Are Vehicle Purchases Right For Latin American Tech Startups?

 

Latin America is becoming a hot hub for tech startups, as smart phone ownership is rising in high-population cities, including Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo and Mexico City. By the close of this decade, over a billion Latin Americans will be using mobile networks. Startups that offer services via apps have the capacity to gain major traction in Argentina and elsewhere in Latin America. Since all tech startups are not the same, startup entrepreneurs need to consider whether they should invest in vehicles. This quick guide will help startup entrepreneurs to make wise and informed decisions.

Entrepreneurs need to crunch the numbers

Tech startups vary widely. One startup might offer delivery of food or flowers via an app. Another might offer services that are purely digital. Understanding your tech startup is the key to making a smart decision about buying a vehicle or fleet of vehicles. It’s a numbers game, so you’ll need to consider the cost of vehicle ownership or leasing. You’re in business to make money. Owning or leasing an auto (or multiple vehicles) should help you to turn a profit, rather than standing in the way of profits. Always purchase with a purpose that’s profitable. Before you buy, you should know how much money you’ll save by using your own vehicles to take care of startup costs. If you won’t save money that you can roll back into your startup, you shouldn’t take the plunge.

Consider all available financing options

If you do have a startup that will benefit from an auto or a fleet of cars, you’re ready to research your vehicle options and consider how to finance your plan. If your startup is short on funding and still in the small stage, you’re better off leasing a vehicle than buying one outright. A lease will mean a lower payment upfront, as well as lower monthly payments. If your tech startup is doing well and you have capital to play with, you’ll benefit from going for a direct purchase. Look for deals on vehicles and then choose the best one. When you buy direct, you won’t be taking on a long-term liability. Keep insurance costs and taxes in mind to stay on budget.

Promote your new vehicle or vehicles

If buying or leasing vehicles is right for your startup, get the autos and then prepare to promote your new tech startup initiative. If the vehicles will be delivering services, let your customers know that you’ve obtained a fleet of well-maintained and clean autos that will help you to do business more efficiently. Another tip is to brand your tech startup vehicles. Use decals to turn them into rolling advertisements for your company.

Vehicles are a big investment

You probably already have a pretty good sense of whether buying or leasing a vehicle will help your business to make money or put a financial burden on your tech startup. Crunching the numbers is the best way to know for sure. If you do decide to take on the expense of vehicle leasing or purchase, do it with a mind to future profitability. Consider your financing options, hunt for superior deals and then market your new fleet. When you follow these tips, you’ll be ready to do what’s best for your startup.

Lisa
Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.
Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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