What You Need Besides Your Auto Dealer Bond
There are several things that you'll want to have covered to ensure your dealership is a success. Although not required like an auto dealer bond, these tactics will give your business the best chance at succeeding and growing.
5 Reasons to Incorporate Your Dealership
Your personal assets will be protected. This means if you have outstanding business debts, your personal assets like your vehicles or home can't be taken as payment.
Incorporation instantly adds credibility to your dealership. Having "LLC" or "Inc." at the tail end of your company name can attract new customers and partners, and suggests that your company is a stable one that means business.
Once you incorporate in most states, other businesses within your state cannot file your exact dealership name. This benefits your brand, as your company can not be confused with another with the same name.
There are also tax benefits, as incorporation allows you to write off expenses such as health insurance and life insurance premiums.
You will also have an easier time getting loans if needed, as banks often prefer lending to incorporated businesses. This is vital for small businesses that often do not have the start-up cash available.
Get Insurance, Protect Your Business
There are different types of insurance which have their own benefits. Property and casualty auto dealership insurance can cover things like bodily injury and property damage. Whether you are a large new vehicle dealer, or a smaller used vehicle dealer, these types of insurance coverage offer protection that could benefit both:
- Physical damage: protects your vehicle inventory in lots and vehicles used for test driving.
- False pretense: protects you from your customers. For example, if a customer takes a test drive vehicle without a sales person's permission and steals or abandons the vehicle, you'll be covered.
- Title E&O: protects you from customers who are unhappy with the purchase of their vehicle, repairs, or other services that you provide.
If you have a larger dealership, you may also be interested in:
- Garage liability: protects your customers vehicles that are repaired or maintained in your garage.
- Workers compensation: protects your employees if they are injured on the job and reimburses them for the injuries or lost time at work.
- Excess liability: protection in excess of any garage liability, workers compensation, or other coverage.
Remember, you'll want to contact a P&C insurance agency that specializes in dealership insurance for more information and to get your coverage in place.
You can also get fidelity bonds, which can protect you or your customers. A business service fidelity bond will protect your customers from dishonest acts by your employees like theft. An employee dishonesty fidelity bond can protect you from your own employee's dishonest acts such as theft, embezzlement and forgery.
Sharpen Your Skills With Sales Courses
Once you have your dealership incorporated and insurance in place, taking sales courses can take your profits to the next level. Online courses are available to boost your profit, sales confidence, sale consistency and show you how to get new customers in the door and keep them loyal customers.
Dominate Your Competitors Using Local Search Marketing
After you have an established your dealership and strong sales training, you can greatly increase new customers with local search marketing. Local advertising and marketing online is quickly becoming the preferred method to get local companies seen, as billions of searches done online are for local businesses every month in the U.S..
It's not as hard as it sounds, and there are many great resources available online to help get you started. First, take this questionnaire to see if local search marketing is right for you (it most likely is!).
There are many tools that can be used to get the most out of your local search marketing. Take a look at this visual guide to determine which options are right for your business.
Your local business listing is one of the most important aspects of local search marketing. Use this guide to learn how to get your dealership listed properly. Reviews can also make or break the chances of getting new customers since they are often displayed prominently when someone is searching online. Find out how to get positive reviews for your business and manage your reputation.
If you feel taking on local search marketing is too daunting as a small business owner, take a look at this list of recommended local search marketing companies that can help get you on the right track.
Now that you are armed with the knowledge and tools available to give your dealership the best fighting chance possible, you are better equipped to make your business a success.
Author: Eric Weisbrot
Eric is an industry expert that specializes in taking complex surety concepts and explaining them in terms that make sense to the general public. He also manages the JW Surety Bonds website and works with various partners to help further educate the public on suretyship using various mediums.
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