Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

This Entrepreneur Wants to Make Buying a Car Less Overwhelming

The co-founder and CEO of AutoLeadStar shares how his software-as-a-service platform works and why you should include your consumers on your advisory board.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you want to buy a car but find the process to be completely overwhelming, the co-founder and CEO of AutoLeadStar wants to make the process a little easier. Aharon Horwitz and his team built a software-as-a-service (SaaS) system that automates marketing ads for car dealerships, so they can be more affordable than hiring a traditional marketing agency and automate lead nurturing. Their goals for the future are to educate both dealers and shoppers, and to shorten the sale process. Horwitz also hosts a podcast, Inside Auto, which discusses the need for automated marketing. He sat down with Jessica Abo to talk about his company and the innovative ways he incorporates consumers into the foundation of his business.

Jessica Abo: Tell us a little bit about your company.

Aharon Horwitz: It's not only overwhelming to buy a car, every aspect of engaging with transportation today is overwhelming. The marketing is overwhelming. The shopping is overwhelming. The purchase comparison, the price comparisons. What AutoLeadStar does is make it seamless and easy. I like to think of it like a Spotify or Netflix. We embed this intelligence in a car dealer. And when you come to shop, when you get the emails from them, when you talk to the salespeople, it's all playing from the single view of what you need and what you want. We try to make it really seamless and easy for you, the consumer, to engage with the shopping process and get that car that most fits you.

How did you come up with this idea?

I was really invested in small, medium businesses. I believe in small, medium businesses as the engine of a strong economy, of social mobility. And prior to AutoLeadStar, I worked in a social entrepreneurial startup incubator that launched small and medium businesses. When I realized how important they were, I said, "Hey, let me launch a company that can give great technology to small, medium businesses and can help them compete against the big monopolies around the world, Walmart, Amazon, etc."

Car dealers are where I landed. I loved the industry. I met amazing people who employ so many people. They spend so much on payroll. They pay so much in taxes. We want to give them the technology to make car shopping easy for consumers so that they can compete against all the biggies that are coming to take their business.

How does your technology work?

We work with the car dealers because that's where most shopping happens. You go online, you research, eventually you land at a dealer and that's where the experience can get a little choppy. We want to make sure that from the minute you hit that dealer's website, we're trying to figure out what you want and get you to it as quickly as possible. Then, when the dealer then sends you follow up emails or messages, it's all fitting exactly your profile and the things you've already done. So, AutoLeadStar is like a smart digital sales person or marketing person that lives in the dealer's website and customer relationship management, fits to you and gives you a better experience buying the car. In business software this type of technology is often called a RevOps platform.

What advice do you have for someone who's about to launch a company or launch a product?

If you're going to launch a startup, a company, a product or a solution, the first thing that I recommend is getting deep into the guts of the customer and the customer issue in the market. When we launched AutoLeadStar, we made it a point to go and spend time in dealerships to the point where we asked them to give us jobs in the call center, and let us shadow their salespeople. For months we studied it and tried to understand it. That's the first thing that I'd recommend doing, especially if you're coming with a solution from the outside.

The second thing you should do is find a couple of customers who could be development partners. Development partners are those customers who are almost like your team members. They're giving you feedback on features, on products, on things that you want to do. They can really help guide you. And then the third thing is to take the absolute best and put them in some sort of advisory board. So you have this really long relationship with them and they help shepherd your product forward over time and really help you build the solution and evangelize it to the market.

Latest

How to Unlock Your Company's Value in the 'Circular Economy'

Michael Smith of Regeneration.VC shares how the circular economy works and why it's good for business and our planet.

BBQ Icon Rodney Scott on Blazing Your Own Path in the Restaurant Business

Interview with famed pitmaster and food entrepreneur Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott's BBQ about every day being a good day, the truth behind "overnight" celebrity, and how cooking with soul is vital to sustained success.

3 Easy Ways To Be More Motivated

Want to tackle your to-do list in just two weeks? In this video, Ben Angel tells you how.

The Founder of Mindvalley Wants to Transform and Reinvent Education. Here's Why.

The founder of Mindvalley shares why he started his platform and discusses his new book, "The 6 Phase Meditation Method."

This Teacher-Turned-Entrepreneur Started Tutoring Kids in Parks and Churches. Today, She Runs an Education Company with Nearly One Million Followers

The CEO and founder of Big City Readers talk about why she's on a mission to make reading fun for kids and their parents. Plus, what to do if you're afraid to take a leap in your career.

Melissa Villanueva of Brewpoint Coffee on Creating Avenues for Café Owners of Color

Interview with Brewpoint Coffee CEO and Founder Melissa Villanueva about balancing community and larger ambitions, creating opportunities for people of color, and equity and inclusion in business.

4 Easy Ways to Make More Money By Training Your Brain

Mental rehearsal is a powerful psychological technique that's used by athletes, billionaires, and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.

5 Tips to Help You Go from Camera-Shy to Camera-Ready

Media trainer Jessica Abo reveals her go-to production tips so you can feel more confident for your next on-air appearance, pitch, or presentation.

Shone Tran of Chicken Meets Rice on Stepping into Food Entrepreneurship

Interview with Chicken Meets Rice co-founder Shone Tran about pulling inspiration from tragedy, taking small steps, and thriving in business with your best friend.

Try This 15-Minute Million Dollar Morning Routine To Energize Your Day

Here are six steps you can take to amplify your energy and grow your income.

This Is Why Being a Podcast Guest Can Transform Your Personal Brand

The Founder and CEO of Scout's Agency shares why a "podcast tour" is the new PR strategy for thought-leaders.

Samantha Trottier and Hernan Regiardo of Mate Society on Creating Content People Like

Interview with Mate Society founders about authentic online connections, making money in the creator economy, and choosing the right brand deals.

9 Ways To Make 'Superhuman Focus' Work For You

In this video, Ben Angel shows you how to improve your focus and do more with your time.

Julian Cervantes of Super Taco Mexican Restaurants on Owning a Family Business

Interview with Super Taco Mexican Restaurants Founder Julian Cervantes about starting a business with little knowledge, having a Plan B, and balancing family and work.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.