Is there such a thing as the perfect motorcycle dealership? I think so. This is the first part of my take on what that dealership would look like if I were starting from scratch and had a sizeable budget.

For a long time now, I have been thinking about what I would do if I were to start up and run a motorcycle dealership.

I’ve spent time researching what it is that makes the experience of purchasing and owning a motorcycle a pleasant one.

The first thing to consider is which brand of motorcycle I would want to retail. There are dozens of brands out there, already being sold through a network of dealerships around the world. So deciding on which brand or brands to focus on really depends on demographics.

For this article, I am going to develop a solus dealership. That is, I am only going to sell one particular brand of motorcycle.

Working with the chosen manufacturer, I would design and implement a customer experience that is consistent with the brand identity and establishes trust at all levels within the store.

I would aim to build customer loyalty by launching specific programs to ensure authenticity, transparency and consistency. The dealership would have robust processes and systems, designed to impact sales, service and marketing to enable a seamless customer experience.

So, let us assume that we have secured the necessary funding to open a brand new motorcycle dealership. Within that funding, we have enough money to build a brand new, purpose-built showroom and workshops.

The site for the building has been carefully chosen to be easily accessible for customers travelling by road or using public transport. There is also plenty of passing trade, and the building itself is designed to be attractive and exciting enough to make people want to stop and take a look inside.

The modern, glass-fronted building features well-kept landscaping surrounding a beautifully prepared car park. There would be a sizeable back-lit sign mounted on a four-metre post adjacent to the road. The signs on the front and sides of the building would also be of very high quality and fully illuminated at night.

The design of the building would be sympathetic to the brand of motorcycle that we will be selling. I prefer modern architecture, slightly industrial with exposed ducting and cable trays, high ceilings and plenty of glass frontage. The floors would be hard wearing, non-slip and easy to maintain. The shop fittings would all be of exceptionally high quality, minimalist in design but sturdy enough to do the job. There would be a high-speed; wifi enabled network for the admin & workshop diagnostics systems and free wifi for customers and staff to use. The entire site would be entirely climate controlled, warm in the winter and cold in the summer.

The workshop would have six fully fitted work-stations, an MOT testing bay, a Dyno room, fully equipped tyre fitting facilities, workbenches and plenty of storage racks and cages. The same high-quality industrial flooring would be carried through to this area from the showroom.

There would be a small fleet of low capacity motorcycles and scooters available for service customers to hire while their machines were being worked on. We would also offer local customers a free drop off and collection to the local rail station or their place of work in a dedicated vehicle. For customers that are unable to bring their motorcycles to us, we can, for a small fee, arrange to have their bike collected and returned to them, once the work had been completed.

The parts & accessories department would have its own, dedicated area, complete with ample counters and displays of sundry items for customers to purchase.

Adjacent to the parts department would be the clothing department. On sale here would be the full range of clothing from one of the leading manufacturers of motorcycle clothing, as well as several displays of helmets from the most popular helmet manufacturers. The department would offer made-to-measure clothing options alongside a dedicated helmet fitting service.

There would be a customer lounge, featuring a small coffee shop selling hot and cold drinks, cakes and sandwiches, all cooked fresh on-site every day.

Above the workshop and parts department would be the warehouse and shipping department. This area would cater for bulk storage for the entire dealership, but would also have dedicated areas from which the goods in and shipping departments would be operated.

The area above the clothing department would house the administration department, offices and a small staff break room.

Finally, at the rear of the building, there would be a vast area dedicated to workshop access, deliveries, staff parking, forklift truck storage, wash bay & waste management. This area would be fully enclosed and feature an electronic gate entry system.

The entire site would feature the very latest CCTV and door entry systems.

So, we have started to build the perfect motorcycle dealership. We have a fantastic, modern and well-equipped building in an ideal location. We have a good idea of how the place should be run and what we hope to achieve.

The next thing we need to do is appoint the staff required to run this motorcycling utopia. I will cover the roles required and the type of people I would like to fill those jobs in part two.

What I am trying to do here is create a blueprint for what I think would be the ultimate motorcycle dealership. Who knows, maybe it will inspire new and existing businesses to take on the challenge and build something that I believe would be profitable and rewarding for all of those involved?!

Part two next week.

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23-10-2017