local Small Business Administration for questions or concerns regarding the necessary paperwork you must complete.
Find a supplier that can keep your shelves stocked with auto parts. You are going to need oil and air filters, windshield wipers, car covers, floor mats, coolants, and other items. Before making any final decisions and placing orders, shop around for the best prices. Make sure that you take good care of your relationship with your supplier as he has the auto parts that you plan to sell to make a living.
Determine how many employees you will need to help you operate your auto parts store. You can seek the help of an employment agency who can interview and hire workers on your behalf. Your employees should have customer service skills and knowledge of auto parts and their functions.
Advertise the grand opening of your auto parts store through your local paper and with plenty of signage. Create a website that contains important information, such as your store hours and contact information. Consider allowing your consumers to order their auto parts online. This will increase your sales and help you reach consumers across the country. Consider renting a billboard as well.
Tips & Warnings
- Always remember to deliver quality customer service and stand behind your automotive products. Stay on top of the automotive industry and keep yourself and your staff educated about any changes or recalls. Competitive prices paired with quality parts and service make for a lucrative auto parts store.
- Fill the cup of a siphon gun about 3/4 full of acrylic enamel and screw the cup onto the gun. Put on a respirator and then turn on the compressor. Test the spray pattern on a scrap piece of wood or metal.
- Adjust the air pressure and the nozzle of the gun until you get a spray pattern that is about 6 inches wide from a distance of 6 inches. Loosen spray that is too thin by adjusting the nozzle or add reducer to the paint. Add reducer if the spray is chunky or uneven.
- Hold the gun about 6 inches from the surface to be sprayed and pull the trigger. Keep the trigger depressed while you move the gun in a steady up-down or back-and-forth motion, overlapping about half of the spray pattern on each pass. Maintain the same distance from the surface as you move the gun; don’t let it arc away from the surface as you approach the ends.
- When you have finished spraying the surface in one direction, immediately spray it again in the perpendicular direction to form a cross-hatch pattern. Correct drips after the paint dries.
- Let the enamel dry for at least two hours, and then sand it with fine sandpaper. Sand any drips until they are flat with the surface. Clean off the sanding dust with a clean cloth and spray the surface again in a cross-hatch pattern. When the paint dries, sand and spray a third coat if necessary. Do not sand the final coat.
- Polish the final coat with polishing compound or wax and a lambswool polishing cloth, if desired.
We first came across this in January when we were approached by a car dealer in Australia who had been directed to a website purporting to be 1st Move International’s car shipping site.
Car Shipping Scam: The hook
Fraudsters had copied aspects of our site and were advising potential victims that they would buy their vehicle and ship it via their approved shippers, pointing the victim to this so called shipping site which they had published themselves.
Once the seller had been ‘hooked’ the fraudster then sends a cheque to the seller for the cost of the vehicle and, very kindly, includes in this payment the costs for shipping the vehicle overseas.
Car Shipping Scam: The Con.
Say the car is being sold for £ 4000.00 and the shipping costs are £1000.00, you, the seller, get a nice little cheque for £ 5000.00 which you duly bank. The bank may even advise you that the funds are in your account, cleared and safe.
Car Shipping Scam: The Sting.
Within a few days you will be asked to send a slice of this money to the shipping agent in order to pay for the shipping. ( the shipping costs of £1000.00)
You are requested to send this money by Moneygram which you do as you have been paid.. This Moneygram is untraceable and cashed immediately.
Meanwhile your bank tells you 10 days later that the original cheque has bounced and promptly takes the money out of your account.
You have just been conned. For £ 1000.00 !
Always, always, get your bank to confirm, in writing, that funds have cleared, are available for use and cannot be taken back from your account. Be cautious of overcomplicated transactions involving shipping agents, business partners, middle men and so on, all designed to leave you seriously out of pocket, and the crooks with your cash.
As with all online transactions please check the credentials of who are you are dealing with. If it sounds to good to be true, then it normally is.
UK shipping companies, or Freight Forwarders, belong to the British International Freight Association (BIFA). You can check their site here: www.bifa.org. Better still why not call the shipping agent personally and check them out. They do a good job and will be happy to help and advise on all things shipping.
This article has been written by Jim Limerick, managing director of 1st Move International Removals (www.shipit.co.uk) and Autoshippers UK (www.autoshippers.co.uk).
Members of the British International Freight Association., Membership Number 1884
1st Move International Ltd.
Bristol BS11 OYB
Tel 0117 9828123
Fax: 0117 9822229
The major crime most drivers commit against their personal finances is failing to shop around for the best premium and simply accepting your insurer’s renewal quote, which is likely to be much higher.
Younger drivers can also grab themselves potentially much cheaper car insurance by opting for one of the new blackbox policies, these put a spy in your car to monitor your driving and reward those who are careful and don’t drive at dangerous times.
Laura Keely, right, opted to have a little black box put in under the dashboard of her Vauxhall Corsa by Insurethebox.
Previously, she paid £1,800 for a comprehensive policy. Twelve months on, her premiums dropped to just £1,000 — a 44 per cent fall.
Whether you are male or female, old or young, follow our ten steps to lower premiums.
1. Shop around for the best deals
Savings of hundreds of pounds can be found if you shop around when you renew your cover.
Be careful though. When shopping around for car insurance, it’s important to make sure that you are comparing like-for-like cover. Some policies may seem cheaper, but you may find you don’t have the same level of cover when you have to make a claim.
Use an online comparison service to do the hard work for you. Put in your details and check the prices that come up. You can alter the excess that you are willing to pay and the mileage you will drive and get new quotes. Also check the insurers that don’t feature in comparison sites, the big two are Direct Line and Aviva
QUICK LINK TO SAVE MONEY ON CAR INSURANCE
- Compare policies from more than 130 insurers with our car insurance finder (Powered by leading comparison engine MoneySupermarket)
M&S Bank will cut up to 20 per cent off loyalty cardholder’s car insurance premiums plus it promises 1,000 M&S points to cardholders taking out a new policy. Its also offers up to 90 days cover while driving abroad and uninsured driver protection.
Churchill offers a 24-hour emergency and legal advice line, an uninsured drivers promise and a five year servicing deal. Experienced, safe drivers could also get an 80 per cent discount for cover of eight years or more.
Tempcover insurance could be a good option if you are after cover for a short period of time and Marmalade have a decent offering exclusively structured for young drivers.
Sainsbury’s offers new customers with a Nectar loyalty card up to 30 per cent discount on their insurance plus they get double points when swiping their loyalty cards on shopping and fuel with the supermarket for up to 2 years. The supermarket giant is also Plus giving free breakdown cover for the first year on its Sainsbury’s Car Insurance or Sainsbury’s Premier Cover Car Insurance until 28th September 2015.
John Lewis offers a 15 per cent discount when you apply for motor insurance online. Its policies come with a no claims discount of up to 75 per cent.
The AA offers free breakdown cover for the first year with any new car insurance policy.
2. Don’t put everyone on your policy
Ensure that only regular drivers are named on the policy. You can always add someone for a few days when they really need to drive the car.
3. Protect that no-claims bonus
A long no-claims bonus is the single best way of cutting car insurance costs, so protect it.
This may increase the premium by a few pounds, but this fades into insignificance against the potential loss of a 90 per cent discount on a premium of several hundred pounds.
But the definition of a protected no-claims bonus can vary widely between insurers.
Though accidents caused by another driver will normally have no impact on such a bonus, those caused by the insured could. The key is to always check the policy carefully.
4. Take a higher excess
Increase your voluntary excess. Agreeing to pay more towards the cost of any accident repairs will bring down premiums. If you are not at fault in an accident, the excess can be recovered.Beware being tempted to allow it to rise too high, however, especially if you have a lower value car.
5. Secure your car
Fitting an approved alarm, immobiliser or tracking device can attract a discount of around 5%. Many newer cars will come with these as standard, so make sure you check if you have them and then declare them.
FIVE STEPS THAT CAN CUT THE CAR INSURANCE BURDEN
1. Compare prices: Use an online comparison service to do the hard work for you.
Put in your details and check the prices that come up. You can alter the excess that you are willing to pay and the mileage you will drive and get new quotes.
Also check the insurers that don’t feature in comparison sites, the big two are Direct Line and Aviva. This is Money’s car insurance search is powered by MoneySupermarket and will search more than 130 insurers for you. Try it out here.
2. Haggle! The car insurance market is notoriously competitive. Once you’ve been on This Is Money’s comparison and found your cheapest price (below), get on the phone and start bargaining!
3. Avoid paying monthly charges: Direct debit installments generally come hand-in-hand with high interest rates.
An alternative is to borrow the money on a 0 per cent purchase credit card and then clear it within a year. [Check the best 0% purchase credit cards here]
4. Think outside the box: An accelerated no-claims bonus, such as Admiral’s Bonus Accelerator, could give you a year’s no claims bonus after just 10 months.
5. Named drivers and friends and family: If you have previously been insured as an additional driver on another policy, see if you can transfer a no claims bonus to your own insurance coverage.
Some insurers do this, including The AA and Direct Line . Try for a discount by insuring two or more vehicles between friends or family members with the same firm.
6. Do less miles
The fewer miles the car covers, the greater the saving.
For example, a reduction in annual mileage of 5,000 miles could save a typical 35-year-old driver about £50 a year in premiums.
A cut of 10,000 miles a year could save more than £100.
But you must be honest about your annual mileage, as inaccuracy will jeopardise any claim.
Check your use cover – if you don’t use your car to drive to work or for business – both things that increase your premium – you may be able to get a cheaper rate.
7. Think carefully about adding young drivers
Adding a young, inexperienced driver to your policy can be a false economy, especially if you have a large or higher powered vehicle.
The premium will still be affected by the youngest driver and he or she may not have a no-claims bonus. Insurers have also been cracking down on fronting, where parents insure cars in their name for children to cut costs, so make sure if you are the policyholder on a car driven by your children that you are actually its main driver, or that you declare otherwise.
8. Watch out for insurance trap cars
THE EU AND FEMALE INSURANCE
The EU has ruled that finance companies can no longer consider your gender when deciding what to charge you.
This was triggered by a European Court of Justice ruling on a challenge by a Belgian consumer group. Its case was that the exemption for insurers contradicted the principle of gender equality.
The ban came into force on 21 December 2012, after fierce campaign for UK firms which argued that they were not discriminating between the sexes — but instead were basing their prices on statistics.
Their argument was that as women live longer they pay less for life insurance, and get cheaper car cover because they have fewer accidents. The move to so-called gender-neutral pricing will affect premiums for all types of insurance — including car, life, private medical and income cover.
If you decide to change your car, check with your insurer if the model will have a significant effect on the premium.
Sporty cars can attract a high premium and often a slightly different model or smaller engine can make a big difference in your favour.
It will also probably save you on petrol too!
9. Remember what the garage is for
If your garage is full of junk, clear it out and use it for your car.
Insurers like cars kept in garages overnight and this can dramatically cut your premium.
Aside from the benefit of not having to scrape the ice off in winter, there is a higher risk of theft by keeping the car on the road, so keeping it in the garage will be reflected in your premium.
10. Be a better driver and sign up to a blackbox
Blackbox policies, where the insurer instals a system in your car to monitor your driving, reward those who drive carefully.
Officially called telematics, these check your speed, your handling and how cautiously you drive, and also whether you are on the road at perceived dangerous times – ie the early hours of the morning.
They can cut premiums substantially once you start proving you are a good driver. The biggest win is for those whose premiums are high, especially young drivers.
In the race to be a superpower, India is making frequent and astounding advancements in all fields. From power generation to constructing modern roads, every sector has a huge impetus. Rising above all in a very distinct and appreciable way is the Automobile Sector of India. The automobile sector forms one of the fastest growing sectors in the Indian economy and so is the popularity of automobiles in India. A number of cars and other automobiles are imported and exported every year. Indian Automobile market witnesses a large scale manufacturing of cars, bikes, vans, buses and tractors.
Indian automobile industry is the tenth largest in the world. Every year new and advanced model of cars, bikes and other vehicles are launched by various leading manufacturers suiting the consumer needs. Occupied by various major automobile manufacturers like Tata Motors, Ford Motors, Volkswagen, Maruti Udyog, Hero Honda, Bajaj Auto, Yamaha Motor etc, Indian Autombile industry has become a battlefield of technology, performance and styling. Automobile industry in India is one of the fastest growing automobile industries and has made its position in the world market.
The Indian automobile Industry is currently growing at a remarkable pace of around 18 % per annum.
The technological changes and progress successfully led to the progress of automobile sector in India. The main reason behind this tremendous progress is the economic liberalization by Indian government.
Ever since the foreign direct investment has been allowed, the automobile market has got its foot on the accelerator. The growth of Indian middle class with increasing purchasing power and availability of trained manpower at reasonable cost is another reason for the eminent growth and has pushed it to new capacities.
International automobiles giants have helped Indian automobile sector to enlarge by setting up local basis. The increasing competition in auto companies has opened up many choices for Indian consumers at competitive costs.
The Indian Automobile industry is growing in all respects and it is also serving as an important source of employment. Innovation and new product launches are a major factor driving growth in sales of cars. A wide distribution and service station network is a key to growth in India. The automobile sector is expected to witness strong growth and improve its share in global markets too.
Automobile industry has a special impact on the daily life of the modern day man, which requires fast mobility with reliability. The rapid growth in automobile industry has had its ebbs and flows. Currently it is undergoing a recession globally. The auto industry is evolving new strategies and signing up new contracts and joint ventures in an effort to stabilize itself and avoid further slump. There is a particular need for rationalization of taxation and customs policies in order to support enterprises producing automobile components. Automobile and automotive parts & components manufacturers make the major portion of the automotive industry throughout the world. Automobile manufacturing sector consists of truck manufacturers, motor vehicle body manufacturers, motor vehicle parts and supplies manufacturers. This is engaged in manufacturing of automotives and light duty motor vehicles, personal utility transport vehicles and chassis, cabs, trucks, automobile and utility trailers, buses, military small and heavy vehicles and the main parts of the motor vehicle engines.
In 1997, the majority of automobile construction enterprises have passed through the lowest critical point and began to increase production volume, restructuring themselves while taking into account consumer requirements, their solvency, and the overall economic situation. Thus, in the first six months of 1997 there was a substantial increase in the volume of production compared to the corresponding period in 1996.
The global automotive industry is highly diversified and includes different sectors like manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, retailers, original equipment manufacturers, automotive engineers, spray painters, motor mechanics, auto electricians, aftermarket parts manufacturers, body repairers, fuel producers, environmental and transport safety groups and even many of trade unions. The global leaders in auto industry are United States, Japan, China, Germany and South Korea. The United States of America is the world’s largest producer and consumer of motor vehicles and automobiles accounting to almost 6.6 million direct and indirect-jobs. Automobile industry is one of the significant ones in the world that provides employment to 25 million people across the globe.
This industry is largely dominated by the five giant automobile manufacturing corporations namely Toyota, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen AG and Daimler Chrysler. These corporations have their presence in almost every country of the world and they continue to invest into production facilities in emerging markets namely Latin America, Middle East, Eastern Europe, China, Malaysia and other markets in Southeast Asia. To overcome certain production costs many mainstream auto corporations have established there units worldwide.
Engine parts form one of the largest segments of the automotive components industry. The latest trend in this sector is of outsourcing a part of the engine to different vendors who provide good comparative technological expertise as well. Recently auto industry is going through its worst periods. The global giants are facing the toughest economical crisis. This is also resulting in heavy losses to the work force in the form of lost jobs. There are varied factors behind this decline of automobiles industry that have badly affected it as a whole. Nonetheless, it is hoped that this industry, which is an integral part of the modern day life and has stood the test of time in previous recessions, has the tenacity and the resilience of bouncing back once again.
Long-term commitment to new learning and new philosophy is required of any management that seeks transformations. The timid and the fainthearted, and the people that expect quick results, are doomed to disappointment.” — Dr. William Edwards Deming
In a nutshell, the above statement characterizes what is wrong with the American automobile industry, and why we are losing market share to the Japanese.
It’s amazing to think that Japan, a country that was bombed almost to oblivion in the Second World War, would come back in just a few decades to be a fierce economic rival. What’s even more amazing is that it is to a great extent attributable to one man –an American statistician named William Deming.
After WWII, when Japan was trying to rebuild their shattered economy, they enlisted the help of Dr. William Deming, who had just come up with the 14 principles of quality. Deming theorized that committing to producing high quality products, instead of focusing on producing in large quantities, would actually reduce production costs. Lower production cost maximizes profitability, while high quality products help increase market share.
Sounds like a great plan, right? Well, the Japanese agreed with Deming and immediately started implementing Deming’s ideas. On the other hand, when Deming tried to sell his ideas to American manufacturers, he was dismissed as a quack. Clearly a prophet is not appreciated in his own home! Americans are obsessed with short-term goals. How soon can we recoup our investment? How soon can we make a profit? We want quick results, instant gratification.
Over the years, the Japanese built a reputation for building high quality, affordable cars. Sales were low at the beginning, but they persevered and won the public relations war on quality. American automakers made tremendous sales in the ‘50’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s by compromising on quality, and churning out millions of cars, but they were gradually losing the quality perception war to the Japanese.
Which brings us to the present-day disaster that we are facing in the American auto industry. Not a day passes without hearing on the news or reading in the papers about yet another mass layoff at an auto manufacturing plant. The Big 3 are shutting down plants across America, crippling local economies and stretching local and state budgets to the limit from decreased tax revenues and increased unemployment benefits payouts.
While we hear about the smaller companies that are dependent on the Big 3 –parts suppliers, and service providers – we hardly hear about the impact on the Staffing Industry. The impact on the staffing industry may not be broadcast on nightly news, but it’s, nevertheless, there.
In recent years, the Staffing Industry has generally outpaced the general economy in growth, with 2007 being a record year, when over 3 million placements. However, with the recession, decline in U.S. manufacturing and the poor fortunes of the Big 3, the Staffing Industry is leveling off.
With the Big 3 being forced to tighten their belts and restructure to survive, so will the Staffing Industry be forced to adapt. Jobs in manufacturing are disappearing, so we need to re-evaluate business strategy and re-focus our niche markets. We also need to look on the positive side. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the Staffing industry will become the second-largest job-growth American industry.
There are still opportunities for growth for the Staffing industry. The laid off workers still need to find alternative employment, and the economy is starting to show signs that the recession has bottomed out. Economic recovery should begin towards the end of this year, and with it increased job postings by employers. The American Staffing Association reminds us why the Staffing Industry is resilient:
One cannot over-estimate the importance of the Staffing Industry to the American economy. Job recruiters are the bridge between job seekers and employers. They seek out talented job candidates for employers, while linking job candidates to job opportunities. In a way, the Staffing industry is the oil that keeps the gears of the economy moving efficiently.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It only took 50-plus years, but Dr. William Deming’s voice is finally being heard in America. If we can make it through this dark period in America’s auto industry – and we will –there is a brighter future for America. What’s good for the auto industry is good for the Staffing industry.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step”.
Since most cars in America come with an automatic transmission, a lot of people don’t know how to drive a manual transmission car, and most of them think that automatic is simply better. But there are pros and cons of both manual and automatic transmission, so this article will try to explain what the advantages and disadvantages of both options are.
There has been a debate about which type of transmission is better for years, and it has mostly revolved around fuel economy and driver control. But there are other aspects to consider, too, regarding how a certain type of transmission affects engine performance and overall driving experience. It’s not easy to determine what is better, as it may simply come down to driver’s preferences, but a couple of facts could help you decide which is better for your driving style.
Manual transmission pros
The most significant advantage over the automatic is that it provides better control, especially in poor road and weather conditions.
If your car needs to be towed, or you have to tow another car, it’s better if it has manual transmission. Besides being cheaper, manual transmission is easier to fix and you can do some of the repairs yourself.
One of the most important benefits with manual is that the driver gets a more complete, active and satisfying driving experience.
Manual transmission cons
Manual is not for people that just want straight forward driving without too many distractions and controls to think about.
Another thing is that it can be quite a hassle to drive a manual in the city, as you could get tired easily by the fact that you have to press and depress the clutch constantly.
Manual transmission can present safety risks for inexperienced or unskilled drivers, because it requires more focus and it can lead to stalling or serious damages to the engine.
Automatic transmission pros
Automatic transmission is more suitable for city driving. Driving in dense traffic, with lots of starts and stops is easier if you have automatic. That is because it allows you to switch through gears more easily and quickly, which is perfect for urban driving, where you have to stop at traffic lights or stop for pedestrians quite a lot.
It’s also better for new drivers, as there is no clutch and shifting gears is less complicated, so they don’t need extra focus for a third pedal or to remember which way to turn the stick to switch to a certain gear.
Automatic transmission cons
First of all, it’s more expensive than manual, and can cost $500-1,000 more. So, if you want to save money, you will opt for manual.
Automatic transmission maintenance is also more expensive. It’s more complicated to repair and mechanics charge more for it. Also, though not by a large amount, automatic provides worse fuel efficiency.
Most cars in Europe have manual transmissions, so if you ever plan on travelling to Europe and have to rent a car, you’ll find it difficult to operate, as you are used to automatic.