From the Mag: Your Attention Please

SEMA reports show the automotive accessory business was a $48 billion market in 2020 and could rise to $57 billion by 2024. We’d all love to have a larger portion of the pie. However, we also face the same issues that other specialty aftermarket businesses deal with when it comes to growth.

But there is only so much room in your shop, and every square foot needs to be making money. Also, there are many products and manufacturers pushing for your business that it can get overwhelming. Lastly, there is only so much time in the day.

So, how do you decide where to focus your efforts?

In the March issue of THE SHOP magazine, contributor Josh Poulson put his areas of focus in order of personal preference. They are:

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Ease of Installation
  • Ease of Doing Business
  • Innovation


To Poulson, quality is the most important item on the list.

If you sell lower-quality products, they will come back to haunt you and you’ll end up paying more in the long run. To figure out which manufacturer really has the best quality, ask for a sample or demo piece. Most reputable manufacturers will be willing to give you a sample to try out. You can then do your own testing-maybe install it on a company vehicle—and see how it performs.


Yes, of course, we all want the best price. But that doesn’t always mean the lowest price. It means the best value. After we learn the cost, we immediately think of what we can sell it for—not what we should sell it for, but what we will be able to sell it for. At the end of the day, price is important—but margins are more important. If your shop offers 50 to 100 products, you’ll want to spend your time on the most profitable items.

Ease of Installation

The time it takes for the install needs to be compatible with the profit margin. If installation takes more than two hours, there needs to be good profit built in. Otherwise, the tech and the shop would rather do a bunch of quicker, better-margin jobs.

Ease of Doing Business

This is an important one that many of us forget about until it becomes a glaring issue. It includes things like the ordering process, the shipping process, and the returns and warranty process. One thing we look at is how up-to-date a supplier’s website is, and if it has an application chart that is kept current. Also, can we place orders online or via email? Email or online systems take away any uncertainty regarding what was ordered and provide easy documentation if there are mistakes.


Products get better as time goes by, and that should be apparent with any accessory.

Looking to see what makes a product better than similar items, or what new niche it can fill for customers, is always a good idea. Having a product that not many others offer or being able to point to a feature of the product that stands out on its own are great selling tools, and many times become deciding factors for consumers.

The more a manufacturer is at the top of its field, the more attractive it becomes. Continuing innovation ensures that our industry will remain healthy, relevant and profitable for years to come.

Click here to read the full article in the from the March issue of THE SHOP magazine.

Related Articles

Back to top button