If food retailers and eateries such as restaurants and supermarkets are as close to ‘recession-proof’ as physically possible for any business to be, auto parts suppliers aren’t very far behind. After all, many of us lack the financial resources to be able to purchase a brand new car whenever our existing set of wheels becomes problematic. This means that if you make the right moves, you should be able to command a strong market for your new business’s auto parts.

However, there are certain factors that you must especially urgently consider if any auto parts business that you establish is to be a success.

What market will you be targeting?

One of the most important things that any entrepreneur can do to maximise the chances of their new company getting off the ground, is being as clear as possible about the firm’s target market.

Auto parts businesses tend to operate on a local rather than a regional or national level, at least at first. You should therefore conduct thorough research to ensure you don’t start your auto parts business in an area that already presents stiff competition from other well-established auto parts suppliers. This can be done by drawing upon such resources as the Internet and local phone books and paying attention to local advertising.

It may also be worth targeting a particular niche with your auto parts business that may not presently be well-served by nearby competitors – for example, import parts only, or a focus on one or two manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

How will you get parts to your customers?

Whether your auto parts business has a local, regional, national or international focus, it’s crucial to consider how you will efficiently and cost-effectively deliver your parts to your customers, including across national borders where necessary.

The right partnership with a reputable transport services provider could be invaluable here. Services in European road haulage by T S Europe or a similarly respected company, for instance, would enable you to make the most of impeccable experience and expertise in the delivery of parts into countries across the continent, with all customs paperwork and clearances being taken care of for you.

What do you need for your business’s online presence?

Even the most locally-focused companies simply must place a strong emphasis on marketing themselves online – and the good news is that there are many off-the-shelf solutions available to allow you to quickly establish an easy-to-use and presentable ecommerce site.

One auto parts business that partnered with Shopify, EuroImage Tuning, has advised those interested in starting an online store to “look at as many options as you have for layout and organisation. You want to make things easy to navigate and also not overcomplicate your page.”

Where will your auto parts business be located?

The location of your business will be a key factor in its success or failure. The ideal location is likely to be one that is highly visible and that places your business close to your target customer base – including those who have the purchasing power in the first place to buy auto parts.

Of course, it’s also possible that whatever location is actually affordable for your new business doesn’t completely match this ideal. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost, but you may need to compensate for any disadvantage by spending more time and money on promotion and giving potential customers clear directions to your premises.

Lay down the foundations for sustained business success

While an auto parts supplier is one of the safest kinds of business that one could establish almost irrespective of the prevailing economic backdrop, it is still important to keep a close eye on your firm’s cash flow and other mundane practical matters. Of course, you must also ensure that you are truly catering to your needs of customers who are likely to appreciate your services.