My tips for opening a auto parts shop in a small plaza

autopartshopAt SMA Hummer, we love to share our experiences with our readers. One of the questions that we got all the time is regarding tips for opening auto shop. So here they are.

Our tips for opening a auto parts shop in a small plaza begins with choosing the perfect location for my business. When I started my auto parts business, I started by determining the saturation of auto parts stores in and around my prospective area of business. I also researched on my kind of prospective buyers, including their purchasing ability. The zoning commission in my town was very helpful in providing me with this information.

Once I had settled on a particular location, I now needed to find the best office space for my business. Being an auto parts store, I figured that customers would be more attracted to a ground floor shop as opposed to one that is on the top floor. This is because they might be ordering bulky or heavy items, and a ground floor store would be more convenient.

I also conducted a market research in order to create my market entry strategies. To assist my market research, I read the US Automotive Parts and Stores Report of the year. This assisted me in identifying my competition. Since my store was going to be near some major players in the industry, I came up with a strategy to ensure that my store was viable. I also studied the niche that was being served by my competitors, including their marketing strategy.

I also had to come up with a business plan, which demonstrated the viability of my business. The business plan could also be used in case I needed to borrow money to finance my business. Fortunately, one of my neighbors has an MBA and she was kind enough to write the business plan for me without charging me a cent.

My next step was to obtain the required business permits and licenses. Rules and regulations for obtaining such permits and getting a business registered will vary from state to state. Sales tax registration is a requirement since I was going to be selling auto parts. A separate license might be required for selling second hand auto parts.

Once I had obtained the necessary permits and licenses, it was time for me to hire a cashier and sales personnel. I conducted interviews and found employees who are familiar with mechanics and replacement of auto parts. It also helped that these people were trained in repairing and maintaining vehicles.

I also needed employees who could build lasting relationships with customers, just like the ones in the store next door, selling hair care products. The lady at the shampoo and conditioner shop was so friendly that she become a good friend right away. She also shared lots of useful knowledge about choosing the right shampoo and conditioner. most of it she said she learned from this website. Here is the recommend reading for my wife on choosing deep conditioner. She is friendly and outgoing and she make each customer feel special. When I opened my store to the public for the very first time, I hung a huge banner outside my store letting all vehicle owners know that there is a new sheriff in town.

Tips on Hiring a Good Customer Representative for Your Online Auto Parts Store

customerrepresentativeIf you want your online auto parts business to become successful then you will need to have good employees working for you. With that said, you will need to hire a good customer representative who can handle all the task needed to be done to keep your paying customers happy and attract more leads. Having a good customer representative increases your chance of establishing profitable relationships with other businesses as well as customers so you can earn more money for your business. To get started, here are some useful tips you can do to hire a good customer representative for your online auto parts retailing business:

1. Advertise at the right place. When companies are in need of new staff, they advertise anywhere they can. Little do these companies know that not only they are trying to attract the attention of good employees, they are also attracting the attention of the not-so-good ones. This can either decrease your chance of choosing the best one among the herd or simply make finding the right one harder. Therefore, to make finding a good customer representative easy for you is to advertise on channels that majority of potential good employees keep tabs on.

2. Review the resume. Reviewing a resume is an essential part in determining whether a job applicant is right for the job or not. Simply looking at the work experience and credentials part of the resume won’t do you any good. First, you have to know what your business needs. Do you need someone who has extensive background on the nature of your business? Or do you need someone new at your industry but is willing to be trained? Do you need someone who has good oral communication skills or someone who’s good at constructing email messages? Once you’ve determined what your business’ needs are, you can easily review an applicant’s resume by checking if they have the necessary professional background for your business. Here are some example resumes the applicant should follow.

3. Consider hiring someone who is willing to work for you on a long-term basis. Having a customer service representative working for your online auto parts store on a long term basis is easier than hiring a new one every now and then. It reduces the need for time consuming tasks such as running a job hiring campaign, doing interviews and teaching new employees about your business. When doing an interview, always ask an applicant if he is willing to work for you long-term. If not then you might want to keep on looking for other applicants.

4. Talk to previous employers and co-workers, if possible. This can be done by simply looking at the list of character references in an applicant’s resume and getting in touch with credible individuals listed. Ask questions about their attitude at work like how the applicant communicates with his co-workers and employers. This will give you a little background on their character to further help you decide on whether the applicant fits right in your business or not. Most companies put majority of their focus on communicating with applicants’ previous employers and co-workers since the information they can get from this is more credible than what is written in resumes of applicants.

The above are just 4 tips for finding the right person for your business. A good employee is hard to come by. Once you found the ideal candidate, treat them well!

Comparison Between Hair And Car Shampoo

CAR WASH ScrubaDubNotably, shampoos and conditioners are the main staples when it comes to hair and car beauty. That said, hair shampoo cleans and strengthens the strands of your hair while car shampoo removes foul odor experienced in your car. However, most people are not well conversant with how shampoo works as well as the chemistry in it. Although, the ingredients found in both hair and car shampoo products are relatively common, the difference between the two is the varying ratio of its ingredients. Hence, here is a look a comparison between hair and car shampoo.

Ingredients

Typically, several ratios of common ingredients are found in the shampoo products. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the main ingredient found in hair shampoo which creates a rich lather in the hair. In addition to that, mineral oil and silicon oil are added to hair moisturizing shampoo and they help in softening and smoothing cuticle shaft of the hair. On the other hand, the main ingredients of car shampoo are; sodium metasilicate, linear alkyl benzene sulphonate, coconut fatty acid diethanolide, coco dimethyl betaine and sodium lauryl ether sulphate.

PH balance

Basically, PH balance is key to the performance of shampoo products. For example, the PH balance of hair shampoo is slightly acidic for it to keep the hair cuticle smooth. In addition to that, acidic hair shampoo makes your hair to lie flat at the hair shaft. To this effect, citric acid and sodium citrate ingredients are added to acidify the shampoo. On the other hand, the expected PH value for car shampoo should range between 7 and 12 because high acidic condition will cause skin irritation when you are shampooing your car.

Preservatives

Basically, preservatives help to kill fungi, yeasts and bacteria. To this effect, the main broad-spectrum preservatives in the hair shampoo includes; isothiazolinone, methychloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, sodium benzoate and formaldehyde. Apart from these preservatives, car shampoo has other added preservatives such as DMDM hydrantoin, imidazolidinyl urea and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-dol.

Side effects

Generally, shampoos can cause adverse side effect to your hair and hands. For example, hair shampoo with ammonium chloride ingredient will cause eye irritation thus thickeners such as honey, and herb extracts are added to this solution to prevent adverse side effects. On the other hand, acidic car shampoo causes hand corrosion thus cellulose, propylene glycol and glycerin based additives are added to car wash shampoos.

Conclusion

By and large, there is a clear cut difference between hair and car shampoo. Therefore, you should choose the right shampoo for the right purpose and you will be amazed by the results that you will get from its use.

How To Clean Headlights: Step By Step Guides

how to clean headlightWhen your headlights no longer look as crystal clear as they did when you first bought your car, it is definitely time to give them a good clean. If you are used to going to a car wash or valet service, but are interested in doing the job yourself this time you may be wondering which is the best way to clean them. There are actually several ways that you can clean your car’s headlights and in the following article we will look at step-by-step guides for How To Clean Headlights.

The Toothpaste Method

Step 1 – Use regular blue colored toothpaste, but avoid mint flavored and whitening toothpastes as these have ingredients that can actually cause damage to your car’s lights.
Step 2 – Use a dry soft cloth to apply the toothpaste. Run the toothpaste into the lights in circular motions covering small areas until the grime and dirt comes off.
Step 3 – Rinse the toothpaste off with water and then wipe the lights with a clean, wet cloth.
Step 4 – TO give your headlights an even shinier, give them a quick polish.

The Aluminum Polishing Compound Method

Step 1 – The problem with your car’s headlights is caused by their cover being oxidized. This means that to clear them you need to polish the surface.
Step 2 – Begin by washing the headlights with warm water and soap in the same way you do when washing the whole car. Dry the lights as this will remove the dirt and grime so that you are ready to polish.
Step 3 – Use a soft dry cloth to apply an aluminum polishing compound. Only use a small amount on the cloth and rub it onto the headlights in small and compact, circular motions. Allow the polishing compound to dry to a haze on the lights, and then buff the haze by wiping them with a clean cloth or towel.
Step 4 – It could take as many 3 coats, so be prepared to repeat the polish and buff steps until the lights are clear again.

The Lasting Clean Method

Step 1 – Purchase a piece of 1500 grit, 1200 grit and 400 grit sandpaper from your local DIY store.
Step 2 – Use clean paper towels and rubbing alcohol to clean the headlight lenses at least two times.
Step 3 – Use the 400 grit sandpaper and a spray bottle filled with water to wet sand the headlights. It could be that the factory coating on the lights starts to come off. When this happens it is usually for the best to sand the coating off completely.
Step 4 – Use the 1500 and 1200 grit sandpaper to sand out the scratches made by the 400 grit sandpaper. If you have headlights that feature an interior texture which means you can’t see the bulb properly, you will normally only have to use the 1200 grit sandpaper. The headlights will look quite hazy, but very even and definitely not yellow!
Step 5 – Clean the headlights again with some paper towels
Step 6 – Take your car to the local auto body shop or garage and ask them to mask and spray the lights with a special plastic adhesion promoter. Then you need to spray at least 2 to 3 coats of chemical based hardening automotive clear coat. Depending on where you purchase it, this should be retailing at between $20 and $50.

As the name of this method suggests, the benefits of it is that the results could last years rather than the months it lasts when you use a mainly buffing method.

The Rain-X And Wax Method

Step 1 – Buy a kit, like Rain-X, that includes sealant, cleaning polish compound, lubricant and sandpaper pads. If you prefer you could buy all these products separately. If you do, then the sandpaper you need to purchase is the 2000, 1000 and 800 grit Wet/Dry sandpaper.
Step 2 – To avoid scratching or getting polish on the paintwork, cover the paint round the headlights with tape.
Step 3 – Spray the lubricant onto the sandpaper and headlights, using the lowest grit first.
Step 4 – use the lowest grit sandpaper to firmly clean the headlights until the yellow film starts to come off. The headlights will look cloudy and scratchy for this step until you have finished using the highest grit paper.
Step 5 – Repeat step 4 using the next grit sandpaper and your headlights will begin to look a lot less cloudy.
Step 6 – Repeat step 4 again using the highest grit of sandpaper. As long as you remember to cover all the scratches, your headlights will look pretty decent at this stage.
Step 7 – Use a rag with the cleaner (Rain-X for instance) and rub it over the headlights and then let it dry. Once it has dried you can then buff it off.
Step 8 – Use a clean rag to apply the plastic polish to the headlights in the same way you did in the previous step with the cleaner, allowing it to dry and then rubbing it off.
Step 9 – Spray some sealant onto another clean rag and apply this evenly and carefully over the whole headlights. Let this sit for a couple of minutes before wiping off the excess liquid.
Step 10 – Now your headlights should look brand spanking new!

There you have the 4 popular methods for how to clean headlights, which one do you prefer?

5 Best Headlight Bulbs

First of all, Best Headlight Bulbs for each person is different because everyone has different needs. But there are still some general guidelines and headlight bulbs that might be a good fit for must cars. In this article, we will recommend 5 decent headlight bulbs for your consideration.

Have you ever thought of replacing your headlights? Having a road map of your journey can be the first step to making your journey a success but not without visual enhancements. The fall of darkness most often than not, brings up the inefficiency of poor headlights. These are headlights that produce dim light inadequate to light up the road ahead. 

The electronic security systems installed in your car count for little if you fail to visualize the road. Inadequate light can be tragic, lest you have some nocturnal capabilities. But you don’t, right? This necessitates the need of arming your ride with a pair of headlights that you can stand up to especially at nightfall.

Installing decent headlights is a basic key to safe driving, even as the journeys becomes extended. In this article I will highlight to you the 5 best headlight bulbs to consider for your ride. There is a wide variety of replacement bulbs to choose from though. The tough competition in the auto industry is having auto accessories makers to run for their money. Every effort is being made to improve the quality and performance of auto parts by the makers. This heat has however been welcomed with streamlined prizes.

The 5 best headlight bulbs

How do we set one headlight apart from another? There are industry set standards that are used to determine performance of the various available headlights. For your convenience at the auto store you will find these specs on the headlight packaging or the product reviews online. The main variables that differentiate the headlights are:

- Light output of the headlight, the intensity of the light produced.

- Beam distance. This is how far the light goes in meters.

- Battery life. This is the runtime of projecting light using the headlight. 

Considering the variables and other market standards a subjective hand pick of the 5 best headlight bulbs could be:

HEADLIGHTBULB_OSRAM1. Osram Night Breaker Plus. 

This is a popular upgrade headlight bulb, in fact the best-selling automotive headlight worldwide. The Osram Night Breaker Plus has an outstanding rating of four stars both in dipped and main beam categories. This headlight provides an up to 35 meters longer beam than the standard bulbs.

As compared to the OE bulbs fitted to the Astra, Osram Night Breaker Plus bulbs are significantly brighter. The bulbs provide up to 90% luminance than standard halogen lamps. The headlights from Osram are also more durable making them a worthwhile headlight for your ride both for convenience and purpose.

 

51Lrd+9B4lL2. Philips X-treme Power.

Just as the name suggests, these are potent headlights for your ride. They fall in the halogen headlight bulb family just like the Osram Night Breaker. The Philips XP is famous for its powerful beam pattern. Compared to Osram’s Silverstars which usually has two spots of light scattered to the sides, beams produced by Philips X-treme Power are quite clear.

Philips XP provides unique experience in foggy weather that you couldn’t realize the difference with clear weather.

 

spyderheadlight3. Spyder led headlights. 

With nearly a decade of experience the guys from Spyder have a lot to offer. They have several designs which will certainly suit your style. The company has made efforts to custom design the headlights enabling a direct replacement fitting your stock headlights. One simply plugs the Spyder headlights into the factory wiring- no wiring or smoldering needed.

Spyder led headlights falls in the category of the 5 best headlights thanks to the longevity they promise. The Led bulb produces low light temperatures ensuring the bulb does not overheat. The bulbs also come with a full weather seal for a longer life.

4. GE Nighthawk Platinum.

The GE Nightwalk Platinum halogen headlights have been in the market long enough. The bulb provides 90% more light on the road when contrasted to GE’s standard halogen headlamps. The GE Nightwalk Platinum has a pair of bulbs per package and they generate clean white light for increased visibility.

Notably the Platinum bulbs are an improvement over the OEM bulbs in night time driving on unlit country roads. They produce a white light as compared to the yellow filled tint of the OEM’s.

The white light they produce gives a better contrast for better visibility of road markings and signs.

The GE states that the bulbs are easy to install and require no wiring changes. This saves the consumer a lot of hustle and time. The degree of simplicity and installation time however will vary with every vehicle.

Notably the Platinum bulbs are an improvement over the OEM bulbs in night time driving on unlit country roads. They produce a white light as compared to the yellow filled tint of the OEM’s.

 

5. Osram Silverstar 2.0

This is the successor of Silverstar and it promises twice its lifetime. This headlight has a good build quality and produces 60 percent more light than the standard headlamps. It takes fifth in this lower-powered class as at the top seems so tight given that this particular lamp has capabilities of shading the beam only up to 20 meters longer. Interestingly, the lamp comes at an excellent price considering performance.

There you have it. 5 headlight bulbs we recommend. Checkout below for a quick video on how to replace your headlight bulbs:

 

2014-Jeep-Cherokee-Limited-front-three-quarters-view-01

Best Affordable Off-Road Vehicles (SUVs)

Off-road vehicles are vehicles that can be driven on all types of surfaces where ordinary vehicles can not go. Best Off-road vehicles can be driven on paved roads and can also tackle sandy deserts, dense forest tracks, shallow springs, clay surfaces and rocky roads with ease. Such vehicles have played an important role in World War 2, Polar Expeditions, African Safaris and Exploration of the remotest parts of the Earth.

Off-road vehicles generally have large thick tires and can even be fitted with caterpillar tracks to get maximum traction on any surface without slipping. These also have high-powered engines that drive all the 4 wheels simultaneously so that all wheels can grip the road surface to give traction to the vehicle.

We will now discuss the merits of the following modern off road vehicles:

2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014-Jeep-Cherokee-Limited-front-three-quarters-view-01 The 2014 Jeep Cherokee ranks among the Best Off-road vehicles in SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) segment. The ranking is based on the analysis of some of the published reviews and test-drives of the Jeep Cherokee.

The all-new Jeep Cherokee is a top pick in a number of reviews, saying that it offers class leading off-road performance, a lively V6 engine and a first-class interior.

The new 2014 Jeep Cherokee comes with a lively four-cylinder engine that test drivers say provides maximum acceleration, or an optional V6, which reviewers have always preferred due to its lively acceleration and power. It has a nine–speed auto transmission on all its standard models, which is a first time for this class of vehicles. Test drives have proved that it shifts gears smoothly and responds quickly as well. It isn’t among the most fuel-efficient compact SUVs, but still boasts of a fuel economy estimate of around 22/31 mpg (miles per gallon) on the highway, which is quite respectable for its class. The Jeep Cherokee may come equipped with a choice of three available four-wheel drive options. Professional drivers say that they are very impressed with the Cherokee’s composed handling on rough roads and around corners.

The Range Rover Sport’s steering is hefty and accurate and its brakes are deemed very strong. It ranks second among the Best Off-road vehicles in SUV segment. This muscular giant from UK has a big fan following and has set several benchmarks.

Toyota Land Cruiser Review

toyotaToyota Land Cruiser 2014 ranks no.3 out of 10 Best Off-road vehicles in SUVs category.

Various reviews have proved that the Toyota Land Cruiser offers a comfort riding experience, a smooth power and great off-road capability.

Toyota Land Cruiser latest model comes standard with a V8 engine that reviewers say that it provides ample power. Fuel economy on this one is as high as 13/18 mpg on city /highway which is a bit on the lower side for the class overall, but on par for a V8 powered, four wheel drive SUV. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard and praised for its smooth and responsive shifting capability.

The other popular off-road SUVs are:

· 2014 Acura MDX

· 2014 Lexus RX 350

· 2014 Lexus Hybrid

· 2014 BMW X5

· 2014 Land Rover LR4 and others.

The list for the Best Off-road vehicles is long and enthusiasts are also keen for more options. But a great off-road vehicle is not all you need. You also need various outdoor gears such as a good backpack, a good knife (http://www.outdooraid.com), a good water bottle, emergency kit, and survival skills. If you are going on a camping trip, then you’ll also need a tent. So, when you are planing your next outdoor adventure, be sure to stuff your car with all the essential things for safe and fun trip.