Written on March 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm
Broaden Your Battery Horizons
With Spring well and truly with us, Manbat is again challenging GROUPAUTO members to think outside of the traditional constraints of the automotive battery season and look at how they may extend their battery business into new more profitable areas and over a longer timescale.
Winter may not have been the season many members may have hoped for from a battery sales perspective, but that is no reason to turn away and spurn the opportunities that batteries can deliver with a little support and helpful advice.
Nowadays batteries are required to fulfil the needs of so many people, whether that is because of a physical need through some sort of aid, like a mobility scooter or motorised wheelchair, or for a leisure pastime such as golf or camping. This means that there is clearly a market for these batteries, so it’s really just a case of how members can position themselves to benefit from it.
Although members will primarily know Manbat for its automotive and commercial vehicle batteries and it is in the automotive sector that the company originated, Manbat has in fact been supplying batteries into multiple sectors for many years, so it has the knowledge and experience necessary to help members develop their battery business.
Those members that are still not convinced by the proposition could do well to consider that whereas in the automotive sector the first question asked about a replacement battery is the price, in these other sectors the first question is suitability and what’s the best battery for the job.
This change of mind set from a distress purchase (what’s the quickest, cheapest solution) to an aspirational purchase (how’s this going to further improve a lifestyle choice) makes a fundamental difference to the profit margin available for members in comparison to automotive batteries.
If one of the issues holding members back from expanding their battery portfolio is dealing with unfamiliar products, the answer could be to begin with motorcycle batteries, which share a common technology and design to their automotive cousins.
Alongside VARTA®, which similar automotive, is the gold standard battery for the motorcycle sector, Manbat can offer members its own Numax MotoSport range or Lucas Motorcycle batteries.
Since becoming custodians of the brand in 2009, as well as re-establishing its credibility and reputation for quality, Manbat has also introduced the Lucas brand into several other sectors, with motorcycle one of these first ‘brand extensions’.
Also sharing similar technology is the leisure battery, which although modified in its performance characteristics to deliver a broad spread of power over a prolonged period rather than the short bursts of high power needed for an automotive starter battery, the case sizes will be very familiar to GROUPAUTO members.
The opportunities for leisure battery sales and business development are large. The combination of increasing numbers of people holidaying in the UK and a growing ‘retired and at leisure’ population has meant that the demand for leisure batteries, whether for caravans and motorhomes or marine applications, has rocketed.
Again Manbat can offer members a choice of brands with Lucas providing a high quality alternative to the market leading Numax product range.
Although batteries for golf enthusiasts and the mobility sector are perhaps less familiar as they tend to be sealed GEL batteries, they are nonetheless profitable products to supply.
Fears about dealing directly with customers or mobility users can be averted by building relationships and supply arrangements with mobility specialists and the golf shop that almost every course has on site.
Members also need to remember that they would not be entering into this new venture in isolation as Manbat is ready and willing to help, not just with the required products and accessories, but with market knowledge and experienced professionals who are able to develop these new opportunities alongside them.
For more information, please call Manbat customer services on 01473 218500 or visit www.manbat.co.uk