Read Now: How the Right Automotive Marketing Strategy Wins Customers – 101 Latest News
#Automotive #Marketing #Strategy #Wins #Customers
This is no time to let off the gas.
Your auto dealership might be one of the best and most respected in the region, but your reputation might not be enough. Your automotive marketing strategy has to attract new customers constantly.
However, sourcing car buyers isn’t as simple as it once was.
From understanding the nuances of digital channels to choosing the right automotive marketing software, there’s a lot to learn. Let’s examine 11 different marketing ideas that will drive more new and used car sales right to your door.
What is automotive marketing?
Automotive marketing is the practice of using different strategies and tactics to attract and persuade potential car buyers. Automotive dealerships benefit most from this type of marketing, but automakers also use it to promote their vehicles.
Automotive marketing utilizes a combination of traditional and digital techniques and aims to engage two different customers:
- In-market: Buyers who plan to purchase a vehicle in the next three months
- Prospective: Buyers who are more than three to six months out from purchasing
Why automotive marketing matters
The retail world has become a digital world. But this isn’t surprising.
During the height of the pandemic, businesses had to adapt to an environment that prevented in-person shopping. Auto dealers were no different.
At one time early on in the pandemic, two out of three car buyers were more likely to purchase entirely online, according to a 2020 study by Cox Automotive. In that same study, franchise and independent dealers considered digital savviness as the most desirable skill for hiring new employees.
The shift to digital was already happening across retail. Social distancing just expedited that shift a bit more.
Meeting customers in both the physical and digital world has become the standard for car dealers. Many automotive businesses must explore new ways to adapt their automotive marketing strategy to attract potential customers.
11 automotive marketing strategies
There are tactics you should experiment with to draw in more customers. Let’s dive right into some winning strategies to get you selling more vehicles.
Embrace the power of customer reviews
Just browse Google or Amazon, and you’ll notice how reviews have become a core aspect of the internet.
Consider that the web has put so much information at our fingertips that it’s become far too easy to become overwhelmed with choice. Consumers need a reliable way to judge whether certain brands or products are worth their hard-earned money.
For dealerships, customer reviews are just as crucial to their businesses’ success as any other retailer. Here are a few key areas you should consider to maximize the value of customer reviews:
- Building trust and authority: More customers begin their sales journeys online than ever before. This means they’re probably going to research car models and dealers for their purchase. If this is a customer’s first touchpoint with your brand, then you want it to be positive.
- Perfect review scores are less trustworthy: Let’s say you have a perfect five-star rating on Google or Cars.com. Believe it or not, many customers are hesitant about perfect review scores they read online. One way to combat this is to collect a lot of reviews so that your score doesn’t lean too far in either direction.
- Multiple platforms need extra effort: Unlike ecommerce brands that house online reviews on their site, car dealerships often have to manage reviews across multiple platforms. Some of the most common include Google and Facebook, but customers might leave reviews on other sites, like DealerRater and the Better Business Bureau. If you don’t give equal attention to every site, it may burn you later.
- Bad reviews can lead to positive outcomes: Negative reviews don’t have to be the end of the world because they can provide valuable insight. They present a chance to improve the overall experience, identify necessary messaging changes, and offer opportunities to acknowledge dissatisfied customers to improve brand trust.
Tl;dr — Reviews are critical. Your most loyal customers are your biggest advocates and some of your best salespeople. So if it’s been a while since you thought about your review collection strategy, here are a few tips you should consider:
- Collect as many reviews as you can.
- Make it easy for customers to leave a review.
- Always reply to negative reviews.
- Aim to provide consistent attention to multiple review sites.
- Learn from both good and bad reviews.
Prioritize data as your guiding star
Now that we’ve checked under the hood of customer reviews, remember that they’re a data set, essential to the success of powerful automotive marketing strategies.
Just as you trust data to make financial decisions, the same is true when it comes to your marketing campaigns. To get started, think about what things that matter most to attract new customers, such as:
- Website traffic
- Local demographic and census data
- Conversion rates
- Historical campaign spending
The beauty of digital marketing tactics is that there’s a ton of data to show what works and what doesn’t. Consulting data on a regular basis to inform these decisions is extremely important for any marketing strategy.
Pro tip: Look into solutions that can consolidate data into a single “source of truth” for analyzing performance or putting that data to work. For example, seek out a customer relationship management (CRM) software explicitly designed to house data from website form fills, emails, and other channel communications.
Create buyer personas
Let’s suppose you’re stuck in the wilderness and have fishing skills. Sure, you could toss a spear into a school of fish, hoping you’ll hit something. But wouldn’t it be better to bait a hook and cast your line at the right moment?
That’s what you can achieve with buyer personas, a marketing technique that some of the biggest brands on the planet use. It’s a method you apply to create fictional personas that represent real-life prospective and current customers.
Buyer personas help you approach your automotive dealership marketing strategies with surgical precision. A buyer persona’s purpose is to document your ideal customer’s wants, needs, and common behavior.
Here’s a hypothetical buyer persona for a dealership that wants to move more crossover SUVs this year:
- Name: Mei
- Age: 31
- Annual Salary: $75,000
- Profession: Filmographer
- Family Life: Fiancé
- Favorite Hobbies: Hiking, Camping, Travel
It might seem strange to create a fictional character and define so much about them. There’s a lot to be said about this example.
We know that Mei’s income is in range to afford the newest SUV model and that it would be perfect for long road trips. Additionally, she likely needs a vehicle with decent off-road and towing capabilities based on her hobbies.
It’s more than likely that automakers heavily rely on buyer personas when designing new or iterating on existing vehicle models. And while customers won’t always fit into the perfect structure of a particular persona, we can use them to inform which marketing channels make sense to target.
In this example, Mei’s age and profession suggest that she regularly uses social media sites like Instagram or TikTok. This is just one specific instance where a buyer persona can help decide which social platforms to invest in for advertising purposes.
Pro tip: Try to create multiple personas! Ideally, have a buyer persona to represent the perfect customer for each model available on your lot or sales floor. Aim to be as specific as possible with target audience information like age, profession, or salary. The more detail, the better!
Audit your website experience
Think about the biggest tech companies and what their websites look like. You’re probably thinking of the big four – Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.
User experience (UX) is a big reason these tech companies are so successful. They constantly improve their sites to increase user engagement, time on site, and chances of conversion.
There’s a good chance you’ve visited a shoddy website. Neverending pop-ups. Full-volume autoplay ads. Desperate pleas to join mailing lists. A bad website experience can turn off users faster than you can say “close tab.”
But optimizing your dealership website for good UX isn’t a simple task. UX designers and researchers dedicate their careers to creating more universally accessible and positive experiences for everybody online.
If you have the resources to hire a UX designer, go for it! However, this might not make sense for everybody. Here are some questions to help audit your website and address any glaring issues that impede an ideal experience:
- Are there consistent issues with inventory management? One of the most frustrating things about shopping online is seeing products that are out of stock. If someone on your site finds the new or used car of their dreams but discovers it’s unavailable, their disappointment is justified.
- Can users easily and intuitively find your contact information? Unless your site facilitates the entire car purchase, you want visitors to visit the dealership in person. Whether they want to contact a salesperson about pricing or schedule a test drive, don’t make them have to hunt down your number or email address.
- Are there any accessibility issues? Your site’s design should aim to be accessible to as many people as possible. Try to accommodate visually-impaired people with changes to font text styling and color choices.
- Any annoying design choices? This is a bit more subjective, but think hard about certain aspects of your site that might be obnoxious to the average user. For example, you may have a cookie opt-in plugin that displays for all new visitors. While it’s good to be data-compliant, it’s not a great experience if visitors have to click through multiple menus when the overlay consumes the entire screen. Pop-ups and chat windows fall into this category, but the jury is still out on whether it’s better to do away with them altogether.
Pro tip: Sit down with someone that isn’t a current dealership employee and ask them to navigate to specific parts of your site. Ask them how difficult it was and how long it took them to complete the challenge. You may also want to consider heatmapping or conversion rate testing tools.
Optimize your site for search engines
Google has become an integral part of how we interact with the internet. There’s a good chance that you found this article through Google or maybe a different search engine (lol, no.)
Today’s customer often turns to search engines first to research products and services. Specifically, 40% of shoppers worldwide start their buying journey on Google when researching a potential purchase. Search engines drive tons of traffic to millions of websites every day. It’s become an increasingly vital channel for all marketers.
With a dominating 92.48% global market share, Google is the only search engine worth caring about. Let’s focus on two important aspects of the search engine results page (SERP): organic search results and local results.
A typical SERP in Google has the following structure:
- Rich media (images & videos)
- Featured snippets and People Also Ask questions
- Organic results
Google’s SERPs favor the placement of ads at the top of the page, but many users scroll down the page to see the organic results. This is where you want your business to show up when customers use keywords related to your dealership.
But – and this might come as a shock – the internet has a lot of content. To confidently recommend your site for specific keywords, Google and other search engines need to understand what your site is all about. In extremely broad strokes, here’s how Google assesses your site for SERPs:
- Google “crawls” every page to get a sense of what topics and interests your site focuses on.
- Google evaluates offsite signals to judge how trustworthy or authoritative your site is relative to those topics.
To give Google a good reason to recommend your site, you have to engage in several tactics that fall under the practice of search engine optimization (SEO). Some marketers and marketing agencies specialize in SEO since it’s a constantly evolving approach.
Prioritizing your ideal user is the best approach in Google’s eyes. Make sure your site’s content marketing is helpful and informative, and that you’re trying to give your customers a great experience during their visit.
SEO can be pretty complicated to get right, but tons of free resources are just a few searches away. Investing in SEO is a long-term strategy and it may make sense to partner with SEO professionals if you’re struggling to get results.
Businesses serving specific areas and regions also need to care about search engines. Local SEO is crucial for these companies because users have come to rely on search engines to provide quick suggestions for nearby businesses.
If you search for “best used car dealerships near me,” you’ll probably notice a feature in the SERP that looks like this:
Source: Google Search Results
The above is what Google refers to as the “Local Pack.” When a user performs a local search, the results page triggers a grouping of several businesses Google thinks are most relevant to that search.
The good news is that you can manage your business listing yourself, but you have to do so within Google’s ecosystem. Consider these three points to get the most out of your local business listing on Google:
- Claim your Google business listing. Many businesses don’t realize that unless they claim and manage their listing on Google, the search engine tries to populate the listing with data it pulls from the web.
- Regularly update your listing. Include as much information about your business as possible. This means regularly updating your hours, especially if they change on major holidays. Also, don’t forget to acknowledge and reply to negative reviews promptly.
- Explore advertising in the local pack. Google has a comprehensive ad platform, and the local pack is no exception. If you want your dealership to sit at the top of the local pack for user searches, this is one way to do that.
Experiment with Google Ads
The Google Ads platform is a robust option for spending your ad dollars. Your goal is to craft strong car dealership marketing strategies, and advertising is still a powerful tool at your disposal. (If you need a refresher, read up on the differences between marketing vs. advertising.)
Google Paid Search
Google offers quite a bit for automotive marketers targeting search users. Paid search advertising allows brands to bid on keywords and phrases and serve ads at the top of the SERP to attract customers. Here are some ways you can maximize the value of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising:
- Get familiar with keyword target types. Google uses different methods for bidding on keywords in paid search. Familiarize yourself with how they can impact your spending and the kinds of users they target.
- Bid on competitor terms. Under the right conditions, you can target competitor brand terms and win over customers. While you can’t explicitly mention or bad-mouth them in your ad copy, you can absolutely serve ads to users searching for your competitors.
- Actively manage your keyword lists. Your keyword selection makes or breaks your paid search campaigns. And just as important as it is to bid on the right keywords, you also need to maintain a list of keywords you don’t want to target. The last thing you want is paying for ads that get served to people who aren’t likely to buy a car from your dealership.
Other offerings within Google Ads
Outside of paid search, you should consider other areas within Google Ads if you’re trying to test different car sales marketing ideas. Let’s look at the areas to focus on to get more car buyers to walk through your doors.
- Display campaigns: A long-time staple of digital marketing, Google’s display network allows you to target online publishers and websites with banner ads based on your audiences.
- YouTube: Automakers and dealerships rely on YouTube as a go-to channel for video advertising.
- Shopping campaigns: Many car manufacturers and dealers use Google Shopping campaigns to promote specific car models. The idea is to get a search user to call or schedule an appointment for a test drive.
Use remarketing for a second chance
For visitors that come to your site but don’t engage or drop from your dealership’s sales funnel, remarketing is a reliable tool for a second chance.
Odds are that you’ve seen remarketing ads in the wild. You visit a site to research a purchase, and then you’re seemingly followed by ads for that product for days – sometimes weeks or months.
The future of remarketing is uncertain as many consumers are growing weary of them. Despite this, you can use a few tips to make remarketing ads effective without pushing customers away:
- Be cautious about frequency. No one likes to be hounded by constant ads for the same product over and over. When creating your remarketing campaigns, test spacing out your ads in a way that keeps you in the front of their mind without annoying them.
- Trust in your buyer personas. Calling back to an automotive marketing strategy from earlier, creating buyer personas can help guide how to segment your remarketing campaigns. This will ensure that you’re grouping your efforts intelligently and making your ads feel more relevant.
Explore other paid media channels
By no means is Google the only game in town for advertising online. You should always make sure that social media is a part of the discussion when thinking about your automotive marketing.
Social media platforms rise and fall in terms of their users. What was true about Facebook in 2010 does not apply today. It’s key to stay up-to-date with how each platform evolves and broader changes with social media marketing for automotive dealerships.
If you want to target 25-year-old college grads to buy a used car from your lot, you probably have a better chance of reaching them on Instagram. This is because Instagram is likely a considerably better fit for these car buyers since older generations more often favor Facebook.
Also, don’t count out emerging platforms. TikTok continues to see tremendous growth across all demographics, so it may be worth testing a few campaigns in the early stages of its popularity.
When thinking about who you want to target, this should ultimately help you decide whether one platform makes more sense than another.
Research automotive email marketing and automation tools
All of the automotive marketing strategies we’ve talked about so far require active management. But there’s a whole world of tools and technology worth exploring that can automate a ton for your automotive sales team.
One of the benefits of modern automotive marketing solutions is that some tools are built specifically for automating tasks. The most natural and broad application includes automotive email marketing.
Despite it being around since the early days of the internet, email marketing is still an incredibly effective marketing tool for car dealerships. Here are just a few mind-boggling stats to mull over:
- 99% of users open their email daily, some of them checking their inboxes as many as 20 times a day. (OptinMonster, 2020)
- 64% of millennials and 60% of Gen Z consider email to be the most personal channel. (Bluecore, 2021)
- 4 out of 5 marketers would rather dump social media than give up email. (Litmus, 2020)
Once a customer enters your funnel, there are many marketing options to choose from.
For starters, you may want to consider entering them into a series of automated emails sent over a set timeframe. This is what’s known as a “drip” campaign. Using templates inside of some automotive marketing tools with prepopulated content, you can demonstrate what makes your dealership unique and give leads compelling reasons to buy.
Leverage text message marketing
As reliable as email can be for auto dealers, text marketing – otherwise known as SMS – has shown to be an equally effective marketing channel.
It’s easy to compare email to SMS marketing because the two channels function similarly. Both are universal digital communication methods that users turn to daily. It’s hard to say no to a channel that boasts an average 98% unique open rate.
Pro tip: Consider approaching SMS marketing the same way you would with email. Try to segment your customer lists as best you can and craft your messaging to match those segments by favoring relevance. Additionally, be cautious about messaging frequency to avoid leaving a bad impression on your prospects.
Give buyers a reason to visit
While automotive digital marketing offers endless opportunities to attract your ideal customers, most dealerships still need them to visit the showroom in person. All previous tactics and automotive marketing strategies are designed to find your buyers with laser focus, but getting them to visit is the next hurdle to overcome.
Seasonal sales events – à la “Ford Truck Month” – are always a new or used car dealer’s go-to for motivating customers to swing by. But outside of these times, you need to get a bit more creative. Here are two offers that might inspire you to come up with some of your own.
- Trade-ins get a year of unlimited car washes: Some of your repeat customers exhibit certain patterns that you can use to come up with some great incentives. If you have buyers who like to trade up to the latest model every two years, throw in unlimited car washes to keep their vehicle new and fresh – until trade-in time, of course.
- Gas gift cards just to test drive: If you cover large service areas and have many customers driving long distances, consider a $25-$50 gift card they can use at the pump. Everyone could always use some extra gas money, giving your salespeople a chance to make a personal connection and memorable customer experience.
5 best automotive marketing software
Because the retail landscape has become so much more complicated for auto dealers, you need the right tools to reel in prospective customers.
To qualify in this category, a software product needs to:
- Provide a way to market a dealership’s business and inventory
- Offer features specific to automotive companies
- Manage and design websites, post pictures, and capture leads for dealers
*Below are the top five leading automotive marketing software solutions from G2’s Summer 2022 Grid® Report. Some reviews may be edited for clarity.
Dealer.com is a premier digital marketing solution recognized as an automotive industry leader. Backed by unrivaled consumer behavior data and Cox Automotive’s significant expertise, it’s a robust platform that empowers automotive companies, dealer groups, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to forge a path toward greater customer engagement.
What users like:
“Since Dealer.com is a part of Cox Automotive, they have the best staffing behind them. They are fully and seamlessly integrated with all of our other Cox products and give us what we need.”
– Dealer.com Review, Michaela H.
What users dislike:
“The included website layouts are a little cookie-cutter. We would enjoy a little more customization that could be done at the dealership level, but most add-ons need to be submitted through a ticket with Dealer.com.”
– Dealer.com Review, Barrie W.
Elead is an automotive CRM built to help dealers convert leads into sales and develop long-lasting and rewarding relationships with customers.
What users like:
“The system works well to discover all of our customers in the database. Elead allows us to figure out how in-depth we need to be to acquire their business. We have so many customers and leads, so we need to be able to track conversations in progress.”
– Elead Review, Kaitlyn E.
What users dislike:
“Basic CRM functions are needlessly challenging to perform, which makes it difficult when trying to teach people who aren’t the most tech-savvy to use the software.”
– Elead Review, Andrew S.
Carsforsale.com offers a suite of lead generation tools that are designed to drive exposure, efficiency, and results. Carsforsale.com has been in business for over 22 years and currently serves more than 22,500 independent and franchise car dealers in the U.S.
What users like:
“Just compare the pricing of the competition and you will see for yourself that Carsforsale.com is the best value in the market!”
– Carsforsale.com Review, Jeff K.
What users dislike:
“It’s a little more difficult to manage than we had initially thought. Uploading pictures is not always smooth.”
– Carsforsale.com Review, Michael C.
Matador is a marketing and automation platform that helps businesses in the automotive industry create better customer experiences, increase sales, and improve productivity. What makes it stand out is its intuitive interface and SMS automation.
What users like:
“Matador offers an easy way to stay in touch with prospects and convert them into new leads. Also, the platform is easy to integrate with our CRM which gives us the chance to re-engage SMS leads that did not finalize the purchase process.”
– Matador Review, Marco A.
What users dislike:
“New features are added every week and training our team to use them can be a bit overwhelming, especially with larger organizations. I would also be happier if it had more integrations with third-party software.”
– Matador Review, Noubar T.
Impel has an end-to-end omnichannel solution that offers dealers, wholesalers, OEMs, and third-party marketplaces an advanced digital engagement platform. Its suite of tools includes marketing, communications, and merchandising with seamless integration across the leading CRM and DMS software.
What users like:
“The support team is hyper-responsive and follows up on issues. Best bang for your buck in the automotive picture world.”
– Impel Review, Ben C.
What users dislike:
“We were missing a couple of features in the beginning. For instance, if we marked the customer lost in our CRM, the software did not pick up on that. It’s since been fixed.”
– Impel Review, Amanda W.
Crafting a robust marketing strategy for car sales
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when choosing a path forward in your marketing strategy. The best mindset to adopt at the beginning is to look at all these different strategies and tactics as new opportunities.
Don’t feel obligated to do everything at once. Instead, pick out a handful of strategies and document an implementation plan. After a time, you can assess the results and decide where you can pivot to next.
Ready to take your automotive dealership to the next level? Learn which car dealer software can help you achieve greater efficiency and increase your sales.
Read Now: What Is an LLC? Here's How It Works. – 101 Latest News
#LLC #Here039s #Works
Are you a small business owner that has been asked if their company is an LLC, and you don’t know what that means? Or maybe you are an entrepreneur in the initial phases of opening a new business, and your head is swimming with all the options ranging from a sole proprietorship to an LLC to a corporation.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about an LLC and whether it is the right option.
What is an LLC?
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that provides the owners with protections that are usually only available to corporations but keeps the simplicity of a sole proprietorship.
This entity also provides pass-through taxation as it is run through a separate entity that isn’t restricted to a specific number of shareholders and isn’t heavily regulated.
Related: How to Start a Limited Liability Company (LLC) | Entrepreneur
What are the benefits of an LLC?
There are benefits to every business structure. From a corporation, general partnerships and sole proprietorships each offer unique advantages.
The benefit of forming an LLC is that it takes the pros of each business structure and combines them into one.
How can an LLC provide asset protection?
One of the main advantages of an LLC is that it protects your personal assets.
For any business debt or lawsuits that your business may run into, the owner has no personal liability. This ensures that their personal assets cannot be taken as payment as they are completely separate from the company.
Related: LLC Basics – Entrepreneur.com
What tax options does an LLC have?
An LLC provides more tax options than other business models.
For tax purposes, they are either taxed as a sole proprietorship or a partnership, depending on the management structure and how many members are involved in the company.
Members report their share of the business income and expenses on their personal tax return and then pay personal income tax on the profit.
Members who also work in the business are then considered self-employed and must state this on their federal income tax return and then pay self-employment taxes on their share of the profits.
If the company doesn’t want to be taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership, it can also choose to be taxed as an S-corporation (S-corp) or a C-corporation (C-corp).
A C-corp pays corporate tax, and the owners pay tax on their distributions. An S-corp is what is known as a pass-through entity which means it doesn’t pay corporate tax, but each owner does pay personal income tax on their share of the profits.
It is important to note that not all LLCs qualify for S-corp taxation as they must meet certain IRS (Internal Revenue Service) requirements.
A single-member LLC can also be designated as a disregarded entity. What this means is that it will be disregarded or ignored concerning federal income tax.
Related: The 5 Biggest Tax Differences Between an LLC and Corporation | Entrepreneur
Does an LLC provide flexibility?
As LLCs are not required by law to have annual shareholder meetings or even require a board of directors, they provide greater flexibility than other business models.
Rather, members of an LLC are free to organize the company as they see fit and be member-managed, as administrative requirements like most corporations don’t bind them.
Related: Choose Your Business Structure | Entrepreneur
Does an LLC designation make your business more credible?
When you structure your business as an LLC, you receive exclusive rights to use your business name as a business entity.
As most states don’t allow a business to use an existing business name, you can create a public record of your name, making it unavailable.
The LLC designation at the end of the company name can also lend credibility to a business.
Related: How to Structure a Single Member LLC | Entrepreneur
How are profits distributed in an LLC?
One main advantage of an LLC is that members can decide how the profits are divided.
Typically, corporations issue dividends, and partnerships usually split the profits among the partners, but owners of an LLC can choose how the profits are divided up.
Remember that the IRS has rules about the special allocation of profits, and you might have to show proof of profit sharing or legitimate economic need to prove it is not simply an attempt to avoid paying taxes.
Are there disadvantages of an LLC?
While an LLC has specific benefits, it also has some notable disadvantages.
The profits are subject to high LLC tax
The profits of an LLC are subject to social security and Medicare taxes. In some cases, owners of an LLC can even end up paying more taxes than a corporation does.
Also, both salaries and profits of an LLC are subject to self-employment taxes which currently equal approximately 15.3%. Whereas with a corporation, only the salaries are subject to taxation, not profits.
This disadvantage hits owners who take a salary of less than $97,500 the hardest.
Related: Pros and Cons of the LLC Model | Entrepreneur
An LLC has to immediately recognize its profits
Unlike a corporation, owners of an LLC have to immediately acknowledge their profits.
A C-corp doesn’t have to distribute its profits immediately to the shareholders. This means a C-corp isn’t always taxed on the company’s profits.
Since an LLC is not subject to double taxation, the company’s profits are then automatically included in the member’s actual income.
Related: Business Structure Basics | Setting Up | Entrepreneur
There are fewer fringe benefits available
Employees who receive fringe benefits such as group insurance, medical reimbursement, medical insurance and parking must treat these benefits as taxable income with an LLC. This is also true for employees who own over 2% of an S-corp.
On the other hand, employees of a C-corp who receive fringe benefits do not have to report these as taxable income on their income tax return.
How to set up an LLC
There are seven steps you need to take to start an LLC.
There are different state law requirements from state to state, so it is recommended to talk to a legal professional about the specific requirements where you live.
Choose a business name
The first step to starting an LLC is choosing your business name.
Not only do you need to choose a name that doesn’t already exist, but your state may also have certain requirements it needs to meet.
Related: How to Name a Business: 7 Helpful Tips | Entrepreneur
Choose a registered agent
The next step is to choose a registered agent. A registered agent receives official and legal documentation on behalf of the company. Once the registered agent receives these documents, they pass them on to the company.
The registered agent has to be at least 18 years old. You are allowed to choose yourself or an employee. The main requirement is the agent must have an address within the state during typical business hours.
Related: 4 Best LLC Services of 2023 | Entrepreneur Guide
Obtain a copy of your state’s LLC Articles of Organization Form
In most states, you will have to file a document called the Articles of Organization with the state agency that handles business filings to establish your LLC.
Each state has a specific form you will use; some also call it a Certificate of Formation.
Complete the LLC Articles of Organization Form
Every state has specific requirements for individuals trying to create an LLC. Some of the typical information you may need to provide includes:
- The business name.
- The principal address of the business.
- The business’s purpose.
- How the LLC will be managed.
- The registered agent’s contact information.
- The duration of the LLC.
Once you have this form filled out, at least one of the business owners will then need to sign it.
Related: Ten Steps to Organizing an LLC | Entrepreneur
File the Articles of Organization
Make sure to thoroughly check the Articles of Organization Form before you submit it.
You may also be required to pay a filing fee, which differs from state to state.
Once your form has been approved, the Secretary of State’s office will issue you a certificate to prove that your LLC is formally registered.
You can use this certificate to complete tasks such as setting up a business bank account and registering for a tax ID number.
Related: Choose Your Business Structure | Entrepreneur
Create an LLC Operating Agreement
Now that the state has approved you, it is time to create an Operating Agreement.
An Operating Agreement outlines all the details of the financial, legal and management rights that all members of the LLC are entitled to.
In particular, it includes how the profits will be distributed, how members can leave the LLC and who is required to contribute capital.
You can create your Operating Agreement, especially if you are a single-member LLC. Hiring an attorney may be a good option for more complicated situations, such as with multi-member LLCs.
Related: Why So Many LLC Operating Agreements Fail | Entrepreneur
Keep your LLC active
Now that your LLC has been created, you need to keep it active.
This means you must ensure you are keeping your business in good standing with your state. This can include the LLC filing an annual report that keeps your company’s info up-to-date and paying an annual fee for filing.
Related: business – The Many Benefits of Forming an LLC | Entrepreneur
Start an LLC today
With benefits ranging from business flexibility, different taxation options and personal asset protection, creating an LLC might be the next step your business needs to take.
By following the steps above and consulting an attorney in your area, you could soon run your own LLC and reap all its benefits.
Check out Entrepreneur’s other articles for more information about LLCs and other financial topics.
Read Now: From quiet hiring to the Great Resignation: What does the future of talent management hold? – 101 Latest News
#quiet #hiring #Great #Resignation #future #talent #management #hold
First the ‘Great Resignation’, then ‘quiet quitting’, followed by now ‘quiet hiring’.
Yes they’re buzzwords, but is this indicative of how much is changing in the workplace today when it comes to talent management and mobility?
With so many factors at play, it’s hard for HR leaders to stay on top of what’s happening. No wonder they’re both excited (over 90%) and worried (66%) about the future.
Talent management was also ranked by HR and business leaders as their number one priority right now, our recent research found.
So what do HR leaders need to know to understand what’s happening right now?
Here’s what we cover in this article:
Talent management today: Changing employee-employer expectations
First, the Great Resignation
As we saw with the Great Resignation, where record numbers of people left their jobs due to the pandemic, employee expectations of their workplaces have evolved – and continue to do so.
The pandemic shifted employees’ expectations practically overnight. Many were no longer expected to come into the office and companies had to prioritise wellbeing above everything else.
Now, since we’ve emerged from the pandemic, employees have reassessed what they want from their workplaces and they’re leaving in search of a better work-life balance, competitive pay and more job satisfaction.
While talk of the Great Resignation may be slowing, employee expectations of their employers continue to evolve.
Then, quiet quitting
Quiet quitting is another buzzword that’s been bandied around of late but it’s not something new.
Employees the world over have actively withdrawn from their work at various moments in time, choosing to just do the bare minimum and not go over their contractual hours.
From an HR perspective, we don’t think quiet quitting should be viewed as good or bad – more that it’s something that is likely to happen from time to time and it’s important to have greater awareness of it.
In fact, we believe it’s an opportunity to engage more with employees.
It’s a chance to find out what is going on for the individual employee, and teams, and to see if there are ways the business and the manager can better support that person further.
Now, quiet hiring
Quiet hiring has been the latest buzzword to make the headlines.
It’s a new name for an old tactic, effectively shuffling employees around departments or projects to fill the gaps within an organisation rather than hiring new people.
And it’s a reflection of the current economic climate we’re in.
In fact, 8 in 10 employees say they’ve been ‘quiet hired’, a recent survey found.
Tighter operating costs and decreasing profit margins mean businesses have to be smarter about tapping into their internal resources, particularly where organisations are experiencing hiring freezes to save on costs.
While this internal movement might signify the current economic climate we’re currently in, helping employees to build up skills in other departments or areas or utilise skills they already have is definitely of benefit to those who want to develop.
However, stress and burnout is already rife among employees.
In fact, 52% of all workers are feeling burned out today, up 9% since the global pandemic. Organisations must be careful that employees don’t take too much on.
A buzzword is just a buzzword
There’s so much change and uncertainty happening right now.
With that, buzzwords such as the Great Resignation, quiet quitting and quiet hiring are coming to the fore to help us to understand what’s happening in the world of work today and the gap that seems to be widening between employees’ and employers’ expectations.
However, a buzzword is just that – they attempt to sum up some of the change we’re experiencing.
But the workplace today is much more complex than ever before and there are many more changes happening which can’t be summed up in a few words.
The future of talent management: Is the Great Rebalance coming?
Callum Borchers of the Wall Street Journal says: “This may be the year when employer-employee power dynamics begin to normalise.”
Right now, 93% of HR and the C-suite are worried about current economic uncertainty, high inflation levels and a rise in the cost of living, both employers and employees are feeling the pinch.
Job-hopping and fewer counter-offers are likely as the demand for talent and the supply of candidates starts to even out in what is being called the Great Rebalance (also known as the Great Rebalancing).
However, not everyone agrees that the balance is coming quite yet.
There’s still a lot in flux in the world of work after the global pandemic and big shifts continue to happen, such as the four-day working week and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption, which could lead the gap to widen further.
Hybrid work is an example of this where it’s, arguably, still a work in progress.
Denise Rosseau, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, explains: “If people are told different things at different times, without influence over that decision, it’s disturbing.
“The yo-yoing back and forth breeds uncertainty, and people don’t like that there are just so many unknowns.”
For HR, it’s an opportunity to reassess what employees need from their workplaces.
However, organisations will have to do more with less.
With budgets being frozen or cut in many organisations as finance try to balance the books, HR will need to think out of the box about how they can evolve their talent management strategy to bridge the gap between employee expectations and business needs in this challenging market.
We did some research to find out what the future of talent management could hold, so you can start to get ahead today.
1. Goodbye to the term employee experiences and hello ‘people sustainability’
We know employee experiences are vital for productivity and 83% of HR leaders say that they’ll be focusing more on experiences in the future as a result, but should people sustainability be front of mind instead?
US consulting firm Mercer describes people sustainability as: “Treating people responsibly, taking care of people’s physical and mental well-being and valuing talent for their contribution.”
Josh Bersin, CEO of the Josh Bersin company, believes focusing on people sustainability over everything else is the future.
He explains in his trends blog: “Traditional areas like DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion], benefits, health and safety, or employee experience, cluster together around the concept of ‘people sustainability’.”
Josh goes on to say: “There is a never-ending stream of good ideas to promote fairness, equity, belonging, and wellbeing at work, but we need to think about all these programmes as long-term investments and wrap them all up together into ‘long-term sustainability’.”
People sustainability is particularly important during times of economic uncertainty when budget cuts and freezes are happening.
Because the aspects that make up people sustainability drive engagement and productivity.
We’re in difficult times but these programmes are not just about doing the right thing, they’re also what make employees feel like they belong.
Honing in on that will be key over the next few years.
2. Skills not jobs
The future of recruitment and talent management will focus not on jobs to do, but skills needed instead.
With today’s competitive talent environment, more companies will be looking for candidates with the skills needed, even if they don’t have the direct experience.
Becky Schnauffer, global head of strategic clients at LinkedIn Talent Solutions, explains: “Businesses up and down the country are facing skills gaps, making it harder to capitalise on growth opportunities and overcome uncertainty in the year ahead.”
87% of companies said they were experiencing a skills gap according to McKinsey Research and the World Economic Forum warned that over 50% of employees around the world will need to reskill or upskill by 2025 to stay competitive.
Despite the cost of training, upskilling and reskilling can be more cost-effective alternatives to recruiting.
Research by Gallup found the cost of replacing an employee is between one-half to two times their annual salary.
Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum estimated that to reskill employees can average around $24,000 per employee.
Moreover, your people will thank you for it.
Katy Tynan, Analyst at Forrester Research says: “You’re losing talent when you only see people through the lens of the job they’re hired into.”
Employees are looking for opportunities to learn and develop new skills, and if they don’t get them, they will leave. Up to 20 million UK professionals are considering switching jobs this year alone, according to recent LinkedIn research.
3. A powerful multigenerational workforce
89% of talent professionals believe a multigenerational workforce relates to the success of a business.
We know diversity is good for business and age-based diversity is just one of those, so have you started to consider Generation Alpha?
Generation Alpha is the next generation to be introduced into the workforce.
Named because Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, this generation who were born from 2010 onwards will be the first age demographic born entirely within the 21st century.
It might seem like a long time until someone from Generation Alpha starts at your organisation, but if you’re a company that supports apprenticeships and those early in their careers, you could be seeing job applications fly in from this generation from 2026 onwards.
So what can you expect from Generation Alpha? According to Dan Schawbel, Managing Partner of Workplace Intelligence, they’ll be “prepared to thrive in our tech-enabled workplace”.
Dan adds: “Alpha’s have access to more tools, resources and people at an earlier age than any other generation.”
Organisations will need to consider what this means for existing generations in the workplace.
Dan explains: “This accessibility gives them a massive competitive advantage as they age but has a side effect of further expanding the generational digital divide.”
To get ahead, organisations need to think about how they continually bring generations currently in the workforce up to date with latest technologies, so they’re not at a disadvantage.
However, getting your organisation up to speed for Generation Alpha will go further than just the technology, including ways of working and the types of companies they’d likely apply for, so there is much more to consider.
4. Overhaul performance management
Right now, over three-quarters (76%) of companies don’t use automated data collection and analysis around performance our research revealed.
And 74% don’t give continuous feedback or provide competency assessments against key job skills.
Performance management is key if you want to help your employees upskill and develop, and plays a crucial part in managing talent effectively.
But performance management processes are often not fit for purpose.
Perry Timms, Chief Energy Officer at People and Transformational HR, explains in an interview on performance management: “If we’re trying to navigate a complicated world, and how well we’re doing in terms of our performance and capability in that world why would this episodic thing, a done to process mean anything to anybody?”
So, what lies in store for the future?
The annual appraisal will be dead and in its place are continuous conversations. In fact, 82% of HR leaders agree.
83% of HR leaders say goals will be fairer in future, more objective, and even more personal and professional.
“Performance management should be about people having a real sense of how they’re doing, where they’re going, what they could be doing more of, and an exchange that means something to them and the person who has a duty of care for them,” says Perry.
One thing HR leaders can do now to be prepared for the future is to get the right technology in place.
Nearly all (95%) of HR leaders say technology is needed for successful performance management, but 43% of HR leaders don’t rate their performance management software as very good.
Looking for an HR technology suite with performance management as part of that will be vital to successfully move to a continuous conversations format for performance, so don’t leave it until the last minute – start now.
Navigating the future of talent management with HR tech
Ultimately, many HR leaders get into the sector because they want to make a difference.
And managing talent is where HR can make the most impact – to support their people and play their role in building brilliant and resilient workforces.
In fact, 57% of HR leaders told us they love what they do.
While we don’t know what the future holds for certain, we know HR leaders are overworked and overstretched more so than ever right now with all the challenges and uncertainty HR teams and their organisations are dealing with.
Nearly all (95%) of HR leaders we polled said that HR is simply too much work right now.
Relying on HR tech can help HR leaders to lighten the load and swap the time they spend on processes and paperwork to use on their people strategy instead – and bridge the employee-employer expectations gap once and for all.
By reducing the admin through HR automation, HR leaders can dedicate more time to their people strategy instead – and that’s what truly matters.
Discover more about HR automation and how to use technology to automate core HR processes – so you can scrap the paperwork and focus on your people.
Read Now: Monthly crypto exchange volume tumbled in May, hitting 32-month low – 101 Latest News
#Monthly #crypto #exchange #volume #tumbled #hitting #32month
Follow me on Twitter @Jacqmelinek for breaking crypto news, memes and more.
Welcome back to Chain Reaction.
Although there are a lot of builders in the crypto space, the total money being invested into the crypto market has hit 32-month lows in May.
Cryptocurrency monthly exchange volume, which calculates spot market volume across all crypto exchanges, was $439.42 billion in May, down over 27% from $604.88 billion in April, according to data from The Block.
Last month’s volume was the lowest level since October 2020 at $222.7 billion, the data showed.
Binance, the largest exchange, saw about $218 billion in monthly exchange volume during May, dropping about 26% from $293.83 billion in the previous month. Potentially as a result of the bear market and decreased demand, the exchange shared that it’s reevaluating its workforce headcount ahead of future market cycles.
Over the past six years, the exchange grew from 30 employees to a team of almost 8,000 employees across the globe, a Binance spokesperson told TechCrunch.
“As we prepare for the next major bull cycle, it has become clear that we need to focus on talent density across the organization to ensure we remain nimble and dynamic,” the Binance spokesperson added. “This is not a case of rightsizing, but rather, reevaluating whether we have the right talent and expertise in critical roles, and therefore we will still be seeking to fill hundreds of open roles.”
The reevaluation will also include “looking at certain products and business units to ensure our resources are allocated properly to reflect the evolving demands of users and regulators.”
This statement comes after a tweet on Wednesday by reporter Colin Wu that said multiple sources confirmed that Binance has started layoffs. While the actual number is “uncertain,” the exchange may have laid off as many as 20% of its roughly 8,000 employees.
Patrick Hillmann, Binance chief communications officer, also disputed the claim in his own tweet thread and said the company is not cutting 20% of employees “as a cost-cutting measure.”
The number of employees who were laid off could be “a much smaller figure,” Hillmann said in another tweet. “We won’t know until our teams conduct the talent density audit.”
Even with the volatility of the current market and exchange volumes down substantially, Hillmann said the layoffs have “nothing to do with ‘market conditions’ today.” The company is still looking to fill hundreds of roles, the spokesperson said.
This week in web3
Solana’s co-founder sees potential for its blockchain to be the ‘Apple of crypto’ (TC+)
Solana’s core engineering and ecosystem is focused on creating a network “that feels like the regular internet, when it’s an entirely new financial internet,” co-founder Raj Gokal told TechCrunch+. There’s lots that the network is doing to keep itself fresh and competitive. “The core thesis is going to be [focused on] new businesses, new projects, independent developers,” Gokal said. “We are still in an ecosystem and a community that is optimistic about what two developers in a garage can do.”
SEC settles with former Coinbase employee over insider trading charges
The SEC has settled charges with a former Coinbase product manager and his brother for engaging in insider trading, the agency announced Tuesday. Ishan Wahi, the former Coinbase employee, and brother Nikhil Wahi engaged in “a scheme to trade ahead of multiple announcements regarding at least nine crypto asset securities that would be made available for trading on the Coinbase platform,” according to the SEC. The two brothers were originally charged after the agency filed a complaint on July 21, 2022.
Explaining Blockchain Capital’s big bet on an eyeball-scanning orb
We talked with Blockchain Capital General Partner Spencer Bogart about what gave him confidence in Worldcoin, which aims to create a global ID, a global currency and an app that enables payment, purchases and transfers. Like many others, we wondered how it can achieve its goals when, right now at least, its mission relies on convincing millions of people to allow Worldcoin to scan their irises using glossy, tech-dense orbs.
The latest pod
For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk, better known as Gary Vee. He is the chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia and NFT collection VeeFriends.
He’s a five-time New York Times bestselling author and previously created Wine Library, one of the first e-commerce platforms for alcohol, in the early 2000s. In 2009, he co-founded VaynerMedia with his younger brother AJ, and today the company services clients like PepsiCo, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Chase and others.
Gary Vee is a “die hard” New York Jets fan (and wants to buy the team one day), as well as an investor in a handful of major companies like Twitter, Venmo and Facebook — which we talk about in the episode.
We dove into a handful of topics surrounding the NFT ecosystem, how Gary Vee got into the space and gained traction for his collection, and where he sees the sector going long term.
We also talked about:
- VeeFriends’ origin story
- The importance of intellectual property
- Mainstream adoption
- The future of NFTs
- Advice for other projects
Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the latest episodes, and please leave us a review if you like what you hear!
Follow the money
- Blockchain-based game Illuvium raised an additional $10 million from Framework Ventures
- PayPal-backed crypto wallet Magic raised $52 million
- Metaverse-focused MetaZone raised $3 million
- Fiat on-ramp and off-ramp developer Transak raised $20 million in a Series A
- M80 raised $3 million to create a web3-focused esports organization
This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.
To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important crypto stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday at 12 p.m. PT, subscribe here.
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