Opening an RV business is a rewarding experience for those who want to make a career change. You must be knowledgeable of the industry and have patience, as it takes time to build a lucrative RV business. Brainstorm to figure out the cost effective ways to run your RV business. If your business will operate in a small city where the median household income is only $30,000, you might want to consider opening your business in a larger city where you have more potential to make a sell. Do your research and create an RV business that will be prosperous.
Obtain knowledge about RVs by working for a local RV seller. This will help you learn the ins and outs of the business and how it operates. It is a cost efficient way to get as much information about the RV industry before you open your own RV business.
Determine if you want to sell RVs, service them or both. This is an important decision that should be made before you develop your business plan.
Develop a business plan that states the pertinent information of your RV business, such as your expected cash flow, monthly expenses and possible ways to increase your bottom line. Be sure to highlight your intentions, if any, to expand your RV business. Maybe you plan to offer a wider variety of vehicles to include coaches or pull trailers. To view free samples of business plans, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration online.
Seek the startup funds that you will need to pay salaries and purchase the RVs you plan to sell by applying for a small business loan. You will more than likely need collateral. If a loan is not an option for you, consider applying for a free private or federal grant. These are the most ideal ways to obtain funding as the money you receive never has to be repaid. Also speak with relatives and friends and tell them about your hopeful career change to start an RV business.
Find a location that has plenty of room to park your RVs. You will need an indoor space for an office to complete paperwork, but your RVs will be outdoors. You may build, buy or lease a location for your RV business. Constructing your business will allow you to make customizations that will allow you to have an indoor showroom that you might not otherwise be able to have.
Visit your local courthouse or municipal office to apply for the documents that you need to legally operate your business. You must apply for licenses, permits and a federal tax identification number. Depending on the state in which your RV business operates, you may be required to obtain a business license from the city, county and/or state.
Seek out suppliers that can keep your parking lot full of RVs. Be sure to shop around before signing contracts or placing orders. Take care of your relationship with your supplier as he has what you need to make a living.
Determine if you want to work alone or hire a few employees to help with the sales and maintenance of your business. Should you decide to hire employees, seek the help of your local employment agency. They can interview and hire employees on your behalf.
Choose your method of advertisement for your grand opening. There are many avenues, such as creating a website, distributing fliers, placing print ads, networking, or renting a billboard. Choose the method that is the most cost efficient for you. Be sure to include important information about your RV business, such as the brands you carry, your address, contact information, and the date of your grand opening. Consider offering discounts on particular RVs to give your sales a boost.
Meka Jones, from Cherokee, Ala., began writing in 2009. She is a faculty member at Shelton State Community College and has written for "Shoals Woman Magazine" and various online publications. Jones is pursuing a Ph.D. in exercise physiology at the University of Alabama and holds Master of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in physical education from the University of North Alabama.