ABCs of Small Business Industries: A is for Automotive

automotive industryWelcome to week three of our ABCs of small business industries! Today’s focus in the series? The automotive industry! This particular industry works alongside anything involving the design, manufacturing, marketing, development, or selling of motor vehicles. What’s not included here, however, are auto repair shops or any sort of gas station.

If your dream has always been to run your own vintage car garage or design automobiles, keeping the following areas in mind to ensure a smooth start!

What do you need to get started?

The biggest hump you’ll have to get over in starting a business in the automotive industry is familiarizing yourself with all the industry rules. This industry in particular has a strict list of guidelines to abide by and follow, but, luckily, the Small Business Administration has you covered. Details on emission standards, how to become a registered motor vehicle importer, knowing the ins and outs of automobile certification, and information on the automobile federal trade commission will all come in handy to keep under your belt in such a robust industry.

Additionally, make sure you have a registered agent in place to handle all of your state mail and remind you of important deadlines, a business/operating license so you can do business where you’d like, and a federal tax ID (EIN) in place if you plan on hiring a strong team to come and join you.

What sort of entity should you form going into the automotive industry?

Though every business owner has the choice of filing whichever entity he feels best suits him and his business, it is common for business owners in the automotive industry to file as an LLC, probably largely in part to the appealing nature of the pass through taxation. This means that business owners who file as an LLC will only be taxed once, whereas with other entity forms, they could be getting taxed twice at both the company level and again at the owner. An LLC is also very easy to get started as well as easy to maintain.

How healthy is the industry?

Around the world right now, there are over 1 billion cars. According to Edmunds.com, “16.4 million car buyers are expected to continue to flock to the market, taking further advantage of more freely flowing credit to refresh the oldest vehicle fleet in history.”

Being that the automobile is the primary mode of transportation around the world, we have formed a strong sense of dependency on the automotive industry – and if you’re planning on starting a business to help out those who need extra assistance with their vehicles, now is a great time to do it!

Want to put the pedal to the metal and start your business in the automotive industry? MyCorp can help you get started! Just leave a comment below, or give us a call at 1 (877) 692-6772, and we’ll help you get your licenses, DBAs, and EINs squared away! 

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How to Build a Solid Sales Team

It can feel odd hiring a sales team after you start your business. You were probably the only salesperson for the first few years of your company’s life, and giving up such an important responsibility can be jarring. However, if you want your business to succeed, you have to learn how to delegate and grow. Sales Team Actually having a sales team is very different than doing sales yourself. You need to trust them, and their skills, implicitly, even if how they sell is different from how you sold. With that in mind, when you first begin to hire and train your sales staff, remember to…

Look for personability

Friendliness and personability are two of the most important qualities of a successful salesperson. It doesn’t matter if someone has three decades of sales experience – if they’re pushy or irritating while selling, they’re going to lose clients. Sales has changed a lot over the last few years. Cold calling is a wash, and the best way to bring in customers is actually through inbound marketing. Your sales staff has to be able to connect with your customers and talk them through the sale, rather than throw pitch after pitch at them.

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6 Leadership Lessons We All Learned in Kindergarten

6 Leadership Lessons We All Learned in KindergartenIt might be an overstatement to say we learned everything we needed to know in kindergarten, but it’s not far from the truth either. We did pick up some valuable skills in that tender phase of life, like sharing our blocks and saying you’re sorry when someone’s feelings got hurt. Here in the adult world, some of these universal, yet oft-forgotten, truths can still improve our daily lives and those of our employees if we continue to practice them in the workplace.

1) Share.

Sharing sounds like childish, but it’s actually a complex concept. It requires an understanding of empathy and compassion, seeing the needs of others and responding accordingly. Stable leaders have a natural instinct for practicing these traits in the workplace, and when you show your team that you care, it harbors a sense of trust and stability that improves both morale and productivity.

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Business Basics – Cross-Blogging

Content marketing is amazing. Studies have found that inbound and content marketing cost 62% less than traditional marketing, and yet brings in three-times as many leads. If you don’t blog, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity, and a great chance to network. Over the last year or so, we’ve really amped up our cross-blogging, and we’ve seen some amazing results. New markets have opened up, our web presence has never been bigger, and we’ve made some great new partners. cross-blogging

But, in finding new partners to blog with, we’ve noticed that some businesses don’t know the first thing about cross-blogging. So to help those of you experimenting with inbound marketing out, here are a few tips on how to make your cross-blogging experience positive and rewarding.

Make suggestions and share ideas

Some of the best articles we’ve ever written have come from ideas brainstormed with our cross-blogging partners. However, entrepreneurs can be a little skittish when it comes to sharing ideas. Now when a business is built on an idea, guarding it makes a lot of sense, but if that idea is nothing more than a possible topic for an 800-word article, you don’t have to treat it like a trade secret. So feel free to pitch ideas with your partners, and build off of each other’s suggestions. A major part of cross-blogging is networking. You want to forge a strong, working relationship with the people you partner with, and brainstorming is a great way to do just that.

Keep the relationship light

New bloggers sometimes get a bit overly zealous when contributing or accepting a post. Before anything is written, they want a thirty-page contract filled out in triplicate and faxed to their attorney’s office. Remember, you aren’t sharing revenue or starting a business together. You’re cross-blogging. A few simple requests like ‘don’t plagiarize’ and ‘don’t publish this somewhere else’ are really all that you need.

Don’t ask your partner to do all the work

We feel like this should go without saying, but we’ve had way, waytoo many potential partners ask us to just write the post for them. There’s no quicker way to ruin this networking and marketing opportunity than by shirking all of your responsibility and expecting someone else to pick up the slack. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Would you want a crummy, hastily written article, riddled with spelling and grammar errors on your blog? We doubt it. Any articles you send to your partner should be insightful, unique, and engaging, and you should expect the same of them. That way no one feels slighted, and your new partnership starts off right. 

Interested in contributing a guest post? We’d love to talk to you! Click here to read our author guidelines, pitch an idea, and get in contact with our social media team.

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How to Develop Lasting Relationships with the Right People

How to Develop Lasting Relationships with the Right PeopleAs an entrepreneur, relationships are some of the most valuable assets you’ll ever create. There are the relationships that you form with your customers, with your suppliers and with other small business owners. . You won’t find a column for “relationships” on your balance sheet but you should always be working on growing this asset no matter what.

When you focus your marketing activities in the following three steps, you will be working towards building strong relationships with customers and potential customers. By becoming an authority in your industry, building connections and bringing great value to the table, you’ll find yourself with a stable of strong business relationships in no time.

1. Establish Credibility in Your Industry

The first step is to position yourself as an authority in your industry. Don’t be afraid to highlight your credentials! Take advantage of inbound content marketing and create an informative blog, write a newsletter, and learn to use social media effectively. Every one of the aforementioned avenues are great places to build, grow, and nurture an audience.

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10 Declarations of Entrepreneurial Independence

Small businesses are an important part of the American landscape. They’re a major driver of the American economy – 55% of all jobs are created by small business - and the entrepreneurial spirit is as much of a part of our culture as baseball and apple pie. Here at MyCorp, we thought it’d be great to celebrate our upcoming Independence Day by featuring some of our favorite quotes about entrepreneurial independence!

Henry Ford

 

“If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.” —Henry Ford, Founder of the Ford Motor Company

 

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How to Keep Your Sales Team Motivated

How to Keep Your Sales Team MotivatedThere is no denying that your sales team can either make or break your business. If the members of the team hit their marks, then success is going to be in abundance for the entire team. But if one team member is unable to uphold their responsibilities, that requires everyone else to work even harder.

While this competitive drive can sometimes be exactly what a business needs to grow, the fierce competition that comes with working in sales can sometimes lead to a loss in motivation among its team members. Seeing the same person always surpass their sales goals can be disheartening to other members who are having a hard time hitting the mark. That is why keeping your entire sales team motivated matters so that everyone can continue to do their best and keep the company moving forward.

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Experts Weigh In: How Being an Entrepreneur Makes Me Feel Independent

How Being an Entrepreneur Makes Me Feel IndependentIn celebration of Independence Day this July 4th (and the three day weekend countless offices will be looking forward to), our MyCorp team decided to ask a simple, but significant, question to our small business base: how does being an entrepreneur make you feel independent? Meet our 105 entrepreneurial experts with the answers, or as resident expert Dan Fendel so eloquently described it as, “I hold these truths to be self-evident that all business people are NOT created equal, and some of us are endowed by our dreams and ideas with the ability to open new doors and create new ventures.”

1) “Being an entrepreneur gives you great independence and flexibility, but it comes with a cost of high risk and increased responsibility. Being in the CEO chair of a company puts all of the burden on me to deliver or else I’m out of business. For me though, after years in private equity and investment banking, it’s exactly what I wanted: all the responsibility on me. After understanding that, then it’s up for me to decide if I can go on an afternoon run or take a day off knowing that I don’t have a boss to blame if things go wrong.”

- Chris Good, Founder and CEO, Eventblimp

2) “Independence as an entrepreneur is as much a gift as it is a burden. You generally get to make your own hours, but at the same time you must be self-motivated, there is no one to push you but yourself. Essentially, just like in life, you get what you give.”

- David Drexler, My Coin Solution

3) “I love being an entrepreneur, the freedom of working at anytime from anywhere has opened an array of opportunity to spend more time with my kids and have a better quality of life while producing even a higher income that ever before.”

- Priska Diaz, Founder & CEO, Bittylab

4) “Being an entrepreneur makes me feel independent because I can work as many hours, or days as I want as I am my own boss responsible for my company’s success. Also I can work in my pajamas!”

- Haralee Weintraub, CEO, Haralee.com – Cool Garments for Hot Women!

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How to Take Action When You Hire Someone and Come to Regret It

How to Take Action When You Hire Someone and Come to Regret ItInevitably as a business owner, you will make one mistake that you’ll look back on and wonder how you ever thought it was a good idea.  We all have our own stories of doing this –it seems to be an unspoken rite of passage in the world of owning a business!

But what is that one thing? That one thing is you’re going to hire someone and then come to regret it.  Some of you reading this are probably already laughing because you know exactly what I mean.  Others could be in the midst of this right now, so you might not think it’s so funny.  No matter how established you are, remember that this happens to all of us, but matters even more are the actions you take next.

1) Don’t Take It Personally

Anytime you hire someone, whether an employee or a service provider, you’re rolling the dice.  Regardless of how well someone interviews or the bank of credentials and references they bring with them, sometimes the fit just isn’t right between the two parties.  What makes this so difficult for most small business owners is they take it personally.

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Do You Make These 5 Small Business Bookkeeping Mistakes?

Do You Make These 5 Small Business Bookkeeping Mistakes?If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time or are just getting started, then you probably already know that small business accounting is not as easy as it sounds. Not only do tax laws regularly change, but accounting standards and practices change too, which makes it easy for a small business owner to get tripped up and make a few mistakes.

But keeping the books for your small business doesn’t have to be stressful. We want to help you simplify your life, save money and reduce stress by learning how to avoid these five basic bookkeeping mistakes.

1. Mixing Money. You might think it’s not a problem, but the IRS disagrees. Co-mingling your personal and business funds together is simply bad business and as a LLC or Corporation it could potentially cause a breach in the “corporate veil.” Not only is it a risk to your asset separation but also you may have to pay an IRS penalty if get caught. No matter what, keep your business and personal account spending separate. Take the time to speak with a small business accountant to help determine the best way for you to transfer money from the business to you personally or vice versa.

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