HAMLET — Anthony Fuller decided to open Premier Auto Imports in downtown Hamlet after doing some research about the need for a foreign car dealer in Richmond County. Being new to the area, he worked with Richmond Community College’s Small Business Center to become more familiar with the surrounding community and to develop a plan for his business.
Unlike other auto dealerships, Premier Auto Imports buys and sells only premium imported cars, such as BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Audi and Japanese makes of cars.
“I always knew this was something I wanted to do, and I saw the potential need for this type of business in this area, since there was not currently a dealership in Richmond County that specifically focuses on that segment of the market,” Fuller said. “Growing up, I always liked to tinker with cars. I’ve always been fascinated with vehicles, how they operate, how they maneuver and what makes them tick, so to speak.”
Fuller earned a Master of Business Administration from Fayetteville State University, so he has a formal education in business, but this is his first storefront operation. He said the Small Business Center was a good resource for him as he was searching for a place to establish his business, and it helped put him in touch with the right people. He also received assistance with the process of developing a business plan and setting future goals for his business, such as offering repair services.
The Small Business Center supports the development of new businesses and the growth of existing businesses by being a community-based provider of counseling, training, and resource information. It’s a local resource for finding solutions to challenging business questions, assisting in the creation of a business plan and other areas that would generate growth for existing businesses.
Born in Wilmington, Fuller served seven years in the Army and now works for the military on the Fort Bragg base. He has several employees who handle the dealership business when he is at Fort Bragg.
Located at 123 Raleigh St., Hamlet, Premier Auto Imports is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 3 p.m. Sunday.
For more information about the Small Business Center at RichmondCC, call 910-410-1687.
Wylie D. Bell is director of marketing and communications for Richmond Community College.