winter is coming

Winter is coming: is your fleet ready?

Although the sun is still shining, the chilly mornings are starting to creep in. My Fleet Solutions has some support to get your fleet in shape and advice from the Institute of Advance Motoring to prepare your fleet, your drivers and you, for the colder weather that’s nearing us.

It’s important to keep the windscreen clean. Try to get scratches, abrasions and chips fixed as colder temperatures can make the damage worse. Keep the windscreen washer topped up with a more concentrated screen wash mix to ensure it doesn’t freeze in action. And don’t forget your de-icer

Check tyres. The legal limit of a tread depth may be 1.6mm but anything under 3mm will see a potential fall off in grip and braking performance.

But, there’s more… planning for really bad weather, can take a lot of time and thought. At My Fleet Solutions, we understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. That’s why we are introducing a free, one-stop solution to deal with the never-ending list of problems you face: MyService.Expert is a service, maintenance and repair dashboard where you can manage any work, including MOT that needs to be conducted on your vehicles.

MyService.Expert

For a pre-winter check up, why not try it? It just takes three steps to register and it’s completely free to book any of the integrated services included in the system, to help service, maintain and repair your fleet. Once your vehicles details are in place, the user-friendly dashboard allows access to a nationwide garage network with great savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

There is no joining fee, plus you can save a lot of money on tyre replacements too, this winter. Visit MyService.Expert

In the meantime, here are eight essentials for drivers to carry in a vehicle:

winter drivingYou don’t want your drivers stranded in a cold car in the middle of night waiting for the recovery team to get your vehicles up and running again.

Here are some ideas on what to pack.

  1. It’s always best to keep an ice-scraper and can of de-icer in your vehicle as the British weather is so unpredictable, and can be sunny one day and frosty the next.
  2. Carry an empty fuel can with you. Don’t carry a full or partially full one as this is a fire hazard and if it has recently had fuel in it, flammable vapour may still be present.
  3. You never know when you’ll need a first aid kit, so keeping one in the boot of your car is always handy for either yourself, or another road user if you’re first on scene at an accident.
  4. If you’ve broken down on the side of the road, the last thing you want is to be cold and unable to see your way around the dark. That’s why we advise drivers to always keep a torch and set of batteries in their vehicle, along with warm clothes, a blanket and a high visibility jacket. And don’t forget food and drink to stop your energy levels from dropping – bottled water is a must.
  5. The battery on a car can go flat at any time. Make sure your vehicles have a set of jump leads so your driver can start your engine with help from another driver’s vehicle.
  6. Keep a spare pair of sturdy shoes with a good grip. You’ll need these to turn the wheel brace when changing a tyre, or to push your car if you’ve broken down, or even just to change shoes if there’s a sudden weather change.
  7. An item that’s often overlooked is the reflective warning triangle. This gives you extra security for a number of reasons such as breaking down in the dark. Put it out in accordance with the rule from the Highway code 274 which advises to “put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road, or use other permitted warning devices if you have them. Always take great care when placing or retrieving them, but never use them on motorways.”
  8. Last but not least a quick survival kit in the boot. Spare clothes, a torch, mobile phone charger, some emergency rations such as water, chocolate and a tow rope and shovel to help yourself and others.

For further information on driving in winter, and 10% off an Advanced Drivers Course, visit our sister site Drivers Club.

 

Network with 20,000+ entrepreneurs for free

We’re big believers in getting out there and making things happen. So, we wanted to let you know that The 40th edition of The Business Show will be held on the 14th & 15th of November at ExCel London, and the agenda has now gone live! Check out the website and register for your free ticket here.

If you like what you see and you think that your company might benefit from meeting more than 20,000 business owners face to face- why not exhibit?

There are still exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities available, as well as a special discount through My Business Advantage. Just give the Event Director Ryan Treloar a call on 01872 218007 or email him at ryan.treloar@prysmgroup.co.uk

Whether you exhibit or visit you really will be in great company, and we really hope you decide to join the very best of British business at the event. With the likes of Alison Edgar, Paul Uppal, Brad Burton, Kavita Oberoi OBE, Warren Cass, Caprice Bourret, Clarke Carlisle, Rachel Elnaugh and Lauren Pope already there- what are you waiting for?

Get involved by registering for your free ticket here or give Ryan a call about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities on 01872 218007– and remember to mention that you are a member of Advantage Benefits network to claim your exclusive discount.

Don’t forget, there are loads more benefits available to you through My Business Advantage

web chat

Live web chat to your customers any place, any time

The internet has changed the world in many ways, one major transformation includes the way customers interact with organisations. Prior to the internet customers had no options and were willing to wait in long queues, whether it’s over the telephone or in store – but with the rise of technology and the multiple channels available on demand, customers now expect a faster and almost instant response to their queries.

When visitors are increasingly shifting towards online shopping and business transactions on the internet, a live chat feature can help traffic on your website get on the pathway to purchase. A web chat feature not only allows your customer to get in touch with you instantly, but it is a positive impact that can help increase customer satisfaction because they have had an answer straight away.

web chat

Online chat is a dynamic medium used to promote sales and offer information in real time ranging from technical to product to service. It’s a quick and easy way to help manage customer interactions – which is convenient for both, the customer and the business.

To help you understand what web chat can do for you here are 3 benefits to consider:

The “One to Many” relationship

The relationship between a web chat advisor and customers are “one to many” meaning a single advisor can deal with multiple chats at the same time. This eases the workload, reduces the incoming traffic (through all channels) and will reduce the overall interaction cost for your contact centre.

Put the customer in the driving seat

Web chat allows your customer to contact you at their leisure – as it is also available on smartphones this provides flexibility and multimedia options for customers to attach images instantly as opposed to drafting a formal email correspondence.

Boosts online sales

The online chat medium can effectively focus on qualified leads in the form of visitors on the website and convert these leads into sales.

At My Business Advantage, we work with Chat Heroes. Their UK-based team provide a manned webchat service for your business that becomes a seamless extension of your customer service team on your website whether your business is open or closed’.

They’re the leading UK base provider with a nil tie-in contract service; fair pricing ‘bands of chats’ model (with a 20% discount of chats), and above all customer service orientated web chat of the highest standard. Not only that, but through your advantage benefits you get access to a free 45 day trial.
So what are you waiting for?

Visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk today!

Air filter allergy

Filter your allergy response

Sniffing? Sneezing? Coughing? We’re not quite into flu season but if your drivers are suffering with these symptoms, maybe it’s an allergy? It could be ‘air filter flu’ and your drivers could be struck down with allergies into the winter if you don’t get your fleets’ cabin air filters checked.

Air filter

The risk of breathing in allergens trapped in air filters is higher this year due to last year’s mild winter, followed by a record-breaking summer with the Met Office reporting a 12-year high pollen count. Millions of people were left unable to work due to allergies and UK businesses lost almost five days per hay fever stricken employee, according to Allergy UK.

Cabin air filters clean the air coming into your vehicle, remove allergens and help trap airborne particles like pollen, dust and bacteria. NHS England advises all drivers should buy a pollen filter for the air vents.

However, over time these filters can become blocked if left unchecked and with several ‘pollen bombs’ hitting the UK over the summer, vans could now be harbouring harmful allergens.

Infographic: what allergies do

Cabin filters consist of two layers, one which pre-filters large dust and soot particles while the second removes many fungus spores and pollen that over time can harm people’s lungs.

In addition to reducing pollen levels in the cabin, an activated charcoal micro filter layer reduces odours and absorbs gaseous pollutants, and at the same time, the filter helps ensure better visibility by reducing fogged windows.

While the traditional hay fever season runs from late March to early September, after a record year for pollen, it’s advisable to get focus your maintenance schedule on getting those filters checked.

A filter change is easy, quick and inexpensive; however, downtime can affect drivetime, which will be a problem for your fleet. Let My Fleet Solutions support you to get this job done more efficiently. We offer the very best for fleets when it comes to vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs, on all makes and models. My Fleet Solutions can take the sting out of automotive costs, with 60% typically saved on SMR compared to franchise dealers. The costings are transparent, based upon thorough working knowledge and up-to-date automotive data, plus all genuine parts and repairs are protected under warranty.

Visit www.myfleetsolutions.co.uk and book a cabin air filter service.

Online Reputation

Let your reputation shine

Brand reputation management is critical to growing a business. A positive brand reputation builds loyalty and increases customer confidence in your brand and product, ultimately driving sales and bottom-line growth. But, are you aware of the online conversations people are having about your business? If you’re not, your potential customers are certainly aware of everything about you. How do you deal with what people are saying about your brand? You don’t. You manage it.

Online Reputation

Online reputation management (ORM) is all about being aware of the public conversations that people are having about your company online and managing your business profile by engaging with both praise and criticism for you via social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and review channels (Yell, TripAdvisor, etc). The goal is for those seeking you out online to be met with an overall positive sentiment from those who have worked with you in the past.

Reviews and social comments from previous customers can play a crucial part in winning more business. 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Source: BrightLocal, 2017); so the practice of getting involved with what people are saying about you can be incredibly valuable.

That’s why, at My Business Advantage, we’ve partnered with Yell,com. They’re offering a free personalised report pinpointing exactly where your online ratings and reviews are, and what reviewers are saying about your business.

Run your free scan today and find out how Yell’s Reputation Manager service can help you effectively manage and grow your online reputation.

And, that’s not all…

The online reputation tool can help you:

Check, update and publish your business details across hundreds of relevant websites

Stand out on Yell.com with a reputation-enhancing profile page

Get set-up and promote your business on key social media networks from a single dashboard

A business that regularly generates and responds to reviews is far more likely to be trusted and chosen by prospective customers. Reputation Manager provides all the tools you need to take control of and promote your online reputation.

To access the Reputation Manager benefit visit www.mybusinessadvantage.com

Tyres in autumn

Inflate your fleet

It’s leaf falling season, so the roads can be full of hidden surprises – namely pot holes! The tarmac becomes a slippery surface of decaying leaves when you add in the wind and rain factor. Make sure the wheels keep on turning with your fleet this autumn.

Correct tyre pressure is not only vital for your safety on the road, it’s also the best way to maximise fuel economy.

We rely on our tyres to keep us safe on journeys. After all, they provide the only contact between the car we’re driving and the road surface. In an extreme situation, correctly inflated tyres with good levels of tread will allow all the other safety systems on a car to work at their most effective.

Tyres

Inadequate tread or incorrect pressure mean one thing: the safety systems on your vehicle will not work as efficiently. That’s why regular checks on tyre inflation and tread depth are so important.

There are severe penalties if you use worn or defective tyres. Each bald or defective tyre carries a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points.

Under-inflated tyres reduce your vehicle’s ability to grip the road, and also compromise handling. This can result in unpredictable vehicle behaviour, and increases the risk of a tyre blowout, where sudden rapid deflation occurs.

Over-inflated tyres have a smaller contact area with the road, leading to increased stopping distance and reduced grip. There’s likely to be a lot more wear across the central part of the tyre, leading to a shorter lifespan.

In line with advice in this year’s Tyre Safety Month, your drivers should check the tyre pressure once a month, every month, as well as before any long journey. By doing so, they’ll be giving all the safety systems on tbe vehicles the best chance of working to their maximum potential, they’ll help ensure your tyres last longer and you’ll be ensuring your running costs don’t increase unnecessarily.

After all, properly inflated tyres require less energy than under-inflated tyres to make them turn, so your vehicle will use less fuel.

At My Fleet Solutions, we understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. That’s why we are introducing a free, one-stop solution to deal with the never-ending list of problems you face: MyService.Expert is a service, maintenance and repair dashboard where you can manage any work, including MOT that needs to be conducted on your vehicles.

MyService.Expert

It just takes three steps to register and it’s completely free to book any of the integrated services included in the system, to help service, maintain and repair your fleet. The user friendly dashboard allows access to a nationwide garage network with great savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs.

There is no joining fee, plus you can save a lot of money on tyre replacements too, this autumn.

Visit MyService.Expert

Yell.com

Build your business online for free

Are you looking to improve and expand your business? Then book your free ticket for The Business Show, coming to London Excel between Wednesday, 14th November and Thursday, 15th November.

Business Show Logo

My Business Advantage is proud to annouce, Yell.com is the leading sponsor of The Business Show event; and. as part of Yell.com’s Digital Pledge to help small businesses build their online prescence, they’ve launched a free website builder.

Build a website

There are professionally-designed templates tailored to your particular type of business, so from beauticians to electricians, there’s a perfect template for you, making it easier to get started.

Free website builder

Not only will your website be fully responsive (meaning it’ll look good on all devices, from laptop to mobile), Building a website with Yell.com provides your web address with a secure and certified https, which search engines, like Google, love, And, you can do all this without needing to understand coding, just use the ‘Drag & Drop Editor’. You’ll also get a unique domain name with matching email address and a marketing toolkit to help your business get noticed – all for free!

Already have a website?

Yell free website checker

Get a free website report to find out how well your current site is optimised for search engines, mobile compatibilty and security. As well as scoring your social media presence, online reputation and business listings accuracy. Trust Yell.com to get your business moving, they have been voted number one by leading global market research company, M-Brain Group, as number one in terms of revenue from sales of managed digital marketing services,

Choose a website template now, and start building your new business website, or get your free website report today!

Trade your spare capacity to make more cash?

What is spare capacity? Every business has it. Spare capacity is untapped potential in a company. It could be unsold tickets, empty restaurant chairs, unbooked hotel rooms, empty advertising space… whatever it is, that your business creates, spare capacity represents lost revenue and lost time that you will never have the chance to earn back.

Trade Spare Capacity

At My Business Advantage, we can turn that negative into a positive and create a new revenue stream and monetise your spare capacity with our Trade Spare Capacity benefit.

We have partnered with BBX, a trade exchange platform that doesn’t replace your cash business but gives you additional revenue by leveraging your spare capacity for new business opportunities.

As part of your Trade Spare Capacity benefit, the team at BBX have agreed to find you your first new customer, with a sales value of up to £1,000, with no fees attached. You’ll then be able to spend that balance across the BBX network without ever having to open an ongoing BBX account.

If you take on a BBX account you’ll get a free booster account, saving you £347, and have an instant, interest free, credit line of £1,000; meaning there’s an immediate cashflow benefit to your business. If you choose to upgrade your account then, among other perks, you could have a credit line of up to £100k. You purchase the services or products you need through the BBX network, then you balance your BBX account by trading your spare capacity.

Trade Spare Capacity

Sound too good to be true? Well that’s not all. As a vibrant business community BBX also hold networking events for you to attend and assigns you a dedicated account manager to facilitate your activity in the community – another pair of hands for your business! As there is no cost to this offer it’s a great way to experience the BBX community first hand.

So that’s new customers, that you don’t have to find, and spare capacity utilised – what have you got to lose?

Visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

van theft

The right tools for the job

Tool and van theft costs owner drivers and businesses millions of pounds each year. Even in this digitally driven age, the robbers are trying to get the upper hand by harnessing digital theft techniques to overcome existing vehicle security technology, such as immobilisers and keyless entry systems.

Don’t become a victim of tool or van theft. Get the right tools to protect your fleet, from My Fleet Solution with FCS Insurance Solutions and Tele-Gence vehicle tracking.

Not convinced, you need the expense of protecting your fleet? In a recent study, conducted by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, tool theft from vans has soared by 15% in the last three years. Police forces across the UK have recorded more than 64,000 cases of theft from commercial vehicles since April 2015 with a record 23,859 incidents in 2017/18.

Reinforcing this concern are figures issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), some 89,000 vehicles were stolen in England and Wales last year – up by 56% from 57,000 in 2016. Included in these 2017 figures is information about recovery of commercial vehicles, with 82% of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) being stolen without the owner’s keys –  up by nearly 100% compared to 2016 (44%).

The cost of tool theft to businesses is more than just replacement equipment, downtime costs companies an estimated £550 a day per van. And this cost goes up, if not having a van destroys your reputation with your customers.

van theft

Protect your fleet from theft

The first step to protecting your vehicles is to think about where you park it. Parking in a well-lit area or in a car park with CCTV will reduce unwanted attention. Where this cannot be achieved, park your vehicles defensively – in other words, where doors are blocked by another vehicle or object – can be a good deterrent.

The services from My Fleet Solutions can really protect your vehicle. For instance, FCS Insurance Solutions has a policy-matching service with business specific needs, alongside industry risk exposure knowledge to get the right policy to cover your fleet from the start.

FCS Insurance Solutions is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). It introduces quotes for all probabilities: Mixed Fleet Insurance, HGV Dedicated Insurance, Employer’s Liability Insurance, Product and Public Liability Insurance and Goods In Transit Insurance.

Fleet managers can go further, and protect vehicles from thieves with Tele-Gence. A device so small, and easy to hide, it cannot be tampered with. Tele-Gence‘s fleet tracking management solutions gives you around the clock control of the whereabouts of your assets; and, lets you monitor driver behaviour, helping to reduce accidents, vehicle maintenance costs and fuel consumption. By tracking the movements and fuel consumption of your vehicles, this is not ‘big brother’, but offers ‘big benefits’ taking away the struggles and worries associated with running a fleet while improving customer satisfaction with your delivery and saving you time and money.

For a quote tailored to your business needs or commercial vehicle requirements visit FCS Insurance Solutions. For an instant, free vehicle tracking quote visit Tele-Gence.

 

online business directory

Get a free business profile on Yell.com

Making connections and ensuring you can reach all your customers that need your service is quite simple these days. However, simply creating a social media presence and putting the word out, is not just all you have to do. Consider the traditional route of a business directory. Listing your company on an online business directory is one of the most efficient ways to promote your business on the web.

Online directories are a great place for a business to start online, especially small businesses that do not have an extended budget.

Just imagine, reaching a client that would never have found you if they hadn’t spotted you on the online business directory?

With a free listing on Yell.com you can join the 2.7 million businesses currently listed – making it the UK’s leading online business directory.

An online business directory can be accessed by nearly anyone, anywhere; from home, work, school, even a mobile phone. Consumers use online search directories when researching products or services. Getting your business listed on an online directory can help you rank higher on search engine results, which can mean more traffic. Local business directories have always been one of the main channels for customers to search for products and services they are interested in. They also trust the reviews.

With My Business Advantage, you can join the UK’s most popular online business directory for free. Not only that but 84% of Yell customers say the listing helps their business to be found on Google, so you’ve got more chance of being found there as well. You can enhance your free profile with photographs, contact details, opening times, customer reviews and more.

So why not get noticed, by 11 million monthly viewers, and get your free profile today using the Free Yell.com Listings benefit at www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk