• Managing a dealership is a demanding job. Several aspects need to be taken into consideration to run the business smoothly and effectively. Using business management software such as a dealer management system (DMS) can help ease this process. Efficient DMS can assist you in effortlessly managing different aspects of your business through unified software. This includes pre-sales, sales, purchases, post-purchase, financial accounting, inventory management, CRM, human resources, and more. Read on to learn more about DMS.

    What does a dealer management system do?
    The main objective of a dealer management system is to ease operational tasks and enhance operational efficiency. It takes the load off of excessive paperwork by streamlining and providing a centralized location for all your important data. A good DMS will also improve communication across different departments within your organization, encouraging better business awareness for your employees.

    Dealer management systems can help you with the following:

    Inventory management
    This is a crucial feature for dealerships with large inventories. It can help you store records in a single location and retrieve them at the click of a button. It can also help you monitor your expenses for reconditioning and flooring and provide industry-standard book values.

    Customer management
    Instead of looking through physical records for each of your customers, a DMS can help you store and access customer data more smartly. Some software also allows you to call or chat with your customers in real-time. These software applications are generally equipped with features that allow you to record conversations and categorize your contacts to easily follow your leads.

    DMS can help you automate all your accounting tasks, such as inventory, point of sale, and transaction costing. This will enable the quick generation of financial reports that can be shared with the rest of the team. It can also help you develop an operational budget, monitor performance, and analyze the profitability of every aspect of your business.

    Service management
    Your DMS can also help you organize and manage the dealership’s service schedule to help you meet deadlines. It can help you streamline the service write-up process, schedule service work to maximize billable hours, allow your team to clock in and out easily, and make repair and warranty claim handling easier.

    Features to look for in a dealer management system
    The goal of an effective DMS is to improve your service capabilities while offering a great experience for your customers. While all businesses do not operate in the same manner, here are some standard DMS features that every business could benefit from:

    Inventory management
    Integrated accounting
    POS and retail management
    Reporting tools and analytics
    Customer relationship management (CRM)
    Service scheduling and productivity tracker
    Repair order and billing estimates
    Deal structuring, forms, and contracting
    Lead management quoting

    If you are keen on a DMS that offers more, look for the following features:

    Multi-location management
    Embedded text messaging
    Slips and storage management
    Cloud hosting
    Employee training
    IT support
    Price file updates from major manufacturers and distributors
    Availability across major phone/computer operating systems
    Integration with third-party solutions (such as CRM, ERP, Chatbots, RMA reporting, and smart search features)
    Prices for dealership management software can vary depending on the features offered, setup fees, number of systems installed, inventory list, and other factors.

    Tips for choosing the right dealer management system for your business
    If you’re in the market for a new dealer management system for your company, following these tips can help:

    Prioritize the list of features
    Classify all the features into three categories: needs, wants, and nice-to-have. This will help you prioritize your requirements and choose a DMS that is suitable for your business.

    These are the non-negotiable features that a potential DMS must have. It may include inventory, unit tracking, sales, management, scheduling, accounting, etc.

    Although these are not crucial for the functioning of your business, these features can help improve efficiency and provide insights. Some common features companies want include CRM, sales pipeline management tools, automation tools, sorting, report generation, and third-party integrations.

    These may be considered frill features by many. While they can help improve your experience with the DMS, you can also comfortably continue your operations without them. Some nice-to-have features include training tools, mobile functionality, internal communications, cloud-based software options, and accessible customer support.

    Create a list of vendors
    This can help you find the right vendor for your business. Create a list of vendors that meet your priority list. You can scour the web for businesses, speak to your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances for suggestions, check industry publications, read online review listings, or even post on a public forum. Once you have a list of potential vendors, it is time to start shortlisting.

    Request a demo
    Conduct a thorough vetting of your list of vendors. You can reach out to their contact person and ask for more details to make an informed decision. Request a demo session once you have shortlisted two or three potential options. A formal demo session with the vendor can help you fill any remaining gaps in your knowledge about their offering and ensure the provider meets all their claims.

    Once you have finalized your vendor, it’s time to make a proposal. The ideal DMS will help you streamline and support your business as you scale it to greater heights.

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  • Credit cards are payment devices that offer plenty of conveniences to their users. Moreover, the cards also help one make ends meet. However, using a credit card also comes with its share of problems, as unmanaged expenditures may lead to debt. Furthermore, the debt may increase with interest and fees to hundreds or thousands of dollars. Hence it’s advised to use credit cards but also employ certain tips to save money.

    Tips to save money while using a credit card
    In most cases, using a credit card is accompanied by budgeting. However, using a credit card to shop can help one save money. Hence, here are some tips that can be followed to help one save rather than lose a large chunk of money.

    Transfer credit card balances
    One of the easiest ways to save money while shopping with credit cards is to transfer the balance to another card with lower interest rates. This can help one save hundreds of dollars that may have been spent paying high interest. Furthermore, one can even take advantage of a 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) balance transfer offer. This may aid in paying off the credit card balance without accumulating a high rate of interest on the amount. For instance, one may save almost $400 by moving their $3000 credit card balance at 17% interest to a credit card with 0% APR for 12 months.

    Pay using cashback credit cards
    Cashback credit cards can be employed to aid in accumulating cash rewards on the credit card. If one uses a credit card to pay their maximum expenses, they can max out on the cash earnings rather than using it to make purchases with the most rewards. However, one must ensure they pay off their credit card balance at the end of the month. Otherwise, the interest charged on the balance may outgrow the cashback earned.

    Get credit cards with gas and grocery benefits
    Nowadays, prices of gas and groceries keep increasing, so one can use credit cards with grocery and gas benefits to minimize their expenditure. Some credit card companies offer generous rewards for every dollar spent at the grocery store and the gas station. So, when one does grocery shopping with these credit cards regularly, they can save enough money to help manage their household finances. Furthermore, shopping with the right credit card offers can help one earn competitive cashback rewards on essential items and save money.

    Use the discount mall
    Various credit card companies have a “discount mall,” or a collection of retailers across the country that partner with them to offer incredible discounts to cardholders. This may help one save money while dining out, buying movie tickets, and shopping for flowers. However, keep in mind that one must make these transactions using the credit card that the retailer has teamed up with. This process becomes easier as credit card company websites often list stores against the money the user can save on the transaction.

    Collect and use the airline miles
    One can also go a step beyond getting cashback points for grocery shopping. Most credit card companies offer other benefits that can help one save a lot of money in the long run. These include airline miles that can be acquired against everyday expenses. As travel is one of the major expenses in the year, one can opt for airline miles to save money on airline tickets. This can be done by using the right credit card for everyday expenses to offset traveling expenditures. Furthermore, one can even accelerate their earnings by employing travel credit cards for travel-related expenses and even use the card while traveling.

    Shop on retail cardholder discount days
    If one has only retail credit cards, they may lose a large portion of their hard-earned money due to the limited use and high-interest rates. However, this occasional use of the retail credit card can also be used to one’s advantage. For example, the cardholder can opt for rewards programs that offer perks such as special discount days and save money while shopping in various retail stores. Furthermore, as a tip, it’s suggested to only sign up for retail credit cards at retail stores that one frequently visits to save more money.

    Opt for sign-up bonuses
    Usually, when one signs up for a new credit card, they receive certain benefits or rewards as a sign-up bonus. While the cardholder may have to first use the credit card for a fixed period, the sign-up bonuses help them maximize the value of the credit card in hand. Furthermore, with the right offer, one can get up sign-up bonuses of considerable value, which then can be used for free hotel stays and even airline tickets. Moreover, meeting the credit card company’s requirements and paying off the balance may also accrue certain benefits, such as earning a bonus without paying extra interest.

    Further, one must ensure the full payment of the credit card balance at the end of each month is made to avail of card benefits without paying exorbitant interest rates and late fees. Besides, keeping your budget and expenses in check can give you more benefits on credit card shopping.

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  • According to FBI reports, there are over 1 million burglaries every year across the country. It is essential to keep our homes and businesses safe. One way of doing so is by installing a security system around the premises. The most essential part of this system is the security camera, which helps you keep an eye on the place even when you’re not around. Avoid these common mistakes when installing security cameras:

    Choosing the wrong location for the cameras
    The most important factor when installing cameras is their location. For them to truly be beneficial, they need to have a clear line of sight to your areas of interest (such as doors or lockers). Having some visible cameras is also a great way to ward off intruders. Other cameras can be more discreetly placed to monitor areas without their knowledge.

    That’s not all. Putting security cameras too low lets any criminal disable the surveillance system by cutting the wires or spraying black paint on it. Ensure that the cameras are placed at a higher level, so criminals cannot reach them without a ladder.

    Having bad security software
    Security cameras and surveillance systems are only as good as the software that backs them up. Ensure you invest in quality security camera software that can be updated regularly.

    Not having a backup power source
    Keeping your cameras online, especially during power outages, is important to prevent burglaries on your property. Install a backup power source when installing your cameras to avoid this risk.

    Not being careful when you DIY
    Often, camera installation mistakes happen when people try to put up their cameras themselves. If you would like to carry out the installation yourself, look for easy plug-and-play security options like Lorex Wireless Security Cameras that connect to your WiFi network in minutes and record all the data to an onboard MicroSD card or call a professional camera installation service to do it for you.

    Installing wireless surveillance security cameras is one of the best ways to protect your property from invaders or trespassers. This technology helps users avoid the tangled mess of wires and the risk of losing data if the cables have not been weather-proofed. Avoid these four common mistakes to keep your home, business, or valuables safe and secure.

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  • Home security systems are devices to protect your family and property. And Cyber Monday is that time of the year to find real bargains on cameras, motion sensors, and more. Though there are a few months left for the Cyber Monday sale, a look at last year’s deals will give you an estimate of what to expect this year. Here are 10 best Cyber Monday deals on home security to watch out for.

    Enjoy huge savings while protecting your home with Ring’s home security products, which was on sale for $80 last year. Here are some of the products you will get great discounts on: Stick-up Cam Battery, Stick-up Cam Plug-in, Ring Alarm systems, security camera multipacks, and more.

    Arlo is one brand you should not miss for best home security deals. Last year, it offered maximum discounts on its multiple camera packs. Also, Arlo has shown up on Cyber Monday for the last three years and is likely to offer deals during this year as well.

    Simplisafe 12-piece wireless home security system
    Usually, Simplisafe offers deals throughout the year with 25 percent off on its home security systems. Last year, the company offered a massive 50 percent off on their regular prices. You can choose this system kit that includes alarms, sensors, cameras, and more.

    Google Nest
    Google products also join in the Cyber Monday sales. Whether you are looking for a Google Nest Doorbell or a Cam Battery, you are lucky as you can get them at discounted prices. A great tip to save more is to bundle two or four battery-powered Nest Cams.

    Blink’s products are compact and feature-rich that also work with Alexa. Last year Amazon offered Blink’s 5-camera kit priced at $379.99 at a discount of $130 which was one of the best deals on home security cameras. There were also great deals on Blink mini cameras and video doorbell bundles.

    You can expect to save this year on all of Abode’s home security products. For instance, retailing at $329, Abode’s security kit was available last year for $254.99 during the Cyber Monday sales. This security kit includes a camera, motion sensor, two-way audio, siren, and a key fob.

    The previous years saw Eufy offering a price cut of 30 percent on its popular security cameras. Last year, the Eufy Cam 2 kit hit its lowest price ever and was $100 off its regular price of $299. There were also discounts seen on Eufy 2K Indoor Cam and 1080p Indoor Cam Pan and Tilt.

    Wyze Cam V3 with Google Nest Hub
    Every year the company has a week-long celebration called Wyze Week in the month just before Cyber Monday where it offers great discounts on its products. Though unsure, Wyze may offer Cyber Monday discounts. The previous year Wyze Cam V3 with Google Nest Hub was on sale at $70 with a savings of $65.

    The previous year saw discounts on the Ecobee smart camera that got 31 percent off its regular price of $100 on popular online retail platforms. Watch out for great deals for the upcoming Cyber Monday on Ecobee’s home security products.

    Level Lock Smart Door Locks
    Rarely does Level Lock offer discounts on its products. However, last year Level Lock’s Touch Edition was on sale for $233 offering a savings of $96. The regular smart lock without touch feature was down from $249 to $187 on Amazon. The smart lock looks like a standard deadbolt lock but has all the features built inside giving you both convenience and security. This year, there might be deals on some of Level Lock’s smart door locks.

    Investing in your home is always a good decision when it is to protect your family and property. This year will bring in more savings than before, so remember to shop early to get the best deals.

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  • When it comes to printing, some mistakes can prove more costly than others. It is important to learn to recognize mistakes early and correct them so that you can get the best quality prints. From leaving the right margins to choosing the correct print quality, being aware of minor details can help. Here are four common printing mistakes and ways to avoid them, so you get a quality print each time.

    Not creating bleeding space
    Even though machines have become far more precise in cutting artwork to its intended size, you may still find 1-2 mm of inconsistency. Not adding bleeding space will result in a thin white border around your artwork. To rectify this, create a bleed or extra space of 5 mm around your image, so even if the paper moves, there won’t be any white space on the print.

    Printing in RGB
    If you’re wondering why your print doesn’t match the colors on the screen, it may be because you are printing in RGB color mode. Artworks and documents set in RGB are meant for digital viewing, whereas those set in CMYK are meant for print. To avoid this error, ensure that the color mode of your design is set to CMYK.

    Typos and errors
    Grammar, spelling mistakes, missing fonts, and smaller font sizes can hurt your print’s appearance. Documents with these errors can appear unprofessional or even illegible. To avoid this, set the smallest font size of the document to at least 6 pt. You can rasterize or convert your text to a Smart Object, if you are using Photoshop, or to outlines, if you are using Illustrator. Proofread your document several times. You can even ask a friend to do it for you, or use an online spell check program to avoid any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

    High ink coverage
    Images that require too much ink to print can cause the paper to bruise or wrinkle since the paper’s ink absorption capacity is limited. Avoid this mistake by using a preflight tool to check the ink coverage of your artwork. This tool checks which images require too much ink to print, so they can be edited accordingly. You can also opt for preflight tools that are specially designed for lowering the ink coverage of an image.

    It’s important to remember that there is always space to make edits while printing. Double check your work before printing or sending them to a printing shop to get the best quality prints each time.

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  • Consumers have turned to different online modes to shop or book a service appointment. Starting an online business can be challenging and tricky. Online businesses offer massive benefits and can be expanded to provide goods or services in more than one location. But there are inevitable mistakes that may not make the business a success or may act as a hindrance to progress. Therefore, it is important to be aware of every aspect of an online business.

    No business plan
    It is good to have a business idea. But having a base business plan is also essential. This plan will give an outline for starting the business and will also help attract and impress investors as it will give an idea of using the provided funds. It will also help in setting a timeline for when you anticipate the business to break even.

    Delaying the launch
    Evaluation and research are good, but taking too much time exploring and not starting your online business on time may be the biggest mistake. A longer launch timeline may also provide competitors an opportunity to launch a similar business. Also, launching the product on time will provide you with sustainable revenue.

    Lack of passion for the business
    Sometimes, people start their business without passion, dedication and commitment to that particular product or service. In that case, there is a significant probability that the business will remain stagnant as you might not be willing to put in the required effort for it to succeed. Therefore, start an online business only when you are passionate about it. Business without passion may be a failed venture.

    Not deciding the target audience
    It is crucial to decide and define the target audience and to whom the product or service will ideally serve, as everyone cannot be the target audience for your particular product or service. Identifying your niche will help you decide where and when to direct your efforts.

    Expecting to make quick money
    Any business, whether online or physical store, may not make money in the first year of its incorporation. Some online business entrepreneurs may think they can make quick money compared to traditional businesses because of the lower overheads. However, this may not be the scenario.

    Not listening to negative feedback
    It is good to listen to positive words regarding the business, but listening to critics and negative feedback is also essential. Listening to negative feedback can help you understand the target audience and the customer better. It would help you tweak the product or service and develop efficient and effective customer service. It will also show that you are keen to improve your business.

    Ignoring the legal requirements
    Legal procedures help the business function smoothly at a private or public level. Ignoring them would lead to serious trouble. For example, the incorporation procedure cannot be skipped, which can be a common mistake entrepreneurs make. Following the legal procedures and having a partnership agreement can prevent misunderstandings in a joint business.

    Not looking into the competition
    Many brands and services in the market might target the same audience as your brand. Therefore, there is a need to study the competitors to understand what they are doing, their strategies, and where they are going wrong. After learning about their strengths and weaknesses, you can implement different plans to serve your customers better.

    Not optimizing your website
    A website is crucial for an online business. Therefore, optimizing it to reach out to the masses is essential. There is also a need to have a Call to Action (CTA) on the website pages, and the load time should also be fast so that users can get the information they need quickly.

    Ignoring customer service
    Customers are likely to leave feedback on the website. Having a strong customer service to understand their grievances or positive feedback can help improve the business. Create a system that helps you interact with the customers through chat, email, survey or phone.

    There are lots of opportunities available online with the introduction of the internet. Create your website, get it optimized and craft your email list. Avoid these mistakes when setting up your online business and you will reap the rewards.

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  • One lucrative business that is gaining ground among those in the metal or scrap industry is scrap metal dealing and scrap metal recycling. Your business turnover in this industry would depend on a lot of factors including the quality of the scrap and price that it sells for on a given day. While quality is a factor that you can consciously filter, today’s scrap metal prices are not stable in the market and can vary on a day-to-day basis. As a scrap metal dealer or recycler, you should definitely be aware of the daily scrap metal prices, and there are a few ways that can help you keep track of this. You can find the prices on the online database, or you can sign up with exclusive websites that alert you about any change in these prices. If all fails, you can try performing a simple internet search.

    While you may have many mediums to get today’s scrap metal price, they may not be accurate according to your geographical location because each local dealer may have an average price set. To ensure that you are dealing with the right price, you need to check out the scrap metal dealers in your area.

    If you are an established business, then you must have the details of your local outlets and a network through which you can keep an eye out for the prices for the day. However, if you are new to this business, then you can do some groundwork by visiting the local scrap metal outlets. Check out how they trade in scrap metal, as well as the factors based on which they establish the day’s price for resale or recycling. By building a connection with the local dealers, you can not only find out about the pricing structures at any given time but also establish a connection with them that will help your business grow in several ways. You should not just stick to the dealers but also check out local recycling yards and online ad posters for your area so that you have a fair idea about the different ways in which the prices of scrap metal are fixed. When you start out, you need to get an edge on your competitors, and knowing today’s scrap metal price is crucial for your business. So, when you set out to study the industry, dedicate adequate time to learn about the historical pricing structure of scrap metal and how the prices in your area fluctuate.

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  • Most of are so bent on buying new electronic items that we tend to forget or ignore the ones that we already have at home, be it in working condition or otherwise. When you buy a new television set, you can’t just dump the old one in the garbage truck as that is against the law. Every year, billions of new electronic products are sold, but have you ever wondered what happens to the old ones? We need a safe way to recycle old electronics. Most people store their old electronics in their households as they don’t think about recycling these items. Televisions are one of the most common electronic items that need to be recycled because these electronic devices contribute to our country’s e-waste problem.

    Electronic waste or e-waste comprises of any outdated electronic items such as televisions, radios, cell phones, etc. If people throw them away carelessly into a dumpster, it could harm the environment as it contains harmful elements like lead, mercury, chromium, etc. Disposal in a landfill can poison the land and lead to the contamination of other resources like underground water. There are official organizations that deal with all kinds of recycling from television recycling to the smallest possible electronic items.

    Television sets have been growing in number, and it is not easy to dispose of them as they are huge and require proper care while being thrown away. This is one reason why the problem of television recycling is a widely discussed phenomenon in the world of electronics. They contain harmful elements that can damage the environment. Their physical components can hurt animals as well as humans. Every time you recycle your television or encourage someone else to do so, you are reducing e-waste, helping preserve the environment from air and water pollution, etc.

    So what is the first thing that you need to do for television recycling? You can try to find electronic communities in your area that can help you with this. You can also arrange for a pickup with one of the recycling organizations in your locality, and they will collect your e-waste from your doorstep. If your old television set is still in working condition, you can try to resell it. Whatever method you choose, always remember that throwing your television sets on the road or improper disposal is against the law.

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  • One of the main aspects that businesses need is speedy internet connectivity. Most companies are connected to their various branches and their customers via the internet and need it to manage sales, stream audio or video clips, download files, carry out communications, etc. Most often, businesses assume that the best internet provider is one that has the best pricing and reliability. On the contrary, the three central factors that determine the best business internet provider are reliable connectivity, appropriate bandwidth based on your business needs, and excellent customer service.

    Based on the parameters mentioned above, here are six of the best business internet providers:

    • Verizon: It is a high-speed internet service provider, and it rates the best in all three parameters. Verizon fiber-optic internet services are the best for businesses as their download speeds are in the range of 75 Mbps to 940 Mbps, and they cost around $84.99 to $214.99 per month.
    • AT&T: It is the best speed efficient internet service provider. AT&T’s small business internet services are the best in the speed category as their download speeds are in the range of 50 Mbps-1000 Mbps, and the price is set around $85 to $650 per month.
    • Frontier: This is the best internet provider for businesses who need budget-friendly options. Their download speeds range between 30 Mbps to 150 Mbps, while the price of these services is around $49.99 to $174.99 per month.
    • CenturyLink: This internet service provider offers bundled deals with TV, phone, and internet services. Also, their download speeds are in the range of 40 Mbps to 100 Mbps. The company has set the price of these services at $84.99 to $104.99 per month approximately.
    • Spectrum: This internet service provider offers plans without a contract. Spectrum’s business internet services qualify as the best in the no-contract, high-speed internet category given that their download speeds range between 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps. You need to pay roughly $59.99 to $139.99 per month for these services.
    • Comcast: Comcast has been rated as the best business internet service provider in the reliability category. Their download speeds range between 25 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, and the price of these services are set around $69.95 to $499.95 per month.

    Every business has its distinct needs, and therefore, it is vital that you conduct a thorough analysis of the best business internet service providers in your geographical location before you sign up for one of them.

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  • The idea of setting up a limited liability company (LLC) can seem daunting at first glance, but the process is systematic. If you understand this process, it will help you go ahead without any hassles.

    The basic steps to form an LLC are:

    • Start out by choosing the name of your LLC. This name should be original, and there shouldn’t be another company registered under the same name. The company’s name should end with LLC, L.L.C., Ltd. Liability. Co., etc. You can choose a name and approach your state’s LLC office to know if it is available or not. You can register the company’s name by paying a nominal fee. You can do this before filing the articles of your organization.
    • The next step is to go ahead and file the articles of your organization to start the process of forming an LLC. This data includes the name of your LLC, address, and also the name of the members or founders.
    • One important step when you form an LLC is to create an LLC operating agreement. The LLC operating agreement is the document that contains details regarding the agreed upon rules of ownership and business operation details. This document is very similar to partnership agreements and corporate bylaws statements.
    • If you are a resident of NY or AZ, and your LLC is formed there, then you need to publish a notice. While this step is not mandatory in other states, publishing a notice helps establish your company’s authenticity.
    • Once you have begun the process to form an LLC, the next step is to start the process of getting all the necessary licenses and permits depending on your business needs. One of the most basic licenses that you have to acquire is the business license because that is the permit which allows you to sell your product or services.
    • If you want to retain the status of your LLC as a separate entity after you form one, then you need to ensure that the required formalities are maintained at all times, including keeping a record of your finances, meeting minutes, etc.

    While the process is simple, you can always get professional and legal assistance so that you do not have to run in circles trying to figure out any intricate details.

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