Storm damage

Storm protect your home against damage

Storms often blow during March – the UK has already experienced Gareth and Hannah– they may have been whimpers but are you ready for the one that could hit your home?

We insure our home or our portfolio of properties to make us secure, never really contemplating the reality of anything happening. However, the impact of a property being damaged by fire or flood or storm or an unforeseen event, is immense. The real stress of damage to your home can set in after the catastrophic event: how will you cope with the disruption and inconvenience? Where will you live? And, if you’re a landlord, how do you uphold your duty of care to your tenants? How will you deal with the anxiety of liaising with the claim, loss adjusters and tradespeople?

It all adds pressure. Pressure you don’t need. We have found a partner Aspray Ltd, that you can turn to for expert guidance and support on property damage insurance claims.

Aspray can manage your claim from inception to completion by dealing with your insurer, or appointed loss adjuster, directly to negotiate a settlement. Once works are agreed, Aspray will project manage vetted contractors to complete the reinstatement works, all the while, putting the policyholder first. Giving you further peace of mind: Aspray is a member of the British Damage Management Association (BDMA).

Storm damage tree

How a storm claim works

• Arrange a site visit usually within 24 hours of your call.
• Prepare and present a detailed schedule of works for your insurer.
• Liaise directly with your insurance company and loss adjuster, if necessary.
• Oversee a team of vetted tradespeople.
• Aim to repair and restore your property as swiftly as possible
• Negotiate any business interruption settlement for home workers and business owners.
• Help arrange alternative accommodation, where required
• Project manage the claim and stay in close contact with you throughout. The work is only complete when you are satisfied with the repair.

Money off your excess:

Best of all, there is no charge to you for the service if Aspray appoint and project manage the contractors as they are paid directly by your insurers. Please note any policy excess stated within your policy will of course still apply.

Exclusive offer

A £100 voucher towards your excess upon completion. Terms and conditions apply.

Visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk or call 0800 077 6705 

driver

How to make sure your drivers are fully driver compliant

Driver compliance is critical for any industry. Hiring good drivers is clearly a critical task for your organisation, so how do you go about that?

Transport managers may play a key role here. Many will have been drivers themselves before moving into a managerial role. If that is not the case in your organisation then it may be a good idea to ask one of your trusted drivers to sit in on the interviews. Adding that extra layer of practical knowledge to the process can only result in better hires.

Adding a second interview to the recruitment process can be invaluable. Make this a practical examination, ensuring that the driver understands the vehicle they will be operating. A driving test showing that they can operate the vehicle efficiently will provide additional insightm, as will testing to confirm that they know how to attach air lines, hook a trailer including doubles and triples and a converter dolly, for example.

Driver CPC checks

You will want to run a Certificate of Professional Competence check as soon as possible on any potential new driver. Passing four tests means they will have this certificate.

The driver should be willing to enable a potential employer to view their record. The CPC qualification lasts for five years, but drivers must undertake 35 hours of training over this period prior to the deadline. A fine of up to £1,000 can apply if the certificate is out of date.

Wider checks

In addition to CPC and appropriate driver licensing, some sectors may require a police DBS check and, in all cases, the right to work in the UK must be confirmed.

In-role compliance

Driver seat belt

It is common practice in larger fleets for newly employed drivers to be checked by experienced staff or transport managers. This may involve spot checks, carried out by accompanying the new employee on part of a run or observing pre-journey checks. An additional check after a few weeks of employment may include the transport manager following the driver on part of their route. Clearly, this must be a spot check and the driver should not be informed of this prior to the journey.

At the end of the first three months of employment, it may be advisable to carry out a feedback interview with the driver, from which both sides may benefit.

Most transport managers are aware of the importance of compliance. There are legal requirements and the issue of safety. Failures in driver compliance are simply too great a risk to take. With digital tachographs, the driving record of any vehicle is strictly monitored. All commercial vehicles registered after 1 May 2006 must be fitted with a digital device, although vehicles registered prior to that date can still use an analogue system. It is unlikely that the latter will apply to fleet vehicles in 2019 as they will almost invariably have been replaced.

Issues such as driver breaks are monitored to the second and the consequences of any breach can be severe, with drivers flouting the rules and keeping poor records running the risk of losing their licence with an adverse effect on the firm as a whole.

It is vital that drivers are adhering to the highest standards of safety and compliance. An efficient fleet is heavily dependent on driver education, responsibility for which almost invariably falls to the transport manager.

Protect your driver’s compliance

MyInsurance.Expert can source fleet insurance quotes for free, no obligation. Our experts can negotiate significant discounts and introduce dedicated quotes for all vehicle cover probabilities. These include mixed fleet insurance, HGV specialised insurance, employer’s liability insurance, product and public liability insurance and goods in transit. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713) authorises and regulates this service.

it is part of My Fleet Solutions, a range of fleet services that are free to access upon registration.. This one-stop portal has a line-up of integrated, automated services such as vehicle service reminders,

Start by registering for free at MyInsurance.Expert

Happy with your photocopier

Scanning the markets for the best photocopier

Think of an office: desks, chairs … there is always a photocopier. Even in this digital age of ‘paperless’ tasks. It’s the focal point of the office, where staff congregate to gossip and have a quick break, while they grab a freshly, printed document.

Why would you even consider not having a photocopier? Is it because of the maintenance costs? The cartridges, more if you choose the colour option or paper jams…? It’s no good cursing the costs, this is a complex machine delivering your company’s messages in seconds.

Talk to the photocopier specialists

My Business Advantage can negotiate better terms, whether you wish to hire or buy a photocopier. Think of us as your outsourced procurement team. We can source the best price to suit your budget, from the hundreds of suppliers across the UK, saving you the hassle and time too. This service is 100% free and there is no obligation.

Simply register your details to become a member and the process is simple. After a few comprehensive questions, just to clarify your photocopier requirements, we will get the best candidates in front of you. They will then compete and bid for your business. Isn’t that great?

More importantly, to help you make the right choice, we provide you with a handy buyer’s guide. This guide details everything from photocopier prices to the types that are available and how to get the best from them. Whether it’s an A3 copier, digital copier with duplexing or a multifunction printer, using the guide will give you a much clearer idea of what you want from your device.

Let us help you scan the landscape of photocopier suppliers, visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

VOR support: fleet manager giving the thumbs up out of the window of a red car

VOR solutions to minimise downtime off the road

VOR (vehicle off the road) management is a significant headache to stay on top of for fleet managers of any sized operation. We explore some proactive approaches to reducing this stress.

According to a recent survey, some firms believe VOR can cost them between £3,000 to £4,000 per day. Moreover, that’s not just one vehicle; some are registering an average of three VOR days per year.

Robust routine checks to mitigate VOR

VOR woman in overalls checking van oil

The number one piece of advice we would give any operator is to ensure your drivers carry out pre-use checks. Faulty equipment is the cause of most vehicle breakdowns. It is easy to make it a process for your drivers to identify and report any benign issues before they worsen and begin to interfere with the performance of the vehicle.

Our MyDriveSafe app makes this process even easier. It has a comprehensive range of checklists, covering almost all vehicles and compliance with constantly-updated safety standards – all from a smartphone app that’s free to download. It then gives managers the ability to track these checks easily and from anywhere.

Your driving style could exacerbate VOR

VOR gear shifting

Your employees are experienced and proficient drivers, but their style of driving may be contributing to the wear and tear of your vehicle.

Tele-Gence is a telematic device that can record and redress your driver’s habits, as well as track your vehicles and gives full access to fuel data – it can improve your fleet’s MPG by up to 20%. Its range of user-friendly services is fully customisable with bespoke options scalable to your specific needs, frictionless access from anywhere in the Cloud, and support from a UK-based customer service team.

Planned VOR with scheduled maintenance and servicing

VOR mechanics in garage doing a service

Regular preventative maintenance and servicing are essential to keep your vehicles in good nick. It also ‘engineers out’ potential causes of VOR downtime.

MyService.Expert gives drivers and managers easy access to a nationwide garage network offering competitive savings on vehicle servicing, maintenance, repairs, and MOTs. It’s pay-as-you-go, accessible from anywhere, and already saving fleets of all sizes up to 30% on parts and labour. In addition, fleets and drivers can save on a wide range of other repairs. Moreover, all discounts are pre-negotiated rates to ensure smoother, faster transactions.

How to manage an unplanned VOR downtime

Accidents do happen, no matter how confident and well-trained your drivers are on the road. These occurrences are the most disruptive to vehicle availability. Delays and hold-ups at dealers and repair agents are common.

We offer an insurance claim management service. Simply register your vehicles for free. If an accident occurs, the professionals will step in to claim and manage the insurance process and recover losses.

The experts will handle the first notification of loss (FNOL), to ensure accurate insurance claims reporting. And distressed drivers can access a ready-to-respond accredited helpdesk for support. Also, a network of courtesy cars to keep your vehicles moving. Expertise to inspect, instruct and approve nominated or independent repairers.

One online portal for fleet managers

You can combine and access each service mentioned above through one online portal. My Fleet Hub is available to connect on any device. Whether you run one van or a dozen lorries, My Fleet Hub gives you 24/7 access to an indispensable line-up of integrated services developed to make each vehicle simpler, safer, and far more cost-effective to manage and use.

Visit www.fleethub.co.uk or call 0333 130 8845

benefits of working

Benefits that may impact your fleet vehicle choice

Benefits normally impact your choice of fleet cars in a good way. Not anymore. The HMRC’s about-turn on salary sacrifice driver benefits is forcing fleet owners to look long and hard at their next purchases.

Originally, firms were told that items such as insurance, breakdown cover, tyres and maintenance would not be included when the new tax regime for Optional Remuneration Arrangements OpRA) went live.

Business owners were surprised to hear from the authorities that there had been an oversight and that the associated tax revenue should have been accounted for in the legislation presented to Parliament.

It now seems that the consultation process has concluded. Adjustments have been made upon last year’s identified errors and the OpRA scheme comes into effect in April 2019. The change is significant, as tax charges of up to £200 per year will hit employees. Employers will see a significant rise in the Class 1A National Insurance contributions they are due to pay.

Grandfathering OpRA

Each employee will need to look at whether they would be better off buying a vehicle themselves either from their salary or through a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP). There is concern over drivers who took out salary sacrifice schemes from April 2017, following the announcement in November the previous year, that such schemes will be treated in the same way as cash income.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) claims that those employees who opted for the arrangements in good faith after April 2017 are being adversely affected and that the changes should only apply to contracts entered into after 6 July 2018 when the changes became clear. The theory is that employees were unaware of any changes to OpRA rules when they signed their contracts. The Government appears to be taking a strong position on the issue and has made it clear that it does not believe a grandfathering scheme is appropriate.

Wider reaction

Fleet Industry representatives have been successful in ensuring that ultra-low emission vehicles gained an exemption from the new OpRA rules. This could affect firms’ selection of fleet vehicles. Many businesses could close salary sacrifice schemes to new entrants. The reason being that the new rules increase administration costs and significantly reduce the benefits available.

There are also concerns that the Government is moving the goalposts. By not allowing firms and employees to plan-ahead with their schemes and eroding the benefits. Significantly, the proposal to remove the apportionment of maintenance costs is a major stumbling block.

The next tax year, after taking into account the salary sacrificed, the benefit figure will almost equal the salary reduction calculation. Fleet managers will need to provide transparency for employees in this context.

Meanwhile, HMRC has provided a calculator on its website, categorising cars in terms of emissions and their impact on employees. It also provides information on the new rules for Vehicle Excise Duty or Road Tax.

A final issue is significant rises in insurance premium tax and their impact on the bottom line. It will take a careful balancing act to ensure obligations are correct and keep costs to a minimum. Taking insurance premiums into account up front is key to this process.

Benefits of talking to experts

MyInsurance.Expert can source fleet insurance quotes for free, no obligation. Our experts can negotiate significant discounts and introduce dedicated quotes for all vehicle cover probabilities. These include mixed fleet insurance, HGV specialised insurance, employer’s liability insurance, product and public liability insurance and goods in transit. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713) authorises and regulates this service.

It is part of My Fleet Solutions, a range of fleet services that are free to access. Once the details of your vehicle are in place access them on a dashboard through My Fleet Hub.

This one-stop portal has a line-up of integrated, automated services such as vehicle service reminders,

Start by registering for free at MyInsurance.Expert

HR Brexit chess pieces

HR needs to get their workforce ready for Brexit

HR: If your organisation currently employs European Union nationals, then you need to act now. Before the United Kingdom leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 at 11pm.

Despite the uncertainties of Brexit, it is certainly not time for any HR team to not take any action.

There are currently three million EU nationals working in the UK, and if some of them are in your workforce then for them to continue working legally, they will need to identify their residency and right to work online to immigration under the following scheme of pre-settled or settled status.

To clarify, pre-settled applies to those who have lived and worked for five years or less in the UK and settled means they have lived and worked in the UK for more than five years.

All applicants will need proof of identity and residence in the UK. For ID purposes they’ll need a national passport with a biometric chip. People will also need their National Insurance number. They will receive a unique code number which HR will need to use when verifying that worker’s status on the Government Gateway.

This settlement scheme is currently in a test phase. The application process begins in earnest from 30 March 2019. Lord explained there are different deadlines as to how soon action needs to happen depending on how the Brexit negotiations conclude.

HR guide to timeline deadlines

If we leave following the withdrawal agreement of 2018, then there is a transition period of free movement for your EU workers, and even new starters up to 31 December 2020, to apply for the pre-settled or settled scheme, with a closing deadline for application of 30 June 2021.

However, if we leave the EU with no-deal, the freedom of movement automatically stops on 30 March 2019. If this scenario is the case, then any current EU nationals can only apply for settled or pre-settled status if they’ve been resident in the UK before the 29 of March 2019, and they have until 31 December 2020 to apply.

HR right to work checks

Right to work checks will change for HR post-Brexit. An EU ID card will no longer be valid. Foreign nationals will need to carry a biometric passport and apply for a visa. HR needs to be aware of what right to work documentation is correct. The home office has a checklist to support this process.
Under the government’s immigration proposals, there will be two new schemes the EU settlement scheme and the new European Leave To Remain (ELTR).

If we leave Brexit with the withdrawal agreement, UK employers can continue to accept EU passports and EU ID cards until 31 December 2020, and then the ELTR as a full scheme will come into force.

However, ELTR will come in sooner, if there is a no-deal Brexit. After 29 March 2019, EU nationals who are not residents can work visa-free for no longer than three months. They will then need to make a fee-based application for ELTR. It is valid for 36 months and cannot switch to the EU settlement scheme afterwards.

From a workforce planning perspective, if you’re looking to employ EU Nationals in the future, after 2020 – or in the case of a no-deal Brexit from 30 March 2019 – there will be a cost. A sponsorship licence currently costs £536 and allows employers to hire foreign nationals.

Getting the right visa

To work in the UK there is the general worker visa (tier 2) five years or more or the temporary worker visa (tier 5) for 12 months. Post-Brexit, requirements to obtain a tier 2 visa are that the employee has a graduate level degree and the offered salary is above £30,000.

From a mental health perspective, look after your workers, it’s an incredibly stressful time. For EU nationals, make sure they have the right level of guidance and support when applying for the immigration scheme or visas. Moreover, if you have offices in the EU, you will need to find out how UK workers will be treated in that country post-Brexit too.

During this current transition period, it is also an excellent time to review your equality and diversity policies to ensure compliance and scope out the risks. Also, it is vital to update any contracts with workforce agency suppliers.

My Business Advantage has all the documents you will need to keep you, your staff, and your business covered. You can access to instant documents all written by HR professionals. My Business Advantage members get a 50% discount saving you up to £75 off the retail price – but the savings compared to falling foul of Immigration regulations, could be thousands.

Visit HR documents benefit at My Business Advantage 

Currency transfer with pound on union jack flag

Currency transfers: is Brexit impacting international deals?

Currency transfers at the moment: how are you protecting your business from possible negative exchange rate movements?

The pound’s roller-coaster ride in the run-up to Brexit continues, with sterling hit by political uncertainty and concerns over whether to vote a deal through.

Although, this week, the pound surged higher on Tuesday (February 26) reports Pound Sterling Live, after prime minister Theresa May said for the first time that Brexit could be delayed. Giving MPs the chance to vote on “a short, limited extension to Article 50”.

Sterling pound coin on top of a euro pound note

Currency transfers: Are you looking for the best exchange rates? 

My Business Advantage’s partnership with Halo Financial means you are at least 5% better off compared to High Street.

If your business is trading overseas or making international payments then you’ll be aware of how uncompetitive exchange rates are. In addition, the risks of fluctuating currency markets can have a direct impact on your company’s profitability.

A reduced rate of exchange can often mean the difference between success and failure, profit or loss. Additionally, far too many people buying or selling an overseas currency can be a bewildering and time-consuming business.

Currency transfers in safe hands

That’s why My Business Advantage has partnered with Halo Financial. They’re currency experts who provide exclusive rates. Moreover, they create currency strategies to mitigate the risk posed by volatile currency markets.

In addition, with the political and economic outlook uncertain, it has never been more critical to manage currency risk and protect profits. Never underestimate the amount of savings a robust strategy and careful planning can create.

With the right currency management, the potential savings for your business are significant.

It is difficult to manage all this effectively by staying on top of the currency markets and how they affect your transactions while running a business or finance department at the same time.

This concern is where expert support in navigating these currency markets can prove invaluable in protecting your profitability.

Here’s an example of the type of value you can expect to receive from Halo Financial:

Buying… Halo Financial (through Advantage) Typical high street bank
£10,000 worth of Euro €10,822 €11,388
£100,000 worth of Euro €108,220 €113,880

*The exchange rate shown is an indicative rate and should be used as a guide only. As exchange rates fluctuate by the second we recommend you contact Halo Financial to obtain an accurate quote. In conclusion, this is how much you could save compared to a High Street bank.

Visit My Business Advantage to find out more about the Foreign Exchange benefit 

Air pollution: man grasping throat choking with urban background

Air quality policies and how they affect your fleet insurance

Air quality is a topic that seems to be rarely out of the news. This is perhaps unsurprising as according to government figures, air pollution has the fourth biggest impact on the nation’s health.

While environment policies focusing on reducing CO2 emissions have had a huge impact, attention has now shifted towards nitrogen oxide. Importantly, the effect of this type of pollution is felt at a local level – often at roadsides.

Given that it has such a notable impact on public health, moves to tackle air pollution are of course very welcome. In fact, a number of air quality regulations are coming into force over the next few years.

Unprecedented policy levels

These environmental regulations are having a significant effect on fleet operators and mean they will need to contend with a variety of rules. Naturally, the influx of so many at once is causing some confusion. So, what exactly do they all mean?

The Government’s clean air strategy will see the introduction of an ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’ (ULEZ) in central London. From 8th April 2019, cars and vans that don’t meet the standard will have to pay an additional £12.50 on top of the congestion charge. HGVs that are pre-Euro 6 will have to pay £100 a day.

Clean Air Zones are also due to be introduced in cities including Leeds, Southampton and Birmingham by the end of 2019. There are also plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. In addition, there are EU 2020 Climate and Energy Package requirements on cutting emissions to adhere to.

Air pollution lady walking over busy bridge holding her nose

What it all means for the fleet industry

This perfect storm of legislation has ramifications for fleet operators. There is a feeling amongst many that the fast pace of change is making it hard to plan ahead and know where to invest in terms of replacing and upgrading vehicles. Some have also expressed concern about different rules being introduced in different parts of the UK.

There is also a feeling that road transport, in particular, is being unfairly targeted with emissions targets. It is certainly true that there are a variety of cost implications for operators when it comes to meeting air quality regulations.

Air policy implications on insurance

Something that is often overlooked when it comes to the costs associated with meeting air pollution targets is insurance. There has been a lot of focus on added costs in terms of upgrading vehicles, additional charges for travelling in clean air zones and fines if targets are not met, but the impact of higher insurance costs have been largely ignored.

Whichever way operators comply with new environmental policies, there will be a knock-on effect on insurance premiums. For example, to upgrade a fleet so that all vehicles meet Euro 6 standards will cost more to insure.

Similarly, if operators invest in electric vehicles, these will likely attract a higher insurance premium. The electric vehicle market is still in relative infancy and, as such, electric vehicles tend to be costlier to buy and repair, which again will drive up insurance premiums. Issues even extend to areas such as planning longer routes to avoid clean air zones. More mileage equals higher premiums.

Weighing up key considerations

Everyone wants and would benefit from, cleaner air. Yet to meet the air quality regulations currently coming into force, there is a wide range of issues that need to be considered.

It will take a careful balancing act to ensure that operators can meet their obligations while also keeping costs to a minimum. Taking insurance premiums into account up front is key to this process.

MyInsurance.Expert can source fleet insurance quotes for free, no obligation. Our experts can negotiate significant discounts and introduce dedicated quotes for all vehicle cover probabilities. These include mixed fleet insurance, HGV specialised insurance, employer’s liability insurance, product and public liability insurance and goods in transit. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713) authorises and regulates this service.

It is part of My Fleet Solutions, a range of fleet services that are free to access. Once the details of your vehicle are in place, you will be able to access them on a dashboard through My Fleet Hub.

This one-stop portal has a line-up of integrated, automated services such as vehicle service reminders,

Start by registering for free at MyInsurance.Expert

Brexit negotiations: the hands on a table of two business people with Union Jack flag on the left and EU flag on the right

Brexit ‘frustration’: keep calm and carry on

Brexit uncertainty is creating concern for many organisations (big and small) about the future of their business. Do they fight, flight or carry on?

Of course, there is still much uncertainty around what exactly will happen on or after 29 March. One example this week concerned The European Medicines Agency. The Guardian reports it lost a high court battle to cancel its £500m long-term office lease in London to move to Amsterdam.

It had argued that the lease on its Canary Wharf HQ had been “frustrated” by Britain’s impending departure from the EU. A legal term meaning that owing to an unforeseen event, the basis on which the contract was signed had changed, making it impossible to fulfil.

However, it seems ‘good news’ for small business owners, according to Hitachi Capital Business Finance, who conducted a Brexit Resilience survey. The outlook and confidence results showed more than two in three (68%) small business owners have put plans in place to grow their business – and even 59% that fear they will struggle to survive in an uncertain year are working on concrete plans to turn their business around.

The findings come at a time when the proportion of UK small businesses predicting growth has hit a five-year low (down from 39% to 34%). The Hitachi data reveals a tenacity and determination among the UK small business community to keep calm and carry on. Despite the unprecedented period of political and economic change for the country at large.

So, despite this “frustrating” times, there is plenty that your organisation can do now to prepare for the inevitable.

Brexit-proof your contracts

Brexit and trade models of a Union Jack lorry and an EU lorry with a road block in the middle

Start by evaluating your company’s place within a supply or value chain. Consider whether any parts of the value chain could be affected by certain aspects of Brexit, whichever path it takes.

“This includes knowing your supplier’s suppliers and your customers’ more extensive commercial links. Anticipate any adverse effects reverberating upstream or downstream. This consideration extends towards intellectual property protections. If the owner of any hardware, software or data-holding cloud storage derives from the EU, check how the business relationship will change.

You should also assess the repercussions of deal or no deal scenarios for any EU nationals you employ. There are no clear guidelines for human resources at the moment, it is always wise to keep an eye on how the process is changing.

The next step is to insert Brexit clauses into your contracts. Making reference to ‘material adverse change’. Spell out how pricing terms may need to be renegotiated, depending on how hard or disorderly the UK’s exit from the EU turns out to be.

Time to plan

There is still time to fortify and prepare your business. However, if you need advice, at My Business Advantage, we offer comprehensive legal support packages.

Doing nothing shouldn’t be the default. If you have any questions about the potential repercussions of Brexit, call a legal expert. They can give15 minutes free of their time.

Focus on your company’s strong points. Whatever happens now, during or after, remember to keep calm. Remind yourself what your company is good at. Ensure you keep doing it in the future, regardless of the Brexit outcome. The fundamentals of the business aren’t going to change. Stay focused on who your customers are and how you can meet their needs.

As we hurtle towards Brexit, My Business Advantage’s legal support benefit will be there for you.

Legislation Blue shirted lady in a warehouse surrounded by box looking at the computer screen

Legislation changes to affect insurance policies

This year is shaping up to be quite an intense one for fleet owners from a legislative perspective. Here is our guide to the significant policy changes and legislation you should be aware of, and how it could affect the choice of insurance for your fleet.

Legislation clean air strategies

Legislation for a clean air strategy

On Monday 8 April 2019, central London will become the first ever ULEZ (Ultra-Low-Emission Zone). Vehicles driving through the currently designated Congestion Zone will now have to meet the newest emissions standards or face paying an additional fee.

Petrol vans and cars which do not meet the Euro 4 emissions standards, and types of diesel which do not meet the Euro 6, will pay a £12.50 daily fee, on top of the current Congestion Charge fees. Pre-Euro VI HGVs must pay a higher price of £100 per day.

The ULEZ fees will take the place of the T-charge of £10 a day, which was introduced in October 2017. It is expected that entry charges will impact van fleets, so van operators must keep up-to-date with these legislative changes.

In 2017, the Air Quality Plan ordered 29 local authorities across England to introduce new legislation which would combat air pollution. With London already pushing ahead, cities such as Birmingham, Southampton, Derby, Leeds and Nottingham are required to introduce Clean Air Zones by the end of 2019. The remaining 23 regions must have plans ready at the end of 2019.

Also, the measures will include higher charges for the worst polluting vehicles, in a similar way to London’s ULEZ. However, the Government has clarified that charges will be introduced as a last resort.

In addition to selecting low emissions vehicles for your fleet, ensure that you use an insurance provider which rewards companies which implement green policies. This attention can not only help your business to save money through fees and taxes but also through reducing the cost of your insurance premiums.

Insurance man in depot

Emissions tests

With the introduction of WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure) and RDE (Real Driving Emissions) tests in September 2017. This new scheme has raised Co2 emissions figures by around 20 per cent.

Moreover, from September 2018, newly registered vehicles must undergo the WLTP, with the tests to include the RDE from 2019.

For many years, the tax regime on vehicles has indicated that low emissions will be a central tenet in future transport. By taking into consideration fuel use, fuel economy and emissions, you can reduce costs and minimise your environmental impact. Most organisations have already begun to focus on carbon emissions as a result of taxation policy.

Insurers are likely to focus on rewarding fleets with lower emissions, conversely penalising those who do not make an effort to address this critical issue.

Insurance smart tachographs

Legislation for smart tachographs

From June 2019, all new coaches or HGVs must be fitted with a ‘smart’ tachograph. This will reduce administrative burden and make fraud more difficult.

Tachographs link to a global satellite navigation system. This allows them to record more accurate and detailed data on the rest periods and driving times of drivers. Traffic enforcement offers will also have access to the data from tachographs remotely. This allows them to identify which vehicles to stop for checks.

Moreover, Fleet insurers offer a discount upfront on the basis of driver behaviour technology. Others will reduce premiums once you have assimilated driver data. This will show that your accident rate has lowered, and driver behaviour has improved.

Ultimately, you will need to select a fleet insurer which rewards safe, responsible fleet selection, management and driving behaviours.

MyInsurance.Expert can source fleet insurance quotes for free, no obligation. Our experts can negotiate significant discounts and introduce dedicated quotes for all vehicle cover probabilities. These include mixed fleet insurance, HGV specialised insurance, employer’s liability insurance, product and public liability insurance and goods in transit. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713) authorises and regulates this service.

It is part of My Fleet Solutions, a range of fleet services that are free to access. Once the details of your vehicle are in place, you will be able to access them on a dashboard through My Fleet Hub.

This one-stop portal has a line-up of integrated, automated services such as vehicle service reminders,

Start by registering for free at MyInsurance.Expert

Young lady in glasses behind the counter taking an order over the telephone and putting into EPoS

EPoS system connects with your customer’s buying journey

EPoS (electronic point of sales) systems know everything about us.

We interact with an EPoS every day: from the moment, you get a sandwich at the shop, buy a cinema ticket, or even pay the dentist for fixing your smile. An EPoS system will keep a record of a transaction and feed it back to accounts, marketing and the decision maker of a business.

An EPoS system is the hardware you see in a store, a centralised computer linked to receipt points, chip & PIN devices and barcodes. It’s also customised software that will monitor your overall business performance.

Lady at a counter ready to buy some beauty products

Getting an EPoS couldn’t be simpler

Naturally, upfront set-up costs are expensive; but, don’t let that put you off this essential tool for growing your company. My Business Advantage can introduce you to EPoS system providers who can negotiate better terms for you.

We can source you the best price to suit your budget, saving you the hassle and time. This service is 100% free, and there is no obligation.

Just register your details to become a member and the process is simple. After a few broad questions, we will get the best candidates in front of you. They will then compete and bid for your business. Isn’t that great?

More importantly, to help you make the right choice, we provide you with a handy service user’s guide. This information will detail everything including the types that are available and how to get the best from them. Whether it’s to focus on growing your business, understanding your customer’s decisions or managing your team’s productivity, using this guide will provide.

Visit the EPoS benefit at My Business Advantage.

Parking woes. A Man looking confused at his mobile in a car park

Parking space race is becoming a nightmare

Parking is going to get a lot harder with the government moving forward with plans to make pavement parking illegal. At present, it is only unlawful in London.

A survey by online parking portal YourParkingSpace.co.uk reveals millions of Brits regularly park on a pavement, almost one-in-10. With an estimated 31 million cars in the UK, this equates to about 3 million vehicles parking on pavements daily.

Pavement parking is also a weekly occurrence for more than one-in-20, with just under one-in-five admitting to doing it occasionally.

Parking space race. Cockpit view of man looking at a line of parked cars

The Brits who admit to stopping on a pavement appear to have little sympathy for fellow drivers with nearly half wanting to penalise those caught doing it.

Harrison Woods, managing director at YourParkingSpace.co.uk, said: “Parking splits opinion, none more so than the issue of parking on pavements. The government’s reviews could affect the parking habits of millions.”

Parking distress affects many drivers

The contentious nature of where to park escalates when the discussion involves commercial vehicles. Mercedes Benz Vans research the impact on ‘parking’ and found sparsely available parking facilities and regular parking fines are having a detrimental impact on the nation’s van drivers and operators.

An overwhelming majority of drivers feel there’s a parking problem in the UK for vans (90%). This is demonstrated by the 56% that believe most parking spaces are too small even for cars, with inflexible parking bays (27%), no spots near client drop off points (46%) and increasing ‘permit holder only’ areas (30%) also playing a significant role in heightening stress for drivers.

According to the Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer, which monitors the opinions on more than 2,000 van drivers and owners, nearly 30% (28%) also say that roads are in a poor, or deplorable condition, with road size (19%) and parking limitations (31%) all contributing to a feeling that roads aren’t fit for purpose.

Similarly, with much faster-paced delivery schedules and potentially larger customer bases, van drivers have to use their time more efficiently than ever before; 53% of those getting parking tickets recently said there was no choice and not parking there would affect doing their jobs properly.

As a result of all of this, over a third (37%) of drivers said they regularly experience stress while at work, with depression (15%) and anxiety (21%) compounding their problems and issues with working conditions.

My Fleet has a solution

2019 Parking a man is unloading deliveries from a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-23

My Fleet Solutions can’t help you find a parking space, but if you experience a bang or a prang because of a parking space, then we can offer our insurance claim management service. Register your vehicles for free. Our experts will handle the first notification of loss (FNOL), to ensure accurate insurance claims reporting. Distressed drivers can access a ready-to-respond accredited helpdesk for support. Moreover, a network of courtesy cars to keep your vehicles moving. Expertise to inspect, instruct and approve nominated or independent repairers.

My Fleet Solution is part of My Fleet Hub a one-stop web portal making fleet management easier with cost-saving services. My Fleet Hub allows you to manage your fuel card account 24/7. Also, you will have access to a range of fleet and business services designed to help you and your business.

My Fleet Hub has automated features like service reminders, important schedule reporting and ensures drivers are driving correctly. More importantly, keep on top of fuel prices. Once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to My Service Expert. This platform displays a nationwide garage network offering fleet managers significant savings on servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs.

My Fleet Hub gives you 24/7 access to an indispensable line-up of integrated services.

Take a closer look at My Fleet Hub now. You’ve nothing to lose except the cost and hassle of not using it!

For full details call your Fuel Card Services account manager or 0333 130 8845.

Wi-Fi guarantee with BT Complete Wi-Fi package

Wi-Fi strength is what we want and need. We live in a world of ever-increasing connectivity. We demand mobility and ease of our technology. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, on our wrist or in our pockets or when we’re driving on the road. We find information at the touch of a button, or by asking Alexa, Siri, or Google. It integrates. We are comfortable living a publicly connected life. We join with others online: we share our thoughts on blogs, post reviews on Trip Advisor, have our professional history on LinkedIn, share foodie snaps on Instagram, show-off our skills on YouTube, record our steps on an app, share data on Facebook and debate on Twitter.

Wi-Fi. Smiling-child-on-a-smart-tablet

How do you use Wi-Fi in your life?

High-speed internet access is necessary for much of our day-to-day lives. Superfast broadband is needed to support an increasing number of devices in the home and the office.

Widespread deployment of superfast broadband services also allows businesses to provide flexible working for employees so that they can work from home and access company systems remotely, saving costs and reducing carbon footprints.

Superfast broadband provides efficiency improvements and cost savings, through improved online sales and marketing, improved online ordering and invoicing, enhanced video conferencing and VoIP services, and improved access to cloud-based services.

Homeworking potentially allows many people to achieve a better work-life balance, particularly parents with young children.

BT Complete Wi-Fi broadband package

BT is the name of one of the most comprehensive broadband packages yet seen in the UK. A new package, Complete Wi-Fi, is powered by ultra-fast download speeds of up to 76Mb. It is also the only broadband service provider that can guarantee wi-fi in every room, and all brought together through the revolutionary BT Home Hub.

Wi-Fi House-Animation-Desktop

New Complete Wi-Fi uses Wi-Fi Discs in every room in your home to extend and keep strong your hub’s signal. Wi-Fi Discs help to reduce buffering and dropped connections, so getting online from every corner of your home has never been easier.

Wi-Fi BT-BB-Complete-Wifi-Bedroom

Unlike wi-fi extenders you can buy on the high street, Complete Wi-Fi technology creates a single, smart network from the living room to the spare bedroom. Your devices will automatically connect to the hub or disc with the strongest signal, guaranteeing a perfect wi-fi connection. How smart is that?

Switching to BT

It is easier than you think, and the Smart Hub itself fits through most, so you don’t have to worry about being at home when it gets delivered.

Switching from your current supplier is easy too. Just pick the service you want to move to find out how. Moreover, in most cases, you’ll only be without broadband for about 30 minutes on the day of the switch.

If you join BT TV, you can start watching on your mobile via the app as soon as you’ve ordered. The app helps you to manage your wi-fi network to make sure you’re getting the most reliable signal around your home. It’ll even work out where to put your Wi-Fi Disc and check the strength of your wi-fi signal in every room.

Go to Drivers Club.

Why not join and find out more?

app

app

Download Drivers Club now from your app store and start finding 1,000s of UK forecourts to help you find fuel fast, enjoy great monthly offers and keep up to speed on the latest motoring news.

Shredding man

Shredding it all up securely in the workplace

Shredding: there’s no denying the satisfaction involved in tearing paper. Doing it in the workplace is as fun as a rockstar shredding in an intricate fast style on the stage.

However, data security is a very serious reason as to why shredding happens at work. Although, nowadays it’s probably better to get the professionals in.

The recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act has affected the way all UK businesses must store confidential paperwork within the workplace.

Using an open and unsecured bin, sack, or box is now in breach of security – which comes with a risk of potentially massive fines.

At My Business Advantage, we are working with an identity destruction service to provide you with secure, lockable consoles to keep your paperwork locked down, prior to collection and shredding, to enable your workplace to be GDPR compliant.

There’s a range of consoles, all at unbeatable prices, and collection schedules to fit in with your needs.
Working from home?

If you are able to store your waste documents securely at a home office then identity destruction also offers a sack based collection service for secure shredding. Packages start from just £30 for 5 sacks and collection is whenever suits you – so that could last you a month, a year, or more!

Why run the risk of falling foul of the new regulations? Speak to someone at identity destruction today to find out how they can help keep you compliant. 

Shredding or storing documents

Shredding with confidence 

My Business Advantage has teamed up with Doc Wizard. These professionals can help with any type of documentation and ensure you are GDPR compliant when it comes to recruitment.

Docs Wizard annual subscriptions include access to a full package of GDPR documents. It also includes 10% off GDPR training too. With My Business Advantage, you receive a 50% discount of the range from just £24.50 up to £74.50

To find out more click here and enter code MYBUSINESSADVANTAGEHR to claim your discount

A smiling fleet managers facing camera holding an umbrella outside a glass fronted office

Fleet managers beware a perfect storm is brewing

Fleet managers will notice the weather outside is stabilising towards February’s typically grey, damp conditions. But don’t be fooled, there’s a perfect storm brewing in the crash repair market.

Independent research company Trend Tracker predicts repair costs will continue to increase over the next five years.

Its report UK Car Body Repair Market predicts cost will grow by 14%, from £4.75 billion now to £5.43bn in 2023.

Meanwhile, the volume demand for repairs has declined slightly over the past five years. It has fallen from 4.39billion repairs in 2012 to 4.31bn in 2017 and it is expected to remain at this level, given a minor tolerance on the 4.31bn repairs, through to 2023.

The reason for this decline is that vehicles have become a lot safer with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). Which is a good thing for fleet managers looking to cut the costs of accident repairs -right?

Wrong. The National Body Repairer Association (NBRA) highlights a more exacerbating problem: a shortage of ‘technical skills’ required to repair the prospering numbers of hi-specification cars.

Trend Tracker is highlighting this problem within their report via a survey of bodyshop owners/ managers. It reports that more than 35% of respondents (bodyshop owners/managers) in its survey stated they view “the skills crisis as their main concern – their greatest threat – as modern vehicles have become ever-more complex to repair”.

Moreover, this week, Fleet News reports that the state of the crash repair market is a concern for motor insurers “giving them a slight decline in available bodyshop repair capacity and a constant demand for repairs”.

Mark Bull, director of Trend Tracker and Auto Body Projects concluded: “Following our extensive in-depth research, we say this with a large degree of confidence as ‘unsustainable labour rates’ and ‘bottom-line discounts’ also remain a significant concern for bodyshop owner/managers, who strive to invest in their staff, facilities, equipment and training to meet future demands.”

Well, we already know for whom the perfect storm will rain over: it’s fleet managers. The crash repair market situation is due to insurers not being able to affect a better market rate and bodyshops gaining greater negotiating leverage around standards.

fleet managers can navigate a bureaucracy of papers with My Fleet Hub

Fleet managers can navigate the storm of bureaucracy 

Let Fuel Card Services help fleet managers. We already get it right on the cost of fuel cards for organisations, and our position within the motoring industry means we have partnerships with the best fleet service providers, which we pass on to you.

Introducing My Fleet Solutions: a range of services that are free for fleet managers to register. For example, FCS Insurance Solutions. We have experts who can negotiate significant discounts and introduce dedicated quotes for all vehicle cover probabilities. These include mixed fleet insurance, HGV specialised insurance, employer’s liability insurance, product and public liability insurance and goods in transit. This is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713).

Claim management support for fleet managers

There are other services too through My Fleet Solutions mainly when a company vehicle is involved in a crash, and the obvious costs are just the tip of the iceberg. The actual cost of a collision involves the invisible, as well as the visible repair and insurance excess. These invisible costs include losing key personnel to injury or ill-health, loss of business, potential loss of reputation and the expense of hiring replacement vehicles while company cars or vans are off the road.

My Fleet Solutions suggests an insurance claim management service. Register your vehicles for free, and when an accident occurs, the professionals will step in on your behalf to claim and manage the insurance process and recover losses. This service takes away the strain and gives you the incredible reassurance. Our experts will handle the first notification of loss (FNOL), to ensure accurate insurance claims reporting. Distressed drivers can access a ready-to-respond accredited helpdesk for support. Moreover, a network of courtesy cars to keep your vehicles moving. Expertise to inspect, instruct and approve nominated or independent repairers.

Fleet managers can register with My Fleet Solutions for free. Once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to My Service Expert. This is a nationwide garage network offering fleet managers significant savings on servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs.

A new online portal for fleet managers

My Fleet Hub is a one-stop web portal making fleet management easier with cost-saving services. My Fleet Hub allows you to manage your fuel card account 24/7, keeping the same functions as the eservices account you may be familiar with, but with improved security, speed and ease of use. Also, you will have access to a range of fleet and business services designed to help you and your business.

My Fleet Hub has automated features like service reminders, schedule important reporting and ensures drivers are driving properly. More importantly, keep on top of fuel prices.

My Fleet Hub gives you 24/7 access to an indispensable line-up of integrated services.

Take a closer look at My Fleet Hub now. You’ve nothing to lose except the cost and hassle of not using it!

For full details call your Fuel Card Services account manager or 0333 130 8845.

Lady with long hair and glasses, smiling into the camera and holding out a pay cheque

Payroll: how to make it work in your business

Payroll may not be a profit-making function, but payment is a critical function. In any business, if payroll is poorly done it does make a huge negative impact on profit.

As an entrepreneur, if you are working on the payroll, you are sapping internal time. Sapping attention away from your core activities, And, ultimately, sapping the reason why you started the business.

You have employees to pay, add to their pension pot, keep their overtime and expenses up-to-date, and update the taxman. However, you don’t have to do it. Why not outsource payroll services?

There are experts out there who can make sure everything is compliant. My Business Advantage knows them, and we can negotiate better terms for you.

Payroll cheque woman pulling a cheque from the payroll book

Use our outsource service, to find you the best price to suit your budget, from the hundreds of payroll service providers across the UK, saving you the hassle and time too. This service is 100% free, and there is no obligation.

Just register your details to become a member and the process is simple. After a few general questions, to clarify your payroll service requirements, we will get the best candidates in front of you. They will then compete and bid for your business. Isn’t that great?

More importantly, to help you make the right choice, we provide you with a handy service user’s guide. It will detail everything from primary considerations for your business to the types that are available and how to get the best from them.

Whether it’s to focus on growing your business, understanding the shift patterns of your employees or ensuring HMRC compliance, using this guide will give you a much clearer idea of what you want from your payroll service.

Payroll outsourcing key benefits

  • Stay compliant to legislation to prevent financial penalties
  • Payroll services providers are reliable specialists that will do everything to maintain confidentiality and make you respect the law, so you don’t risk financial penalties or any trouble
  • Save your time on administrative paperwork thanks to automated processes
  • Even if you chose a partly managed payroll, your provider would help you monitor your situation with effective management and reporting tools

Visit the payroll benefit at My Business Advantage

wintry white scene and a white van driving on the icy road

Winter driving with the power of vehicle tracking

Winter weather reports predict this February is going to be interesting. Wind, rain and possibly settling snow with temperatures dropping below zero over the next few weeks.

Winter conditions will no doubt disrupt work and impact your drivers, your fleet and your customers.

Driving in winter from the drivers seat

The need for increased visibility this winter

With the weather set to get worse, risks on the road will be on the rise. For fleet managers, there is a tool that helps ensure that your systems remain safe, practical and efficient. We call it Tele-Gence.

Tele-Gence is all about smart, affordable telematics made simple. Look towards advanced connected intelligence: coordinated event response, asset utilisation, work order management, safety and reporting. Its range of user-friendly services is fully customisable with bespoke options scalable to your specific needs. The device provides frictionless access from anywhere in the Cloud, and support from a UK-based customer service team.

Tele-Gence gives you full access to fuel data, with accurate MPG reporting to eliminate fraud. Suitable for all vehicle types, it also reduces accidents and increases driver security, while tracking expenses and vehicle maintenance and streamlining management processes.

New fleet management dashboard

Tele-Gence is one of our integrated services connected to our new, upgraded eservices called My Fleet Hub – the original, one-stop web portal making fleet management easier with cost-saving services.

My Fleet Hub allows you to manage your fuel card account 24/7, keeping the same functions as the eservices account you are familiar with, but with improved security, speed and ease of use. Also, you will have access to a range of fleet and business services designed to help you and your business.

My Fleet Hub has been designed to automate features like service reminders, schedule important reporting and make sure your drivers are behaving when you’re not looking. More importantly, keep on top of fuel prices.

MyService.Expert

Whether you run one van or a dozen lorries, My Fleet Hub gives you 24/7 access to an indispensable line-up of integrated services developed to make each vehicle simpler, safer, and far more cost-effective to manage and use.

Each service is designed to work alone and works even better when combined with others. Take a closer look at My Fleet Hub now. You’ve nothing to lose except the cost and hassle of not using it!

My Fleet Hub is launching this February. Call your account manager for details or 0333 130 8845.

Over the shoulders of a man looking at Fleet Hub online

My Fleet Hub, saving you time and productivity

There are all manner of examples of hard knocks in almost every profession. Some are far more serious than others: the army leader whose men are ambushed; a coal miner in the middle of a cave in; the prime minister having to deliver Brexit.

Handling these kinds of crises takes a great deal of focus, of fast thinking, and in many cases, leadership; the kind of leadership that needs to fix things and get it right.

That said, not many fleet managers find their staff ambushed, or in a mine cave-in or having to deliver Brexit.

What, then, are the kinds of hard knocks that fleet managers face? Namely keeping the bottom-line budget tight, servicing and maintenance of vehicles and duty of care for drivers. On top of those priorities, there’s compliance with environmental legislation and of course HMRC.

These are just a few of the kinds of crises that fleet managers deal with day in, day out and every year. Whatever the problem is now, handling it face on, thinking fast and creatively, and proposing a solution, is the kind of management we all aspire to.

There’re no denying fleet operations are complex. But how do you manage it all?

We suggest simplifying your management by ditching the filing cabinet. Move all your fleet information to My Fleet Hub, where all your fleet management needs are there for you on an easy and intuitive to use dashboard. And you can access on mobile through an app.

We have upgraded eservices to bring you My Fleet Hub – the new, one-stop web portal making fleet management easier with cost-saving services. My Fleet Hub allows you to manage your fuel card account 24/7, keeping the same functions as the eservices account you are familiar with, but with improved security, speed and ease of use. In addition, you will have access to a range of fleet and business services designed to help you and your business.

My Fleet Hub has been designed to automate features like service reminders, schedule important reporting and make sure your drivers are behaving when you’re not looking. More importantly, keep on top of fuel prices.

Whether you run one van or a dozen lorries, My Fleet Hub gives you 24/7 access to an indispensable line-up of integrated services developed to make each vehicle simpler, safer, and far more cost-effective to manage and use.

Each service is designed to work alone and works even better when combined with others. Take a closer look at My Fleet Hub now. You’ve nothing to lose except the cost and hassle of not using it!

Launching this February. Call your account manager for details or 0333 130 8845.

Cyber security guy

GDPR means business when it comes to data protection

Google’s £44m fine may is just the beginning of the application of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) action created when a company doesn’t ensure they protect sensitive data.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became a business regulation, in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals, last year. This means any personal, identifying information needs to be managed within certain guidelines.

Since May last year, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has been working through the thousands of reported data breaches. And this scrutiny is not just for the big firms, it can hit small firms if the correct protocol is not followed.

For example, is your website up-to-date? No, we’re not talking about the latest version of CMS or the news stories that you blog. We mean, do you have a visible website privacy policy that is GDPR compliant online?

For a business owner, no matter what size, one, two or more people, you need to ensure that the personal data that you have relating to employees, volunteers, customers and suppliers is cared for within GDPR compliance.

Hacker

For example, name, telephone number, address, bank details, email address, employee number, national insurance, passport and more. Individuals, including employees, can request to see what personal data a business or organisation holds on them free of charge.

These requests give the individual more say over what is done with their data and they have the ‘right to be forgotten’ (ie all data you have about them, must be destroyed).

Updating your website’s privacy policy for GDPR is essential, as it is public and therefore visible for anyone to see. This includes not only the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) itself, but also your customers and competitors, any one of whom could report you to the ICO for non-compliance, and the ICO is obliged to act on complaints they receive.

Failing to have a compliant privacy policy is specified as one of the breaches that can attract the highest fines – up to €20,000,000 or 4% of turnover (whichever is greater).

The GDPR’s requirements for privacy policies are very challenging to satisfy, and failure to meet a single requirement is an instant breach. And, unlike many of the GDPR’s other requirements, a website’s non-compliance can easily and instantly be proven.

In other areas of your business, if the sales team buy in-lists or your marketing team directly email all contacts from your CRM system? Then you also need to pay attention to being GDPR compliant.

GDPR

At My Business Advantage, we have the most cost-effective policies that will meet your obligations, for just £120, you can obtain high-quality GDPR-compliant documentation which can be adapted to work across all facets of your business. This is a fraction of what it generally costs to comply with the GDPR’s other obligations or to have a solicitor prepare such documentation for you, either of which can easily run into the £1000’s.

To access the full suite of GDPR-compliant website documents, together with guidance notes for adapting them to your business and numerous other documents and templates to assist you in being up to date for GDPR, just visit the GDPR Compliance benefit at www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Snowy weather through a driver's view

Ice ice baby! Manage your fleet in icy conditions

Most of us tend to dress for the weather. In this case, it means wrapping up with a hat, gloves, scarf, a big winter coat and appropriate shoes. So it makes sense to use the same concept when out on the road and adapt your driving behaviour depending on the weather conditions.

Frost written on a car screen

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, is offering advice to motorists to better cope with driving on road surfaces that are covered in frost, ice or snow.

  • If the weather conditions are severe in your area, you should take notice of police advice and simply not travel. However, in exceptional circumstances, if you must go out then make sure you drive safely with extra caution on icy roads
  • At least triple your stopping distance and approach every junction expecting to stop well before the stop or give way line – it can take up to ten times as long to stop according to Highway Code advice. Every steering, acceleration or braking input should be as smooth and gentle as possible and select second gear when you pull away in icy conditions. Less torque will help prevent wheel spin
  • Salt will often make the windscreen, headlights, number plate and rear parts of your car very dirty. Cars without headlamp washers, for example, will lose an estimated 40% of luminosity and possibly all their focus in about 20 miles on a damp, gritted motorway. When travelling long distances it is advised that you stop regularly at service stations to clean your windscreen and headlights with a clean cloth. Or keep a filled bottle of water in the car boot to give your lights, windows and mirrors a quick wash over – a handy investment is to top up your windscreen washer reservoir when needed too
  • Never ignore any warning lights. If one appears, get it checked out sooner rather than later. Being stuck on the side of the road is never good, but breaking down in freezing conditions is a high-risk situation
  • Always carry a winter driving kit including an ice scraper, de-icer, blanket, torch, shovel, something to eat and a fully charged mobile phone
  • When driving on a busy road avoid overtaking a gritting lorry, as the road ahead may not be treated yet. If you have any doubt, don’t risk it. And make sure to never overtake a snow plough in heavy snow conditions

tyre close up on a snowy icy road

  • While roads may be gritted to give you better traction, some areas may not be completely treated which can leave ice patches exposed. You should, therefore, drive at a steady pace, ensuring the safety of you and your passengers. On the roads, you use regularly, watch out for water running across the carriageway as this can wash away salt
  • It’s important that you keep your car clean throughout the winter as the salt in grit can cause corrosion to any exposed parts. Ensure that you thoroughly wash the underneath of your car when you can to stop salt from settling
  • Don’t forget to wash/rinse alloy wheels too; the smallest scratch can quickly become a large corroded area
  • Just because the winter sun out does not mean the roads might not be icy. Microclimates of icy patches will linger in areas such as bridges and exposed sections, where the sun has not yet reached
  • Keep the tread on your tyres above 2mm – 3mm is ideal. The more tread you have the more water they can cope with. Letting your tyres get down to the legal limit of 1.6mm is not recommended, and don’t forget you can always consider winter tyres if you are in an area where they will benefit you

Richard adds: “Preparation is the key to avoiding a dangerous situation whilst driving in snowy or icy conditions. Don’t rely on the performance of your car systems to get you out of trouble – allow time, make sure you have good visibility all round and carry the right equipment. If conditions are extreme remember the best advice is not to travel.”

Make sure your vehicles are fit for the road with My Fleet Solutions and to support your fleet in your duty of care for your drivers, to tracking the vehicles, tracking the miles and finding the fuel to put in it and, to servicing and fixing it.

MyService.Expert

My Fleet Solutions has the right answer to fit your vehicle management needs. The maintenance support includes sourcing the proper vehicle insurance, and the most comprehensive accident management support in the industry. If you need solutions to manage your drivers and vehicles, the answer is at My Fleet Solutions.

Register with My Fleet Solutions for free, once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to My Service Expert dashboard giving you access to a nationwide network of garages offering significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

Help tax

Time to put your tax in the accounting cloud

That 31 January deadline is looming, and one of the hardest things about being self-employed is trying to understand the ‘business’ bit of what you do, and it can be challenging to balance your love and passion for promoting and selling your products or services with your obligations to report your business activity to HMRC.

At My Business Advantage, we feel your frustration, which is why we’d like to introduce you to TaxGo, and they do it all by making smart use of technology and world-class software. The bespoke online system tracks much of your book-keeping, and this kind of process automation saves you (and your bookkeeper) hours of searching.

The monthly fee is just £19.99, which includes full access to the QuickBooks online software (which itself usually retails at £24.99). Not only that but through Advantage Benefits, you can have a free 45-day trial.
So, £1,000 per year to a traditional accountant, or a revolutionary accounting service for less than 66p per day – the choice is yours.

Here’s what you get included in the access to this online accounting software

  • Turn your accounting data into a set of financial statements which comply with all laws and accounting standards, meeting the requirements of Companies House, HMRC and all financial institutions.
  • All necessary filings made with HMRC
  • Preparation of the business tax computation (including capital allowances) and submission to HMRC
  • Preparation of your partnership tax return where relevant
  • Preparation of your self-assessment personal tax return (to include bank interest, self-employment and partnership pages)
  • Review of your previous year’s numbers; to ensure any that are not included in your accounting software is correctly entered on your financial statements and tax returns
  • HMRC updated with any address amendments
  • Access to an online portal where all your accounts and documents are easily accessible 24/7
  • Checklist to help make sure you have provided all the information needed to get your accounts right the first time
  • Reporting on any missing information before your accounts being submitted – and then the help for you to find it
  • All the necessary money laundering and ID checks, as required by UK law
  • Issuing of engagement letters, as required by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales
  • TaxGo appointed as your agents with HMRC – becoming the first point of contact for your tax affairs so you can concentrate on running your business
  • Setup of your online accounting software, ready for your use
  • Timely reminders to make sure you don’t miss your filing deadlines

Every business that switches to TaxGo benefits from their exclusive ‘Change Easy Service’. All they need is your previous accountant’s contact details, and they’ll transfer all the relevant information for you.

For more details about this accounting benefit visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Garage mechanic under a car

The warranty woes of a new vehicle

All vehicles have the potential to go wrong – even new cars. While some car makers offer more extended new vehicle warranties, sometimes of up to seven years, most still provide the typical three years’ worth of cover. As a fleet manager, sorting out the repairs can be a logistical nightmare.

garage mechanic with spanner

Just over a quarter of cars suffer an electrical breakdown in their fourth year on the road. Electrical gremlins are the faults most likely to provide motorists with an unwanted repair bill just as their car exits the standard three-year manufacturer’s warranty period.

Engine failures are the third most likely thing to go wrong as a car comes out of the protective umbrella offered by a three-year manufacturer warranty, with 17% suffering a fault.

Over the last five years, air con and electrical faults are the failures that have consistently increased as soon as a car enters its fourth year.

Gearbox faults are the most expensive to fix on a four-year-old car, with an average repair bill of £896.22, a hundred pounds more than on a three-year-old car.

The cost of fixing steering system woes also jumps between a car’s third and fourth years, again by more than £100, to an average of £532.37.

Here’s the worst-case scenario: as a fleet manager who has to coordinate with dealerships to get your warranty repairs sorted. Stop. Help is at hand; we can fix the downtime, with My Fleet Solutions to support your fleet in your duty of care for your drivers, to tracking the vehicles, tracking the miles and finding the fuel to put in it and, to servicing and fixing it.

MyService.Expert

My Fleet Solutions has the right answer to fit your vehicle management needs. The maintenance support includes sourcing the proper vehicle insurance, and the most comprehensive accident management support in the industry. If you need solutions to manage your drivers and vehicles, the answer is at My Fleet Solutions.

Register with My Fleet Solutions for free, once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to My Service Expert a nationwide garage network with significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

Multigenerational family walking in the countryside

Be at one with nature – and wear the right clothes

You don’t have to join a gym just to be active. Getting your boots on and just going walking is great for your body and mind. Walking is great for your heart because it requires more blood flow, and light exercise like brisk walking gets the heart working without damaging it.

couple on a mountain as the sun rises

Walking offers the perfect recipe for a calm and revitalised mind: nature’s beauty, combined with being the only person (or people) for miles around. Just being at one with nature, or watching your favourite landscapes take on a completely different personality as each season passes.

A scenic walk is the perfect, budget-friendly way to blow away any stress and come back positive. Make the most of having your loved ones together when going out exploring.

English country pub in summer

We can’t possibly talk about walking without mentioning the staple that is the quintessential British pub.

Reward your determination with a halfway rest stop in a welcoming pub. Fill up on some food before heading back out to enjoy the rest of your adventure.

However, don’t try to take on the terrain without proper footwear or ruin the thrill of an adventure if you are wearing the wrong clothes for the climate. Cotswold Outdoor are experts at finding the right gear for you.

Cotswold Outdoor marketingDrivers Club members can discover outdoor clothing and equipment and get free delivery on top brands such as The North Face, Osprey, Berghaus, Mountain Equipment & Helly Hansen when you spend over £30!

This offer is available from now until 31 December 2019.

Download your Drivers Club app now and search for your nearest fuel pump. Your fast fuel finder will help you avoid time-wasting detours and save you miles and money.

No more wondering whether to refuel now or later. No more guesswork about finding fuel near your destination. No more driving around off-route in search of fuel. Download the Drivers Club app now, register and go!

Drivers Club is so simple to use. GPS mobile tracking lets the app to know exactly where you are. Within a few clicks, you will quickly know where to refuel fast. Just select Pumps, Offers or News to find your nearest fuel station, benefit from big brand offers and read about the latest motoring news.

Join and take advantage of great monthly offers. Gain premium services and extra benefits as a registered fuel card user.

Why not join and grab this deal – and many others?

app

app

Download Drivers Club now from your app store and start finding 1000s of UK forecourts to help you find fuel fast, enjoy great monthly offers and keep up to speed on the latest motoring news.

Driver fitness

A ‘lorry’ load of fitness ideas for drivers

The annual rush to the gym has begun, as Brits look to recover from their festive overindulgence; but for van drivers, who spend long hours sitting behind the wheel, finding time to keep fit can be a struggle.

Lorry driver bending

While the average van driver aims to work out twice a week and one in 10 admits to a healthy diet*, life on the road has challenges. Not only can it lead to less than ideal nutrition and grabbing snacks on the go, but hours of sitting can slow the metabolism – which affects the ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and metabolise fat – and may over time, contribute to weaker muscles and bones**.

To help van drivers and tradesmen and women find time in their schedule to kick-start their 2019 in healthy fashion, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is living up to its Working With You promise and has created a unique Working Out With You exercise regime that can be completed anywhere, anytime, with its Mobile Gym Transporter.

Health experts advise doing at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has teamed up with fleet customer Pimlico Plumbers and its in-house personal trainer, James Dean, to devise the programme which is designed to tackle different muscle groups for a well-rounded workout.

And there’s no need for expensive gym memberships and pricey equipment, the training regime makes use of the Transporter’s body panels and load bay with the Bumper Dips and Panel Push-Ups plus everyday tools and gear stored in the racking with moves like the Pipe Clean & Press and Toolbox Squat & Raise.

Cable Skip
Ensure cable is long enough to loop over your head with some slack. Use this as a cardio warm-up with 30 seconds skipping followed by 30 seconds rest and repeat 10 times.

Toolbox Squat & Raise (10-20 reps)
Hold the toolbox out in front of you and squat from the knees ensuring you keep your arms out in front of you, back straight and feet flat. Stand back up and raise the toolbox above your head before repeating.

Pipe Clean & Press (10-20 reps)
Start with the pipe on the floor and bend down keeping your back straight. Lift the pipe to chest height and get comfortable with the weight before pressing it overhead with straight arms.

Bumper Dips (10-20 reps)
With the rear doors open to place your hands on the bumper and stretch your legs out in front of you. Lower yourself down until your elbows reach 90 degrees or you touch the floor.

Seated Wrench Curls (10-20 reps)
Open the side door and sit on the edge. Take a wrench and lift from your waist to your shoulder keeping your body still. Repeat for a wrench in each hand.

Panel Push-Ups (10-20 reps)
Place your hands on the bumper facing the van in a regular press-up position with your legs straight out behind you. Lower yourself toward the bumper before lifting yourself back up.

Help is at hand, to keep your fleet vehicles in shape too with My Fleet Solutions to support your fleet in your duty of care for your drivers, to tracking the vehicles, tracking the miles and finding the fuel to put in it and, to servicing and fixing it.

Register with My Fleet Solutions for free, once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to My Service Expert a nationwide garage network with significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

SSL

New security standards could lose you Google visitors

Is your website ready for Googles new security standards? If not, you could be losing customers.

If you have a website that doesn’t use HTTPS security encryption, Google Chrome will soon display a security warning to your visitors.

This alert can lead to a range of issues from as simple as creating a wrong first impression, through to losing customers and revenue.

That’s why My Business Advantage is working with Yell. As experts in secure, mobile-optimised, web design, Yell can not only ensure that your website is fully compliant with Google’s new standards but also optimised for Google searches – and they’ll do this free of charge. Click here to have your details passed to a Yell digital expert who’ll be in touch with your complimentary report.

Quick check 
You can check your website today by typing your web address into the Chrome browser to see if it is secure. If you do not see a locked green padlock next to your web address, then you need to act as soon as possible.

Visit the website check benefit at www.mybusinessadvantage.com

 

 

Happy-New-Year-Driving

New year, new regulations for ULEZ

Every year, our motivation increases after Christmas, and we spend the New Year planning our goals. Particularly for fleet owners, there will be targets to aim for a fitter servicing and maintenance bill or trimmer logistical planning of the drivers, and at My Fleet Solutions, we can help with all that. However, there is a legislation headache brewing this year, and we thought we would remind you about the introduction of ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) in just four months.

With the introduction of clean air zones in Britain’s cities, the first ULEZ comes into force within London from 8 April 2019.

Although the changes apply to all petrol and diesel vehicles, it is estimated that approximately 80% of vans currently on the UK roads will not be compliant with the standards required by the new zone.

After the launch of the UK’s first ULEZ in London, numerous Clean Air Zones (CAZs) will be implemented across UK cities in the next few years. The five cities required to introduce a Clean Air Zone by 2020 are Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton. The new Government regulations aim to bring nitrogen dioxide levels within the legal limit in the shortest possible time and by 2021 at the latest.

Nitrogen Oxide

Vehicles that will have to pay the proposed charge are:

  • Pre-Euro 6 diesel vehicles, including hybrids (older than approx. 2015)
    Pre-Euro 4 petrol vehicles, including hybrids (older than approx. 2006)
  • Motorcycles built before 2007, prior to the implementation of the Euro 3 emissions standard, will have to pay when the ULEZ comes into force.

Drivers who enter the capital in vehicles which do not comply with the new emissions will be subject to a £12.50 fee on top of the £11.50 congestion charge. The system replaces the current T-Charge scheme, where motorists who own older vehicles must pay £10 to drive in the city.

Charges will apply once in every 24-hour period (midnight to midnight) when entering or driving in the zone. This would apply seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Newer vehicles and fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will not be charged, neither would historic, disabled or military vehicles.

Research has already shown that over a third of motorists had not heard of the Euro Emission Standard classification system, while two-thirds of those who had been unsure what category their vehicle fitted in.

Our online check is completely free and allows motorists to check the emissions standard of their vehicle and potentially avoid a fine.

Register with My Fleet Solutions for free, once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to a nationwide garage network that offers emissions check for your vehicles and has significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price.

View of snow in blue twilight from windscreen of a vehicle

How is your winter weather driving?

Your drivers know how to drive in whatever weather. But here’s a little test for those potential weather-related challenges from road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist.

Driving in heavy rain and flood  

Car driving in floods
What’s the maximum depth of water I can drive through safely?  
Driving through any depth of water can be dangerous. Even just six inches – or 15cm of water – will reach the bottom of most passenger cars. Above this depth, you can lose control or stall the engine because water can be sucked into the exhaust or washed into the air intake.

How can I reduce the risk of stalling?  
If you are driving a manual car, press the clutch down slightly at the same time as pressing the accelerator. This action will help the car move along slowly and should keep water out of the exhaust pipe. Stay in the same gear throughout the flood.  In an automatic car, you can consider keeping your foot on the accelerator while using your lowest gear but control the speed with your footbrake.

What if I stall in a flood? 
Don’t attempt to restart the engine as you will risk severe damage. You’ll need to remove the injectors or plugs to get rid of any water – so the best thing to do is to get out of your vehicle and wade to higher ground, especially if the water is rising. Then, if you’re a GEM member, call us when it’s safe – if you’re not, then call your breakdown recovery provider.

What should I do when I’m through a flood?  
You’ll need to make sure your brakes are effective – dry them by applying them gently and taking it easy for a few miles after the flood.

Driving in snow 

View of snow in blue twilight from windscreen of a vehicle
What is a safe speed for driving in snow?  
Experience shows that it is not your speed that’s the problem, it’s how you lose the momentum to stop in an emergency or to negotiate a sharp bend, or pull up safely at a junction. If there is snow on the road, your braking distance will be vastly increased compared to what you’re used to on a dry road. The faster you go, the more range you will need to stop safely. Be sure to maintain a risk assessment. If it’s snowing and settling, then you must slow right down. Try to keep momentum by anticipating when you’ll need to slow down and speed up.

How can I expect my rear-wheel drive car to behave in snow?  
It may well accelerate poorly, I’m afraid. Front wheel drive cars will be much better at pulling off in conditions of low traction.

What are the best roads to use when it’s snowing?
It may sound unhelpful, but the best advice is not to drive at all if you don’t need to. Gentle hills can become impassable, and even busy motorways can quickly turn into car parks during a snowfall.

What emergency equipment should I take if I have to drive in snow?
Take a hot drink flask, snacks, a blanket, rug or sleeping bag to ensure you can stay warm if you get stuck. If you need to leave your vehicle, then it’s a good idea to ensure you have boots, a warm coat and reflective jacket with you.

Driving in fog

 
What is fog?  
Fog is a thick wet mist that either rolls in from the sea or radiates up from the ground. Fog forms when the temperature drops to the point at which air is saturated and invisible water vapour in the atmosphere condense to form suspended water droplets.

Why is driving through fog dangerous?  
Primarily driving through the fog is dangerous because it is not like normal driving, there is very little you can see. So go slowly, use dipped headlights and fog lights, but remember to switch the fogs off when visibility improves.

Is there anything I can do to continue driving safely when the fog is thick?  
Quite possibly not. You can wind down the window, in an attempt to hear what you may not be able to see, but there’s no magic way of gaining visibility.

Should I use the rear lights of the vehicle in front or the white centre line of the road as reference points?  
No. It’s dangerous to follow the lights of the vehicle in front as you may well allow yourself to get too close, meaning you might not have enough space to stop suddenly. You can follow the edge of the road as a reference point, but not the centre.

Driving in icy conditions


Why is it called ‘black’ ice?
Primarily because it blends in very well (too well, in fact) with the road environment, black ice is clear and colourless, but it is invisible above the dark tarmac of the road.

How will I know if I’m driving on black ice? 
Your steering will feel light, you won’t see tyre tracks on the road ahead, and there will be next to no noise from your tyres.

If I can’t see it, how can I look out for black ice?
Pay attention to your car thermometer. Black ice forms when the road surface temperature falls to 0 degrees Celsius or below. However, road surface temperature is usually three to four degrees lower than air temperature. That’s why you may get an audible cold weather warning when your car thermometer shows 3 or 4 degrees.

When and in what locations is black ice most likely to form? 
The most likely times for the forming of black ice are around dawn and in the late evening when temperatures are usually at their lowest. The most common locations for black ice are shaded or tree-covered parts of roads, due to the lack of sunlight. Bridges freeze quickly so be particularly careful.

What should I do if I realise I’m on black ice?
Stay calm and let your car pass over the back ice. Gently lift your foot off the accelerator. Don’t hit the brakes and be very gentle with your steering. If you feel the car is starting to slide, don’t attempt to overcorrect. Remember that on ice your vehicle will have no traction.

Help is at hand, with My Fleet Solutions to support your fleet in your duty of care for your drivers, to tracking the vehicles, tracking the miles and finding the fuel to put in it and, to servicing and fixing it.

My Fleet Solutions has the right answer to fit your vehicle management needs. The maintenance support includes sourcing the proper vehicle insurance, and the most comprehensive accident management support in the industry. If you need solutions to manage your drivers and vehicles, the answer is at My Fleet Solutions.

Register with My Fleet Solutions for free, once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to My Service Expert a nationwide garage network with significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

Man and woman in check-shirts seriously looking at emails after GDPR

How to get your opt-ins with email marketing

Happy New Year, you’re probably thinking about how you can continue to grow your business in 2019.

If email marketing plays a part in this, then we’re here to help!

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is expected to hit the headlines again this year as the first people to fall foul of the non-compliance start to receive their penalties, which can be substantial, but there’s still a tremendous amount of confusion around what people can and can’t do with their email marketing lists.

Click here to read the four essential things you must know when email marketing in the post-GDRP world.

Visual representation of a smiling Asian lady email marketing

Keen to know more and ensure you’re maximising your marketing?

We’ve arranged an exclusive 20% discount on eCommerce MasterPlan’s superb ’email marketing under GDPR’ course. At under £200, it’s a small price to pay to stay the right side of the law and to market with confidence and peace of mind – and avoid receiving a hefty fine enough to cripple your growing business.

eCommerce MasterPlan’s online course will give you all the tools you need to confidently continue to grow and market to your list – ensuring your business continues to prosper. They will provide easy to follow advice on what to do to make your email marketing ok under GDPR, including:

  • How to keep getting opt-ins
  • How to continue being able to send broadcasts to your existing database (even if you’re starting the journey after May 25th)
  • How to capture the right data
  • How to get your privacy policy right
  • Where to use consent, and where to use legitimate interest (and what on earth that means!)
  • Cookies – getting them right for GDPR too.

Visit Email Marketing and enter code ‘benefit‘ at the checkout to claim the discount.

See all the benefits available to you through My Business Advantage.

Mortgage represented by a magnifying glass on a house on a map with the British flag

Get the bigger financial picture on your mortgage

New Year is just around the corner, have you made a resolution to get your finances in check? As a mortgage holder, you need to know exactly where you stand with your mortgage.

Here at My Business Advantage, we are working closely with The Mortgage Report Company (TMR), who offer you the chance to have your mortgage reviewed and audited.

Having this information will help you understand your financial position. With this, you can begin to make informed financial decisions. For example, could you save money by paying off your mortgage sooner?

This service has come in the wake of the Financial Conduct Authority describing lenders as ‘disappointing’ after more than 750,000 mortgage holders were overcharged – some by tens of thousands. An article in BBC News shows how lenders take advantage of consumers who have been in positions of vulnerability but fail to mention that the issue has affected many other borrowers too.

The Mortgage Report ensures everyone has a chance to review their mortgage. The report goes in-depth, revealing every transaction that has taken place on your mortgage account. The list consists of the date, amount, category (debit or credit) and statement description of each transaction. You’ll never need to worry if you’ve missed something.

It is to everyone’s benefit that you account for the money you spend on your mortgage. You’re not really in control, and you’re susceptible to incurring unnecessary fees and penalty charges in the future unless you know exactly where every penny has gone and why it has gone. It contains valuable details on what you’ve paid and why – including recalculating the interest you should have paid.

The Mortgage Report can also help you save money. Did you know, increasing your repayments, even by a small amount each month, can affect the rest of your mortgage term? The Mortgage Report calculates future scenarios based on your current repayment rate and outstanding balance. Most mortgage holders don’t realise the tremendous effect of increasing regular repayments by even less than 1%. The report will present different saving money scenarios, and the beneficial impact it will have on your mortgage repayments, by using graphs and tables.

It’s simple to get started, all you need is your property address and the lender name and TMR will do the rest. Find out more and take control of your mortgage.

You can see all the benefits available to you through My Business Advantage.

Dogs a van driver takes a picture of his white, fluffy dog who is sitting in the passenger side of a car, with seatbelt on

Van man and his dog battle loneliness this Christmas

The Christmas lights are up in towns across the country and everywhere gets busier as people rush online to get festive gifts for friends and family. For van drivers delivering packages at this time of year, their work means they may be spending less and less time with their families.

According to Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer, it found that some UK van operators are battling loneliness by taking their dogs on the road with them for the company.

Bulldog looks at driver from the backseat

The Business Barometer research across 2,000 van owners and operators showed that 957 respondents take their dogs on the road (47.85%), therefore based on 451,0000 people identifying van-driving as their primary occupation in a 2017 UK Government workforce survey, there could be over 200,000 dogs on the road in commercial vans on UK roads at any one time.

It’s not surprising life on the road can be a lonely place for Great Britain’s professional drivers, with the average driver spending over 17 hours wholly alone and over a third (35%) spending at least 20 hours in solitude.

So, with mental health and driver wellbeing taking more of a focus than ever before, drivers are turning to the ‘Van Man’s Best Friend’ to raise their spirits, with one in five agree that their dogs have had a direct positive impact on their mental health. It makes them feel happier, say over half (52%) of van operators who bring their dogs with them when they work.

outside looking in and a chocolate pointy eared dog is sitting in the passenger seat

Those who take their dogs with them throughout their workdays say they feel much happier (52%) and more relaxed (45%). A third (33%) say their dog directly helps them get through their day, and over half (53%) reported having their dogs with them has assisted in winning new business.

Considering the average driver gets stuck in congestion for up to 13 hours a day, this friendship is making a difference.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of UK van drivers and operators own at least one dog, with 36% of those having more than one. Proving that the UK is a nation of dog lovers, 38% of road-going dogs are from rescue centres.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, said: “It’s great that our canine friends can join the nation’s hard-working van operators in the vehicles, providing much-needed company along the way. However, it is also important to remember that dogs need to be suitably restrained according to the Highway Code, so a seat belt harness would be a good investment to ensure that both the driver and the dog are safe and secure.”

The Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer is a nationwide quarterly survey of businesses large and small, created to help us understand the economic landscape and discover what van owners and drivers need to keep their business moving.

MyService.Expert

Help is at hand, with My Fleet Solutions to support your fleet in your duty of care for your drivers, to tracking the vehicles, tracking the miles and finding the fuel to put in it and, to servicing and fixing it.

My Fleet Solutions has the right answer to fit your vehicle management needs. The maintenance support includes sourcing the proper vehicle insurance, and the most comprehensive accident management support in the industry. If you need solutions to manage your drivers and vehicles, the answer is at My Fleet Solutions.

Register with My Fleet Solutions for free, once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to My Service Expert a nationwide garage network with significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

Mobile phone in foreground hand choosing items Christmas decoration in the background

Bag yourself some Merry Christmas discounts

Still Christmas Shopping? Then we’ve got a nice bonus for you. 

Man at home wearing a Christmas jumper holding a tablet and a mobile with a laptop next to him and a Christmas tree in the background

My Business Advantage has access to a collection of incredible retail discounts and cashback payments 

Free to join and save up to 10% on brands you know and use online and on the high street. There are even savings with the supermarkets for that all-important Christmas food shop. 

They cover 98% of all UK retail spend, so you’ll find that perfect gift even for that awkward relative – or maybe yourself.

Young women rejoicing with laptop on her knee and decorated Christmas tree in the background

There is no risk and no cost for using the site, and it will work on any device so whether you’re at home or on the move, it is just as easy. We’re not asking you to shop somewhere different, but to pay less for the same things from the same retailers.

ll the offers feature on the Advantage benefit site, where you can quickly filter by the types of items you want. From there you’ll get simple instructions on how you can start saving.

After that, it is down to you whether you want to pocket the savings or treat yourself to something extra!

My Business Advantage rewards are available to everyone in an organisation (and their families) which signs up to the scheme, so this is a benefit that does have something for everyone.

Register for free and save immediately.

To celebrate Christmas, here is a £50 voucher, redeemable on your first order from Virgin Wines.

Just hit the image to claim.

Vine wine £50 voucher off and free delivery

View all the benefits at My Business Advantage.

Office party sad man hand on head wearing a Santa hat colleagues in the background

The ‘Ho ho ho’ horrors of the office Christmas party

Christmas is a traditional time of year for celebration so it is right that everybody should unwind a little. However, as a business owner, you should make sure that you don’t relax too much during this time and remain vigilant with your policies and procedures.

Christmas parties are a prime time for things to go wrong. A Christmas event hosted or sponsored by an employer makes it work. Many employers forget that they can end up being liable for the actions and welfare of their employees at such functions.

Christmas party five young people celebrating with streamers and party hats

A Christmas party aims to celebrate after a stressful year, but if you are considering providing a free bar to treat your employees, it may be wise to think again. You don’t have to remove alcohol from the occasion completely, but it’s all about controlling consumption and limiting risk. Too much festive spirit removes inhibitions, and the main risk is some form of harassment or a punch-up, either of which does tend to spoil the fun.

The more boisterous you allow the party to become, the more likely it is that things will go wrong. Consider buying each of your employees an individual drink instead and make sure that there are plenty of soft drinks at the ready.

Issue guidelines to employees ahead of the Christmas party. These should set out your standards on fighting, excessive alcohol consumption, inappropriate behaviour and harassment, to name just a few. It could be in a letter, an email, or a poster pinned up on the notice board, but you should remind employees in advance that a party is a work-based event and that workers are expected to comply with the accepted standards of conduct in your workplace. Talking this way may seem like a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but outlining your expectations could save you from much pain later on.

Even with all this advice and proactive action, things can and do go wrong. At My Business Advantage, you can have access to free 15 minutes of legal advice from expert lawyers on any commercial legal issue affecting your business. That 15 minutes, would typically be charged at an hourly rate of £250, so you’re saving on legal costs as well as gaining professional advice.

Register your business details for this Free Legal Advice benefit or take a view at all the other benefit offers at My Business Advantage.

Don't drink and drive office party with young workers in Santa hats

Cheers! To your drivers not drink driving

It’s that time of the year again: Christmas parties are on the calendar and the cold and flu season is just beginning.

Of course, most of your drivers know the risks of drink driving, and most will never do it, but it’s vital that they be aware of the risks ahead of the festive season!

Even a small amount of alcohol – well below the legal limit – can hinder the ability to drive safely. It takes several hours for alcohol to disappear from the body; therefore someone who was drinking late the previous evening can still be over the limit while on their way to work.

As a rough guide, it takes the body one hour to rid itself of one unit of alcohol (a strong pint of lager or 250ml glass of wine may contain three units each). Also, the clock starts from when you finish drinking, not when you start!

Don't drink and drive two pints of beer on a pub table with car keys and bottle tops

Those taking prescribed medications shouldn’t be forgotten either, make sure they are informed about the possible effects on their driving and performance at work. Drug driving legislation introduced in 2015 includes restrictions on 16 drugs that carry penalties of a one-year driving ban, a hefty fine and a criminal record.

Licence Bureau is reminding business drivers and fleet operators that with the festive season now in full-swing, compliance should remain top of the agenda.

In-line with the ‘party spirit’ around this time of year, Licence Bureau is advising compliance managers to pay specific attention to alcohol, drug, in-car smartphone use and general fatigue policies. It is specifying utmost clarity relating to these areas and rigorous process in place to manage any unforeseen incidents.

Malcolm Maycock, managing director of Licence Bureau, said, “We want all business drivers and fleet managers to be very aware of how to remain compliant during the festive season. This is not a case of being a ‘party pooper’, it’s a case of allowing people to have a good time, safe in the knowledge they are compliant with company policy, and health and safety legislation.

“It’s particularly important that the areas stigmatised by the festive season are addressed, and clarity is given to each driver within the fleet, and that includes grey fleet drivers too.”

Reiterating the advice to fleet operators, Licence Bureau has introduced a social media campaign of short films themed ‘Help make our roads a safer place for all’, supported by road safety charity Brake. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness around the heightened risk of driver distractions and dangers during the festive season.

Malcolm continued, “Experience tells us our simple, impactful messages resonate deeply with drivers and organisations. If we can help people stop and think, and ultimately help prevent any road traffic incidents over the festive season, then that is a success.”

The campaign covers areas such as alcohol and drugs, use of smartphones and tiredness which all increase the chances of accidents.

Register for free at My Fleet Solutions to claim and manage the insurance process and recover losses, if a road traffic accident does occur, you will have the incredible reassurance that it will not have a significant impact on your business or fleet. Our experts will handle the first notification of loss, to ensure accurate insurance claims reporting. There is an accredited helpdesk primed to support distressed drivers. A network of courtesy cars to keep your fleet moving. Expertise to inspect, instruct and approve nominated or independent repairers.

We also offer commercial insurance. Register for free at My Fleet Solutions. Our FCS Insurance Solutions is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). We can negotiate significant discounts and 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.

Register with My Fleet Solutions for free, once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to My Service Expert a nationwide garage network with significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

Aggressive tailgating driver

My Fleet Solution will protect fleets from tailgating bullies

Americans talk about tailgating as a fun event in the boot of a parked vehicle. When us Brits talk about tailgating, it’s the miserable business of driving a car and dealing with the aggression of a driver behind intent on being too close to the boot.

New research reveals that tailgating is not only one of the most annoying habits drivers experience on the road, but it also causes many motorists to make dangerous decisions of their own.

A recently published study by Opinium Research on a cohort of 2004 motorists talking about driving habits shows that 89% of drivers say they find tailgating by other drivers either very or moderately annoying, second only to dangerous overtaking (92%), and three quarters (75%) would take action in response to a car following too closely.

Annoyed driver dealing with tailgating

The most popular course of action for tailgated drivers is to slow down to leave a wider gap between them and the car in front, with the aim of encouraging the tailgater to do the same. The research revealed that 37% of motorists adopt this slow-down move, however many drivers take riskier measures, as shown below.

Over a third (34%) of drivers, some 13.9 million licence holders, say that if being followed too closely by the car behind they would lightly dab their brakes to make their brake lights come on without slowing down. 8% of drivers would use their fog lights, flicking them on to make the driver behind think that they are braking. One in ten drivers (10%) go even further, saying they would apply the brake sharply to get the car behind to back off.

All these moves carry significant risks of causing a collision – the driver following too closely may overreact with their braking and create a ripple effect leading to an impact in the traffic flow behind as the vehicles ‘concertina’.

The research also found that 11% of drivers say they would increase their speed when being tailgated, but that can be dangerous if the driver ends up going too fast for the conditions or their comfort. Accelerating can also be counter-productive as the driver behind is likely to speed up, resulting in the cars remaining too close together but at a higher speed.

Almost one in ten drivers (9%) admit to making a ‘revenge attack’, pulling over to let the tailgating car pass, and then pulling back out to follow as closely as the first tailgater had been doing. 7% of drivers would make some hand gesture at the driver behind them to get them to back off.

Despite almost every driver stating that tailgating is one of the most annoying habits displayed by other drivers, a third of motorists (33%) in this study admitted that a car they have been following has reacted to their presence in some way. The reactions include the one in ten drivers who have had a car let them pass, only for it to then pull back out and tailgate them in turn and 8% who have experienced the driver in front brake sharply, purely to get them to back off.

Male drivers are more likely than women to have caused a reaction from motorists they are following (38% and 26% respectively). Younger drivers (50% of those aged 18-34) are also more likely than older drivers (21% of those aged 55 and over) to have had an impact on the behaviour of a driver in front of them.

The accident statistics show very clearly that the causes of many road casualties are because cars following too closely. This research highlights that the danger doesn’t just come from tailgaters not being able to stop in time, but from the adverse reactions they cause in other drivers.

My Fleet Solutions offers practical support against tailgating bullies

The only brake tests drivers should consider are those carried out in a garage environment. For more information about brake care, including some of the tell-tale signs of worn brakes including squeaking, pulsating or sponginess, My Fleet Solutions introduce a free, one-stop solution to deal with the never-ending list of problems faced by fleet managers: MyService.Expert is a service, maintenance and repair dashboard where you can manage any work, including MOT on your vehicles. By registering your fleet vehicles, it allows access to a nationwide garage network with significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your organisation.

MyService.Expert

Our Tele-Gence service can ensure your drivers are making the safest decisions too with our telematic device to suit your organisation’s needs. Tele-Gence’s fleet tracking management solutions give 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.

There are other services from My Fleet Solutions that can protect your fleet. For instance, FCS Insurance Solutions has Policy-matching assistance with business-specific needs, alongside industry risk exposure knowledge to get the right policy to cover your fleet from the start. It 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.

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 or for savings on maintenance, servicing and repairs visit MyService.Expert.

Unsecured business loan worried thinking man

Securing your growth with an unsecured business loan

If your business doesn’t own many assets but needs funds quickly, an unsecured business loan offers you a quick and easy funding solution.

An unsecured business loan can help plug a cash flow gap or be used to accelerate growth. It’s one of the most common forms of business finance because it allows you to pay back manageable amounts that are suitable to your business circumstances.

If you are looking for informed searches and saving money then connect to My Business Advantage, we are experts in price comparison for unsecured business loans.

Through our trusted network of suppliers, we can source the best quotes from hundreds of multiple providers and reliable suppliers. Once we understand your business needs, we can negotiate better terms on your behalf. Please think of us as your outsourced procurement team, saving you the hassle and time too. This service is 100% free, and there is no obligation.

Just register your details to become a member of My Business Advantage and the process is simple. After a few general questions, to clarify your requirements, we will get the best candidates in front of you. They will then compete and bid for your business. Isn’t that great?

Remember, although securing finance might seem like an easy fix, there are downsides. It’s important to research how much you’ll need and when you’ll be able to pay it back.

Expect to answer questions such as: why do you want the money? How will you use the money? How much are you personally putting into the business? How much do you need to borrow? How and when do you plan to repay it? Do you have any security?

Once you understand the risk, and how much you need, our money experts can lock down the best deals, for example on the top loan rate.

Just answer the question on the form, and our experts will source you the best quotes for free.
For more details visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk 

car aqua planing in the rain

Rain, rain: bring it on! We have fleet drivers covered

The Met office is warning there will be a significant change in the autumnal weather this week, as Storm Diana moves from the Atlantic and is set to bring rain and gales to the UK.

splashing in rain

Here is some advice to your fleet drivers from IAM RoadSmart on how best to cope with it.

Heavy rain:

  • Heavy rain will affect your visibility, so take it slow. Rule 126 of the Highway Code states that the braking distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you should be two seconds when driving on a dry road, and at least four seconds in the wet. It is even longer on icy surfaces. IAM RoadSmart recommends up to 10 times the braking distance when driving on ice.
  • Your windscreen should be clean, wipers effective and the jets positioned correctly and aimed at the screen. It is sensible to clean the windshield, make any necessary adjustments and remove anything from the main area before you start your journey.
  • A good rule of thumb is that if you need windscreen wipers, then you need your headlights. Automatic light settings will not always activate in lousy weather conditions, so it is up to you to make a sensible decision as to whether these need to be turned on.

Aquaplaning:

  • If the water is standing in puddles on the road surface, your car is at risk of aquaplaning. Aquaplaning is where a wedge of water forms in front of the tyre and lifts off the road surface, causing the tread not to be able to displace the amount of water present. To recover form aquaplaning, ease gently off your accelerator, have a firm grip of the steering wheel and be sure not to make any sudden steering actions. The car will eventually regain its grip as the water clears.

rain puddle

Floods:

  • First, ask yourself – can you take another route? If not, then you need to identify how deep the water is. If the standing water is more than six inches deep, avoid driving through it. If you are familiar with the road, you can judge the flood to the kerb.
  • If heavy rain was not the cause of the flood, then what was? Moreover, what impact on the road does it have? For example, if it is a burst water main, the standing water may look like a normal flood, but the road surface beneath the water may be completely broken up. If you are unsure how the surge has formed, then avoid it altogether.
  • Are there other vehicles similar to yours that are safely driving through the water? From this, make a judgement call as to whether it is safe to travel through or not.
  • If the water is fast flowing, do not attempt to drive through it, as there is a real danger of being swept off the road in your car.
  • If you have considered everything and decided to drive through the flood, be sure to do so slowly. The best approach is to press lightly on your clutch and add gentle pressure on your accelerator to increase your engine revs. Do so without increasing your speed, in a similar way to how you would undertake a hill start. Doing this will prevent water from entering your exhaust. If you are in an automatic car, accelerate slightly but control the speed with your brakes. When you have passed the flood, test your brakes to make sure they are dry and working correctly.
  • If you are in the slightest doubt, then turn around and don’t go through the flood. Often modern saloon cars have the air intake in the wheel arch, which may be below the water level. If your engine should take in water, it will take immediately hydro lock, and the vehicle will stop.
  • Remember to stay alert and avoid splashing pedestrians. If accidentally done – even when causing splashed when driving through puddles at the side of the road – you could receive a fixed penalty and three points on your license for driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users. If deliberately done, it could be a public order offence, a court appearance and a fine.

Choose telematics system

Planning for nasty weather can take much time. At My Fleet Solutions, we understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. Register with us for free, once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to a nationwide garage network with significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

My Fleet Solutions is here to step in when road traffic accidents occur. Register for free and if a crash does happen, feel safe in the knowledge that we will handle the first notification of loss, to ensure accurate insurance claims reporting. There is an accredited helpdesk primed to support distressed drivers. A network of courtesy cars to keep your fleet moving. Expertise to inspect, instruct and approve nominated or independent repairers. Moreover, by choosing My Fleet Solutions to claim and manage the insurance process and recover losses, you will have the incredible reassurance that incidents and accidents will not have a significant impact on your business or fleet.

At My Fleet Solutions, we also offer FCS Insurance Solutions, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). Through our parent company Fuel Card Services, we can negotiate more significant discounts and 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.

My Fleet Solutions is the one-stop solution to all your fleets needs and your drivers’ cares.

Invoice Factoring

Invoice factoring can free your cash flow

Is your company’s cash tied up in invoices? Is extending credit to your customers, pushing your organisation into debt? What about using invoice factoring to make your money flow?

By outsourcing your sales ledger management to collect money owed by customers, you free up time to manage your business. The bonus is that potential customers are credit checked, so you’re likely to trade with customers that pay on time.

Invoice Factoring

My Business Advantage can negotiate better terms with financier suppliers who offer invoice factoring services. It will take you a few minutes to register your details to become a member, and the process is simple.
1.     The finance provider typically buys around 85% of the value of the raised invoices.
2.     The finance provider will collect the sum of the sales invoice and once received; they pay the remaining balance to your business.
3.     You pay the finance provider the pre-arranged fee (and any interest if applicable).

Here’s an example of how it works: If your customer owes you £30,000, you sell the invoice to a finance provider for £25,500 [85%]. The finance provider collects the £30,000 debt from the customer on your behalf and pays you the remaining £4,500. You then pay any fees and interest that you have agreed, which means that you get access to your invoice value immediately and then the remainder once the customer has paid.

To find out how your business could benefit from Invoice Factoring, visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Black Friday driver stress

Beating the Black Friday blues for drivers

Your customers are eagerly waiting to participate in the biggest shopping event of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The challenge for your company isn’t focused on a system crash or a payment failure. It’s the delivery problems that come after the purchases have been made.

For your drivers, it could be a blue weekend filled with time-pressure and time-anxiety; and adding to this pressure mix, are other drivers on the road looking for bargains in the shops and congesting the road.

These events will create stress.

Stress affects us all at one time or another – whether it’s down to work, home life or a tough situation you’re facing. Stress can affect how we feel physically and emotionally as well as impair our judgement and our reactions, which isn’t good news when we need to concentrate on something significant, like driving and delivering packages.

It’s important your drivers recognise how they feel and try to relax before getting in the vehicle. Ben, an independent charity which provides support for life to the people of the automotive industry, provided us with some signs on how to recognise stress.

Black Friday stress

Warning signs of stress 
First of all, we need to recognise the warning signs of stress. You might feel some or all of these:

  • Becoming easily irritated with colleagues, friends or family
  • Feeling distracted, forgetful or moody
  • Having racing thoughts
  • Not being able to ‘switch off’
  • Becoming quiet and withdrawn
  • Under or overeating
  • Smoking more, drinking more alcohol or taking drugs
  • Tense muscles
  • Headaches
  • Feeling sick
  • Not sleeping well / insomnia
  • Getting ill more often

Here are a few tips to do before you get in the vehicle stressed: 

  • Go for a short walk around the block to get some fresh air and unwind from the stresses of the day
  • Wait until you feel calm, collected and well enough to head out on your journey. Driving itself can be stressful, especially in rush hour, so if you are already stressed this is likely to make matters worse
  • Try mindfulness and deep breathing before getting behind the wheel. You don’t have to be spiritual to benefit from mindfulness and meditation – anyone can meditate and it has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety
  • If you’re feeling ill from stress with headaches or sickness, make sure you feel well enough before you drive. Drink plenty of water and get some fresh air
  • Write down a list of the things that are stressing you out and set yourself some time to tackle them later on – sometimes writing your worries down and making time to sort them out helps clear your mind
  • Is stress causing you to struggle with addiction to alcohol, drugs or nicotine? Be aware that these could still be in your system before driving. If you’re struggling with addiction or substance misuse, then it’s important to seek help
  • If you’re having trouble sleeping due to stress then make sure you aren’t too tired to drive. IAM RoadSmart advises if you feel sleepy whilst behind the wheel, find a safe place to pull over and stop – not on the hard shoulder of a motorway. Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related so don’t drive if you feel sleepy
  • Tell someone you trust how you feel. Sometimes opening up about our problems to loved ones can make all the difference and they can even help you find solutions. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved

Black Friday stress

If you feel these tips are a little too soft and fancy, and don’t really apply to your organisation, then take heed of this warning from Neil Greig, director of policy and research of IAM RoadSmart, who said: “If a company forces someone to drive too many hours in the day, and there was a crash resulting in a fatality, a prosecution according to the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act would help send a message to businesses that a lot more care needs to be taken in this area.”

Help is at hand, to support you in your duty of care for your drivers, to tracking the vehicles and find the fuel to put in it and, to servicing and fixing it, My Fleet Solutions has the right answer to fit your vehicle management needs. The maintenance support includes sourcing the right vehicle insurance, telematics system and the most comprehensive accident management support in the industry. If you need solutions to manage your drivers and vehicles, the answer is at My Fleet Solutions.

Payment Processing

Say ‘yes’ to payment processing

Taking a card payment is expected these days, customers really expect it. As a growing business can you afford not to accept card payments? The landscape of a town centre is fast-changing, with high street banks closing premises and cash points harder to find, and if your business is there, then not taking cards means that customer may shop elsewhere.

If the administration of a payment processing product has been holding you back, think again. Accepting card payments is both simple and cost effective for small businesses, especially for products over a value of £30.

So, where can you get started and find a payment processing option that works for you? Through My Business Advantage, we can introduce you to a range of preferential rates from one of the leading providers of card payment solutions in the UK.

payment processing

Payment processing rates are guaranteed below 1% for credit cards and you’ll benefit from discounted monthly terminal hire.

The products range from counter-top terminals to sit at your checkout to cutting-edge online payment gateways and mobile devices for when the focus needs to be on taking the solution to your customer. All come with the latest payment technology and at a price to suit your budget.

There’s no set-up fee and your first three months’ terminal hire is free – you could be saving thousands in total.

Combine that with industry-leading service and a refreshing lack of unnecessary paperwork and other distractions and this benefit gives you more time for the things you really want to be doing. Like serving your customers.

Find out more about this Payment Processing benefit at My Business Advantage: www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Congestion

The fuelish costs of traffic jams

Unsurprisingly, the top annoyance for the UK motorist is a traffic jam. This finding was part of IAM RoadSmart’s Safety Culture Survey, which was published on Thursday this week.

It is the fourth year, that the UK’s biggest road safety charity, asked more than 2,000 drivers about their worries, fears and attitudes. In the past, two years safety concerns around other drivers using hand-held mobile phones topped the list – but now traffic congestion is the top concern.

Congestion costs money

Congestion becomes a very real worry when looking at the road usage landscape from a business perspective. Hire car organisation, Europcar launched a new white paper, exploring the mobility challenges facing UK business. In Charting a Safe Path Through the Minefield of Challenges Facing UK Businesses, the paper reveals a mood of caution and mild pessimism amongst UK businesses.

Europcar conducted the research in response to the increasing challenges facing businesses and decision makers when it comes to keeping workers on the road and productive. More than half of the 500 businesses surveyed by Europcar said they generate their revenue through monthly contracts, so unsurprisingly, economic growth and cash flow were found to be the top two concerns for this sample of firms.

congestion

Congestion affects business

With Christmas coming, and the delivery of online retailing after Black Friday increasing, this will mean our roads are about to get even busier. Congestion becomes a critical business issue according to research from the Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer survey.

Delivery drivers say that, on average, 16% of their working day is lost due to congestion, which means, based on a (very conservative) 8 hour working day this equates to 1 hour 17 minutes a day, or more than 6 hours across a typical working week, adding up to 37 working days a year lost due to congestion for the average delivery driver.

Greater London reaffirms its place at the top of the ‘congestion league’, with respondents saying 18% of their working day is lost to congestion – higher than anywhere else in the UK.

The research, undertaken amongst 2,000 van owners and operators, also highlights that congestion is now the second biggest ‘barrier to growth’, with 31% believing this will be a barrier to growth in the coming year, rising to 38% amongst fleet managers, and second only to rising fuel costs (57%).

Commenting upon their survey, Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, said: “We know from our Business Barometer that a growing customer base ever more focused on online retail is a positive for the industry, but unless the issue of congestion is tackled, these businesses will suffer. Congestion causes delays that cost money as well as time and can damage the reputation of a business that relies on their deliveries.”

congestion

Dealing with congestion

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, is all about how you can save fuel. Here he provides some top congestion-driving tips.

  • Try to keep your driving smooth. Gentle acceleration and using the highest safe gear will use less fuel. Ease off the accelerator early for traffic lights if they are red – why hurry up to wait?
  • If possible, try to avoid driving during heavy traffic. Stopping and starting in traffic needs the use of the first gear and a lot fuel is used to get the vehicle moving again
  • Keep your tyres well maintained by checking the condition, pressures and tread depth. When it comes to choosing new tyres, it’s worth having a look at ones which are designed for extra economy
  • Get rid of unnecessary weight. Cars work just like the human body, it needs more energy to move around more weight and so does your car. Take heavy items out of the car if you don’t need to carry them. A roof rack or roof box will increase drag and you will use more fuel to overcome this, so remove it if it is not being used
  • Nowadays, you don’t need to manually warm up a modern car, so once your windows are clear (a bit of elbow grease will sort them out) you are able to set off to your destination without having to wait around
  • During this winter season as your engine is trying to warm up it uses more fuel for the first four miles or so. Your engine stays cold when you drive less than two miles and your car will produce 60 per cent more pollution than a warm engine – avoid these short journeys where possible
  • Turn off the air-conditioning as it uses extra fuel. When the rear window is cleared turn off the rear screen heater – the more electricity your car has to produce, the more fuel it will use
  • Keep your speed low as you can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%. Try pressing more lightly on the accelerator, often you can maintain the same speed with less pressure on the pedal

For the moment, whilst the government navigates through its own Brexit congestion, road users and business will have to await any further constructive news about a future without traffic jams on our roads.

At My Fleet Solutions, we understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. 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.

Fuel Card Services in the Apple News app

At the swipe of a finger or a click of mouse, information is everywhere. Sometimes though, our screens are crowded with icons, and switching between websites and apps, to find stories that matter, can be so time-consuming, frustrating, or both.

Have you tried the Apple News app? It’s a go-to, virtual news stand’ that you can customise to find stories that you are really interested in, and from sources you really trust. That’s why Fuel Card Services now posts its latest features onto the Apple’s News app.

Simply visit the Apple News app, on your Apple iPhone or tablet device, type ‘Fuel Card Services’ in the Search option, and then click on ‘+’ to add us to your news feed.

Now you’re all set, to view Fuel Card Services’ news as it arrives, anytime, anyplace and anywhere in the Apple News app.

Digital Marketing Support

Transform your digital vision with marketing support

You’ve started your business. Congratulations. Put in all the hard hours to build it. Tick. You’ve built a good team. Tick. Your market share is growing. Hoorah! How is your digital marketing strategy going? Urm…

If you are scratching your head, trying to figure out how SEO, email campaigns and a gazillion social media profiles somehow fit together – on top of growing your business and the daily demands of your team – then you need to outsource to the professionals.

Get expert advice from the UK’s number one provider of managed digital marketing services*. Yell has more than 50 years’ experience of connecting businesses with customers. They offer a full range of digital marketing solutions, from fully-managed websites to Google AdWords campaigns, all designed to help businesses get found, chosen and trusted by potential customers. As one of the largest resellers of Google AdWords in the UK, their consultants are experts in building effective online presences for their customers. They offer a free, no obligation chat to discuss ways of growing your business online and help you define the best digital marketing strategy to fit your business needs and budget.

Yell is championing local business by helping a million small businesses be found, chosen, and trusted by more customers online, by 2020.

Their history and pedigree in helping businesses just like yours mean that they have a nationwide support network of friendly digital marketing experts who’ll let you know about what’s going on in the world of digital, what could be right for your business, and what you can get your hands on for free, or as at low a cost as possible with a level of service that’s right for your business. Which means you can get on with running your business.

Digital Marketing Support

Through My Business Advantage, you can book a free consultation with one of Yell’s digital marketing experts. You can also benefit from their range of services – from a free listing on Yell.com to a fully managed website, And, get a free website report and free online reputation scan. The value to be had from this benefit improving your digital marketing could be game-changing.

Visit the digital marketing support benefit at www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk 

* M-Brain 2017, #1 in terms of revenue from sales of managed digital marketing services for all types of local businesses 

polite driving

A thumbs-up for polite driving

We all have busy lives. We have all been taught to understand the other person’s point of view. As fleet managers, we all like to think the drivers we employ have the same regard for others as you do. But, on the road, behaviour towards others often changes when driving. Polite individuals can become territorial monsters fighting for a small space that may take seconds off a journey; this competitive attitude can ramp up stress levels.

Polite driver

Richard Gladman, head of driving and riding standards at the Institute of Advance Motoring (IAM) has put together a few top tips to remind us of how to share the road with other users.

Horses on road

  • Look ahead and predict what other road users may be doing. Be ready to react and change your speed if necessary. For example, if a pedestrian is standing between two busy lanes of traffic you may be thinking: “You shouldn’t have crossed there.” Or you could be sympathetic of the fact they’re stranded and allow them to cross if you can do it safely. Whatever the reason, they’re vulnerable and you have the power to help them
  • Try to see the world through the eyes of others and help them, without them even realising it. If we all did this, it might even catch on. Giving a little more space or a bit of extra time will make a difference
  • Give way. A large vehicle, such as an HGV or a bus, will need extra room when turning. Give them the room they need to make them feel safe and comfortable when they manoeuvre their vehicle
  • Allow extra room. Motorcyclists can sometimes be seen filtering through traffic. Why not aid them by moving over slightly to allow them to pass you with ease
  • Know when to overtake. When you see a cyclist, be patient and overtake when the time is right, if you have to follow for a while then leave a sensible space. Make sure your vision ahead is clear and will remain so for enough time to complete the pass. Taking those extra few seconds to overtake carefully rather than rushing could be the difference between getting to your destination safely and being involved in a collision
  • Be respectful when passing horses; make sure you give the rider enough space when passing them. We recommend at least a car’s width and make sure this is done slowly a startled horse may be unpredictable – remember always pass “slow and wide”

Remembering to be polite could save you a whole of trouble. However, My Fleet Solutions has your fleet covered when things do, accidentally, go wrong.

My Fleet Solutions specialise in commercial vehicle and business insurance, so whether you require cover for one vehicle or have a fleet of vehicles, need goods in transit cover or employers’ liability, one of our members can help achieve the best deal for you.

Let My Fleet Solutions guide you through all your options in the event of an accident involving an insurance claim be it your drivers’ fault or a non-fault claim. Stay on top of smart repairs or accident damage with expert assistance on which body shop is the most appropriate and pay fleet rates for repairs.

So, if you’re looking for the best deals for your fleet, there is only one place to find everything: My Fleet Solutions.

Free website check

Check your website is visible for free

Your next customer could be a click away on your website. But how do you check your key marketing asset is visible?

Your website is your shop window to the world. So connecting with your customers is important. It is important so that you can give them the right information when they need it. Whether that’s driving directions to your business; hours of operations, or a phone number they can click through to call you.

Free website check

But what if your website is not attracting? Get a free website report to find out how well your current site is optimised for search engines, mobile compatibility and security. This free check will also score your social media presence, online reputation and business listings accuracy.

The free website checker tool from Yell.com will search your website and tell you how your website performs and highlight what changes you should be making to improve your search engine visibility, mobile optimisation, website security, page speed and other key online measurements.

 

Here’s an overview of checks the performance tool does:
Mobile: It is important to have your website optimised for mobile devices as search engines give more weighting to mobile friendly websites
Social media: Did you know social media presence can help with SEO? Increasing your posts or tweets will help retain existing followers and raise engagement
Website speed: Page speed is a ranking factor for search engines like Google. A fast loading site will not only help your business in rankings but keep users from leaving
Reviews: The website checker will see if your organisation has reviewed in Google, Yell and Foursquare as reviews can have a big impact on local search results and ranking
Last Updated: Updating a website regularly can make search engines crawl and index your site more often and faster. Also, visitors perceive up-to-date websites as more credible
Internal links: Well defined internal links not only help visitors navigate your website but link with unique keywords to describe the destination can help with SEO
Unique titles: Unique titles and meta descriptions can help drive and increase clicks to your website. Duplicate content like titles can have an impact on your search engine rankings
Alt tags: Images should use alternative text as it not only helps visually impaired users understand what is on-screen but it can also have a positive impact on a website’s SEO.

The real value comes from understanding where you can develop your website so that it performs better for your business. Most web companies would charge a fee for this analysis, but with My Business Advantage, Yell.com is offering you a completely free, comprehensive website report.

Visit the Website Checker benefit at www.mybusinessadvantage.com

driving at night

Darker evenings spell danger for fleet drivers

The clock change brings with it a number of challenging driving conditions such as reduced daylight and the onset of rainy and wet conditions and pushes up the risk of accident incidences by over a third across the UK on the ‘home time’ commute following the clock change.

Here are some top tips for safer driving in the dark 

  • Reduce your speed, understand the limitations of your vision and plan ahead. The limit of your vision at night is often limit of your headlight beam which is where you must be able to stop
  • Don’t dazzle other drivers: keep your lights clean and turn your headlights on before sunset. Keep your interior light off and avoid leaving your main beams on
  • Keep your windshield clean to avoid increased glare
  • Slow down: reduce speed to correspond to the amount of water on the road, as heavy rainfall leaves roads wet and slippery which reduces tyre grip and increases the risk of skidding – even for careful drivers
  • Avoid hard braking and turning sharply for better control of the vehicle and to avoid wheel locking
  • Hang back: allow ample stopping distance between the cars in front as stopping distances are doubled on wet roads. Motorists should be at least four seconds behind the car in front; ten seconds when driving on icy road surfaces.
  • If you’re travelling through a rural area at night, it’s possible for a herd of deer to cross the road, so those signs warning you of wild animals you’ll have previously passed will suddenly make sense.

However much you prepare your drivers with solid training, sometimes, it is always someone or something else on the road that could cause an accident.

My Fleet Solutions is here to step in, right from the very first minute, to minimise downtime and reduce costs. there are so many aspects associated with road traffic accidents that are almost impossible to manage in-house. We have a great partnership with Amber Claims Management, a dedicated provider of insurance claim management,

From removing the vehicle and finding a repairer to handling the claims process and recovering uninsured losses, our fleet accident management company will resolve all associated aspects of an incident.

More importantly, they will be with you and your driver, right from the time the accident happens.
There are dedicated service centre agents who are trained to deal with distressed drivers. They can spend the right amount of time on the phone with each driver to accurately capture incident detail, assess liability, and to understand potential indemnity restrictions, whilst providing reassurances following nasty accidents.

For example, your service agents can help your driver get the right information, such as knowing about road markings, damage to all vehicles, the third-party driver, if they seem suspicious, number plates, the positioning of the vehicles, tyre/skid marks and signposts. Is the vehicle still driveable?

As you can see, just from these suggestions above, that there are huge, reassuring benefits in having an accident management company on hand to deal with any incidents or accidents. Amber Claims Management will handle the first notification of loss, to ensure accurate insurance claims reporting. There is an accredited helpdesk primed to support distressed drivers. A network of courtesy cars to keep your fleet moving. Expertise to inspect, instruct and approve nominated or independent repairers.

By choosing My Fleet Solutions, you get preferential benefits to claim and manage the insurance process and recover losses, and you will have the incredible reassurance that incidents and accidents will not have a major impact on your business or fleet.

Visit www.myfleetsolutions.co.uk

Profit Planning

Plan, don’t wish, your business profit

Profit not returning? Is running your business draining you mentally? Do you wish for goals to be fulfilled because you don’t have the time to figure out how to make it happen?

At My Business Advantage, we don’t mean to be critical, and we know you’re starting your business with every good intention, and working every hour; but, a goal without a plan, is just a wish.

Let’s help you get some perspective. Spending a few hours profit planning offers many advantages to your business including performance evaluation, sales objectives, financial management, risk assessment and business agility.

 

That’s why My Business Advantage benefits give you access to Profit Pod a new system designed to help you get a firm grasp of where your business is, and what you need to do to boost your profits to the level you want to reach.

Profit Pod features 5 key modules (Reality Check, Preparation, Launch Pad, Acceleration & Outcome) and is designed to take your business from its current state through to 20% increased profitability in just 12 months.

Profit Pod

If you can give just one hour of your time per month then you’ll soon find the system is helping you to boost your bank balance.

To find out more about growing your business, using the tools of Profit Planning, visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Climate Change Fleet manager

A testing time for fleet managers

Balancing the very real worries about climate change with your own fleet needs is a very real challenge. You switched to diesel, to reduce CO2 emissions. But that has not eased the pressure. Now, you’re looking into EVs, but the infrastructure is not up-to-date to support your fleet just yet. So, the cheaper option is to switch back to petrol. Which is not ideal; and, on top of that, there’s the introduction of the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) initiative on vehicle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which is launching in 2020, but the impact of which is already starting this month.

car emissions

The challenges for fleet managers are very real, and in a recent analysis from automotive data experts, cap hpi has revealed the tax burden on company car drivers has soared over the last decade.

The study looked at the popular fleet vehicle the BMW 320d SE and found that while the list price of the vehicle had risen by 23% the BIK had risen 105% since 2009. In the same period, real wages have only risen 20%.

Cap hpi is calling for the government to rethink its approach to taxing company car drivers ahead of the Budget on 29 October.

Commenting on the findings Matt Freeman, managing consultant at cap hpi consulting said: “The fleet sector is hugely important to the motor industry and in most years accounts for around half of all new car sales. Successive governments have continued to ramp up taxes on company car drivers to the point where it has become punitive.

“Under WLTP rules the industry is seeing CO2 levels rise on many models and it will have a real impact under the current tax regime. Hitting the company car driver will not help the UK meet its environmental targets. These drivers are usually in new, technologically advanced and fuel-efficient vehicles. A more balanced approach is needed to protect both the industry and the environment.”

My Fleet Hub

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: My Fleet Hub, is a service dashboard where you can manage your fuel cards, mileage count, vehicle tracking with tele-gence and any work, including MOT that needs to be conducted on your vehicles. It’s a dashboard you can take anywhere with you and view anytime, to keep on top of your fleet.

There is no joining fee, plus you can save a lot of money on business services. Visit www.myfleethub.co.uk

Free company audit

Get to know your business data self

We live in the age of analytics. Yet all too often, we’re busy analysing potential customers or competitors, to take any time to analyse our own business. Often making transformational business decisions based on ‘gut instinct’ rather than evidence to an accurate forecast. If you are growing your business, My Business Advantage offers a free business audit.

Partnering with Experian, they offer a Business Data Hygiene & Enhancement Report which will provide you with unique insights into your business data. The report gives you the ability to cleanse, enrich and develop an understanding of the characteristics of your business customers.

free business auditWe know just how important strong customer relationships are to your business. Clean, accurate address data not only ensure you reach the right people but can also eliminate the duplication that damages your reputation and ultimately wastes your marketing budget. Experian has the best possible address data services – services that can help you build customer relationships that lead to increased sales.

As part of your Advantage benefits, you can receive an audit of your data (under strict NDA) with no charge. Not only will it highlight where you have missing, incomplete, or out of date records, it will also provide you with a full rundown of your database. It will show turnover, location, number of employees & sector – giving you a % breakdown for each category (eg: 13% are retailers, 21% have 5-10 employees, 12% have 50-100 employees).

And on top of that a friendly expert from Experian will be on hand to talk you through the results – so you really get the most from the benefit.

So, get to know your business with a free audit worth £300, from www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

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 the details of your vehicle 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 the 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 advices 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.

 

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 based 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 from 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 hayfever 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.

 

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 microfilter 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 potholes! 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, but 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 the 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

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 cash flow 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.

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

protect from 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 the 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.

protect from 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 give 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.

Digital 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

Profit planning

Are you making profit-draining mistakes?

The life of a small business owner is filled with challenges. Every decision you make has an impact on the financial health of your business and a knock-on effect on your employees and clients.

Building up your small business profits requires smart management, attentive bookkeeping and inspired leadership. But even the best business owners can make critical errors.

Are you making the right decisions managing your small business and its finances? At My Business Advantage, we offer finance training, to help you increase your understanding of the potential of your business and how to avoid profit-draining mistakes.

The Finance Training benefit offers a seven-module toolkit to help you get up to speed on the seven key finance areas that you need to understand to avoid making many of the common mistakes made in business; Understanding Your Balance Sheet, Understanding Your Profit & Loss Statement, Managing Your Cashflow, Profitable Pricing, Break-even Analysis, Business Planning and Budgets. Understanding these areas is vital for building a profitable, successful and enduring business.

The seven key modules to this portal are supported by video content for each module (37 videos across all 7 modules) and include a comprehensive workbook with case studies, worked solutions and in total over 35 downloadable tools and templates to help you in your business. The combined value of the provided tools is more than £1,000 alone!

Profit planning

The Finance Training benefit will help you avoid critical errors and making prudent financial decisions helps you achieve the profits you’ve dreamed about since you started your business.

The added benefits of this Finance Training is the flexibility, enabling you to learn and understand more from the comfort of your own home or office without fear of feeling embarrassed or being judged by others. It’s a resource you can refer to time and time again.

To access Finance Training benefit, visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

GDPR Compliance

The true cost of GDPR

Is your website up-to-date? No, we’re not talking about the latest version of CMS or the news stories that you blog. We mean, do you have a visible website privacy policy that is GDPR compliant online?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became a business regulation, in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals, this year on Friday, 25th May. This means any personal, identifying information needs to be managed within certain guidelines.

GDPR ComplianceFor a business owner, no matter what size, one, two or more people, you need to ensure that the personal data that you have relating to employees, volunteers, customers and suppliers is cared for within GDPR compliance.

For example, name, telephone number, address, bank details, email address, employee number, national insurance, passport and more. Individuals, including employees, can request to see what personal data a business or organisation holds on them free of charge.

These requests give the individual more say over what is done with their data and they have the ‘right to be forgotten’ (ie all data you have about them, must be destroyed).

Updating your website’s privacy policy for GDPR is essential, as it is public and therefore visible for anyone to see. This includes not only the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) itself, but also your customers and competitors, any one of whom could report you to the ICO for non-compliance, and the ICO is obliged to act on complaints they receive.

Failing to have a compliant privacy policy is specified as one of the breaches that can attract the highest fines – up to €20,000,000 or 4% of turnover (whichever is greater).

The GDPR’s requirements for privacy policies are very challenging to satisfy, and failure to meet a single requirement is an instant breach. And, unlike many of the GDPR’s other requirements, a website’s non-compliance can easily and instantly be proven.

In other areas of your business, if the sales team buy in-lists or your marketing team directly email all contacts from your CRM system? Then you also need to pay attention to being GDPR compliant.

At My Business Advantage, we have the most cost-effective policies that will meet your obligations, for just £120, you can obtain high-quality GDPR-compliant documentation which can be adapted to work across all facets of your business. This is a fraction of what it generally costs to comply with the GDPR’s other obligations or to have a solicitor prepare such documentation for you, either of which can easily run into the £1000’s.

To access the full suite of GDPR-compliant website documents, together with guidance notes for adapting them to your business and numerous other documents and templates to assist you in being up to date for GDPR, just visit the GDPR Compliance benefit at www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Get your mileage on track

Two words that are guaranteed to upset fleet managers: mileage and expenses. Business mileage is the most commonly claimed expense for UK companies – and it’s growing. (So too is all the administration of it.) My Business Advantage presents MileageCount: a smart, automated system for recording and reporting every mile of every journey in any vehicle. Accurate, dependable, and effortless, its all-in-one software makes it easy to record, manage, process and submit mileage records for all owned, leased and “grey” vehicles used for your business. MileageCount is the simplest way to save the most time, money and worry on the miles your company must account for.

Every company mile matters. Estimates, mistakes, private and unrecorded journeys won’t do. You can’t afford to hope all forms are complete and accurate. And with MileageCount you don’t have to. Each mile is counted automatically and accurately, maximising savings and minimising exposure to fraud. MileageCount then makes it easy to manage all reporting, shrink expense claims, reduce fuel spend, ensure a duty of care, and more.

Save time: Research shows 54% of drivers take over two hours to submit mileage claims every month. 10% take over eight hours! That time spent filling out forms means time lost working. MileageCount makes it easy for drivers to record and submit their business mileage, and easy for fleet managers to check and approve their mileage claims.

Save Money: Saving admin time saves money, reporting with accuracy avoids costly over-estimations, and clear data helps identify ways to streamline operations. Our research figures show that MileageCount can reduce business mileage claims by up to 21%. And businesses can start counting the savings as soon as it’s implemented, from as little as £3.50 per month per driver.

Save Worry: HMRC requires complete, accurate mileage reporting. Every journey incorrectly reported and a mile over claimed isn’t just unnecessary expense, it risks HMRC investigation. If HMRC finds your records are inaccurate, fines can date back years. MileageCount could help you avoid all fines related to mileage records. Developed in conjunction with Big 4 accountancy expertise, it’s the easiest way to ensure compliance through accuracy

Save more: Legislation governing vehicles and drivers also requires you to stay on top of servicing, licences, tax and insurance. MileageCount saves you from all these administration headaches too and helps you manage all your Duty of Care requirements with ease.

Mileage Counts

Mileage counts: if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. See how simple it is to save with MileageCount at www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Lead Generating LinkedIn Leads

LinkedIn Leads: from resume to resource

If your business is selling professional services, you most likely use LinkedIn for reputation management, prospecting, building awareness and professional authority; but have you used it for ‘doing business’?

Lead Generating LinkedIn Leads

It’s not all about making connections, it’s making the right connections. And a well-written profile will attract the right clients. My Business Advantage can ensure that your message is well-presented and your connections are well-managed with its LinkedIn Leads benefit.

Develop a client-centric focus with your LinkedIn profile, switching it from just a profile resume review to actually having a profile that speaks volumes to your ideal client, who can use this resource as part of their buying-in decision making. The experts providing this benefit can provide you with plenty of support to make sure your message is on-point.

Using this LinkedIn Leads benefit really can easily add hundreds of targeted new candidate or client prospects to your network each month. It can consistently secure your sales meetings, calls, candidate enquiries or proposal requests from your ideal target market.

Don’t waste time trying to find the key decision makers, let the decision makers come to you! By saving time and putting in a little investment of £199 + VAT a month, with no fixed contracts, and a free profile review – our LinkedIn Leads benefit is a great service with great rewards. Once your business profile is raised, your sales team will reap the rewards from the lead generating LinkedIn can produce.

Find out more about LinkedIn Leads at www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Access Finance

Flexible credit with access finance

As a business owner, what would you do with extra funds? If you are growing your business, we’re guessing quite a lot. Spare cash could provide that extra liquidity needed to drive new sales; get the best from your supplier or buy that asset to push your company to the next level.

Access Finance

My Business Advantage would like to introduce its Access Finance benefit. It is a type of credit that does not have a fixed number of payments, in contrast to instalment credit, and as a My Business Advantage member, you will get 50% off the standard set-up fee.

It is not a business loan, it works like an overdraft to cover cash flow gaps and is known as a revolving credit facility, you can access pre-approved funds as required, and interest is usually charged on the amount withdrawn while it is outstanding. Like an overdraft, the sooner you pay it back, the sooner you have access to the funds again, so the cash revolves around your business needs. And, you only pay for what and when you use it.

On average, within just three days of your first call with, you can draw down from your fund. So, if you’ve got an idea about how extra cash can help you get a load more cash… just visit the Access Finance benefit My Business Advantage, click the button to register your details and with just a five-minute phone call, you’ll be able to find out how to get funding to grow your business.

Visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk and get the Access Finance Benefit and save 50% off the standard set up fee.

sales data

Making sales count with data

When you’re prospecting, you will inevitably encounter objections and obstacles along the way; thinking that you won’t is misguided. However, they do say, that sales is a numbers game. But this does not mean numbers, as in quantity, it’s about being smart and finding the right one.

But how do you find your ideal customers? Battling with gatekeepers and no-name policies of larger organisations can be a time consuming and frustrating experience.

Empower the sales team with Sales Data 

sales data

When equipped with the proper sales intelligence—or information about target markets that plays a critical role in enriching the sales pipeline and enabling the sales force—salespeople can better serve customers and bolster sales effectiveness. 

With just one click, at My Business Advantage, our Sales Data benefit offers access to Experian’s Database of 5.1 million business contacts. Filter by location, industry type, size, turnover, employees and credit risk, download your data and then choose how you contact your prospects; telephone, email or direct mail campaigns – it’s your choice as you’ll receive full, up-to-date, contact information of directors and decision makers. 

Leveraging the power of connecting with Sales Data 

Just imagine the hours you can cut so that the sales team don’t have to spend hours not selling, trying to extract the right customer data and figure out how to make the initial pitch. 

The right sales intelligence provides your team with all sorts of benefits. For example, it can tell your salespeople which companies are most likely to buy your product and services; it leads you to the right prospects who are ready to buy; it equips your team with in-depth profiles explaining how to approach the specific company; and, most importantly, it enables your team to sell smarter and harder. 

The real value of Sales Data 

By preparing your team for smarter selling, your company can increase the likelihood of having comprehensive sales reports, driving ROI, and hitting set quotas, because, with customer data, you’ve empowered them. 

The value of sales intelligence is indisputable. As a salesperson, your job is to push through the information challenges, maximize your sales potential and cut back on the obstacles by uncovering the value of sales intelligence. 

At My Business Advantage, 50 FREE Sales Data benefit is valued at almost £100, and if you continue accessing this benefit, there’s an ongoing 20% discount on anything you purchase. 

What’s the real value of just one new customer worth to you? That’s the real value. 

Find out more about unlocking the Sales Data benefit at www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk 

digital marketing

Grasping the digital mindset

Technology dominates every part of our lives and it is impossible to imagine our society without it.

This means it is imperative that we, as entrepreneurs, fully grasp this digital mindset in order to garner complete use of the multitude of services and tools now available to us.

You may have mastered the mindset, but do you know how to create a digital marketing plan?

Do you know how to drive traffic to your website?

Are you happy with the business you’re generating?

If the answer is no to one or all of the above, don’t worry. An astounding 76% of business owners don’t have a strategy for online marketing, make sure you’re in the 24% that do with this handy guide from My Business Advantage partner Warren Knight.

We’ll share the first few tips below, but you can read them all here.

Or, for even more info, grab a free copy (normally £9.99) of Warrens Digital Marketing Playbook by clicking here

So here’s the start of our guide…….

OUTLINE YOUR GOALS

First things first, before getting started on planning a campaign, you need to have established the overall intended marketing goals.

1. SMART

(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals are a great way to start to ensure your objectives are focused and achievable.
They can be based on increasing sales, profits or recommendations through customer satisfaction.

2. Establish Budget

There is no point in beginning to plan a campaign without deciding on a realist budget beforehand. Once you know what you’ve got to work with you can begin researching the best ways to get the most out of it.

3. Conduct Your Own Market Research

Knowing your product/service inside out and back to front is vital for completing useful market research.

Get to grips with all of the key features and benefits in detail including price, service, distribution and placement.

You will also need to research the current market to get a gauge of your competitors and the industry benchmarks, so you can ensure you are not only meeting those marks but that you are beating the competition.

In order to do this, it is vital that you have a clearly defined USP that will make you stand out and superior to what is already on the market.

Have a clear indication as to who your target market is will help to determine your USP.

4. Targeting Your Audience

To keep reading you can view the full article here

Or

If you would like a FREE copy of warren’s Digital Marketing playbook, where he goes into more detail (normally £9.99) This PLAYBOOK is 100% Free to you, grab your copy now!

Don’t forget to check out all the benefits available to you through My Business Advantage by clicking here.

Tracking van thieves

Tracking theft with Tele-Gence

As the dark days delay the morning sunrise and the evening twilight creeps upon us quicker than before, your fleet vehicles are at more risk of being stolen. There is a relatively new trend in vehicle theft termed ‘relay attack’, which allows criminals to harness digital theft techniques to overcome existing vehicle security technology, such as immobilisers and keyless entry systems.

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 the 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%).

Fleet managers now have a new way to protect their assets from thieves through My Fleet Solutions with Tele-Gence – because the impact of van theft goes beyond just having the inconvenience of being without a vehicle. As well as the hassle of dealing with insurers to get a vehicle replaced, there’s the financial impact – increase in insurance premiums, cost of replacing tools, not to mention the administration cost of dealing with everything. Brand reputation can be at risk too if a business cannot serve its customers.

Our Tele-Gence device is small, and easy to hide, and cannot be tampered with. Our software is industry agnostic allowing us to select the right solutions based on the exact requirements for your business. This bespoke service allows you the choice of an intelligent fuel management tracking solution, by integrating your fuel card data. It works by giving you greater visibility of your fleet, using the creation of multi-shaped geo-fences or zones around fuel stations or work sites, for example, to pinpoint, alert, report and manage your fleet easily.

A simple alert and view of where refuelling has taken place against vehicle location help tackle, reduce and eventually eliminate fuel fraud. It also reduces unauthorised vehicle use, by tracking the vehicle’s movements in non-working hours. Offered with this solution is the capability of monitoring other valuable assets such as trailers or plant equipment using Tele-Gence’s unique heartbeat feature.

Our Tele-Gence fleet management solution 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.

Visit here for an instant free quote or call today on 03331 225 383 to arrange a free consultation visit.

Website Builder

Build a website

Do you know your UX from UI? That’s website developer talk, meaning ‘user experience’ and ‘user interface’: but is this really what YOU need to think about, after all, running a business is stressful enough?  

My Business Advantage is here to help, we all know website design is a vital part of modern business, and everyone needs an online presence to get attention these days. Whether that be a simple information-based website or a complex e-commerce website where all a company’s selling activity takes place. 

If you’re a programmer who can build a website from scratch, the sky’s the limit. For the rest of us, there are website builders available for almost every skill level. They are extremely easy to use, and you don’t need to know anything about coding to jump right in and build a clean-looking site. (If you can use PowerPoint, you can use a website builder.) 

Build your own website

Build your own website

My Business Advantage is offering a free website builder allowing you to easily create beautiful, mobile-friendly websites showcasing your services across multiple pages. 

The website builder is simple to use with drag and drop, code-free functionality and a well-stocked help library – and it is securely hosted for your peace of mind. The ready-made, code-free templates allow you to build a beautiful and professional website without the hassle of learning the technical know-how. And, with a unique co.uk domain name and matching email, you’ll be in a great position to start building your online brand reputation. 

Start building your website for FREE at My Business Advantage today!

IT Hero

Do you need an IT hero?

As a small growing business, you’ve probably not had the time to invest in an IT infrastructure that supports your team’s productivity. After all, there’s always a ‘Dave in accounts’ who usually fixes IT issues… right? But that saving and reliance on a team member to be an IT hero can have its downsides, especially when he/she goes on holiday.

My Business Advantage benefit is offering IT support that you can tailor-make for your business – “Waiting for Dave” will become an office-story from the past. Pick which service you need, such as migration to Cloud, Office 365, new hardware set-up or any IT problem. Our award-winning hybrid cloud solutions can take the stress out of worrying about your IT.

IT Hero

  1. Free Rapid Setup: Your hybrid server comes preconfigured with your company data, slashing migration and implementation times and more importantly reducing downtime to an absolute minimum.
  2. Completely Configurable: It’s your server, your way. Whilst pre-installed with reliable business software & features, additional services and fully operational virtual servers as well as other options are also available.
  3. Dedicated Support Staff: Knowledgeable, experienced and friendly, our support staff are available when you need them, by phone and email.
  4. Best Possible Prices: As a leading provider of hybrid technology in the area we can negotiate competitive prices from our suppliers, and as such we get to pass these great prices onto you.
  5. Traditional Alternatives: If hybrid IT isn’t for your business then we also offer traditional IT support services and products with a fresh approach that makes us stand out from the crowd.

Call on us for your IT issues. (Some of our experts are also called Dave.)

Visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk.

Seeing clearly

When we talk about vision in business, its connotations envisage future market trends and plans. When we talk about vision in your fleet drivers, we’re talking sense of sight, plain and simple.

Over time our eyesight deteriorates and previously strong vision can become poor. As a driver, if eyesight problems are left unaddressed they can often lead to poor reaction times to unexpected hazards or the behaviour of other road users.

Police forces in Thames Valley, Hampshire and the West Midlands will be trialling roadside eye tests on stopped drivers, alongside the usual suite of checks including driving licence, MOT, Insurance, drug or alcohol abuse tests.

If a driver cannot read a number plate from 20 metres, they will fail and have their driving licence revoked there and then, if they believe the safety of other road users will be at risk if that motorist remains on the road.

This necessary vigilance necessitates the proper action from fleet managers towards drivers. At My Fleet Solutions, we encourage fleet managers to update driver vision policies to better protect their employees and their business.

Deteriorating eyesight can often be a sign of other health problems so a check-up is a good idea, for your drivers’ wellbeing. If eye correction is prescribed for driving make sure they use it, not having glasses is a poor excuse when you have had a crash.

IAM (The Institute of Advance Motoring) provides advice on eyesight and driving.

1 Book regular check-ups. Eyesight can deteriorate over time without you noticing. If you are having to move closer to the television to read the titles clearly or have noticed even a slight deterioration with your eyes, we recommend a visit to the optician for a check-up; this should be done on a regular basis (every two years) and it’s free for the over 60s

2 Take a break: eyes get tired too. If you are travelling for long periods of time, you should take a break every two hours or every 100 miles, whichever is sooner. This will refresh you and your eyes, keeping you alert

3 Driving at night can be the most problematic area as our eyes age. No matter how eagle-eyed we may think we are, it is a scientific fact that as we get older our eyes become less sensitive to light. Avoiding nighttime driving is a wise precaution if you are starting to struggle to see clearly after dusk

4 Keep a pair of sunglasses in the car in all seasons; low sun on a wet road will make you wish you hadn’t packed them away after the summer

5 Know the law. You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres. To find out more information on this visit the government’s driving eyesight rules page here

6 Stay hydrated. Water is very good at keeping you hydrated and is also good for your eyes. With the bonus of helping you maintain concentration while driving and riding.

We know managing a fleet of vehicles can be very expensive for a business and one of the expenses that sometimes seems harder to control is fleet insurance. At My Fleet Solutions, we offer FCS Insurance Solutions, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). Through our parent company Fuel Card Services, we can negotiate bigger discounts and 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.

If your driver is involved in a road traffic accident, My Fleet Solutions can assist with vehicle insurance claim management, just one of the many helpful services we provide exclusively for fleet managers.

My Fleet Solutions parent company Fuel Card Services is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporation.

Intelligent protection

Parking and reversing account for almost one in 10 serious van accidents, according to an investigation by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Figures from the Department for Transport* show there were 1,350 parking and reversing van accidents involving light commercial vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tonnes in 2016 that resulted in deaths or serious and slight injuries to drivers, passengers, pedestrians or cyclists. Far more parking and reversing incidents also occur which do not have a direct ‘human’ impact – but which will inevitably affect fleet and business operations.

The figures show how problematic parking and reversing can be for commercial vehicle drivers, especially those who spend a lot of time negotiating tight spaces. As well as causing injuries, these accidents force vans off the road and into Van Centres for repairs. Downtime costs fleets an average of £550 a day per van.

Vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, and there is an increasing number of systems available that aim to improve vehicle and driver safety. Parking cameras and sensors can reduce the chance or severity of accidents.

Using technology to improve fleet safety’ also provides essential information that can assist managers to reduce their road risk for drivers. Telematics has a crucial role to play when it comes to protecting fleet drivers as it helps to improve safety levels and reduce risk, both of which are paramount when it comes to operating fleets.

A new study into drivers working as part of the “gig economy” has laid bare the importance of businesses treating the management of occupational road risk as a mainstream health and safety work issue, says RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents).

The research by University College London revealed that 63 per cent of self-employed couriers or taxi drivers surveyed are not provided with safety training on managing risks on the road, while 65 per cent are not given any safety equipment.

The findings highlight mobile phones and apps, and time pressures as being among those issues which could cause an incident.

An estimated 25 to 33 per cent of road casualties are work-related, and in 2016 work-related crashes resulted in 529 deaths and 5,269 serious injuries, showing the vital importance of businesses providing their drivers with the proper training and resources.

To manage occupational road risk, My Fleet Solutions offers Tele-gence. An easy to use fully featured vehicle management solution, that puts you in control.

With Tele-gence vehicle tracking and telematics device, you can advise drivers towards the best and shortest routes, which is provided by the GPS tracking system. Satisfy your customers by informing on delivery status. The small device can be hidden and can help keep track if the vehicle is stolen. As well as tracking and reporting, the GPS system logs relevant driver information, so you can keep in communication, and know when there’s been an incident. Tele-gence can save you money when it comes to insuring your fleet.

Visit www.myfleetsolutions.co.uk

Ending a temporary fix

It’s all very well taking on temps, but are you clear how to bring the arrangement to an end without incurring any discrimination or unfair dismissal claims?

Joe Zee was employed in a restaurant. Just casual work was the idea, a short-term fix, but over the past 10 weeks, he’s been working up to 25 hours a week. But you never got around to issuing a contract of employment, you haven’t paid him holiday as you didn’t see him as a proper employee and now you are wondering whether you can just say to him that next week will be his last shift.

There is also a small complication in that Joe has two colleagues who are working on the same basis, but you want to keep them on. Joe isn’t quite as smart as the other two, hence why it’s him who is for the ‘chop’.

So can you just say ‘goodbye’ to Joe?

Well… it’s a good thing you wanted to check!

Let’s start with employment status and employment rights, then we’ll take a look at how you can dismiss one of a group of people doing the same job.

Employment Status

In a nutshell… either people are Employed or they are Self-employed (or of course they can be ‘unemployed’).

If ‘employed’, they will either be employed by you or perhaps by a temp agency that supplied them to you. If they are self-employed that means they are responsible for their own tax, holidays etc and they invoice you for their time. But to be genuinely (legally) self-employed they should have more than one client, i.e. not work exclusively for you, they can ask someone to fill in for them if they are not available, and they are not generally subject to the rules and procedures set for your employed staff e.g. your disciplinary, dismissal and grievance procedures.

So, as you haven’t suggested he is working anywhere else, it would appear that Joe Zee works only for you, so really, he should be employed. He is a full-blown ‘proper’ employee, whether you intended it or not.

That means that by the 8th week of starting work for you, you had a legal responsibility to issue him with a written contract of employment (statement of particulars it is sometimes called) and that contract should set out that he was employed on a temporary basis (ideally, also giving reasons for requiring a temp e.g. in order to support during our Christmas or Summer period or in order to support during an increase in workload). If it doesn’t say he was employed as a temp, or you haven’t issued anything, then he could argue he was offered and accepted a permanent role.

Failure to issue a contract of employment by the 8th week that the individual is employed with you could be subject to a compensatory award being made to the employee of a maximum 4 weeks’ pay per employee! Be aware….

So Joe Zee is potentially a permanent employee of yours with all the employment rights associated with that. Even if he has worked with you for less than 8 weeks, he will still have employment rights and the right to a contract of employment. If he (or others like him) worked/temped for 2 years with you, he would also get unfair dismissal and redundancy rights, as those kick in after 2 years of continuous employment.

More employment rights… either immediately or not later than 3 months after joining you, you should have also invited him to join your pension fund. From day one, you should be doing his PAYE, giving him a minimum of 28 days paid holidays, being mindful of his rest breaks and treating him exactly as you would treat a full-time permanent employee – albeit on a pro rata basis (i.e. benefits reduced to reflect his part-time hours). He is also entitled to any bonus scheme and benefits offered to other staff, to paternity pay and leave, sick pay etc. Any failure to treat him the same as your full-time permanent employees can land you in a pickle (to be polite about it) with the Employment Tribunal. That could then result in compensation being paid to him, plus you incurring thousands (usually tens of thousands) in legal fees.

But employment status aside, what about how you ‘lose’ one of a number of employees?

Redundancy

However you phrase it or do it, effectively the situation here is probably one of redundancy. There is a best practice process to follow when selecting one or more employees for redundancy. Check out ACAS’s website. If you want to lose one or more employees, then all people doing the same job should be put into the selection ‘pot’. You then need to consult with either individuals or staff representatives over the selection criteria you will use to choose who is to go and who is to stay. Once you have your selection criteria and have identified who is at risk, you then have to hold various individual consultation meetings over a one-two week period with the individual/s selected, before ultimately dismissing. But beware, redundancy rights and redundancy consultation laws are quite complex so you would need to read up on them if you want to keep your business safe from legal claims.

As redundancy can be pretty complicated, another option might be to follow the best practice guidelines for dismissing a short service employee. To follow this route, you would need to have made a business decision that you just need to dismiss this, as opposed to needing to reduce staffing numbers generally.

If you dismiss a short service employee, the law doesn’t require you to give a reason for dismissal, but not doing so could help you to avoid any complaints – either in social media or to an employment tribunal. You really don’t want to dismiss Joe Zee only to land yourself with a discrimination claim.

As an example, if the casual worker you want to dismiss is a woman, whilst those not being dismissed are men, then she might bring a complaint of sex discrimination, i.e. claiming that you have treated men more favourably. Another type of discrimination claim might be for race or religious discrimination if the one you dismiss is different from those who remain. A third option might be if the one you dismiss is older or younger than the others… and the list goes on as there are in fact 9 protected groups within our society who can bring a discrimination claim!

So… to avoid problems with temporary staff, remember that ‘casual’ is seldom as casual as you would like, always issue temps with a contract within 8 weeks of them starting that sets out that they are temporary and why they are temporary, and that details when and how you might bring their employment to an end. This small administration matter of issuing a contract could avoid a massive headache further down the line.

Protect your business from legal claims… casual workers are more often than not formally employed workers, with a shed load of employment rights to boot!

Need some additional support?

At My Business Advantage, we have partnered with DocsWizard, an incredibly cost-effective and easy to use HR documents site that lets you download all of the HR documents that you could possibly need! And by becoming a My Business Advantage member, you gain access at a whopping 50% discount for the first year’s subscription.

To find out more, visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

MBA Wine Voucher

Rewarding perks for you and the team

Rewarding employees for their hard work is important to increase staff morale, and providing motivation and incentives for your team. But perhaps you’re unsure of how to reward, what to reward and when the best time to reward is?

If you’re struggling to decide what to reward your staff with, then look no further than our Wine benefit at My Business Advantage.

Wine Benefit

For those times when you just want to let your hair down and relax from the pressures of work, we’ve partnered with Virgin Wines to offer you a whopping £50 to spend on the wines of your choice, plus FREE next-day delivery, worth £7.99

Choose from exciting 12-bottle mixed cases starting at just £4.17 a bottle or browse the Virgin Wines website to pick and mix your own selection from over 550 top-quality, handcrafted bottles. This fantastic £50 voucher acts as the perfect introduction to the cracking savings and exclusive VIP benefits you’ll enjoy as part of the Virgin Wines’ WineBank.

Claim your £50 wine voucher today. (And feel free to share this voucher code with friends & family – the more the merrier!)

Visit our wine benefit and reward your team today!

Mortgage overpayment

Have you overpaid your mortgage?

If you’ve ever held a mortgage, commercial or residential, you could be owed thousands of pounds. A great boost to cash flow no matter the size of your business.

The Financial Conduct Authority found that due to miscalculations by lenders, often through no deliberate fault of their own, at least 750,000 mortgage holders are owed money from over-charges.

mortgage overpayment

Are you one of them? 

The reason this miscalculation has not been largely talked about is that, until now, it’s been almost impossible to calculate the over-charges. But not anymore.

Here at My Business Advantage, we’re working with Paget Brown UK who have developed software which quickly and accurately assesses any mortgage – no matter how complex.

They’re already processing successful claims, and while the value of each one is dependant on the lender and the size of the mortgage, the claims can run into the 10’s of thousands.

How can I check? 

Through My Business Advantage, Paget Brown offer a complimentary service, where you take just a couple of minutes to provide some basic details and they’ll then run the assessment on your mortgage. If it reveals that you have in fact been over-charged, then they’ll also go about retrieving YOUR money for you.

To get started just click here.

Dedication to your reputation

Naturally, every business that cares about their online presence wants to achieve excellent search visibility and build an awesome reputation on social media and review websites.

But did you know that online reviews can influence your SEO? It’s true! Carefully managing your public reviews and feedback can have a positive impact on your search rankings.

My Business Advantage partner Yell has identified 5 ways that managing your brand’s online reputation can positively impact your search visibility – but first, let’s take a look at what online reputation management actually means.

Reputation Management

What is Online Reputation Management? (“ORM”)

Online reputation management 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.

5 Ways Online Reputation Management Can Help SEO

1. Listings Establish Your Presence
Search engines need to provide a good experience to their users to keep them coming back time and time again. As such, they tend to cross-reference company information with listings from across the web to make sure they’re giving out the right information. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your phone numbers, email addresses, map pointers, postal addresses, and opening times are correct and consistent across all of your online company listings.

2. User-Generated Content is Still Content!
Though individual reviews may not give quite the same boost as “established” content formats like blogging or video, growing your reviews through trusted sites like Yell and Trustpilot can benefit your SEO in a similar vein to the way content marketing does.
By building a profile of high-quality reviews, you gain a library of fresh, relevant, and genuine content associated with your business; from neutral, organic third parties; published on highly trustworthy review sites. Having this valuable content associated with your company gives search engines a good deal of contextual information about you, and more for the search crawlers to grab hold of.

Reputation Management3. Discover New Long-Tail Keywords
Hearing from your customers in their own words has its benefits. Take an in-depth look at the language that people use in their reviews – this may be a great source of keyword inspiration. Carrying out keyword research as an expert in your field is all well and good but familiarising yourself with the lingo your customers use when they’re referring to your products and services can be incredibly insightful and powerful. Reviews can provide a wealth of useful – but lesser used – long-tail keywords that you can incorporate into your website’s copy to assist with optimisation.

4. Tried & Tested Social Proof
Search engines tend to rank companies with good reviews higher than those with poor or non-existent ratings. For example, Google looks at reviews from its own Google My Business platform, and from trusted partners like Yell and Facebook, to establish the social standing of a company. Is the company demonstrably popular and well-liked? Or is there evidence to suggest that that the company provides a bad experience? Google looks at reviews and star ratings to make a judgement call about how suitable your company is for a searcher’s query.

5. Boosts your “Local 3-Pack” Presence
If you’ve ever searched for a company online, chances are that you’ve come across the “local 3-pack” – results shown with a small map, indicating the location and contact details of three suitable results. The SEO experts at Moz state that 13% of local 3-pack ranking factor comes from review signals such as the quantity and diversity of user-generated reviews. 13% may not sound like a lot, but it can easily tip the scales in your favour over a competitor – or vice versa!

If your company isn’t already registered with Google My Business, we highly suggest you do so to help give your brand a fighting chance of appearing in Google’s local 3-pack – and to give you another trusted avenue through which to receive reviews.

A final thought about negative reviews

If you’re totally new to online reputation management, opening yourself up to reviews can be a daunting prospect. But if you care deeply about the customer experience, you’re unlikely to receive anything too scathing! However, it’s worth remembering that negative reviews can present a great opportunity to improve and learn, allowing you to put measures in place so that bad experiences don’t happen again.

You have the power to nip any bad experiences in the bud before they reach the internet. Think about what you would ideally like to happen if a customer raises a complaint. Use this to craft a clear and defined method of escalating and resolving complaints – whether they’re received face-to-face or online. By having a plan of action for when criticism comes in, you’re more likely to resolve things amicably; but if you fly by the seat of your pants or leave staff to their own devices in the face of negative feedback, they may not make the best decisions for your brand. This is where truly bad experiences can run wild!

But if you welcome reviews of all kinds, put effort into keeping an eye on reputation, and deal with customers’ opinions fairly and openly, you have nothing to worry about – and potentially more to gain!

My Business Advantage offers a free comprehensive report on your current online reputation – allowing you to see what people are saying about your brand online. We also have experts who can help with your strategy of Reputation Management.

expenses

Are you claiming enough?

One of the hardest things about being self-employed is trying to understand the ‘business’ bit of what you do and it can be really difficult to balance your love and passion for promoting and selling your products or services with your obligations to report your business activity to HMRC.

At My Business Advantage, we feel your frustration. So the team at 1tap have put together a basic A-Z guide to the expenses you can and should be claiming (and there’s a free download of their AMAZING app for claiming them all!).

expenses

Three key things to remember when claiming expenses:

THING ONE – Don’t claim personal things

The law states that expenses claimed are to be “wholly and exclusively incurred in the performance of the business”. Which means anything purchased for personal use should not be claimed. Keep this in mind when you are unsure of an expense and you won’t go far wrong. HMRC aren’t out to get you for genuine mistakes, but you should use a bit of common sense when making your claims.

THING TWO – Keep a copy of all your receipts

You must keep copies of your receipts for six years to comply with HMRC requirements. HRMC is quite happy with electronically stored copies so you don’t have to keep the originals. If you photograph your receipts and store them with 1Tap, we’ve got you covered.

THING THREE – Give evidence where no receipt can

While you will get away with providing no receipts whatsoever, you don’t necessarily need a receipt for every single claim. If you lose a receipt or forget to get one, you can still make a claim – as long as you can provide robust evidence to back it up (date, amount and reason) and of course, the claim is deemed a reasonably acceptable one.

While 1tap guide aims to cover the main types of expenses you can claim, it is by no means a fully exhaustive list and you should get independent advice and carry out further investigation of your own. However, it should set you firmly on the path to paying less tax by ensuring you are claiming what you are entitled to.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE EXPENSES GUIDE HERE

Business and Private Mileage

Service:

My Fleet Solutions introduce smart, automated systems for recording and reporting every mile of every journey in any fleet vehicle.

At A Glance

  • Choose your mileage capture solution
  • Record mileage from all drivers
  • Upload, complete and submit claim
  • Management approve / decline claim
  • HMRC or Customer Report

Business And Private Mileage

Every company mile matters. Estimates, mistakes, and unrecorded journeys won’t do. With My Fleet Solutions mileage devices, every business mile is counted automatically and accurately, maximising savings and minimising exposure to fraud. My Fleet Solutions then makes it easy to manage all reporting, shrink expense claims, reduce fuel spend, ensure duty of care, and meet your HMRC reporting guidelines.

To find out more register here for a call back

Vehicle Insurance

Service:

My Fleet Solutions can tailor commercial vehicle insurance to cover every make and every eventuality, all in one policy.

At A Glance

  • Mixed Fleet Insurance
  • HGV Dedicated Insurance
  • Employers Liability Insurance
  • Product & Public Liability Insurance
  • Goods In Transit Insurance

Vehicle Insurance

From an executive motor, to a nippy van or an impressive HGV truck, no matter how big or small the number of vehicles in your fleet, and no matter how tall or wide the models are, there is a commercial vehicle policy out there that will fit all your business needs. Not only that, My Fleet Solutions can source the right commercial vehicle policy to cover every eventuality, including goods in transit, protecting your assets and employee drivers’ liability.

To find out more register here for a call back

 

Fuel Cost Control – Fuel Cards

Service:

My Fleet Solutions can fuel your fleet by cutting the costs at the pumps for your fleet, whether a diesel or a petrol model.

At A Glance

  • BP Fuel Cards
  • Complefleet Fuel Cards
  • Diesel Direct Fuel Cards
  • Esso Fuel Cards
  • Shell Fuel Cards
  • Scania Fuel Cards
  • Texaco Fuel Cards
  • UK Fuel Cards

 

Fuel Cost Control with Fuel Cards

With My Fleet Solutions you can enjoy incredible cost and significant time savings with any of its fuel cards, being part of the largest independent agents of fuel cards in the UK, and working as agents on behalf of most of the major oil companies including BP, Esso, Shell and Texaco, means there is a card that right for your drivers to use for any filling station brand near to your premise.

To find out more register here for a call back

Tracking & Telematics

Tele-Gence - Telematics Tracking Systems for you and your business

My Fleet Solutions offers telematics systems that will save money, keep your customers happy, lift employee productivity and protect your assets.

To find out more request a call back here 

All the benefits at a glance:

Service

  • Full fuel card integration
  • A UK based support team
  • No automatic contract renewals
  • A fully scalable solution
  • Hosted in the cloud, accessible from anywhere
  • Customisable, designed to support your needs

Savings

  • No integration charges
  • Pricing tailored to your needs
  • Improve MPG by up to 20%
  • Lower costs and affordable
  • Gives you immediate results
  • Reduction of fuel costs

Security

  • Full access to your fuel data
  • Improved and accurate MPG reporting
  • Helping to reduce and eliminate fuel fraud
  • Improved driver behaviour
  • Improved fleet insights

Tracking & Telematics

My Fleet Solutions offer devices that can advise drivers towards the best and shortest routes, which is provided by the GPS tracking system. Satisfy your customers by informing on delivery status. The small device can be hidden, and can help keep track if the vehicle is stolen. As well as tracking and reporting, the GPS system logs relevant driver information, so you can keep in communication. A tracking and telematics device can also save you money when it comes to insuring your fleet. My Fleet Solution can source the best device for your business.

 

 

To find out more request a call back here 

Car emissions WLTP

What is WLTP?

WLTP is not some new, super strange meaning, urban acronym, which the kids use a lot in YouTube videos. However, fleet managers should get to grips with using it in their vernacular, before it comes into action in 2020.

It’s the introduction of the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) initiative on vehicle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which are launching in 2020, Businesses need to get to grips with what WLTP means for them and their fleet drivers. Many businesses rely on their vehicles as key assets that support their core business operations and with WLTP you need to understand the impact of the new emissions targets sooner rather than later.

WLTP is the replacement for the long-established New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) vehicle testing procedure. The changes will test cars and light vans in more ‘real-world’ style conditions. This means CO2 emissions are rising and MPG reducing on some models, compared to the current figures quoted under the NEDC test process.

Car emissions WLTP

Car emissions WLTP

In April 2020, the UK government will introduce a tax monitoring system based on WLTP CO2 values. This will see a transition period with manufacturers publishing figures obtained under WLTP testing but converted back to a comparable NEDC value, known as an NEDC-correlated figure. As a result, these figures will be higher than under the previous NEDC test cycle, which means motorists will have to pay higher vehicle-related tax. Additionally, vehicle list prices could rise as manufacturers introduce technological improvements to counter any rise in CO2 emissions and reductions in MPG.

Manufacturers are already taking action to manage the negative impact of CO2 emissions, including the move towards WLTP. This may see the withdrawal of specific engines or options and re-engineering some vehicles to improve emissions, which in turn could slow down production and make it difficult for manufacturers to meet orders.

Danielle Tilley, Business Development Director of Venson Automotive Solutions comments, “What is absolutely certain is that if vehicle CO2 figures have not been influential in the compilation of company car policies to date, they are now fast becoming critical. Meanwhile, not only is CO2 data vital but those ‘must have’ optional extras beloved of many company car drivers may be confined to the dustbin come April 2020. That’s because, for the first time, options will be included in the CO2 /MPG testing process.

“WLTP is here and organisations must understand its impact on company car policies and fleet choice. They also need to understand the timeline for the full implementation of WLTP and the related Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test, as well as getting to grips with how both WLTP and RDE impacts on all aspects of vehicle-related taxation between 2018 and 2020. Businesses need to make sure they are prepared for further change once the government announces the shape of all vehicle-related taxation from April 2020.”

To keep on top of how your fleet drives on the road, why not book a service or MOT with My Fleet Solutions? We offer the very best for fleets when it comes to vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs, on all makes and models. There is always a garage nearby or an expert mechanic ready to fix the vehicle at the side of the road. When you call, 24/7, 365 days of the year, there’s a member of the team ready to answer. My Fleet Solutions can take the sting out of automotive costs, 60% 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. 

Find out more at www.myfleetsolutions.co.uk

Are your drivers set for summer driving?

Are your drivers set for the road this summer? As we all know, the road traffic is going to start building up with holiday drivers heading for their destinations, family, luggage or a caravan in tow. Many of them never use the motorway during their working life and many more of them do not have a clue about getting to their destinations. Yet despite these challenges, your drivers fearlessly negotiate the traffic jams, in searing heat, while ignoring the frustrations caused by fellow drivers on the road. Okay, maybe not all that is true, but you can lessen the anxiety for them by ensuring your fleet vehicles are up to the task of heavy-duty, stop starting in high temperatures.

My Fleet Solutions offers the very best for fleets when it comes to vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs, on all makes and models. Need an MOT or a pre-purchase inspection? A mechanic can pick up. Got a driver stranded many miles away? There is always a garage nearby or an expert mechanic ready to fix the vehicle at the side of the road. When you call, 24/7, 365 days of the year, there’s a member of the team ready to answer. The costings are transparent, based upon thorough working knowledge and up-to-date automotive data, plus all parts and repairs are protected under a one-warranty too. 

My Fleet Solutions introduces Autoserve brings the following exclusive benefits to fleet managers: 

  • Free collection and delivery of the vehicle
  • Garages throughout the UK
  • Guaranteed levels of service, with fully vetted & qualified mechanics
  • Protected manufacturer’s warranty on parts and repairs
  • All costs approved before work and instant fixed price quotes
  • 60% cheaper than franchise garages

Looking for better maintenance service? Visit Autoserve.

Thinking on your fleet

Using our roads is not an automatic right for an individual, and must always come with responsibilities, including the requirement in UK law to ensure you have appropriate vehicle insurance, so says Neil Worth, an officer of road safety and breakdown organisation GEM.

Driving without insurance carries a fine of £300 and six penalty points at the roadside. If the matter goes to court it is an obligatory endorsement of 6 to 8 points, a discretionary disqualification and an unlimited fine. Imagine the costs involved if you are a fleet manager and one of your drivers gets caught… it simply doesn’t bear thinking.

As a responsible fleet manager, the expense of managing your fleet’s insurance can be expensive and time-consuming. Which is why some policies, although complying with the law, might not be the right fit for your business.

Are you guilty of simply buying another single-vehicle policy as and when you buy or lease a new van or car? This may look like a cheaper option, but it can end up being quite expensive when you look at all the insurance premiums, not to mention the admin involved and making sure all the right drivers can drive the right vehicles.

If you plan on buying or leasing more vehicles, you are likely to find a situation where you are looking at a new single vehicle quote to cover a new vehicle but don’t have any ‘no claims bonus’ to apply, as you are using it on your other vehicle(s). Usually, this makes for an expensive first year’s premium on that new vehicle.

If you have a mix of cars, vans and/or special type vehicles, motor fleet insurance is often rated differently. If your business dictates that you need to run a combination of cars, vans or maybe special type vehicles such as tippers, diggers, cherry pickers etc, then you may find it difficult and/or expensive to insure these vehicles individually. Motor fleet insurers tend to be more open to accepting a mixture of vehicles on their policies for reasonable rates.

At My Fleet Solutions, we offer FCS Insurance Solutions, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). Through our parent company Fuel Card Services, we can negotiate bigger discounts and 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.

My Fleet Solutions parent company Fuel Card Services is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

For a quote tailored to your business needs or commercial vehicle requirements visit www.fcsinsurancesolutions.co.uk

How does your A/C blow?

While we are all enjoying a lovely hot summer this year, there is one saviour that is standard in most cars, which we all take for granted: air conditioning. However, use it wisely, as it is not just a matter of pressing a button, and it’s on. There are correct ways of using this system so that it’s not just for ambient temperature, but also so it doesn’t impact negatively on you and your motor.

As a driver, were you aware of the risks of higher temperatures and dehydration, which can cause tiredness, dizziness, headaches and reduced reaction times?

Doctors have tested and recorded that a difference of just 10°C – 35°C compared to 25°C – inside the cabin can diminish reaction times by 20% – the equivalent to a blood alcohol reading of 0.05%.

Safety research has found that turning the system on full-blast – could be reducing its effectiveness, resulting in higher interior temperatures and possible dehydration. So, here’s how to avoid those air conditioning mistakes, when you first get into a boiling hot car.

  1. Turning on the air conditioning full blast as soon as you get in the car

When entering a hot car, it’s tempting to turn the air-con on to maximum. However, turning on the air conditioning straight away without opening the windows will just recirculate the hot air. Instead, open the doors, lower the windows for a minute or two before shutting the doors and cranking up the A/C.

  1. Keeping the air recirculation option activated

Keeping it on can make the windows fog and reduce visibility. Most cars will have an ‘Auto’ option, which can regulate itself to prevent fog while keeping drivers and passengers cool.

  1. Not turning on the air conditioning in the morning

Some summer mornings can be cool, but it’s still a good idea to keep the A/C on to prevent windows from fogging up when the outside temperature rises. Did you know that air conditioning also comes in handy on cold, dark winter days? Switch on your air con the next time the cabin mists, and the air conditioning will produce dry warm air, ensuring maximum visibility and demisting of windows when drivers need it most.

  1. Pointing the air jets toward you

It’s tempting, but it’s counter-productive and stops the car getting an even distribution of airflow. Pointing the jets upward lets the cool air spread around the car more effectively and allows it to reach all occupants.

5. Not performing regular maintenance

Did you know that air conditioning systems in a car were first fitted, as a luxury 80 years ago? Back then, air conditioning would cost approximately £3,418 in today’s money, and all this gave you was a refrigeration compressor which ran off the vehicle’s engine, it had no thermostat and simply discharged the cooled air from the back of the car.

It’s a welcome relief during these hot summer days, that air conditioning does come as standard with most manufacturers, and they are a little more efficient than back in 1938.

Besides hot summer days, and cold winter nights, regularly turning on your air conditioning ensures the system remains charged and does not dry out. It’s also worthwhile knowing that even with regular use, air con gas permeates from the system.

So just like the oil, tyres or brake fluid, the air conditioning system requires maintenance. Failing to keep the air con gas topped up and changing clogged cabin air filters every 10,000 to 15,000 miles can stop your A/C working effectively.

So don’t take air conditioning for granted, use it wisely and ensure that it’s maintained properly with regular servicing and recharging so that the system works as effectively as possible.

My Fleet Solutions offers 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% 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 an air conditioning service.

 

 

When lightning strikes, is your business covered?

As night follows day, with all this hot weather, a storm is a brewing, as the Met office starts plotting and predicting where it’s going to strike. You don’t need to panic, because your business is covered. But do you know what to do if lightning does strike?

It seems like the right thing to do as a business owner, after an accident occurs, call a contractor to fix your business premise roof damaged by a storm and get your buildings insurance to match the quote. Wrong. After weathering the storm, it is the insurer that determines whether you have a valid claim.

At Fuel Card Services, we have found an insurance claims management partner Aspray Ltd, that you can turn to for expert guidance and support on property damage insurance claims. We are offering this opportunity through our online benefits portal, My Business Advantage.

Aspray can manage your claim from inception to completion by dealing with your insurer, or appointed loss adjuster, directly to negotiate a fair and satisfactory settlement. Once works are agreed, Aspray will project manage vetted contractors to complete the reinstatement works, all the while, putting the policyholder first. Giving you further peace of mind: Aspray is a member of the British Damage Management Association (BDMA).

What you need to know regarding your Industrial Storm Damage Claim:

Determining whether damage to your business premise has been caused by gale force winds can sometimes be a tricky one. It is sometimes, not just the roof that has been hit by the weather. Scoping the damage and taking photographic evidence is essential. Adverse weather may affect structural damage and this might not be apparent until weeks after the storms when rainwater begins to enter the building causing internal damage – being certain of the exact cause can be difficult. You will need to check weather records in the area and around the time of the incident to help determine whether you have a valid claim.

How Aspray will handle your Commercial Property Storm Damage Claim:

• Arrange a site visit usually within 24 hours of your call.

• Prepare and present a schedule of works for your insurer.

• Liaise directly with your insurance company and loss adjuster if necessary.
• Oversee a team of vetted tradespeople.
• Ensure your property is restored to its pre-loss condition as swiftly as possible.
• Negotiate any business interruption settlement for home workers and business owners.
• Help arrange alternative accommodation, where required.
• Project manage the claim and stay in close contact with you throughout. The work is only complete when you are satisfied with the repair.

Money off your excess:

Best of all, there is no charge to you for the service if Aspray appoints and project manage the contractors as they are paid directly by your insurers. Please note any policy excess stated within your policy will of course still apply.

However, if you do instruct Aspray to take care of your insurance claim and all reinstatement works, they are offering a £100 voucher towards your excess upon completion. Terms and conditions apply.

Simply visit ‘Insurance Claim Management’ and we’ll take care of the rest.

Business loan

Looking for an unsecured business loan?

You’ve got a great business idea; but, in order to capitalise on it, you need funds. Although the prospect of securing funding can seem daunting at first, there are all sorts of different ways to finance your start-up idea once you know where to look.

Business loan

Business loan

If you are looking for informed searches and saving money then connect to My Business Advantage, we are experts in price comparison for unsecured business loans.

Through our trusted network of suppliers, we can source the best quotes from hundreds of multiple providers and reliable suppliers. Once we understand your business needs, we can negotiate better terms on your behalf. Think of us as your outsourced procurement team, saving you the hassle and time too. This service is 100% free and there is no obligation.

Simply register your details to become a member of My Business Advantage and the process is simple. After a few comprehensive questions, just to clarify your requirements, we will get the best candidates in front of you. They will then compete and bid for your business. Isn’t that great?

Business loan

Business loan

What do you need the cash for?

Remember, although securing finance might seem like an easy fix, there are downsides to each kind of funding type. It’s important to really research how much you’ll need and when you’ll be able to pay it back.

Expect to answer questions such as: why do you want the money? What will you use the money for? How much are you personally putting into the business? How much do you need to borrow? How and when do you plan to repay it? Do you have any security?

Once you understand the risk, and how much you need, our money experts can lock down the best deals, for example on the top loan rate.

Business loan

Business loan

Compare business loans quotes

Simply answer the question on the form and our experts will source you the best quotes for free.

  • You Could Save By Comparing Business Loan Quotes
  • Complete our short form in under a minute
  • Receive free quotes from suppliers
  • Compare quotes and see if you could save

For more details visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk 

Opening a box

Wait a minute Mister Postman…

Let’s be frank: if you’re wasting time queuing in the Post Office, when you could be enjoying lunch; wasting money on stamps, only to find them gathering dust in an employee’s desk; or missing deadlines, because you couldn’t get the task done within office hours, you need to source some mailroom equipment that will save you time and money.

Office postroom

A franking machine calculates the correct postage automatically, by weight, which includes the Royal Mail discounted cost for franking machine users. Insert envelope or label into the franking machines printer slot and your mail will be franked with the correct postage, date, even your company logo or message, and a unique code – at any time of the day, or night.

The key feature of a franking machine is that it ensures you pay the correct postage for an item of post. So you’ll never over-stamp a letter and you’ll never receive a surcharge from the Royal Mail because you have underpaid postage. Imagine the positive impact on your business administration and saving up to 37% on future postage costs!

If you want a professional image with your post, and save money, My Business Advantage can help. Just tell us what you need.

We can negotiate better terms, on any franking machine your business needs. Think of us as your outsourced procurement team. We can source the best price to suit your budget, from hundreds of suppliers across the UK, saving you the hassle and time too. This service is 100% free and there is no obligation.

Simply register your details to become a member of My Business Advantage and the process is simple. After a few comprehensive questions, just to clarify your requirements, we will get the best candidates in front of you. They will then compete and bid for your business. Isn’t that great?

More importantly, to help you make the right choice, we provide you with a handy buyer’s guide. Did you know, some of these devices can process 100 letters a day, and there are other models available that can process up to 10,000 items of mail each week. This guide details everything from franking machine prices to the types that are available and how to get the best from them. Using these guides will give you a much clearer idea of what you want from your device.

To help you find the best franking machine for your business visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Fuel Card Services is the parent company of My Business Advantage, which is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 business, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

Getting your vision checked is important

Don’t blur compliance with your fleet’s vision

You may think it’s a private matter, but as a driver, you need to declare deterioration in your vision to the DVLA. Blurring the morality between a person’s privacy and the public’s safety is clearly not right.

At FCS Insurance, we encourage fleet managers to update driver vision policies to better protect their employees and their business

Did you know, in a survey conducted by Venson Automotive Solutions, 70% of motorists have started wearing glasses or contact lenses since passing their driving test, but have not informed the DVLA? Conflicting advice on the rules could be partly to blame, leading to confusion over what is required or recommended.

Getting your vision checked is important

As responsible drivers, we are all too aware of the £1,000 fine for failing to update details such as name and address on your driving licence, but there is widespread uncertainty over whether the DVLA needs to be informed when someone has to start wearing glasses or contacts for driving. If the DVLA is informed that a driver requires glasses or contact lenses to drive, a 01 code is added to the list on the reverse of the licence.

Keith Bell of The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents explains: “Legally, if the driver of a car can read a newer-style number plate (2001 or later), from 20m away, with or without glasses or contact lenses for long or short-sightedness, they are classified as meeting the standards of vision for driving but must wear their glasses or contact lenses when driving if necessary to read the number plate.

“There is a set list of conditions which must be immediately declared, and this can be found at Gov.uk. There are also more stringent requirements for drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and buses.”

If a driver with the 01 code on their licence was pulled over by the police and was found not to be wearing their corrective lenses, they would face a fine of up £1,000 and 3-6 points, and the employer could be liable under the duty of care laws. Any fleet operator – whether they run company cars, a grey fleet, HGVs or plant machinery – has a duty of care to make sure their employees are aware of the rules and always wear the corrective lenses they need to drive safely. Adding a requirement that those needing glasses or contact lenses have the 01 code on their licence reduces the risk to the employer as well as to the driver and other road users, by increasing the incentive to always wear the correct glasses or contacts when driving.

Employees who drive as part of their job role must have regular eyesight tests, under current EU legislation, and the employer has a duty of care responsibility to confirm they are fit to drive – this includes passing the eyesight requirements. Any employer found to be in breach of these rules, and therefore putting their employee and other road users at risk could be prosecuted.

Managing a fleet of vehicles can be very expensive for a business and one of the expenses that sometimes seems harder to control is  fleet insurance. At My Fleet Solutions, we offer FCS Insurance Solutions, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). Through our parent company Fuel Card Services, we can negotiate bigger discounts and 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.

My Fleet Solutions parent company Fuel Card Services is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

For a quote tailored to your business needs or commercial vehicle requirements visit www.fcsinsurancesolutions.co.uk

VoIP

Increase productivity and save money with a VoIP system

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is such a powerful tool for maintaining a competitive edge in communicating your business. A VoIP network-based phone system is as easy to use as a traditional landline phone, yet offer far more features and capabilities. For example video call, or instant messaging or chat.

VoIP Conference

Increase Productivity

  • You’ll spend less money on travel by using online conferencing, easy-to-use video calls, and other tools for better collaboration
  • Your employees will have more ways to stay connected to the network when working from home or working from anywhere.
  • Using “presence” technology, you’ll be able to see if your employees are available and how to get in touch with them
  • Embrace mobile and teleworking trends offering essential communication and collaboration from smartphones or tablets

VoIP System

Save money

  • You’ll find that it’s easy to add extra phone lines because VoIP lets you send multiple phone calls across your IP network.
  • It saves you money on long-distance charges because you can use your data network to place calls at low rates.
  • You can secure your voice and data more strongly, without paying extra fees on voicemail, caller ID or forwarding
  • And with a unified communications system, you’ll spend less time focusing on technology and more time focusing on what matters—your business.

My Business Advantage can negotiate better terms, with a VoIP service of your choice. Think of us as your outsourced procurement team. We can source the best price to suit your budget, from the hundreds of suppliers across the UK, saving you the hassle and time too. This service is 100% free and there is no obligation.

Simply register your details to become a member and the process is simple. After a few comprehensive questions, just to clarify your requirements, we will get the best candidates in front of you. They will then compete and bid for your business. Isn’t that great?

VoIP from anywhere

Depending on the way you will communicate, you need to choose which type of VoIP service suits you, here are the types of VoIP:

Home phone replacement residential services. This kind of service replaces your traditional landline phone and allows you to keep your existing phone together with a phone adapter. It applies to businesses where many choose to use IP phones. The service is paid monthly.

No-monthly-bill services. This kind of VoIP service gives you a special hardware which you pay for only once. Then you make unlimited calls without anything more.

Software-based services. Like with Skype, you install a VoIP app on your computer or portable device and register with the service. You then use the app to make and receive the calls and you use a prepaid credit to make calls to landline and mobile phones. Calls to people using the same service on their computers are free. The apps are often offered free with the VoIP service.

Mobile VoIP services. Software-based services designed to be used on mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices. Here too, you need to install a VoIP app on your phone or portable device to use the service. Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G connections are used instead of cellular calling minutes.

VoIP Services for businesses. VoIP services for businesses are often based on internal networks and IP PBXes. They also offer many business-related features and outsourcing for the VoIP system’s management and hosting.

To help you navigate the landscape of VoIP suppliers visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Fuel Card Services is the parent company of My Business Advantage, which is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

Let your website talk with Chat Heroes

Most businesses focus a large chunk of their marketing budget on driving visitors to their website.

But what do you do with the visitors when they arrive there? No matter how well your website is set up to drive online conversion some people will always want to speak to a real person – and that’s where webchat comes in.

Approximately 30% of the website visitors ‘chat’ and typically half of these are converted immediately into genuine quality leads. That means one in every six visitors becomes a lead.

Website Chat Heroes

Website Chat Heroes

That’s why My Business Advantage 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 based 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

Simply register your details to become a member and the process is simple. Not only that, but through your Advantage benefits, you get access to a free 45-day trial.

Fuel Card Services is the parent company of My Business Advantage, which is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

Driving With A Smile

As fleet managers, we all like to think the drivers we employ have the same regard for others as you do. But, on the road, events sometimes change mild manners. Well, even I have to admit, that when in a rush I’m not as patient as normal. However, we have all been bought up to share nicely. We have all been taught to understand the other person’s point of view. These same moral principles apply to driving – except, let’s not talk to drivers like children – but this conversation needs to happen.

Richard Gladman, head of driving and riding standards at the Institute of Advance Motoring (IAM) has put together a few top tips to remind us of how to share the road with other users.

Pre-empt what another road user might do and be ready to react if necessary. For example, if a pedestrian is standing between two busy lanes of traffic you may be thinking: “You shouldn’t have crossed there.” Or you could be sympathetic of the fact they’re stranded and allow them to cross if you can do it safely. Whatever the reason, they’re vulnerable and you have the power to help them

Try to see the world through the eyes of others and help them, without them even realising it. If we all did this, it might even catch on. Giving a little more space or a bit of extra time will make a difference

Give way. A large vehicle, such as an HGV or a bus, will need extra room when turning. Give them the room they need to make them feel safe and comfortable when they manoeuvre their vehicle

Allow extra space. Motorcyclists can sometimes be seen filtering through traffic. Why not aid them by moving over slightly to allow them to pass you with ease

Know when to overtake. The summer is here, which means more cyclists will be on the road. Be patient and overtake when the time is right, if you have to follow for a while then leave a sensible space. Make sure your vision ahead is clear and will remain so for enough time to complete the pass. Taking those extra few seconds to overtake carefully rather than rushing could be the difference between getting to your destination safely and being involved in a collision

Richard adds: “Our behaviour towards others often changes when driving. Polite individuals can become territorial monsters fighting for a small space that may take seconds off a journey; this competitive attitude can ramp up stress levels. Remember, until you walk – or in this case drive – a mile in another man’s shoes, you won’t appreciate that driving is much better if we share nicely. Enjoy the sunshine and appreciate the polite waves and smiles you can now collect on your journey.”

Remembering to be polite could save you a whole of trouble. However, My Fleet Solutions has your fleet covered when things do, accidentally, go wrong.

My Fleet Solutions specialise in commercial vehicle and business insurance, so whether you require cover for one vehicle or have a fleet of vehicles, need goods in transit cover or employers’ liability, one of our members can help achieve the best deal for you.

Let My Fleet Solutions guide you through all your options in the event of an accident involving an insurance claim be it your drivers’ fault or a non-fault claim. Stay on top of smart repairs or accident damage with expert assistance on which body shop is the most appropriate and pay fleet rates for repairs.

So, if you’re looking for the best deals for your fleet, there is only one place to find everything: My Fleet Solutions.

Road Accident Claims

Service:

My Fleet Solutions has the resources to manage and resolve issues relating to road traffic accidents, with minimum impact to your business or fleet.

At A Glance

  • First Notification of Loss
  • Personal Injury
  • Ongoing mobility
  • Repair management
  • Claims handling

Accident claims

My Fleet Solutions is here to step in when road traffic accidents occur. My Fleet Solutions will handle the first notification of loss, to ensure accurate insurance claims reporting. There is an accredited helpdesk primed to support distressed drivers. A network of courtesy cars to keep your fleet moving. Expertise to inspect, instruct and approve nominated or independent repairers. And, by choosing My Fleet Solutions to claim and manage the insurance process and recover losses, you will have the incredible reassurance that incidents and accidents will not have a major impact on your business or fleet.

To find out more register here for a call back

Vehicle Service, Maintenance & Repair

Service:

My Fleet Solutions offers reputable service, maintenance and repairs to all vehicles, to keep your business driving smoothly on the road

At A Glance

  • Free collection and delivery of the vehicle
  • Garages throughout the UK
  • Guaranteed levels of service, with fully vetted & qualified mechanics
  • Protected manufacturer’s warranty on parts and repairs
  • All costs approved before work and instant fixed price quotes
  • 60% cheaper than franchise garages

Vehicle Service, Maintenance and Repair

My Fleet Solutions offers the very best for fleets when it comes to vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs, on all makes and models. Need an MOT or a pre-purchase inspection? A mechanic can pick up. Got a driver stranded many miles away? There is always a garage nearby or an expert mechanic ready to fix the vehicle at the side of the road. When you call, 24/7, 365 days of the year, there’s a member of the team ready to answer. My Fleet Solutions can take the sting out of automotive costs, 60% 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. 

To find out more register here for a callback

Tiredness fatigue driver

Guard against fatigue in your fleet

Pushing yourself to meet a deadline. Going that extra mile for a customer. All these pressures can sometimes have a negative impact rather than a positive outcome, and tiredness can be a major influence on just how vulnerable you can be when driving on the road.

As a fleet manager, you probably have in place some kind of direction that you give to all your drivers about what to do on the road, how to drive respectfully, but what about how to avoid driving when you’re fatigued?

Tiredness is one of the greatest dangers drivers face out on the road. In the UK, driver tiredness accounts for 20 per cent of all accidents, with up to 300 people dying every year because of a driver falling asleep at the wheel. These types of accidents are particularly lethal as the sleeping driver tends not to reduce speed or change direction to avoid impact, quickly enough.

Remember, killing someone while tired at the wheel could lead to a charge of death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Tiredness fatigue

Tiredness fatigue

What are the fatigue warning signs?

  • Yawning
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Eyes beginning to roll
  • Head beginning to droop

What to do

As a fleet manager, make sure you inform your drivers that if they start feeling tired on the road they should not try to fight it off. Advise them to take a break as soon as possible in a safe place like a service station, and never on the hard shoulder.

Once the driver has found a safe place to stop, encourage them to drink a high caffeine drink and to take a short nap. However, caffeine is only a temporary measure and its effects won’t last much longer than an hour. If the driver is still tired after their break, they should not drive on.

It’s a common misconception that tiredness can be fought by turning up the radio, by opening the window, or by talking to a passenger. These measures are in reality, ineffective, and you should not advise your drivers to use them.

Who can help?

At My Fleet Solutions, we offer FCS Insurance Solutions, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). Through our parent company Fuel Card Services, we can negotiate bigger discounts and 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.

In the event of an accident occurring,  My Fleet Solutions is here to step in, to minimise downtime and reduce costs. there are so many aspects associated with road traffic accidents that are almost impossible to manage in-house. But with a dedicated provider, you can rest assure everything is being dealt with in a proficient and professional manner. We have the corporate presence to make great partnerships with Amber Claims Management, a leading insurance handler, the benefits of which we can share with you.

Tips to avoid driver fatigue

  • Get a good night’s sleep before you drive a long journey.
  • Build in time to reach your destination (or your night-stop) without rushing. Remove time pressures wherever possible.
  • Avoid driving alone for long distances if possible.
  • On long journeys, take a break of at least 15 minutes after every two hours or 100 miles. Get out of the car, do some exercise, stretch or walk. If necessary, have a caffeine drink or two to boost your alertness.
  • Don’t press on into the night. Avoid driving at times when you would usually be asleep.

GEM has created this instructional video

The Danger of Fatigue from GEM Motoring Assist on Vimeo.

Safety Driving Technology Fitted As Standard

European Commission sets safety as standard, not optional

Just as seatbelts are a legal requirement on all cars and vans, now technology addressing accidents will be the latest lifesaving safety features fitted as standard.

Developments in the safety of our roads took a huge leap forward on Friday, 18th May 2018, with a European Commission proposal to mandate the fitting of lifesaving technologies, in all new cars.

AEB Safety As Standard

AEB Safety As Standard

This proposal is part of the European Commission’s (EC) Third Mobility Package, which brings a set of measures with the objective of allowing all drivers to benefit from safer traffic, less polluting vehicles and more advanced technological solutions.

More importantly, this proposal is good news for drivers, as the onus of spending more on safety as an extra option, means that decision is pushed back onto the car manufacturers and in one swoop, as it’s now standard, it will dramatically improve the safety of our roads forever.

However, there are still many issues with infrastructure that the cars will need to use to make this technology work safely. There does need to be an integrated road safety strategy, to ensure those safe vehicles are driven by safe drivers on safe roads.

So, if you look after fleet cars, think about adding My Fleet Solutions, as a safety partner for your business on the road.

From contract vehicle leasing to the fuel you put in the car, to service and fixing the vehicle, My Fleet Solutions has the right answer to fit your vehicle management needs. The maintenance support doesn’t end there, we can take care of sourcing the right vehicle insurance, telematics system and the most comprehensive accident management support in the industry. If your vehicles need updating too, we have the best pre-registration cars available.

My Fleet Solution will guide you through an accident, safely

My Fleet Solution will guide you through an accident, safely

With My Fleet Solutions accident management experts, Amber Claims Management. They will guide you through all your options in the event of an accident involving an insurance claim be it your drivers’ fault or a non-fault claim. Stay on top of smart repairs or accident damage with expert assistance on which body shop is the most appropriate and pay fleet rates for repairs. Everything, with Amber Claims Management, will automatically assist you after an accident occurs.

Fuel Card Services is our parent company, a business of DCC an FTSE 100 company, which is why we have the corporate presence to make great partnerships with Amber Claims Management, a leading insurance handler, the benefits of which we can share with you.

From removing the vehicle and finding a repairer to handling the claims process and recovering uninsured losses, our fleet accident management company will resolve all associated aspects of an incident.

More importantly, they will be with you and your driver, right from the time the accident happens. There are dedicated service centre agents who are trained to deal with distressed drivers. They can spend the right amount of time on the phone with each driver to accurately capture incident detail, assess liability, and to understand potential indemnity restrictions, whilst providing reassurances following nasty accidents.

For example, your service agents can help your driver get the right information, such as knowing about road markings, damage to all vehicles, the third party driver, if they seem suspicious, number plates, the positioning of the vehicles, tyre/skid marks and signposts. Is the vehicle still driveable?

As you can see, just from these suggestions above, that there are huge, reassuring benefits in having an accident management company on hand to deal with any incidents or accidents.

The claims service will handle the entire process, from the driver’s initial call through to the claim being finalised, providing a courtesy car to match, ensuring the repairs are done to standard and getting the vehicle back on the road.

Choosing My Fleet Solutions Services means prangs, RTA incidents or third party claims will have a minimal impact on the fleet and your business.

Choose telematics system

Tracking the best telematics deal

Traditionally, there was no idea what went on outside the office walls when employees drove off the lot. As a small business owner, there was no concrete or accurate way to measure job performance and accountability. There was no way to verify a driver’s location at any given time. Nor could owners ensure that employees only used vehicles for authorised uses.

Telematics has introduced a new way to save money, keep your customers happy, lift employee productivity and protect your assets.

The added benefits of all this transparency are that any insurance firms now offer discounts to companies if they use tracking equipment to prove that they drive safely, so you could save a small fortune in premiums.

Your company is also delivering on environmental care, cutting down on CO2 emissions, because the GPS unit can help suggest services that are nearer, and more importantly, provide the quickest route.

However, while telematics continues to transform the world of logistics, as each device becomes more and more sophisticated, there is now a universe of vehicle tracking solutions on offer. Which one is the right one?

Keep on track with telematics

Which telematic solution is right?

My Fleet Solutions can negotiate better terms on telematics solutions, and find you the right device and supplier for your business. Think of us as your outsourced procurement team. We can source the best price to suit your budget, from the hundreds of suppliers across the UK, saving you the hassle and time too. This service is 100% free and there is no obligation.

Simply register your details to become a member and the process is simple. After a few comprehensive questions, just to clarify your requirements. Specifically, what types of information and data are important to your operations. We will get the best candidates in front of you. They will then compete and bid for your business. Isn’t that great?

To help you track the best telematics suppliers visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Fuel Card Services is the parent company of My Fleet Solutions, which is part of The DCC business, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

Could your business benefit from invoice factoring?

Make instant cash from your invoices

Invoices are the tool you use to ask for money that you’re owed. What about using invoices as an asset to make money? Invoice factoring can help your business grow or expand. If you find yourself low on capital, invoice factoring can release a cash flow. And, if you lack the administrative resources to pursue invoice payments, then invoice factoring can resolve that problem too.

Invoice factoring is a big tool, to help keep your company’s assets liquid, raise capital and save time.

My Business Advantage can negotiate better terms with financier suppliers who offer invoice factoring services. It will take you a few minutes to register your details to become a member and the process is simple.

Here’s how it works:

1.     The finance provider typically buys around 85% of the value of the raised invoices.

2.     The finance provider will collect the sum of the sales invoice and once received, they pay the remaining balance to your business.

3.     You pay the finance provider the pre-arranged fee (and any interest if applicable).

Financier invoice factoring

Here’s an example of how it works: If your customer owes you £30,000, you sell the invoice to a finance provider for £25,500 [85%]. The finance provider collects the £30,000 debt from the customer on your behalf and pays you the remaining £4,500. You then pay any fees and interest that you have agreed. This means that you get access to your invoice value immediately and then the remainder once the customer has paid.

To find out how your business could benefit from Invoice Factoring, visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Fuel Card Services is the parent company of My Business Advantage, which is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

Best Mobile Phone Deals

Suits you! A mobile contract that keeps your business in touch

A mobile phone is an important part of any sales team’s kit. But is your business mobile phone contract working hard for you?

If you are busy using the devices, and getting pressure from the accounts team, to ‘wrap it up’, because they are trying to balance the seconds, minutes and hours, then you need to read on.

Busy Mobile Phones

At My Business Advantage, we have found a partner that has the capabilities and contacts to review the whole of the UK mobile contract market… in a matter of seconds  – NO charge and NO obligation.

It will take you a minute to fill in your details, and become a member of My Business Advantage, giving our partner the opportunity to talk about your business to its mobile communication providers, EE, Vodafone, O2, Car Phone Warehouse and many more.

Our partner’s market-leading position allows them to arrange an exclusive deal and tailor-make it to fit your business, with the best advice and pricing for your new mobile phone contracts.

As a bonus, there is out of hours support, delivering customer excellence 24/7 to ensure there is no impact on your business. You could say their support is ‘timeless’.

To get a handle on your business mobile phone contracts, visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk

Fuel Card Services is the parent company of My Business Advantage, which is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

What B2B Sellers Need To Know Before Making That Call

A sales team’s job is not easy. Often, lost in a sea of white pages, Google search results, and sales reports, trying desperately to identify the names and email addresses of the appropriate targets. That’s before beginning to place the cold call. After all, the traditional one-size-fits-all model does not apply to sales pitches, in this digital driven age. 

Empower the sales team with Sales Data 

When equipped with the proper sales intelligence—or information about target markets that plays a critical role in enriching the sales pipeline and enabling the sales force—salespeople can better serve customers and bolster sales effectiveness. 

With just one click, at My Business Advantage, our Sales Data benefit offers access to Experian’s Database of 5.1 million business contacts. Filter by location, industry type, size, turnover, employees and credit risk, download your data and then choose how you contact your prospects; telephone, email or direct mail campaigns – it’s your choice as you’ll receive full, up-to-date, contact information of directors and decision makers. 

Leveraging the power of connecting with Sales Data 

Just imagine the hours you can cut so that the sales team don’t have to spend hours not selling, trying to extract the right customer data and figure out how to make the initial pitch. 

The right sales intelligence provides your team with all sorts of benefits. For example, it can tell your salespeople which companies are most likely to buy your product and services; it leads you to the right prospects who are ready to buy; it equips your team with in-depth profiles explaining how to approach the specific company; and, most importantly, it enables your team to sell smarter and harder. 

The real value of Sales Data 

By preparing your team for smarter selling, your company can increase the likelihood of having comprehensive sales reports, driving ROI, and hitting set quotas, because, with customer data, you’ve empowered them. 

The value of sales intelligence is indisputable. As a salesperson, your job is to push through the information challenges, maximize your sales potential and cut back on the obstacles by uncovering the value of sales intelligence. 

At My Business Advantage, the free Sales Data benefit is valued at almost £50, and if you continue accessing this benefit, there’s an ongoing 10% discount on anything you purchase. 

Find out more about unlocking the Sales Data benefit at www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk 

My Business Advantage parent company Fuel Card Services is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

Horn Rage

How To Avoid Becoming A Road Rage Victim

We have all come across road rage at some point in our driving lives. When it happens, it can leave you feeling intimidated and scared. But with a bit of planning, you can prevent the situation altogether. Richard Gladman, head of driving and riding standards at the Institute of Advance Motoring, provides a few top tips about how to avoid being a victim of road rage, and what to do if it escalates.

  • If there’s a conflict between two parties, there’s a likely chance you’ve both played a part. This doesn’t mean you should react. Try to take yourself away from the problem – let the other driver go on ahead. Even if you feel wronged, letting the other party go will make no difference to the rest of your day
  • Is someone being confrontational or aggressive? If so, don’t make eye contact and don’t react visibly.
  • Try not to think about them so that the incident doesn’t affect you afterwards
  • If the other party is still being aggressive to you and you are in fear of your own safety, call the police
  • If the other party approaches you in your car, can you drive away safely? If you can, consider doing so.
  • But don’t rush off and drive like the getaway driver in a film, or if you think the other driver is going to chase you
  • Do you have passengers who can film any behaviour on a mobile phone? This will help in terms of evidence. Remember to include the registration number of the other vehicle involved
  • Don’t open your door, don’t open your windows fully and don’t start or get provoked into an argument
  • If you were at fault, admit it and apologise. It may be enough to diffuse the situation quickly. And do not do anything that can be interpreted as retaliation. Even if you weren’t at fault, is the argument really worth it? Hopefully, by now the matter is over and you are driving away. Do acknowledge that this incident will have affected your behaviour. If you are feeling upset or emotional stop and get some fresh air or walk around if you need to before resuming your journey.

Find some distraction like listening to the radio – move your mind deliberately onto something else – deliberately driving well would be a good example – but don’t dwell on the incident.

Richard said: “Road rage does not affect everyone every day. If you’re finding it is happening very often, you might want to think about how you engage with other road users.

“Unlike pedestrians walking towards each other; who can easily get a feel of what the other person will do, where they might go or the mood they’re in, you have no such opportunities cocooned in your car.”

He concluded: “No-one needs experience road rage, but it is up to each of us to ensure it stays that way.

“So it is important not to be antagonistic or obstructive, perhaps making a person already having a bad day boil over.”

Managing a fleet of vehicles can be very expensive for a business and one of the expenses that sometimes seems harder to control is  fleet insurance. At My Fleet Solutions, we offer FCS Insurance Solutions, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). Through our parent company Fuel Card Services, we can negotiate bigger discounts and 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.

My Fleet Solutions parent company Fuel Card Services is part of The DCC Group, an FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporate.

For a quote tailored to your business needs or commercial vehicle requirements visit www.fcsinsurancesolutions.co.uk

 

Did something just hit your Commercial Property?

Wallop! Accidents can happen to your business premise at any given moment. Though it’s never understood where or how this impact damage may happen; it’s more important to be clear about what to do next.

At Fuel Card Services, we have found an insurance claims management partner Aspray Ltd, that you can turn to for expert guidance and support on property damage insurance claims. We are offering this opportunity through our online benefits portal, My Business Advantage.

Aspray can manage your commercial property impact damage claim from inception to completion by dealing with your insurer, or appointed loss adjuster, directly to negotiate a fair and satisfactory settlement. Once works are agreed, Aspray will project manage vetted contractors to complete the reinstatement works, all the while, putting the policyholder first. Giving you further peace of mind: Aspray is a member of the British Damage Management Association (BDMA).

How can Aspray help with your Commercial Property Impact Damage Claim?

Knowing the full extent of the impact may not be completely clear at first, despite the structural damage. Calling in the experts to help identify the damage and overall cost of repair is important. Of course, safety and security issues are paramount, but once the emergency services have assured Aspray that these issues are taken care of they can immediately start to determine how to help you pick up the pieces.

How Aspray will handle your Commercial Impact Damage Claim:

Arrange a site visit usually within 24 hours of your call.
Prepare and present a schedule of works for your insurer.
Liaise directly with your insurance company and loss adjuster if necessary.
Oversee a team of vetted tradespeople.
Ensure your property is restored to its pre-loss condition as swiftly as possible.
Negotiate any business interruption settlement for home workers and business owners.
Help arrange alternative accommodation, where required.
Project manage the claim and stay in close contact with you throughout. The work is only complete when you are satisfied with the repair.

Money off your excess:

Best of all, there is no charge to you for the service if Aspray appoints and project manage the contractors as they are paid directly by your insurers. Please note any policy excess stated within your policy will of course still apply. However, if you do instruct Aspray to take care of your insurance claim and all reinstatement works, they are offering a £100 voucher towards your excess upon completion. Terms and conditions apply.

Simply visit www.mybusinessadvantage.co.uk and click on ‘Insurance Claim Management