Category Archives: Business Advice

How to Become a Taxi Driver

Thousands of people in the UK make a living as a taxi driver. Working as a taxi driver can be stressful but also comes with many perks, such as constantly meeting new people from all walks of life and not having to be stuck behind a desk all day.

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a taxi driver but aren’t sure where to start then the guide below should prove very helpful.

What you need

  • A licence – In order to work as a taxi driver, you’ll need to a get a taxi driver’s licence. The requirements for getting a taxi driver’s licence vary depending on where you live in the UK and which council you need to apply to. In all cases though, you’ll need to pass a test to show that you’re competent enough tow work as a taxi driver.
  • A vehicle – Another thing you’ll need to work as a taxi driver is your own vehicle. It’s usually best to get a vehicle that’s less than 10 years old and reasonably cheap to insure.
  • Taxi insurance – In order to work as a taxi driver, you also need to get a taxi insurance policy. Taxi insurance usually includes cover for road risks as well as things like liability claims and breakdowns. You can keep costs down by getting a third party only policy but this will only provide enough protection to cover other road users when you’re involved in a collision that you’re to blame for.

Finding work

When it comes to finding work as a taxi driver there are certain things that will make you more employable. First of all, if you’re very young and have only started driving recently then it’s probably not going to be realistic to work as a taxi driver. This is because taxi firms generally like drivers who are considered low risk i.e. least likely to be involved in collisions or other incidents that might lead to liability claims etc.

In order to be more employable you would ideally have at least 10 years’ driving experience, have no driving or criminal convictions and have a good attitude and friendly demeanour.

Another way to make yourself more attractive to potential employers is by getting a specialist vehicle, such as a minibus.

Setting Up a Courier Business

The demand for couriers has never been higher than it currently is. The amount of items that are ordered online every day is staggering and somebody has to deliver those items. This being the case, it’s easy to assume that if you set up your own courier service you’d have a very good chance of success. However things are not quite that simple.

Although couriers are in high demand, the courier industry is highly competitive, with major players like Parcelforce and DHL to compete with as well as countless freelance couriers. If you are confident you can succeed in such a competitive industry though then below are some great tips for getting started.

Getting a premises

One of the first things you’ll need to do when setting up a courier firm is a business premises that you can run your operation from. When looking for the right premises you should think about how much space you need and what you’re able to afford to pay for rent. The main factors that will affect the cost of a business premises is its size and location. You might have to make some compromises when looking for a premises depending on your budget.

Getting insurance

Another thing you’ll need to run a courier business is the right type of cover. Courier insurance policies can be highly tailored to suit your individual needs.

Some common types of cover in a courier insurance policy include –

  • Public liability insurance – Public liability insurance is a must when working with the public. If your business was to face a liability claim for any reason then you would need to fight it and if you lost, have enough money to pay out in compensation.
  • Road risks – You of course need to cover your drivers for road risks too. You can choose from a third party only policy; third party, fire and theft or fully comprehensive.
  • Goods in transit insurance – Goods in transit insurance will ensure that if any of the goods you’re transporting are lost or damaged, then you’d be compensated for the value. This is an extremely important type of cover, especially if you’re transporting valuable goods.
  • Breakdown assistance – It’s vital that you have breakdown assistance included in your policy too. This way if any of your drivers were to break down, you can ensure that they’re back on the road again ASAP.

Setting up a Private Hire Taxi Firm in Combe Martin

If you have experience working as a taxi driver then you’ve probably considered setting up your own taxi firm at some point. Setting up a taxi firm does require a lot of work and the industry is very competitive so it’s certainly not for the feint of heart.

If this doesn’t deter you then below are some of the fundamentals of setting up your own taxi firm.

Setting up an office

It is possible to run a private hire taxi firm from a home office, providing you have the right radio equipment. That being said, it will hardly present an ideal scenario, especially if you have a family. Therefore you’ll want to look to invest in a business premises for your head office as soon as you can.

A good premises for a taxi office is one that has enough space, is well located and is reasonable safe. You should always rent your office to begin with so you can be sure that it’s a good fit for your needs. If you’re happy with it then you can always invest later on.

Hiring drivers

Hiring drivers is an extremely important part of running a successful private hire taxi firm. You should aim to hire drivers with a mix of vehicle types. Although regular cars will account for a lot of the taxis you use, you’ll also want to hire drivers who have their own minibus too. The big advantage to hiring owner drivers is that they’ll also have their own vehicles so you don’t need worry about taking minibus insurance etc. which can be very costly, especially when you have multiple vehicles to insure.

When hiring drivers you should also take their age and driving experience into account. Background checks are always a must too.

Getting insurance

When you run a taxi firm you’ll need to get a tailored policy to help protect your business. In addition to having cover for your business premises you’ll also want to ensure you’re protected for liability claims – both from the public and your drivers.

There are many excellent providers of motor trade insurance online and getting quotes is a very quick and simple process now.

Getting Car Insurance When You’ve Been Declared Bankrupt

If you have been declared bankrupt then you’re probably already aware that it can greatly impact your ability to find car insurance at a reasonable rate. Insurance providers make decisions based upon risk and people who have been declared bankrupt are considered higher risk.

If you’ve been declared bankrupt in the past or you intend to apply for bankruptcy soon then the good news is that finding car insurance at an affordable price is not as hard as it seems. There are specialist providers of convicted drivers insurance who can offer you a fair policy based on your circumstances.

Where to find cover

Sites such as Conviction Insure make it easy for you to get quotes from specialist providers of convicted drivers insurance.

Reasons to get your cover online include –

  • Easily tailor your policy – One of the major benefits of getting your insurance online rather than over the phone is that you’re able to take the time to think about what type of policy you want and easily tailor it accordingly. This way you can ensure that you get the right policy for your needs.
  • Get quotes easily – Another big benefit of getting convicted drivers insurance online is that it makes it very easy to get quotes from different insurance providers. Getting a lot of quotes is one of the best ways to save money on convicted drivers insurance so this is a very compelling reason to get your cover online.

Ways to save money

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  • Limit your cover options – One of the easiest ways to keep the cost of your insurance down is to limit the cover options on your policy. The cheapest type of policy you can get is third party only. Although this is very bare bones and doesn’t provide any real protection for your own vehicle, it does make your car road legal. 
  • Have somewhere secure to park – Parking your car in a driveway or garage will always make it cheaper to get insurance than if it were parked on the street. This is simply because cars parked on the street are much more likely to be targeted by thieves and vandals.
  • Consider paying upfront – Most people don’t consider this option since it does mean paying a big sum at once. However doing this will enable you to make quite a significant saving with the majority of insurance providers.

The Keys to Running a Successful Taxi Operation

Running a taxi firm comes with many unique challenges. As with running any type of business, you have to balance several things at once to make sure you stay competitive and grow your reputation.

Below are some of the fundamentals of running a successful taxi operation.

Finding the right location for your head office

Choosing the right premises for your head office is extremely important since it’s where your entire operation will be run from.

Ideally your head office will be –

  • In a good location
  • Secure
  • Affordable

Getting insurance at the best price

In order for your taxi firm to be successful, you need to keep overheads to a minimum. Cutting the cost of your taxi insurance is one of the best ways to do this.

Below are some good ways to keep the cost down.

  • Get a lot of quotes – Getting a lot of quotes is one of the most fundamental ways you can save money on taxi insurance. With so many insurance comparison services out there now, there’s no good reason not to do this. It’s always recommended that you get your insurance from a specialist provider too, since they’ll be able to offer you a tailored policy that’s suitable for your business and at a competitive price.
  • Make your vehicles secure – Another excellent to keep insurance costs down is by making your taxis as secure as possible. This means installing trackers/immobilisers/in-car CCTV. Anything you can do to make your vehicles and your drivers safer will help to minimise insurance costs so it’s worth the initial investment in security measures.

Finding the right drivers

Finding the right drivers for your taxi firm is important for few key reasons –

  • They help or hurt your company reputation – This point is extremely important. Your drivers are essentially the face of your business since they’re the ones who will be interacting with your customers. Therefore you want to hire friendly, reliable, competent drivers who are going to create the best possible image for your company.
  • They will affect the cost of your insurance – Another key reason that hiring the right drivers is so important is because they will affect the price you’ll pay for your taxi insurance. It makes sense when you think about it since inexperienced, unreliable drivers are much more likely to be involved in incidents where a claim will be made on the policy.

Insuring a Fleet of Vans

If your business makes use of vans then you’ll already know that insurance can be one of the biggest expenses. If you have separate policies for your vans, even if you only have 3 or 4, then you could save yourself a lot of time and stress by getting them insured together as a fleet.

Benefits of fleet insurance

Below are some of the biggest benefits of fleet insurance –

  • It’s cheaper – One of the biggest benefits of fleet insurance compared to insuring vehicles separately is that it usually works out considerably cheaper. Insurance companies prefer when you spend more upfront so getting a larger policy that covers all your vehicles compared to separate policies for each works out better for everyone.
  • It’s easier to manage – It makes sense that getting one policy that covers all your vans will be easier to manage compared to insuring them under separate policies. Running a business already comes with enough headaches so at least insurance doesn’t have to be one.
  • Insure multiple types of vehicles – Maybe your business has a mix of vans and cars that you want to insure together. The beauty of fleet insurance is that it’s very flexible and enables you to insure multiple vehicle types of varying values all under one policy.

Keeping costs to a minimum

  • Get multiple quotes – Sites such as Cheap Fleet make it very easy to get van fleet insurance quotes from specialist providers. By getting quotes from many providers, you are able to easily compare them and choose the one that’s the best value for money.
  • Make your vehicles secure – Making your vans secure is one of the best ways to save money on fleet insurance. By lowering the chance of your vans being broken into or vandalised, your insurance provider will be able to offer you a quote at a lower rate.
  • Hire reliable drivers – Another key way to minimise what you pay for van fleet insurance is to hire reliable drivers. Hiring drivers who have a good amount of experience, are over the age of 25 and who have a clean driving history will go a long way to reducing what you spend on your insurance.
  • Pay for the policy annually – Most people choose to pay for insurance monthly to help spread the cost and reduce what they’re paying upfront. However if you are able to pay for your policy upfront then you’ll be able to negotiate a significant discount.

A Guide to Buying & Selling Cars Successfully

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit then there are countless ways you can make money. One of the best ways to make money if you have a passion for cars is by buying and selling them. Although buying and selling cars for a living certainly isn’t easy, if you’re good at it there’s great scope for growth and long-term success.

In the guide below you’ll find information on the most important practical considerations as well as some of the biggest keys to success.

Practical considerations

Below are some of the main practical things you’ll need to take care of in order to make your venture a success –

  • Premises – Although you can certainly start out selling on a small scale from your home, in order to scale your business properly, you’ll definitely want to invest in a premises sooner rather than later. When it comes to finding a good business premises, there are certain key things into consideration. The most important of these are location, security and cost. Weigh up these factors and decide if a location is right for the type of business you want to run.
  • Insurance – When you’re dealing with a lot of cars on a regular basis, you’ll need to get a motor trade insurance policy to ensure you’re properly protected. Motor trade insurance will protect you for road risks as well as fire, theft and liability claims, depending on the level of cover you get. It’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes when you’re looking for motor trade insurance to ensure you get the best deal.

Keys to success

Below are some of the best ways to succeed when buying and selling cars –

  • Know where to buy – When buying and selling cars, the key to making a good profit is buying low and selling high. This principal of course applies to most kinds of businesses that sell products. In order to get cars at the best price, you should diversify where you buy from. Buying privately is always a good bet but you shouldn’t neglect other options, such as car auctions too.
  • Make security a priority – When you’re selling something valuable such as cars, you need to make security a priority. You should take steps to make your premises as secure as possible, including having an alarm, security lights and CCTV installed.

 

Top 10 Startup Mistakes

12 Rules for Startups

When starting your own business it’s always a great idea to get advice from professionals who’ve been there and done it. Below is an excellent video to help you on your way.

 

How Important is Branding for Small Businesses?

If you run a small business then you’ve likely considered just how important branding is for its success. Branding is something you hear about all the time in the business world and it’s not uncommon for large corporations to pour millions into having their company re-branded.