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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ashton Agency now offers $100,000 Florida Prescription Drug Wholesale Distributor Bond

The Ashton Agency has been approved to underwrite $100,000 Florida Prescription Drug Wholesale Distributor Bonds.

Florida requires any prescription drug manufacturer, repackager or wholesale distributor to provide a $100,000 prescription bond. The purpose of this surety bond is to ensure compliance with the requirements of and for wholesale distribution of prescription drugs as set forth in the Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act, Chapter 499, Florida Statutes, and to ensure payments for penalties. The statutes also require the same bond to wholesale distributors of veterinary drugs.

Are you a prescription drug distributor looking for a surety bond? We offer the quickest turnaround time at the most competitive prices. Call us today at (800) 451-4854 for assistance with one of our helpful customer service representatives (hablamos español).

Visit our website to apply online or explore our other bond and insurance programs.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to Boost SEO for Your Used Car Lot

Before the digital era, newspaper postings and traditional print was enough to get exposure for your used car lot. Not anymore. Used Motor Vehicle Dealers do not have the luxury of corporate backing in their marketing and promotions.

In today's online world, digital marketing is a must for almost any business. What is SEO? SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization that businesses are constantly trying to improve. Why SEO? Improving your online presence is not to just simply be on the Internet. Being ranked high on search pages such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and more can make or break your business. Sure, you can have paid ads that will push your website up to the top, but 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads. Readers want organic links, which is generated through SEO and quality content.

We want to help you boost your used car lot and company's SEO. Here are some simple and easy tips to improving your Google search page ranking and online presence.

1) Content Is King

Getting readers and future clients to your website is the first step. The next step is retention. You want to have your readers come back to your site rather than a one-stop click. Simply, your website needs to have information that readers will either benefit them or interest them to read it. Blogs are a great way to keep your readers interested on new and fresh content. It's also a great way to create "How To's" for reading pleasure. For example, we wrote on How To Obtain A FL Motor Vehicle Dealer License, and is still one of our most clicked on article posts. Used car shoppers usually have many questions--your website may be able to address them and, as a result, be the shop they choose to shop with.

2) Use Strategic Keyword Phrases

When you search something on Google, do you usually type 1-2 words or a phrase of what you're looking for? Like most people, you probably type phrases and bunch multiple keywords. Make your website as descriptive as possible without over-flooding duplicate words. Create effective title tags that incorporate your target keywords. For example, on blog posts, use strategic titles with keywords on the URL links.

3) Connect Via Social Media

Social media has dominated online communications for the past several years with the emergence of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and various outlets. These social sites are a great way to connect to your customers on a personal level. Allow your clients to see some personality in your business rather than an advertisement robot. Social media is also a great way to share your content, blog posts and promotions, which creates traffic to your website.

4) Use Backlinks on Posts

Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, and inward links, are hyperlinks to another website or web page. Allow your readers to navigate easily through content they want to know. For example, if you want to provide information on the current used car industry and economic trends, notice how the previous phrase has been hyperlinked for an easy direct connect to information on how to renew.

5) Have a Well-Designed Layout

In terms of ranking, well structured and organized pages tend to be favored over poorly designed pages. Web pages with an appealing layout are preferred and become more popular over time. SEO will recognize the pages users return to. Cater your used car lot page with easily accessible information along with great pictures of cars and inventory. Liven up your website rather than drowning it with words and texts.

6) Reviews and Testimonials

Ask your clients and satisfied customers to leave a positive review on third party sites such as Yelp, Merchant Circle or other respected review pages. A fantastic way to improve your SEO is when your business has numerous positive (as well as negative) reviews. Also request testimonials from loyal customers and strong influences. Shoppers will search for a used car lot that is well known and has strong approval ratings.

7) Create Promotions and Contests

People always love winning free things, no matter how big or small. Social media is a great way to promote the contest and gain followers. Post announcements on how to win or enter a chance to play. Creating excitement will separate you from your competition. Be sure to publish on your website as well for additional information.

8) Participate in Other Websites/Forums

Staying in one spot will never get your name out there. Network with other auto dealers and professionals in the auto industry. Join used car forums and exchange strategies and ideas. Some forums allow you to post your website which will generate traffic. It's another great way to share stories and tips on raising your SEO. Although some readers will be auto dealers, there may also be car shoppers who stumble upon your website, creating leads and potential sales.

Improving your company's SEO takes constant mangement. Setting up a website and putting a few social media posts will not generate traffic for your used car lot. Blogging weekly (even daily), engaging potentials on social media, posting daily and all the above are important for SEO.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Shopping for an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle)

Shopping for a new ATV? For first-timers, it can be difficult finding the right vehicle in good condition for a great price. We've helped layout a quick guideline for ATV buyers. Some dealers can be extremely helpful, while others are looking to only close the sale.

Take a look at some steps you should take before pulling out your wallet.

Know Your ATV
As with any big purchases, you need to do your research and homework. There may be several brands, types and background information you must know before taking on an ATV dealer. Bring a friend or someone knowledgeable in ATVs and products.

Be sure to look closely into the engine, frame, mounts, chains, and other parts. A common problem that can cause engine failure is low oil or coolant. Check to ensure all fluids are at the proper level to avoid any damages. Use a flashlight to inspect for any signs of rust, cracks, wear and tear, and leaks.

Adjust Your Ride
Sit on your ATV and get comfortable with your ride. Adjust the handlebars to your liking, as well as the clutch levers, brake levers, foot shifter and the controls. Turn on the engine and listen to it (experience needed). Check all the lights--headlights, taillights, signal lights. It’s important you understand where all the controls and functions are when you’re riding.

Ride It!
No matter how many times you sit on the ATV and steer, it is NOT the same as driving and operating the vehicle. Take the ATV out for a ride! It may turn out to be a vehicle that does not drive the way you imagined; or it could be the perfect ATV.

After you decide on an ATV that you like, keep in mind of the price tag. Is it affordable within your budget? ATV Dealers usually have years of experience and may not lower their prices unless you can come to terms of agreement. If you’re shopping for a used ATV, you will need to make sure the price reflects the proper value, in terms of mileage, year, condition, etc.

Buying a new or used ATV can be a big commitment. It's important you are satisfied with your purchase. ATV Dealers also look for ways to help enhance their clients' shopping and riding experience.

However, there are times when contracts and agreements have been broken between the seller and buyer. ATV Dealers, a surety bond could protect your clients from any financial losses as a result of poor financial decisions, damages, unethical decisions, or a failure to follow state and local laws on the part of you. Obtaining an ATV Dealer Bond will help your customers perceive you as a trusted Principal that will stand behind your business decisions.

For a free quote on an ATV Dealer Bond, visit our website at or call (800) 452-2663 to speak with one of our helpful customer service representatives to assist you on your bond today!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

7 Steps to Becoming A Motorcycle Dealer

Starting a motorcycle shop--like any other business--can be extremely stressful and difficult. However, it has lucrative benefits with strong business and financial plans. Here are 7 steps to helping you start up your own shop and become a Motorcycle Dealer.

Step 1
Register Your business. You must obtain a business license, register for taxes, and follow all requirements of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. These are some prerequisites (depending on your state) for obtaining an auto dealer permit.

Step 2
Strong Business and Financial Plan. As with any business, you need a solid business plan that details every aspect of your shop, ranging from expenses to marketing. You also need a sound financial plan in order to obtain loans and gauge cost expenses for inventory, staff, mechanics and parts.

Step 3
Contact the Manufacturer. You must arrange who you will be purchasing inventory, equipment and orders from. Discuss warranty options, shipping fees and bills of sale regarding customs. Also ask about each manufacturer's requirements in terms of minimum purchasing orders and necessary liquidity. Keep in mind how much floor space you will need for bikes and other inventory.

Step 4
Market Your Shop. 8 out of 10 small businesses fail in the first year. Why? Marketing is a major factor that can determine your motorcycle shop's success. Your shop will need exposure and advertisements via print, online, and word-of-mouth. Communicate your mission, products and services to offer unique value to your customers.

Step 5
Hire Staff. Selected qualified and knowledgeable dealers and mechanics may be a challenge. They should have product knowledge, preferably a background in sales, and understanding of how the business works (products offered, financing options, brands, etc).

Step 6
Stock Up Inventory. Whether you are planning on a small or large shop, you will need all the necessary purchases, such as parts, motorcycle gear, and custom orders. Most shops start off as a small business so they must budget smart and not overstock their inventory.

Step 7
Get a Surety Bond For Your Motorcycle Dealership. Not only do states often requires this to obtain a business license, but it also protects your customers from their purchases and contracts. Your establishment will be much more trusted among clients with a Motorcycle Dealer Bond.

Ashton Agency has helped thousands of auto and motorcycle dealers nationwide to get their dealer bond and garage liability insurance at the best rates. Call (800) 451-4854 (East of the Mississippi) or (800) 452-2663 (West) to speak to one of our helpful customer service representatives to assist you with your bond today!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Used Car Sales To Rise in 2014

2013 was a great year for the used-car industry, and looks promising  in 2014. The executive automobile analyst of the National Automobile Dealers Association says used-car sales grew by 4 percent in 2013, the fourth consecutive year of growth.

More used cars were sold by franchise dealers than independent dealers in 2013. Certified pre-owned sales hit 2 million for the first time, making up 13.5 percent of franchise dealer used-car sales. However, chief economist Tom Webb expects a more even balance between franchise and independent with more vehicles available this year.

Nearly eighty percent of auto dealers in a survey believe the U.S. economy has already reached its lowest point and now on the rise. There are plans by many dealers to increase their floor plan due to steadily gains. Several experts in the auto industry would agree--there is reason to believe in strong optimism for 2014.

Are you an auto dealer looking to renew your dealers bond? Ashton Agency has helped thousands of auto dealers nationwide to get their auto dealer bond and garage liability insurance at the best rates! Call us today at (800) 451-4854 (East of the Mississippi) or (800) 452-2663 (West) to speak with one of our helpful customer service representatives (hablamos español).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Helpful Tips About Marijuana Shops in Colorado

On July 1, 2014, interested marijuana shop owners will be invited to apply for the retail license, without having been licensed previously as a medical provider. However, many prospects are unaware of the current laws and information in regards to the retail aspect of marijuana.

Here are a few things you should know about the marijuana retail industry.
  • Retail marijuana will have a 25% state tax--plus the usual state sales tax of 2.9%--easily making recreational pot one of the largest taxed consumer products in Colorado. (This could potentially lead to $67 million a year!)
  • It is illegal to possess or use marijuana under the age of 21. Fines and even jail time may be enforced.
  • You must be 21 years or older with a valid Colorado ID to purchase up to an ounce at a licensed store. Non-Colorado residents can buy a quarter ounce.
  • About 160 retailers are still seeking licenses statewide--only three dozen or so stores opened on January 1.
  • It is illegal to smoke pot in public, even inside marijuana shops.
  • Communities and counties still hold the right to restrict marijuana stores in their local jurisdiction and towns.
  • Independent retailers are allowed to grow their own plants (up to 6 in their home), but the batch must be enclosed and locked.

Do you need a medical/retail marijuana bond? We offer $5000 bonds, which is required in the state of Colorado. Let us help you write your bond with the best prices and quickest turnaround time!

Call 503-253-7330 for assistance with one of our friendly customer service representatives or visit our website at for your bond at the best rates!