5 Great Taxi Apps

5 Great Taxi Apps

When you need to order a taxi, whether it’s to get to the airport, or to get home after an evening out – you no longer need to stand on the street More »

Great Ways to Save Money on Courier Insurance

Great Ways to Save Money on Courier Insurance

If you work as a courier, whether you work for a company or freelance, you’ll want to take every step you can to save money. This means getting fuel at the best More »

The Impact of Fraudulent Fleet Claims on Businesses   

The Impact of Fraudulent Fleet Claims on Businesses  

It’s no secret that the cost of motor insurance is rising all the time. A huge contributing factor to this is the large number of insurance scams that take place on the More »

Starting a Business in the Motor Trade

Starting a Business in the Motor Trade

If you enjoy working with cars then you might be considering setting up your own business in the motor trade. The great thing about working in the motor trade is that there More »

How Much Money Do You Have To Start A Business – Can you afford to leave the premises empty?

How Much Money Do You Have To Start A Business – Can you afford to leave the premises empty?

As an analyst of the economy and the property market, one must be patient to see if one’s predictions are right or wrong and to see what unfolds. One never knows if More »

5 Great Niches for Buying & Selling Online

5 Great Niches for Buying & Selling Online

Buying and selling online is one of the best ways that you can get started working for yourself. With sites such as eBay and Amazon to sell through, the barrier to entry More »

The Realities of Working as a Courier

The Realities of Working as a Courier

If you’ve ever considered working as a courier then you’re not alone. A lot of people like the idea of not being stuck behind a desk all day and being able to More »

5 Ways to Increase Profits for Courier Firms

5 Ways to Increase Profits for Courier Firms

The courier industry is notoriously competitive and only the most efficient businesses survive. If you run a courier firm and feel like your business could be performing better then you should find More »

Key Things to Consider When Starting a Trucking Business

Key Things to Consider When Starting a Trucking Business

If you currently work, or have worked, in the truck industry then there’s a good chance you’ve considered starting your own business at some point. Starting your own business gives you the More »

Working As a Van Driver When You Have a Conviction

Working As a Van Driver When You Have a Conviction

If you have a conviction, whether it’s for a motoring offence or something else, then you might think it’s impossible to get work and find affordable insurance. This isn’t necessarily true however. More »

 

5 Ways to Increase Profits for Courier Firms

The courier industry is notoriously competitive and only the most efficient businesses survive. If you run a courier firm and feel like your business could be performing better then you should find the tips below extremely useful.

1. Use the internet to bring in new customers

Given how prevalent the internet has become, it’s very surprising just how underutilized it is by a lot of businesses. There are countless ways you can advertise your courier firm online, from social media to paid advertising platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads. The great thing about advertising online is that you can be very specific with who you target so if you’re trying to get more customers in a certain age range or area of the country then this is certainly possible.

2. Don’t neglect real world advertising

As useful as online advertising is, there’s still plenty to be said for real world advertising methods such as leaflet marketing and print advertisements. Print adverts in trade magazines and literature that’s aimed at online sellers can be an excellent way to attract new customers.

3. Hire reliable drivers

Hiring reliable drivers can help you increase profits in a couple of ways. Firstly having reliable drivers that know how to deal with customers well will help to boost the reputation of your business and ultimately this could easily lead to a larger customer base and increased profits. Secondly, reliable drivers are less likely to be involved in collisions or other incidents and therefore you can save money on insurance.

4. Get a better deal on insurance

Another very reliable way to increase profits in your courier firm is to look for a better deal on insurance. There are many excellent sites where you can get courier insurance quotes from a panel of specialist providers, such as Insure The Courier. Such sites make getting courier insurance quotes very quick and easy so there’s no reason not to do this since it could save you a good deal of money.

5. Make your business stand out

There are many ways you can make your business stand out from the competition. Something as seemingly simple as a good business name can make a big difference to your success. Branding in general is something you should invest in if you want to make your business unique and appealing. In addition to this you should also ensure that you offer and excellent service that customers can rely on.

Things to Consider When Starting a Restaurant

You might have heard that the majority of restaurants fail in their first year. This fact alone is enough to put a lot of people off entering the industry. However in spite of this fact, there are still plenty of restaurants that thrive.

If you’re thinking of entering  industry and starting your own restaurant then below are some of the most important considerations to ensure your business is a success. 

  • Type of food to serve – One of the most fundamental decisions you have to make when starting your own restaurant is the type of food you’re going to serve. The vast majority of restaurants will have a selection of meat dishes in addition to at least one vegetarian/vegan option for each course. There’s a growing trend for more simple and unpretentious food in the UK right now so there’s nothing wrong with doing simple dishes very well.
  • Decor – The decor of your restaurant helps to set the atmosphere. Atmosphere is extremely important to people when they’re eating out so this is something you want to get right. If you’re not certain exactly what sort of look you want for your restaurant then don’t be afraid to hire an expert to help you with this.
  • Location – The location of your restaurant is another key factor. Restaurants rely on a good amount of foot traffic for business so you want to open a restaurant in a location that’s in a fairly densely populated area that’s convenient for people to get to by car, taxi, metro etc.
  • Insurance – Protecting your restaurant against risks such as business interruption, theft, structural damage, liability claims and loss of licence is a must. The way to do this is by getting a restaurant insurance policy from a specialist provider. Having a good insurance policy for your restaurant will enable you to run your business with full peace of mind and means that you’re prepared for the worst.
  • Staff – The staff you employ if your restaurant are going to play a huge role in whether it’s successful or not. For this reason you should be as selective as possible and only hire people who you’re certain will help your restaurant to thrive. The servers in your restaurant are of course important but you should also spend a lot of time finding the right restaurant manager and head chef.

Brexit Has Little Effect on Number of Recruitment Firms as 2016 Showed Record Numbers

Brexit dominated the headlines for a good portion of 2016, with many people worried about the negative impact it would have on many facets of day-to-day life. Business owners were amongst those who were worried about Brexit and although the full consequences of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union are yet to be felt; there have been reasons for optimism.

Figures obtained through a  Freedom of Information request from Companies House show that a record number of recruitment agencies were opened in 2016 in the UK. There were 4,529 recruitment agencies that opened between January and December 2016. This is a significant increase on the numbers from 2015, which were 13.7% lower (3,984).

The recruitment sector has grown significantly over the last 5 years and it is now worth £35.1 billion in the UK. This figure is even more impressive when you consider that in 2012/13 it was £26.5 billion. Positive trading conditions have helped the industry to thrive in the UK and things don’t look set to slow down in 2017.

Despite the incredible growth of recruitment firms in 2016, Brexit did have some effect. For example, the number of recruitment firms leading up to the vote was quite low. However after the decision to leave the EU had been announced, the number of recruitment firms being opened began to soar, with more than a thousand businesses being opened in July and August alone.

This number continued to rise towards the end of the year, with 1,315 new recruitment firms registered in November and December.

It’s still uncertain how much of an impact Brexit will have on recruitment firms and business as a whole in the UK, however these figures give reason for optimism going forward.

 

Small businesses in Scotland Lead The Way in Digital Skills

In 2017, digital skills aren’t a luxury for small businesses but a must. Almost every type of business can benefit from being able to use the internet to their advantage.

The most recent Bank of Scotland Business Digital Index found that Scotland is leading the way when it comes to digital skills, with fewer than a third of businesses there lacking the basic skills needed to get the most out of being online.

Despite the prevalence of the internet, there are still a surprising number of businesses that are resistant to embracing it. For example, in the UK, the average number of businesses that lack basic digital skills is at 38%. The only part of the UK that can rival Scotland in this regard is London, which also has roughly 30% of businesses that lack basic digital skills.

These numbers might seem surprising but there are reasons why some businesses are reluctant to fully embrace the internet. Cyber security, for example is one of the fastest rising reasons why small businesses don’t conduct more business online.

When it comes to cyber security, Scotland is also ahead of the rest of the UK, with 57% of Scottish businesses saying they need to invest in cyber security, compared to the UK average of 69%.

Head of accountants and business advisers BDO LLP in Scotland, Martin Gill had the following to say –

“British businesses are feeling pretty confident at the moment, helped by the impact of the currency depreciation on export competitiveness.

“There’s also a feeling out there that the world economy is picking up again as we go into 2017.

“Brexit may mean gloomy news in the press and, at times, chaos in government. But our business community is getting on with it on the basis that opportunities for growth are there to be grabbed.”

 

New Driver Study Reveals Britain’s Ten Worst Driving Habits

  • 17million UK drivers admit to road rage tendencies

Britain’s roads are rife with bad, and often dangerous, driving habits, that’s according to a study by business driving expert, The Fuelcard Company, which has identified the top ten driving faux pas being committed on the nation’s roads.

The study questioned 1,000 drivers across the UK and discovered that more than half of Brits (52%) have picked up some potentially dangerous driving habits, with the following found to be the most common:

  1. Going too fast (64%)
  2. Texting while driving (60%)
  3. Using the phone or hands-free (57%)
  4. Eating at the wheel (54%)
  5. Driving too close to other vehicles (52%)
  6. Throwing rubbish out of the window (51%)
  7. Going too slow (50%)
  8. Smoking behind the wheel (48%)
  9. Hogging the middle lane (47%)
  10. Checking phone notifications (46%)

Interestingly, more than a third of drivers claim to only practise these bad habits when they are in their car alone. However, despite confessing to exhibiting some of these bad behaviours, more than one-in-four (27%) of UK drivers claim to be the best driver they know and 37% say they are a better driver than their partner.

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The report also asked drivers about road rage with 38% admitting they felt they suffered from it, the DVLA currently lists 45.5 million drivers in Great Britain equating to 17million drivers suffering from road rage. Almost a third of the drivers said they had seen a vehicle being cut up, more than a fifth (20.2%) stated they had seen someone get out of a car to threaten another driver and worse still 7% had actually witnessed a car ‘ram’ another vehicle.

Other bad practices identified in the study include driving without shoes (13%), singing while driving (31%) and shockingly, committing sexual acts (8%). Ranging from the seemingly innocent to the downright dangerous, many of the behaviours uncovered are actually illegal too.

Richard Brown, Commercial Director at The Fuelcard Company said: “Driving is something us Brits do every single day and it’s certainly something which becomes second nature to us. Learning to drive and passing your test may seem like a lifetime ago, especially if you’re clocking a lot of hours behind the wheel during the working day, but picking up nasty habits could potentially have serious consequences. Whether you’re driving for personal or business reasons, bad habits can take a driver’s attention off the road meaning they can miss potential hazards.

“Some of the habits we identified seem relatively innocent, but we’d urge people to pay attention next time they’re behind the wheel to see exactly how many of these habits they’re guilty of without even realising it – they may be surprised. We’ve conducted this study to stress the importance of paying proper attention when you’re driving, to ultimately make sure our roads are a safe place to be.”

As part of this driver awareness campaign, The Fuelcard Company has also created a fun interactive online calculator which generates an individual’s driving statistics since they got their license and identifies their driving persona. Try it out here: www.fuelcards.co.uk/what-type-of-driver

 

Panasonic introduces Automotive Mobile Test Solution to enhance vehicle system initialisation and production testing

Designed in collaboration with leading automotive manufacturers

BRACKNELL, UK. 13th September 2016 Designed by Panasonic Global Design Solutions following close consultation with leading industry manufacturers, Panasonic has launched its next generation in-line testing solution for the automotive industry at Automechanika in Frankfurt, Germany. The Panasonic Automotive Mobile Test Solution (AMTS) combines the technology requested by the automotive industry for efficient vehicle production and initialisation with enterprise features for seamless integration into a corporate IT environment.

 AMTS device

Designed with user and processes in mind
The device has been developed with both ease of use and automotive production processes at the forefront of the design. The AMTS, based on the market-leading fully rugged Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet, incorporates a 7 inch capacitive multi-touchscreen display, an NFC contactless card reader, integrated high power infrared, and a 2D barcode reader which are situated within the specially designed handle of the AMTS which aids mobility in the production environment.

The solution is designed to be positioned on the steering wheel or the dashboard of the vehicle being tested due to its interchangeable, protective mounting insert. The AMTS also includes four programmable hot keys for one-touch access to important applications and functionality.

Specialised connectivity
The AMTS is built with the connectivity requirements of the automotive manufacturers in mind with dual rugged connectors that allow USB communication plus protected ODB in-vehicle charging from a VCI device. This means that the solution is ergonomic for both left and right hand drive vehicles.

The power for testing applications
To meet the processing and efficiency requirements for automotive testing, the Panasonic AMTS is powered by the Intel® Core™ m5-6Y57 vPro processor (1.1GHz up to 2.8 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology and a 4MB Intel cache) and Intel® HD graphics. It comes with the latest Windows 10 Pro operating system, which can be downgraded to Windows 7 Professional. For storage there is a 128GB Solid State Drive with 256GB optional.

For communications, the AMTS is equipped with Bluetooth™ v4.1+EDR Class 1 and an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 WLAN capability with optional 4G mobile broadband (Gobi 5000, compatible to 3G) connectivity.

A decade of design history
“Panasonic has near a decade of experience collaborating with some of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers to create rugged mobile devices designed for the industry’s requirements,” said Robert Blowers, Head of R&D and General Manager at Panasonic Computer Products Europe. “As a result of our relationship and collaborative approach with these manufacturers, The Automotive Mobile Test Solution is the next generation of mobile device to help deliver ever more efficient and cost effective vehicle production for our customers.”

The Panasonic AMTS will be available from October 2016 and is priced from £3,490.

For further information visit: www.toughbook.eu

 

Key Things to Consider When Starting a Trucking Business

If you currently work, or have worked, in the truck industry then there’s a good chance you’ve considered starting your own business at some point. Starting your own business gives you the freedom to operate as you choose and to become self-reliant.

If you are planning to start your own trucking business then below are some of the key things that you must consider.

Choosing the right industry

The right industry is usually one that you have the most experience in. There are a lot similarities from one industry to the next where trucking is concerned but if you have years’ of experience working as a recovery truck driver then it’s probably better to stick to this rather than opting for an industry you have less experience in, such as refrigerated trucks.

Choosing the right industry at the start can be the difference between success and failure so this is certainly something you should think about carefully.

Hiring the right drivers

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Hiring the best drivers for your business is absolutely key. Self-driving trucks are still a long way in the future so for now you want to hire drivers with a lot of skill and experience and who you’re confident will be able to do the job safely and effectively.

Some things to consider when hiring drivers are –

  • Their age – Age is extremely important when hiring drivers for your business. Most truck insurance providers will not offer cover for truck drivers who are under 25 years of age so you should ensure you hire experienced drivers who you’ll be able to get cover for on your truck insurance policy.
  • Their experience – Experience is also key when hiring drivers. Just because a driver is over 25 doesn’t mean they’re necessarily experienced in driving a truck. You’ll want to be sure that any drivers you hire have plenty of experience driving the particular trucks that your business operates and that they hold the right licences and have done adequate training.
  • Their driving history – In addition to hiring drivers who are over 25 and have plenty of experience driving a truck, you also want to check their driving histroy, including any points on their licence and their claims history. This will make a big difference when it comes to getting cover.

Getting cover at the best price

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When you’re looking for cover for your trucking business, you want to go to specialist providers. Specialist providers of truck insurance will offer the best prices and be able to provide comprehensive cover for every aspect of your business. You should get quotes from several different providers so you can easily compare them and choose the one that offers the best value for money.

For more information on truck insurance for all kinds of trucks go to http://www.multiquotetruck.co.uk/hgv-insurance