How to Start an ATV Dealership Using These Tips and Insights

A red and green ATV on a mountain top

A Collection of Articles Related to Starting Your Own ATV Dealership

So you’re considering starting your own ATV dealership. This post offers tips insights and an abundance of resources that offer an overview of what you need to start.

Below you’ll find a few issues to consider before you get to the resource section.

The Truth About Starting an ATV Dealership

If you’re looking to get in on the powersports industry boom that’s currently occurring across the country as more people look to get outside and out of their stuffy homes, you’ll have to act fast. That’s because this kind of demand isn’t going to last forever, and if you wait long enough, you might end up stuck with a business that you want nothing to do with.

It’s one of the reasons why we suggest that prospective powersports business owners only enter the business if they have a real interest in the industry. Times might be great today, but will you have the patience and the capital to stay the course when times are tough? Because as everyone knows, tough times are often followed by the good, and if you can keep a level head you can turn that ATV hobby into a bonafide business that could last decades.

Resist Getting Emotionally Involved

It might be exciting when you first think about how to start an ATV dealership, but the real day-to-day of being an ATV dealer is hard work. You’ll have to be meticulous and smart with your money and your time, and even if things are going bad you’ll have to present positivity and leadership to your employees and partners. It’s great being your own boss and making the rules, but that’s because you’re putting the most at stake. If you can separate your emotions from the business itself, you’ll stand to make more level-headed choices and retain better judgment when it matters most.

 Bring in Smart, Determined People

Some people like to be the smartest person in the room. But the inevitable outcome of that approach is that there’s no one you can lean on when you need help. Real leaders know that it’s beneficial to surround themselves with smart, determined people that can really pitch in and contribute. Instead of being threatened by other smart people, they can be your sounding board, helping to provide savvy advice on financial, legal and market matters — and if you’re not around for the day they can help pick up the slack.

Prepare for Financial Challenges

They say that most businesses fail within the first year, and ATV dealers and startups are no exception. While you may be able to ride the wave of interest all the way to the bank if your timing is right or your market advantage is solid, starting a powersports business can be tough. If you make it out of your first year, consider yourself lucky. But once you’ve established that foothold, go for it in years two and beyond. Your business might not be a success for the first five years, but with grit and determination you’ll be able to surmount those financial challenges and come out on the other end a better ATV dealer for it.

Know When To Pivot

At the beginning of running your ATV dealership, you might be tempted to splurge under the false pretense of wanting to get out what you put in. But in these early stages, it’s all too easy to squander your finances chasing an idea gone wrong or trying to pretend that you’re more successful than you really are. If something isn’t working for you, it’s important to cut your losses and pivot as quickly as possible. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t allow for success and quick wins to come your way, but not many businesses can survive a few bad decisions up front.

Are You Interested in This Type of Business?

To be successful in any type of business, you need to start it for the right reasons. If you just want to start a company for the money, you won’t be as successful. You want to be passionate about the products and services you offer.

Make sure you start an ATV dealership because you have an interest and passion for ATVs and the experience people have while using them for recreation, racing, or as a utility vehicle.

Another factor that may reveal how dedicated and passionate you are about owning a dealership is to ask yourself a simple question: If I had all the money I ever needed for the rest of my life, would I start an ATV dealership?

If you answered yes, then you do possess a passion for this type of business. If you answered no, then you are focused on the income and lifestyle a successful dealership can provide.

Naturally, a strong passion will drive success, and when problems appear, you’ll look for solutions to rectify the problem. If you’re not passionate about the business you are in, when problems occur, you’ll start thinking of ways to get rid of the business.

Is There A Demand For ATVs In The Area?

If there is no demand for ATVs in the area you’re planning to open, there is no reason to open there.

You may need to locate your dealership where there is demand, but keep in mind, if there are a lot of dealerships, you may have to compete in a saturated market. It’s tough to establish a dealership where there is little demand or a saturated market.

When you must compete against an established dealer, unless you offer something that isn’t available in the current market, it will be a challenge to gain any market share.

How Will You Compete?

A lot of businesses compete in terms of price to gain market share; others compete on value. Will you slash your prices? And if so, will you still be able to make a profit that will keep your dealership doors open? Or will the profit margin be too low for you to compete? This is something you need to consider when you create your business plan.

It would help your business if you could compete on price with added value, but you need to have a strong enough profit margin to do so.

What Brands Will You Offer?

Have you considered the brand of ATVs you will provide? There are many well-known brands on the market, and unless you open a used dealership, your new ATV will be from one manufacturer.

Do You Qualify To Become A Dealer?

To become an ATV authorized dealer, you need to apply and meet specific criteria. Think of a dealership like a fast-food franchise.

You need to run the business according to rules and regulations set by the company. You can’t open a storefront of your choosing and start selling and servicing ATVs.

You must play by the manufacturer’s rules. For more on this, see the resources below offering applications to start a Powersports dealership.

Bombardier Recreational Products —  Can-Am ATV Dealer Program

Honda ATV dealer program

Polaris ATV dealer program

Yamaha ATV dealer program

Become a Certified CFMOTO Dealer | CFMOTO USA

Apply for A Powersports dealership Google Search

Can You Finance Your Dealership?

To run your dealership and stay in business, you need to finance the ATVs. Let’s do some math. If you have 150 ATVs on your lot to choose from, each averaging around $7,500, you’ll need over a million dollars for an inventory of that size.

The way to finance this is called “Floor Plan Financing,” which is a finance plan that allows for short-term financing. For example, you may pay $2.00 a day in interest on an ATV that costs you $7,500. That is one reason dealers want to sell as many vehicles they can to reduce the finance charges.

There are a lot of issues to consider when starting a business. The above were just a few considerations.

Have a look further down the page for the resources I have collected related to ATVs and starting your ATV dealership.

The benefit of gathering these tips and articles from different authors is you’ll get a comprehensive overview of what’s needed to start your ATV dealership and where to look for more detailed information.


How To Start An ATV Dealership

How to Start an ATV Dealership – Becoming an ATV Dealer – Resources for Entrepreneurs – Gaebler Ventures – Chicago, Illinois

Need advise….considering opening a new atv/utv dealership | 13x Forums

How to Start a Powersports Business | Bizfluent

See Our Page For The Steps You Need To Consider When Starting A Business

See Our Page For Checklists You Need When Starting A Business

What it’s Like Running An ATV Dealership

Breathing new life into dealership ownership | Powersports Business

ATV/UTV Market Overview – Motorcycle & Powersports News

Article Mix

Confessions of a Motorcycle and ATV Dealer – ATV Scene Magazine

Starting a Dealership, Feasable? – ATVConnection

So you want to be a powersports entrepreneur? | Powersports Business

Profitability and Revenue

6 Ways for powersports dealerships to increase profits

Trends and Statistics

29 Powersports Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis –

Statistics & Facts on the U.S. Motorcycle Industry/Market | Statista

Marketing Tips

3 Ways to promote the positive | Powersports Business

Marketing During The Off-Season – Motorcycle & Powersports News


See Our Resource Page About Business Insurance


Powersports Software – Point-of-Sale, Inventory Control, Accounting, CRM

Powersports Dealer Software : Ideal Computer Systems

Powersports | CDK Global

Powersports And Motorcycle Business Management Software

Powersports Dealer Management Software | ADAM Ability


Top 15 Powersports Blogs to Follow | Powerstride Battery

Powersports Business | Inspiring Success Through Market Intelligence

Fox Powersports Blog | The place for all things Powersports

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