How to Start a Used Car Business

StrategyDriven Business Startup Article|Business Skills|How to Start a Used Car BusinessFor some people, starting an independent used car business is the perfect combination of a love of cars and great business skills. Or, at the very least, a desire to develop great business skills. However, building a used car business from the ground up is not as simple as finding cars and selling them on. It’s not even enough just to know everything about cars and their features; you also need to have a sound understanding of business finances, licensing and legal requirements in terms of permits and taxes. To run a successful business, you also need to get to grips with marketing strategy, techniques and advertising standards you need to comply with.

A big decision you’ll be faced with early on is the choice between starting a car dealership franchise or your own independent used car business. Franchises often require a larger investment upfront to purchase the franchise rights and will be a bigger operation in general. Independent businesses are often the less costly option and can source their vehicle inventory from several places, but this option is by no means an easy one.

Create a Business Plan

A business plan is crucial and should be created before you make any financial or legal commitments. You need to research and analyze the used vehicle industry, including your competitors. The plan should include your projected budget and foreseeable costs. The process of writing your business plan will highlight any potential pitfalls or problems in the business model.

Finance Your Business

Most new business owners need help when financing a start-up. You can do this by finding an investor or taking out a business loan. Your personal credit score and history will be considered when you apply, so make sure everything is in a positive state before you do. This is where your business plan comes in again, as lenders and investors will want to know when your business should start returning a profit.

To establish your business, you will need to form a corporation, partnership or LLC. This is a process which incurs legal fees and applies for a business license. In addition, you need a vehicle dealer’s license from your state’s Motor Vehicle Administration by demonstrating you meet all the necessary criteria. This includes the size of your premises, the location, your opening hours and any signage you will be using. Your license will enable you to sell certain types of vehicle such as used or new, car, truck, RV or motorcycle. You will also need to get a surety bond which means your customers are financially protected when buying from you, should you fail to meet your obligations. Both your license and surety bond will cost money, but this varies from state to state. You’ll also need to pay for Business Liability Insurance on an ongoing basis.

Every new business has start-up costs to consider from renting your premises and finding your inventory to outfitting your office with equipment and paying the wages of any employees. The rent you pay will usually be calculated by square feet and prices will vary depending on where you choose to locate the business. Don’t forget to budget for your marketing and advertising activities as these will be key in getting your business off the ground. Each vehicle you sell will also need dealer plates; the cost of this will vary from state to state.

Get Your Sales Tax Permit

You need to contact the Controller of Public Accounts in your state to get your sales tax permit. Each state will have its own process and schedule for collecting the tax on each vehicle you sell.

Get the Best Location

It’s likely that you’ll be leasing your premises rather than buying in the early stages. The premises you choose should be easily accessible and have adequate space to accommodate both the vehicles you’re selling and the vehicles of your customers. Visibility is key to increase the awareness of your business in the local area.

Recruit Staff

Depending on the size of your business, you’ll need staff to help you sell vehicles and to help with the general running of the business. Your salespeople should be friendly and outgoing with experience in selling either vehicles or other high-priced items. You should also consider hiring someone who can carry out vital maintenance on the vehicles, so they are ready for sale.

Build Your Inventory

A big step in setting up your business if finding vehicles to sell. This can be done by advertising in trade publications, online trade websites or local papers, placing signage outside your dealership that you’re looking to purchase vehicles, or you can proactively approach people who may wish to sell. Your family and friends may well have contacts or colleagues looking to sell a vehicle. You could also respond to private adverts or attend vehicle auctions where you can buy vehicles in good condition.

Of course, you don’t have to stick to local vehicles when building your inventory. You could bring in vehicles from all over the country, but you may need to consider vehicle transport services to ensure they arrive at your premises safely and without adding mileage. You can learn about car shipping in more detail on the Freedom Auto Transport website.

Devise a Marketing Strategy

Once your business is open, you’ll need to find some customers. You should have a website, be active on social media platforms and consider online advertising as well as print advertising in magazines and newspapers. If you don’t have experience in marketing, you may want to contact a specialist marketing firm which can help you build your brand. Eventually, you may be able to employ a dedicated marketing professional in your team. Here is a guide to start-up marketing to get you started.

Organize a Launch Celebration

A great way to kickstart your business in the local community is to organize an event to celebrate your opening. The attractive you can make the event the better so consider serving food or refreshments and some entertainment. It’s a great opportunity to not only invite local people and other businesses to do some networking and hand out literature, but also to invite the local press. A new business launching in the local area is always newsworthy, especially if you can make the event as eye-catching as possible.

What To Think About As You Launch Your Own Company

StrategyDriven Business Startup Article|Business Start up|What To Think About As You Launch Your Own CompanyHaving your own company is a great achievement but can also be quite stressful and time-consuming. As the business owner, there’s a lot on your plate and a lot that you have to think about and do on any given day.

It’s a wise idea to review the following considerations as you get up and running and proceed with managing a company of your own. Remember that some days will be better than others and it isn’t always going to be a smooth or easy endeavor. However, remind yourself of why you got started in the business in the first place to help keep you motivated throughout the challenges you’ll inevitably face.

Having A Business Plan

As you launch your own company, you’re going to want to make sure you have a business plan in place that you can follow. Trying to wing it or act on impulse will likely leave you feeling confused and with regrets in the long run. Use this roadmap to help you smoothly maneuver through the future and make sure you’re staying on track and meeting your goals and initiatives on time. You’ll likely have trouble securing the financing you need to get started and stay afloat if you’re disorganized and aren’t confident and knowledgeable about how you want to run your company.

The Health & Safety of Your Employees

It’s important to commit to creating a welcoming, healthy and happy company culture at your workplace. This is especially important for recruiting purposes and being able to keep top talent wanting to stay and work at your business. Make sure you not only properly train your employees but that they’re clear that you won’t tolerate any drug or alcohol use at your office. You can read more here and inform yourself about employment drug testing laws and best practices, so you know how to handle this type of situation or behavior at your workplace.

Finding A Mentor

Although you work for yourself that doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own. Think about finding a mentor as you launch your company who you can turn to for advice and input along the way. Use this person as a sounding board so you can make wise management decisions and ensure your business takes off in the right direction. Meet with this person often and have them guide and lead you to run a more prosperous venture that will be around for years to come. Come prepared to ask the right questions and take notes so you can go back to the office equipped to implement any necessary changes or improvements.

Building up Your Network

You should also think about how you can begin building up your professional network as you launch your own company. It’ll be nice to have individuals who you can call up to chat about business or go for coffee and share ideas with when you have time. Be willing to put yourself out there and get involved in your community to help spread the word about your business and so you can build more long-lasting relationships with others. Who never know who you’ll meet that’s going to be able to help you achieve even more and will challenge you to go the extra mile and encourage you to overcome your fears.

Offering Superior Customer Service

If there’s one area you should focus in on the most when launching your own company, it’s with your customer service department. Make it a goal to offer superior customer service if you wish to win over more clients and deal with fewer complaints overall. Train your employees so that they understand how to handle a wide variety of questions or concerns and know how to act professionally in every interaction. Also, think about collecting positive online reviews from satisfied customers so you can start to build up a strong brand reputation.

The Possibility of Failing

The reality is that not all businesses that are started end up succeeding in the end. It’s important to face the real possibility that your company may fail one day. Therefore, it’s a wise idea to always have a backup plan in place for what you’ll do or changes you’ll make if you start to see your company heading down the wrong path. It doesn’t mean you should give up or quit trying, but that you should be willing to remain flexible in your management approach and to make the tough decisions that are going to help you bounce back and find success for the long-term. Your best plan of action is to learn from your mistakes and make adjustments as you go.

The Future

When starting your own company, you may be so caught up with the details that you’re only thinking about the present moment. While it’s good to live in the now, you also should be mindful of the future when running a company. Be optimistic and plan for growth so that you’re prepared to handle a large volume of customers and orders should your business take off. Have a plan in place for how you want to see your company grow and expand over the years. For example, what positions you’ll need to hire for, how you’ll innovate current products or services and how you’ll handle the increase in purchases and advancements in technology.


There’s no denying that there’s a lot to think about as you launch your own company. However, it’s important to focus in on the most important aspects that are outlined above so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember that it’s a journey and not a sprint and that you’ll experience setbacks and obstacles along the way. Therefore, you’ll need to use your problem-solving skills to work through these roadblocks. Most importantly, never stop trying your best and putting forth all you got so that you can at least say you did all you could at the end of it all, regardless of how successful you are in the future.

Tips on Starting a Business Before Gaining US Citizenship

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article|Starting a Business| Tips on Starting a Business Before Gaining US CitizenshipMost people can do business in the United States, whether they are located or based abroad or not. However, there are advantages that come with owning a U.S. based business. It can be easier to gain buyer confidence when you own a domestic U.S. based company as well as when all business takes place within the continental United States. At the same time, anyone who is not a U.S. citizen will have a harder time establishing a business here. Read these tips for starting a business in the United States long before you become a naturalized citizen.

Consult with and Retain an Attorney

Immigration in the United States is neither a fast or cheap process. You can count on it taking a minimum of two to three years to become a citizen, and that is only if you are on the fast track. Most people interested in going into business are unwilling to wait years before they can get started domestically. An immigration lawyer can tell you more about business and employment laws in the U.S. and how you might be impacted because of your current immigration status. There are visas available for people wanting to work in the U.S. legally. Getting permission or authorization to set up a business here simply requires you to have your attorney file the right petitions and give you sound advice.

Start Your Business with a U.S. Citizen

Beyond needing to have certain types of identification in order to even be able to apply for a business loan in the U.S., banks follow a fairly rigid structure. In many ways, getting business credit is even harder than building personal credit. In fact, business credit is largely based on personal business credit scores, and if you are a non-U.S. citizen, your credit file is going to be fairly sparse. You can get your business off the ground easier if you partner up with a United States citizen. Yes, going into business with someone else always comes with risks, but this would be the case regardless of where you decided to establish your company. In the event that you want to get faster financing for your company through traditional means, partner with a trusted friend or relative who is a U.S. citizen.

Pay Attention to Changes in Immigration Law

In the U.S., immigration reform is a topic that is constantly being talked about. Each election cycle, there are promises of rules being changed and processes being revamped. While a lot of this talk is aimed at illegal immigration, there are various examples of valid visa holders being impacted by sweeping reforms. The entire way that the H1B1 visa works is impacting hundreds of thousands of visa holders, their spouses and families. Now that ICE is targeting more businesses, employers have to be even more careful during the hiring process. Just know where you stay immigration wise and talk to a legal professional about how any changes in law will have an effect on your business.

If you want to establish a business in the U.S., first learn if you authorized to do so. You might need to submit some forms and even wait a few weeks from the government for an official response. At the end of the day, if you ensure that you have lawfully formed your business, it can never be taken from you.

How to Start a Team Building Events Company

StrategyDriven Business Startup Article | How to Start a Team Building Events CompanyWhile most business owners are aware of the fact that their employees play a huge part in the company’s overall success, it has really only been in the past decade or so that business owners have come to appreciate that to its fullest. Not only do you need a staff of properly trained, experienced, and knowledgeable employees, but they also need to work well as a team. If there is a lack of communication or conflict between staff and departments, the entire company suffers, as does the bottom line.

This is where team building activities and events have really taken center stage, as they are the perfect way to bring everyone together and start to open up lines of communication and build trust with one another. This has also sparked the creation of team building events companies, who are the ones that put these events together and host them.

If you’ve been watching this trend and feel like now is the time to get in the ring and open your own team building events company, then here are some tips that can help you get started.

Create a Business Plan

Just like with any business the best place to start is with a plan. Within this plan, you want to outline the basic concept of your company, outline the business’s goals, describe what actions and plans you will take in order to reach your goals, who your target market is, what services and products you will offer, the financials, and how many employees you’ll need.

Invest in Engaging Games, Activities, and Rides

In order to be successful with your team building events company, you’re going to need to stand out from the competition, as this is an industry that is growing fast. One of the best ways to stand out is to offer your clients the best of the best when it comes to engaging games, activities, and rides. Clients need to be able to take a look at your offerings and feel as though you’ll knock it out of the park where employee engagement is concerned.

Take a look at the options available through Galaxy Multi Rides via as great examples. You can invest in any one of these games and rides and know that displaying them on your company website will draw attention.

Ensure You Have a Digital Presence

This leads us to the next tip which is to ensure you have a robust and engaging digital presence right from the start. This means a professional looking website that operates smoothly and a presence on all the top social networks. Digital platforms will provide you with a way to interact and engage with the public, fill them in on new and exciting offerings and promotions, share useful information, and start to build name recognition.

Remember Any Business Takes Time to Grow

Even with following each of these tips, it’s important to remind yourself that your team building events company will take time to build and grow. This is natural and just part of being an entrepreneur.

6 Reasons To Start Your Own Business

StrategyDriven Business Startup Article |Starting Your Own Business|6 Reasons To Start Your Own BusinessIf you’ve ever considered starting your own business but weren’t sure whether it was a good idea or not, you might want to think again. There are many reasons why starting your own business is not just a good idea but a great one, and no matter where your particular skills lie, you should be able to find a niche that is just right for you. Read on to find out why starting a business could be the best thing you ever do.

You Are Your Own Boss

You may be the kind of person who is happier leading than following, but that might not be possible in your current place of work. There will be a boss already, someone you need to listen to and who will tell you what you can and can’t do. This is distinctly unappealing to a lot of people, and if you are one of them, then you could become your own boss and start your own business instead of working for someone else.

You will have the choice of what you do, and any decision that needs to be made will be yours to make. If you have staff, you will be in charge of them and be the leader, not the follower. For many, this is the main reason for starting their own business.

You Do What You Are Interested In

Sometimes a job is just a job – it’s what pays the bills and keeps you busy. Yet, wouldn’t it be wonderful to do more than that? To do something that you actually enjoy and are interested in? If you own and run a business, that’s exactly what you can do. You can choose what kind of business you want to run and what it will entail. It pays to research whether there is a market for whatever goods or services you want to sell, of course, but generally, you can choose anything at all.

Running your own business is the ideal way to put your knowledge, education, skills, and interests into one venture that will keep you motivated and keen to continue. If you feel you need more skills you can always look into earning a computer science degree online to give you more confidence to go ahead.

There Are Few Barriers To Entry

Unlike applying for a job in your chosen field where you will need to show experience, for example, or explain why you want to work in that sector, when you start your own business you won’t have to explain or prove anything to anyone. You will need to be sure of yourself and be confident that you can make a success of your chosen business, but that’s it.

There are very few barriers to entry when you want to start a small business. As mentioned above, you won’t need to have an interview or impress an employer, but it is also relatively easy to source suppliers, market your business, set up a website, and so on. You won’t even have to spend a lot of money if you don’t want to or can’t afford to – you set your budget. Whereas in the past only the very wealthy or those who had a lot of connections were able to start successful businesses, that has now changed; if you want to do it, you can.

You’ll Make More Money

When you run your own business, you can potentially make a lot more money than you can when you are working for someone else. If you can market your business well and you work hard, and to a high standard, you will find that it quickly grows, giving you the salary that you have been looking for.

It may not happen right away, but if you work hard and keep going, the potential for profit is huge, and could make your life very comfortable indeed. Plus, when you’re working for yourself, most of the profit can be paid to you if you want – especially if you are the only person working in the company – giving you even more chance of earning well.

You Can Start Slowly

When you imagine launching your business, you might worry that it will be a little while before it starts to generate any money, and therefore you might not be able to afford to have your own business because you need a salary coming in.

This is not a problem. If you start slowly, you can work in another job – either full or part-time depending on your preference and needs – at the same time. You can run your new business on the side, using evenings and weekends to reply to customers and do the work, for example. This means you can gradually grow the business to a point where you know you can give up your day job and still be earning the money you need.

Work From Home

It might be that you don’t enjoy your current job due to the commute it takes to get there, and the lack of work-life balance that you can enjoy. Having a good work-life balance is crucial for happiness, and this can be achieved when you run your own business, especially if you work from home.

By cutting out the long commute and being able to choose your hours, as well as being around for your family when they need you for important events such as birthdays, school plays, or sports games, you will be more calm, relaxed, and happy, and this will have a positive effect on your business and your home life too. Plus working in a familiar, comfortable environment will help you to be more productive.

If you need to meet with clients or suppliers, for example, and you don’t want them to come to your home, you can always hire a meeting room or office for a short time, or you can meet in a local café or coffee house. This is not unusual, and no one will think twice about it; it certainly won’t put potential clients off.