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Tips for Managing Your Taxi Company

Managing a taxi company is a demanding job. Not only will you need to manage a team of the perpetually moving remote employees that constitute your fleet, but you need to manage the financials related to endless transactions and expenses, not to mention business growth and fending off the competition. The taxi niche is more competitive now than ever and, with organisations like Uber here to say, managing a taxi company means staying competitive in a constantly evolving marketplace.

Consider Investing in Eco-Friendly Vehicles

People are more concerned with travel’s environmental impact now more than ever. Investing in a fleet of environmentally friendly taxis is a great selling point for your business. It is quite common for taxis to be electric or at least hybrid nowadays due to tax incentives, so it is crucial that you keep up with changing times. Electric cars are more expensive to purchase, but they pay off in the long-term because they are cheaper to run.

Find the Right Insurance

There are three main outgoing payments for taxi companies: driver salaries, vehicle upkeep (including fuel), and insurance. It is vital to your profitability that you find the right Motor and Taxi Insurance. You need to get cover from an insurance agency that specifically caters to those in your line of business. This will allow you to find a policy that will not only charge you a competitive rate but will offer you reassurance that if anything happens, you can get back on the road quickly and safely.

Create a Business Application

Investing in a mobile app is a great way to keep your business competitive. It allows you to capture customer phone real estate as well as offer them unique services like:

  • The ability to track drivers
  • Offers and adjustable rates to balance demand in high and low seasons
  • Fixed-price journey options for common destinations like stations and airports
  • A clear map of the journey and the cost that they will undertake.

Find Your Niche

Companies like Uber have an almost ubiquitous presence, so it is vital that to challenge their omnipresence, you need to create a niche to help your business stand out. Ideas for taxi business niche include:

  • Having a localized focus
  • Specializing in taxi services for kids
  • Offering very good rates for longer journeys or airport pick-ups etc.
  • Offering a car rental service
  • Offering a female-only driver option
  • Offering a loyalty programme
  • Luxury service

Partner with Local Businesses

When you are running a fleet of vehicles, it is inevitable that at some point they will need repairs. It is a good idea to partner with local businesses that can repair your car or rent you new vehicles, like a local garage, mechanic, and rental company. This means that you will be offered more competitive rates and that they are more likely to prioritize your vehicle when getting to work – so you don’t lose too much money by having your assets sitting in a garage. While your insurance company will cover the costs for repairs, there will be other mechanic bills you will need to pay (like MOT), so it pays to have a good relationship with your local garage.

 

6 Mistakes That Dog Owners Make

Most dog owners love their furry companions unconditionally. Unfortunately, no matter how much you adore your canine, the reality is that these pets require constant and consistent care and attention in order to thrive inside your home. While you might think that you are ticking all of the necessary boxes, the reality is that there are numerous care-related mistakes that are commonly made by owners of dogs across the globe. A few of these mistakes are listed below, as well as some advice on how to rectify them.

Not making dental health a priority

Yes, dogs need to brush their teeth just like humans to avoid decay. Keep those teeth pearly white and that breath pleasant by brushing at least once a day (twice is ideal). You can also prioritize dental care by giving dog-safe chew toys, by giving dry food as opposed to wet food, and by taking your pet for routine dental cleanings at the vet.

Neglecting to find the best dog food

Not all dog food is created equal, and neither are your dog’s dietary requirements! As such, it is vital that you take the time to research which dog food suits your pet the best. For example, grain-free pet food is a good idea for dogs who are slightly overweight or those who have food allergies. A high protein dog food containing ancient grains is excellent for high-energy dogs or working dogs or for those dog owners who just want to give their pets a healthy boost. This type of dog food is available via Taste of the Wild ancient grains website.

Feeding table scraps

It can be difficult to say ‘no’ to those determined puppy dog eyes when you’re tucking into a juicy steak or a burger, and your dog is staring up at you from the floor. Unfortunately, the truth is that table scraps have been proven to cause and worsen certain conditions in dogs, especially if given on a regular basis. Rather invest in dog-specific treats if you feel obliged to dish out a yummy snack from time to time.

Dismissing socialization

Dogs that are not properly socialized from a young age may show aggression towards other dogs, animals, and even people. As such, it is important to sign your pet up for puppy socialization classes in your area or to ensure that they are exposed to other dogs, animals, adults, and children as often as possible.

Skimping on walks and exercise

Exercise is a crucial aspect of your dog’s care, so be sure to embark on walks and to play plenty of games of fetch to keep your pet healthy, happy, and free from any behavioral issues.

Not addressing behavior problems immediately

Some behavior problems, such as excessive licking as a result of anxiety (or perhaps even an allergy!) can lead to pain and discomfort for your dog, while others, such as constant barking, can make him less pleasant to be around for both you and the neighbors. Most behavior problems can be easily corrected through positive reinforcement, training, and behavior modification if you seek out the right support quickly and before the issue becomes ingrained as a habit.

You can better care for your pet now that you know precisely what mistakes to avoid. Here’s to many happy years together!

 

5 Tips For Staying Safe Online

It seems like nowadays, there’s a hack or a scam around every corner online. It doesn’t matter what sort of device you’re on; it seems that you’re at risk just about anywhere. In order to make sure that you steer clear of danger, you should make sure that you’re equipped with the right tips and understand online policies. Take a look at some of the most reliable ways to stay safe online.

Create Long Passwords

Gone are the days when you could use a simple password and get away with it. Hackers are so clever now that they can easily guess your password in a matter of seconds. Don’t risk exposing yourself online. Choose a password that is long and rather complicated.

Make sure that you use symbols and numbers. By making it as long and unique as possible, you’ll lower your chances of anyone hacking into your information. If you’re having trouble choosing a password of your own, there are programs out there that will help you generate a strong one for you.

Boost Your Security

It’s important that you ensure that your network connections are secure enough. Make sure that your router is password protected and encrypts all of your data. You should also consider using a VPN that masks your IP address. There are free VPNs out there; however, you’ll find that the paid versions are usually the best.

Don’t Open Suspicious Attachments

Often, unsuspecting web users will find themselves opening an email that contains a suspicious-looking attachment. Don’t take any chances. Attachments may contain malware or a virus. Do yourself a favor and always err on the side of caution. Delete the email when in doubt.

The same goes for your social media messaging accounts. Sometimes you may receive a message containing a link or an attachment that encourages you to follow it. Don’t open it and delete it instead. If you know the person who sent it to you, alert them that their account may have been compromised.

Only Use Well Known Sites

Online shopping is an incredibly convenient way to get what you need without having to step foot into a store. However, sometimes you could find yourself in the midst of a scam. It’s important that you only use well-known sites that are credible amongst their users. Giving your payment information over to the wrong hands could result in having your money stolen and never receiving the goods.

Be Careful About What You Share

When sharing information about yourself on social media, it’s important not to share sensitive information such as your license number or your home address. This information could get into the wrong hands and even put you in danger.

Avoid Making These Common Productivity Mistakes in Your Business

Running a business is a rewarding but challenging task, and as you try to grow larger, the risk of making mistakes becomes a lot more commonplace. For many business leaders, attempting to be more productive and efficient can often backfire when their actions are not well thought through. To avoid falling into these common errors, read on to find out what you should avoid.

Avoid trying to do it all yourself

This is often a common mistake for entrepreneurs who have grown their business from scratch, often from their own hard labor. While the early days of a start-up demand a lot of intensive effort and sacrifice from the individual, as a business grows, it becomes more important to embrace the art of delegation.

This does not simply mean assigning tasks to other people and attempting to micro-manage their every step. This will actually only make the process more difficult as employees will be unable to implement their own ideas to solve tasks. Instead, to delegate effectively, you will need to allow others to take on responsibility for certain tasks and projects and enjoy greater ownership of them. In doing so, you can start to help the business grow as a group.

Invest in the right places

One of the most common causes of complaints and frustration in many workplaces is slow, inefficient equipment or technology, especially if this is a primary tool for people to get their work done. When employees see valuable funds that could be used to update and improve technology diverted towards unnecessary expenses, it only causes further acrimony and unhappiness.

Review where you invest your funds in your business and talk to employees. If your IT tech needs upgrading, consider managed services from Online Computers to find an affordable and cost-effective solution. This will not only improve the technical functionality of your business but also help people to feel valued and appreciated in their roles.

Encourage a healthy work-life balance

We all want our employees to feel motivated to work hard and do their best, but pushing people to work longer hours will often backfire. Instead, this will only lead to greater stress and pressure and will impact productivity negatively.

A healthy work-life balance is essential to a successful and thriving business and is something that should be encouraged through all levels of the business. This can be done in many ways depending on individual employee preferences and the values of the business itself. You may want to encourage flexible working hours that allow people to accommodate personal commitments to family or other things around their workday, or establish fun team activities that allow people to connect on a social level, outside of their professional roles. You can also make efforts to cultivate and emphasize a healthier lifestyle in the workplace, for example, by providing fresh, healthy food and snacks, encouraging regular breaks away from the desk, and ensuring employees take their designated breaks appropriately.

5 Business Management Tips For Beginners

When you’re new to managing a whole business, the challenge can seem a bit overwhelming. The best way to conquer the monumental task ahead is to adequately equip yourself with the right knowledge to champion the job.

Start educating yourself now, while you still have time to refine your approach to the situation. Take a quick read through this brief compilation of some business management tips that are simple and easy to apply.

Financial management is crucial

Keeping up with the flow of money in your operation is crucial to your long term success. Make sure you have a professional in place that specializes in managing such tasks. If you’re managing a small business, the task may fall on your shoulders.

Be a jack of all trades, and always master the financial ones. Use one of the year’s highest rated financial software packages to assist you in your journey to keep the numbers rightside up.

Invest in digital marketing efforts

Business management includes getting the word out about your operation. Proper marketing is the key to growth in any industry. Digital marketing is today’s most effective method of reaching the widest audience of consumers.

Find tactics that help you better target your audience. Invest in social media, and make sure you have a well-crafted business website. This freight handling services operation shows a solid example of a good foundation on their site build. The pages are easy to follow, and the information is simple to sort.

Invest in the education of your employees

When you’re just beginning to manage your own business operation, you may not have the funds to employ the most high profile professionals. Instead, create them.

Invest in the education of your professionals, and let your staff grow alongside the business. You’ll have a well-oiled ship before you know it, and your team of professionals will have a growing confidence about them.

Employ modern technology in your operation

Technology is every business manager’s best friend. Use technology to automate processes when you are able, and let tech compliment the intelligent minds you have on the payroll in every other situation.

When you’re operating with the very best technology has to offer, you’ll find that keeping your business in the black is a much more manageable goal.

Set goals for your operation

Your business will find growth much more achievable when you break down your big goals into smaller, more achievable stepping stone goals.

Breaking a huge job into several small jobs is a good way to keep your professionals focused on success. Check out what Asana can do to keep your professionals focused on their goals at hand.

 

How To Keep Your Staff Happy At Work

Keeping staff morale high in the workplace is vital for not only the benefit of the staff but also for productivity. There are so many simple things that you can do to ensure everybody is happy and enjoys their time at work. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re providing a happy and comfortable work environment for your staff.

Furniture

Something as simple as making the office chairs and tables comfortable for your staff will make them enjoy being there more. It is also important for their health; ergonomic furniture is incredibly important for staff that spend most of their time sat at the desk. Office furniture can also change the whole atmosphere of the space too. If you have outdated, tired, dull looking furniture, then that will instantly make the office feel like a dreary, miserable environment. If you need help forming a office furniture Romeoville IL, don’t worry as there are companies that can help you with this. You just need to let them know what kind of workspace you would like, as well as any specifics that you need, and they will help to design the perfect space, with the perfect furniture.

Open-Door Policy

Having some sort of open-door policy can make a workplace feel more comfortable, and enable your staff to be more open and honest with you. You don’t need to necessarily leave your door wide open all of the time, just let your staff know that they can talk to you whenever they need to, and that they can be completely honest with you. This kind of policy can also encourage feedback; employees will be able to tell you if them and their co-workers feel something needs to change in the office, which again will allow you to improve and make their work life better for them.

Recognize Their Development

Introducing a bonus scheme is a great way to motivate your staff to work as hard as they can because they will see an achievable reward at the end of the year/month etc. Even introducing an employee of the month scheme will boost morale and make your staff feel valued. It isn’t a necessity within a business to do these sorts of schemes, but it will show that you care and appreciate your staff.

Out of Work Events

Hosting a work event will enable everyone to get to know each other in a non-work environment and become friends with each other outside of work. This can help your staff to feel comfortable, thus boosting teamwork. Christmas parties are a classic work event that most people are familiar with, but why wait until December? A summer party could be a great option if your staff need to let off some steam and enjoy themselves.

Keeping your staff happy is vital in the workplace, so don’t overlook anyone who is working for you and your company. Make everyone feel valued and let them know that you appreciate all of the hard work they are doing for you.

 

How to Reduce Your Energy Costs

If you’re interested in discovering innovative ways to reduce your energy costs, you’ve come to the right place. As listed below is a fool proof guide to reducing your energy consumption and associated energy costs. As there’s no reason why you should pay a small fortune on energy costs.

How to Reduce Your Energy Costs.

Purchase solar panels in order to decrease your reliance on traditional power companies:

By installing solar panels on your roof or on the side of your home, you’ll be able to generate your own renewable power, which will decrease your reliance on traditional power companies. Depending on the type of solar panels which you opt for, you may even be able to stop paying for power from your current power company for good. Which will save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long term. To learn more about solar energy, check out https://sunly.ca/.

Purchase energy efficient lightbulbs:

One simple yet effective way to decrease your energy costs is to swap out all of your lightbulbs for energy efficient lightbulbs. Not only will you instantly consume less energy by swapping out your lightbulbs for energy efficient lightbulbs but energy efficient lightbulbs also last longer and don’t need to be replaced as often as regular lightbulbs.

As an added bonus, you’ll also be able to purchase smart energy efficient lightbulbs, which you’ll be able to instantly turn on and off using an app on your smart phone. Which means that if you leave your lounge and leave your lights on, you’ll be able to turn off your lights from your bed. So you’ll never have an excuse to leave lights on in your home, that you’re no longer using.

Be mindful about your energy consumption:

Most individuals give little thought to their daily energy consumption. However, there are a wide variety of ways to reduce your energy costs. As examples, you’ll be able to reduce your energy costs by taking shorter showers or by remembering to turn off your electronics when you’re not using them. You’ll even be able to save money by ensuring that you don’t leave your small electronic devices such as your laptop or smart phone plugged in all night.

Choose to replace your home appliances with more energy efficient models:

You can also reduce your energy costs by opting to replace some of your outdated home appliances, with more energy efficient models. As typically newer models of home appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves and washing machines are far more energy efficient than older models. Due to advancements in technology. In order to make sure that you’re able to save as much power as possible, opt to select new appliances that offer high energy efficiency ratings.

Replace your window seals:

By replacing your home’s window seals you’ll ensure that your home is air tight and that warm air doesn’t escape your home, during the cold winter months. Which means you won’t have to leave your heaters or your central heating system on all day long in winter.

So if you want to save money on power, it’s definitely well worth testing out some of the tips which are listed above. In order to spend less money on energy costs.

 

Tips on How to Grow Your Small Business

Whilst there are many small or medium sized businesses who are happy to stay at that size, there are just as many, if not more, who wish to solidify their position and then move on to bigger and better things. The question therefore is how to grow your small business when you feel that the time is right to expand? And we have some tips on how to do exactly that. Growth is just as tricky as launching a business, and failure could see a lot of that great work in the past go to waste, get it right however, and you’ll be very much on the pathway to success.

Marketing

Marketing is often overlooked when businesses look to grow, and this is for a number of reasons. The first is that most companies recognize that it is time to grow once the demand for their products and services begins to get overwhelming, the assumption therefore is that further marketing isn’t required at this stage. The second reason is cost, a business is already spending money on the growth plans, so marketing is an easy spend to chalk off. It is however absolutely essential that a business keeps driving new customers in order to make that growth worthwhile, and whilst that may mean some hard working months ahead, it will be better for the general health of the business.

All Areas

When you scale up it is important that you recognize that all aspects of the business must be increased, and improved. Many fall into the trap of thinking that a bigger space and a few more staff is all that is needed, but there is much more to it than that. From logistics to manufacturing, supply to sales, everything in the business must be scaled up. The key to doing this will be slowly but surely, there is no scale up button which sees the business expand, growth will always be a slow and systematic process. Prioritize which areas need it first, then scale up gradually.

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

Another common mistake which many small businesses make when they implement plans for growth is to go too far, which is going to end up being costly, dangerously so in fact. This is why businesses should always grow based on the numbers that they are seeing. Let’s say you have a clothing business which is able to make and sell 100 units per week, but orders are coming in at 150-200 units per week, looking to get a premises, staff and materials for 400 units per week will make little sense. There should always be some flexibility for future growth so opting for an infrastructure which can cope with 250-300 units per week would be the smartest move here. This will ensure both growth and risk aversion, should things take a downturn for any reason.

This is a complex plan and one which should be thought out very carefully before enacting.

 

5 Tips for Improving Hygiene in the Workplace

In this day and age, hygiene is more important than ever in the workplace. COVID-19 has led to people becoming much more aware about the use of hand sanitizers, face masks, and so on. Plus, with the pandemic still going on, your employees may feel uncomfortable coming into work right now and interacting with others.

Yet even aside from COVID-19, a business should always strive to provide the best possible hygiene standards in the workplace. The last thing you want is for an employee to fall ill under your watch – and the cause of their illness be down to a lack of hygiene.

With these points in mind, your focus should be on enhancing cleanliness levels when necessary. As a starting point, consider these five tips for improving hygiene in the workplace.

1. Promote regularly washing hands

Before they sit down for work, every employee should be made to wash their hands. This is a simple yet effective way to stop germs from entering the workspace, where they can quickly spread due to populating everything from keyboards to documents.

When it comes to the washing part, encourage employees to use soap and hand sanitizer. Also, instruct them to spend a minimum of 20 seconds washing their hands.

2. Clean desks

Along with their hands, you should also encourage employees to regularly clean their desks. Certain items on a desk are a breeding ground for bacteria. For instance, research suggests the average computer keyboard is 20,000 times dirtier than the average toilet seat.

To help with the cleaning process, ensure all employees have access to hand sanitizing gels and anti-bacterial wipes. Also, give them reminders not to skip on the desk cleaning.

3. Use a ULV Fogger

If you want to disinfect the entire workplace with ease, look no further than the ULV Fogger Sanitiser. This ultra-low volume fogging machine can be utilized in various different ways. In the workplace, however, it helps to disinfect and/or sterilize the environment.

For more details, Fanmaster is the leading distributor of the ULV Fogger.

4. Avoid sharing

There’s another type of place where bacteria love to reside: shared items.

For example, dish towels, which are used by multiple people and stored in the communal kitchen, can pick up a large amount of bacteria. This is often due to such items not being cleaned on a regular basis. There is an alternative. Instead of a towel, you could instead use disposable tissue paper, for example.

While there isn’t always a solution to a shared item, try and limit the office’s use of such products.

5. Stop the spread early

If you’re suffering with an illness that can be spread to others, how do you stop it from doing just that? There’s one easy solution: stay at home!

If you feel you’re infected with any form of virus or some other stomach bug, simply remain at home and give it 48 hours after the final symptoms have vanished before you return to work. This is a rule that all of your employees should follow.

By doing this, you can avoid a virus from temporarily wiping out your workforce and slowing down business production.

 

4 Things Small Businesses Need to do to Comply with Employment Laws

Small businesses have it tough. They are up against the corporate giants and it can be harder for them to recruit and retain the right talent. One of the toughest parts of running a small business is ensuring you’re compliant with employment laws. While big companies have HR departments and legal advisors, small businesses must figure things out for themselves. When it comes to hiring employees, here are a few things that small businesses need to make sure they do.

1. Get the right paperwork

When you hire someone, by law, you need to obtain several different types of paperwork. This ensures that the person you’re hiring has the right to live and work in the country and also means you have records for legal purposes. Many small businesses use specialist HR software to store sensitive documents from copies of passports to bank details, so it’s easy to access them if they need to check something or are asked to prove they obtained the right documents.

2. Ensure you follow rules for paid time off and work hours

Small businesses often have employees who work long hours to keep up with deadlines and to finish big projects. While there are no laws about how many hours an employee can work in most states, anything over 40 hours needs to be paid as overtime, and consistent, long working hours are often discouraged, as it can lead to burnout.

There’s no legal requirement to offer paid vacation time, but again, it can be good for employee’s mental health to offer something to them.

Many employers offer a package that includes:

  • 10 paid vacation days a year
  • Parental leave – while you aren’t obliged to offer paid time off to new parents, it can benefit your business to do so
  • Sick leave – this is usually accumulated depending on how long the employee has been with you
  • Paid leave for bereavements and personal days – this is usually just a couple of days off, but it can be very helpful for employees going through a difficult time

Some employers also allow workers to take unpaid leave when they have caring responsibilities and other emergency situations. You should make sure you know the difference between leave that can be taken unpaid, and things you’re legally obliged to pay for.

3. Know the laws around pay

You should also do some research into the laws around minimum wage and ensure that the amount you’re paying your employees doesn’t bring your employee’s hourly rate under the federal minimum wage level of $7.25 per hour.

If you’re in a state that has its own minimum wage laws, then you need to compare state and federal rates, and pay the higher of the two. For example, Colorado has a state minimum wage of $12 an hour.

4. Following OSHA laws

Most private sector businesses, no matter what their size, must comply with OSHA regulations and laws. Violating OSHA standards can lead to a hefty fine, so even if your business is small and low risk, you should pay close attention to the regulations and ensure you aren’t in breach of any of them, otherwise, you could find yourself in legal trouble.

As a small business owner, it’s important to research both state and federal employment laws so you can ensure employees are kept safe and protected, and you aren’t hit with a large fine.

 

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