Dealership opportunities in Sri Lanka and how to go about them: A guide for foreign nationals
Are you a foreign national looking to kick start your business in Sri Lanka? Are you having any feelings of reservation as to what you should be doing in terms of your business? Well not to worry! Sri Lanka is a land of many possibilities. With an up and coming economy, this island nation is filled to the brim with opportunities for you explore!
When it comes to a Sri Lankan business registration, it would do well for you to analyze the current market before you actually register a business. As in, to look at the trends of what is popular and what isn’t. It is also good to see what the market lacks and what needs to be brought in. Fortunately, one business that never seems to go out of popularity is a dealership business. In fact, many highly established businesses now were smaller dealership start ups a few decades ago.
But before we delve right into it, we need to first define some key terms. Firstly, what is a dealership?
A dealership is defined as a type of business where the owner is authorized to buy and sell items. This term is mostly used when it comes to motor vehicles and their parts.
Under the current business regulations, a business registration for a dealership is classified as a small business. That is the business is both owned and operate independently. As such, registering for a dealership in Sri Lanka follows the same process as any other business registration. Applying for your dealership can done here, on the official website for Sri Lanka’s business registration.
However, before you start your business registration process, here are some pieces of advice to make your business boom!
Advice and tips for new dealers:
- Location of your business
When it comes to any physical business, location is key. This is because of several reasons. The first being, your business’s location is your initial source of customers. When you first register a business in Sri Lanka, most of your customers will be from the nearby areas. Secondly, your business’s reputation is influenced by its location. Different cities, states and even zones in Sri Lanka have certain reputations attached to them. While these may be value judgements, the success of your business is dependent on this. So, it is best to choose an optimal location for your business. Another reason to consider your location first and foremost is just in case you have a direct competitor in the area. This will vastly affect your business.
- Business plan
Next, you will have to draft your business plan. In this you need to analyze the market trends, keep up to date information of stock prices, so on and so forth. You will also need to see what the market lacks. What can you bring to the market that is new and refreshing? What are ways you can make your business stand out? These details should all be explored and written down in your business plan. In addition to this, you should also keep clear cut profit goals in this plan. At least a prediction for the first-year profit should be estimated. Do remember, while it is good to have high goals for your profit, you must also remain realistic. That is, keeping your goals high, but achievable.
- Type of goods for dealership
Now it is time for you to decide what type of goods you are dealing. Are you going to deal in brand new vehicles? Or used vehicles? Are they going to be luxury cars or mid-tier cars? Or, will you be dealing in other motor vehicles such as lorries/buses etc.? It is not possible to deal in all these categories. Thus, it would be best for you to have a clear-cut idea of what to specialize in.
Once you’ve settled on the type of goods you are dealing, it is now time for you to create your marketing strategy. In general, your marketable demographic is narrowed down as soon as you decide on what you’re dealing. For example, younger adults, who are fresh into the workforce will be more likely to buy a used car. Thus, you may use social media to market to them. In contrast, older customers and retirees would be much more interested in luxury vehicles. Thus, you will find that a social media marketing campaign might not be as effective.
- Keeping track of accounts and inventory
Another tip for running a successful business is to keep track of everything. Not only will your accounts be important in case of an inquisition, but they serve other uses as well. Mainly to analyze patterns in your business growth. What products sell the best and what products sell poorly. Who are buying the products in these categories? By studying these accounts, you can plan your inventory accordingly for your next fiscal year.
- Maintain customer loyalty
Finally. prioritize creating a lasting relationship over quick profit. Treating your customers well will create loyalty. And a loyal customer not only returns, but is also a valuable source of marketing.