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Fresh Faces, Fresh Ideas

What’s Driving the Industry’s Young Entrepreneurs?A lot has been said and written lately about the “aging” of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Built over roughly six decades by hands-on parts and hardcore speed and performance innovators, the automotive aftermarket is now an industry topping $30 billion. However, questions currently abound over whether it will continue to attract younger enthusiasts—not only as consumers but as entrepreneurs.

SEMA News—February 2014

BUSINESS
By Mike Imlay

Tire and Wheel Trends Update

Keeping an Eye on the Evolving MarketplaceDozens of companies displayed tire, wheel and related products at the 2013 SEMA Show, providing concrete proof that the tire and wheel segments are among the most prolific within the automotive specialty-equipment industry. As always, however, evolution is constant, so SEMA News once again canvassed wheel and tire professionals for their insights into design, construction, marketing and sales trends as we enter the new year.

SEMA News—February 2014

BUSINESS
By Steve Campbell

Retailer Spotlight

In the Family Way With Chuck’s Truck Accessories and Line-a-Bed SalesMany of the most famous names in the history of the automotive specialty-equipment industry started as family endeavors. Chuck’s Truck Accessories and Line-A-Bed Sales exemplifies that type of familial heritage. In fact, one of the joys of doing business for owner Chuck Vaughn comes from the fact that his wife, father, son and several cousins work at the retail and installation store.

SEMA News—December 2013

BUSINESS
By Steve Campbell

Retailer Spotlight

In the Family Way With Chuck’s Truck Accessories and Line-a-Bed Sales

Trends for 2014

A Look to the Future With SEMA Council LeadersSEMA News annually turns to the leaders of the association’s councils and networks for the December issue to seek their views about how the industry is shaping up for the coming year. The chairs or chairs-elect of each group provide responses based on what their organizations and their companies are seeing within their marketplaces. Their responses provide helpful insights for businesses in every segment of the marketplace.

SEMA News—December 2013

BUSINESS
By Steve Campbell

Product Data: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

Think of it as the selling Field of Dreams. Much like the enthralling Kevin Costner movie, it all starts with a lot of convincing, believing and perhaps a small leap of faith as you struggle to understand this challenging new requirement. This uncertain phase is followed by a period of ups and downs, ultimately creating some hard work that, at times, can feel like a hopelessly endless task. But man, oh, man: When you finally get to play, it’s suddenly all worth it!I can’t stress enough how an ongoing regimen of product data gathering, expanding and quality control is critical to the success of your business. Own the process, understand its importance and seek help when you get confused or sidetracked.

SEMA News—December 2013

BUSINESS
By Jon Wyly

Product Packaging

It’s All Wrapped Up in Protection, Branding, Economics and the EnvironmentA package for an automotive product serves multiple purposes, the most important of which is protection. Whether a package contains highly durable grade-8 fasteners or a fragile electronic tuning device, its main mission is to get the product to the end user in pristine condition. But a package can also serve sales functions, provide branding and inform consumers about an entire product line. “Our products can be expensive,” said Joe Dussol, marketing director for Powerteq, which is the parent company of Superchips and Edge Products. “Depending on the product, some people might spend $600–$1,000, and we want the customer to feel like he’s holding something worth that kind of money when he picks up our package. That’s why our packaging might be a little bit more costly than doing a cardboard box with some print on it, but we really want it to stand out.”

SEMA News—December 2013

BEST PRACTICES
By Steve Campbell

Product Packaging

It’s All Wrapped Up in Protection, Branding, Economics and the Environment

Selecting a Public Relations Agency

Matching Companies With MarketingGetting products in front of potential customers is the lifeblood of marketing. Whether through straightforward advertising placed in pertinent outlets or through creative ventures handled by public relations (PR) agencies, getting the word out is key.We included an article on best practices for selecting an ad agency in our February 2013 issue (“Finding the Right Advertising Agency,” p. 60), and this month, we’re taking a look at selecting a PR firm.

SEMA News—October 2013

BEST PRACTICES
By Steve Campbell

Selecting a Public Relations Agency

Matching Companies With Marketing

Retailer Spotlight

Evasive Motorsports Builds e-Commerce Through Event ParticipationWhat does it mean to be brick-and-mortar in the modern aftermarket business scene? Does it mean having a shop with a traditional storefront filled with inventory and displays to attract walk-in clients? Or does it mean a building stocked with inventory, with items often previewed or even ordered online, with a simple reception counter for a cadre of customers who come through the door to pick up and install those items? And what about having a full-service shop for building and tuning cars, complete with two-post lifts, fabrication facilities and a dynamometer?

SEMA News—October 2013

BUSINESS
By Mike Imlay

Retailer Spotlight

Evasive Motorsports Builds e-Commerce Through Event Participation

Retailer Spotlight

ModBargains.com Delivers Data, Product and MoreA generation ago, mail-order entrepreneurs transformed the specialty-equipment industry by leveraging enthusiast print media to inform and market to the masses. Today, a new generation of pioneers is doing it again—this time through the Internet and social media. ModBargains.com is a case in point.Located in La Habra, California, the company was co-founded in 2004 by CEO Mike Brown, then 19, and President Ron Hay, then 24. Their original business plan called for a sort of online clearinghouse of special automotive parts promotions and deals similar to those offered by tech-industry bargain sites. But the venture quickly morphed into something much bigger—and better.

SEMA News—September 2013

BUSINESS
By Mike Imlay

Retailer Spotlight

ModBargains.com Delivers Data, Product and More

Confused About the New Health Care Law?

SEMA members need to know…The “Affordable Care Act” continues to sow confusion for many SEMA members. To follow is a concise summary of the law’s key provisions and timetables for implementation.

SEMA News—September 2013

Confused About the New Health Care Law?

SEMA members need to know…

The “Affordable Care Act” continues to sow confusion for many SEMA members. To follow is a concise summary of the law’s key provisions and timetables for implementation.

When did “Obamacare” take effect?

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