How to start your own taxi firm – success stories

Transportation is an essential element of any economy. It facilitates movement of people and goods thus playing a significant role in trade, and by extension development. The importance of transportation has meant that many people usually want to get into this business as the rewards are worth it. Getting into the air or sea transportation business is not that easy as it requires an enormous capital investment beforehand.

Land transportation, on the other hand, is quite easy to start. There are several forms of transportation on land such as rail or trams, cable cars, etc., but this article will solely focus on how you can start your own taxi business. The majority of the taxi businesses around the UK such as A Taxis of Bristol, Zone Minicabs, and Comcab all began as small companies and grew slowly over the years into the companies you know today.

Taxis - Bristol

By following the blueprint of these successful companies, the process of starting your own taxi cab business can be summarized as follows:

Evaluating the idea

One needs to walk around and do some basic research to determine whether the taxi business idea is indeed suitable to the location you have chosen. Does it have the potential to generate profits that you want and to sustain itself?

Developing the business

This entails coming up with a business plan of how you want your business to be. This will involve drawing up plans for where and how you will get finance, licenses, customer retention strategies and long-term sustainability.

Getting your first vehicles

Once you have completed the two processes above, the next step involves purchasing, leasing or hiring the required vehicles for the operation. This process needs one to be very selective as you don’t want vehicles that cost a lot to run and maintain as this is not good for business. Continue reading →

Mobile computers for business

There is a wide variety of mobile computers on the market these days. So if you’re a business owner and need to invest in this kind of technology, where do you start?

The first thing to consider is what you need a mobile computer for. Do you need to be able to communicate quickly with colleagues and have access to documents and databases? Or do you need to perform sales transactions? Or perhaps you need your fleet of drivers to have mobile computers they can track deliveries with?

Whatever you need a mobile computer for, there’s plenty of choice out there. Like most technology, change happens very quickly in mobile computing and it can be hard to keep up. But fear not, suppliers such as Symec can help you get to grips with your options.

Mobile computers have come a long way since the days of simple PDAs that people used to carry around to check their emails and browse the internet. Mobile computers today are powerful, independently-powered machines capable of doing just about everything a desktop PC or laptop can.

Rugged mobile computers

Mobile computers for mobile workers

In some fields, people need a device that is able to handle a tough working environment. Rugged mobile computers are perfect because they look like a smartphone and run on operating systems people are familiar with, like Windows or Android. Most of the major manufacturers, including Honeywell and Motorola, make this kind of handheld device and buying a refurbished model can save you some serious cash.

Hands-free options

Some jobs, such as lifting and moving stock around, require workers to have both hands available. Such workers might need to scan things and keep a tight record of where things are. Wearable mobile computers provide the perfect solution here as workers can keep the computer on their wrist. Conveniently, most have voice-activation capabilities as well as scanning options.

Vehicle-mounted mobile computers

Mobile computers can be mounted in a range of vehicles, from forklifts to trucks. Users can stay in touch with your fleet and keep an eye on your distribution centre. Most have a real QWERTY keyboard rather than a touchscreen one, and come fully-loaded with software and licences.

Finding the right portable devices for your business is crucial. They’ll keep your workforce connected, improve your productivity and generally make life easier for mobile workers. It’s worth getting advice on which mobile computers are best for your business, as some fit specific industries better than others.

How To Succeed As An Online Entrepreneur? Vashi Dominguez Explains …

Vashi Dominguez
“By leaving no stone unturned; Vashi diamonds are everyone’s best friend.”

It has been less than 10 years since Vashi Dominguez set up the online diamond and fine jewellery store Vashi.com. Competing at the top with some of the world’s most leading luxury jewellery brands, Vashi has quickly become the go to guy for diamond advice and jewellery, turning over a profit of £10 million. Providing expert advice to an audience of millions of people worldwide and jewels to celebrities from Myleene Klass, Leona Lewis, Binky Felstead, Holly Willoughby and many more, Vashi Dominguez gives his top five tips on how to succeed as an online entrepreneur.

Vashi’s Top 5 Tips

Turn your passion into a much needed resource: I firmly believe your character dictates how far you will get in life. Drive and determination can turn a great idea into a multimillion pound empire. From a very young age, I had always had a fascination with diamonds, as I became intrigued at how something so small could be so valuable. I studied gemmology, worked within the industry and eventually sold my electrical business to focus all my efforts into diamonds. My aim was to offer the web the best value on diamonds and fine jewellery. I started doing this by selling jewellery through eBay, which then launched into my independent site, Vashi.com.

Turn obstacles into prospects: Increasing competition together with a downturn in the economy can make it very difficult to turnover a profit, especially if you’re a small business. I was turned away from over 200 offices before anyone would meet with me. Having said that, for every problem there is a solution and that is why it’s extremely important that you conduct due diligence to turn most of the threats into opportunities.

Be proud of your achievements: It is important to step back and be proud of what you have achieved, whether it’s taking an idea and turning it into a fully-fledged business, building trust amongst your customers and employees and/or winning awards.

Look after your clients: It depends on the industry but the one thing that I’ve learnt, is that customer service is paramount for any new business. If you provide your customers with the best service then they will always come back and that is essential to grow any business long term.

Be aware of your competitors: There are millions of online businesses all targeting the same group of people. At Vashi.com, we offer the strongest guarantee in the business backing every product with the combination of a no questions asked money back guarantee including great value and a lifetime warranty on all diamonds and fine jewellery. This allowed our business to create a gap within the marketplace, separating us from internal and external competitors.  With continuous competition battling to be the best on the high street in addition to online companies, it’s vital that your business stands out and offers something quite unique. I quickly recognised that the best way to connect with my customers is to offer a product with great value at the comfort of their own home by directly dealing with the mines to avoid high street inflation.

Having the right business ethic and product: Business can be tough and it’s essential that you do your research and evaluate the pros and cons. I also feel it’s important to establish the purpose of wanting to start your own business e.g. does your targeted customer really need your product or service? What are you prepared to sacrifice in order to achieve it? Will your idea turnover a profit in the next five years? Is there a gap in the market for it? Familiarising yourself within the area of business you wish to get into and all its competitors, are the key tools needed to succeed in the world of online business. It’s also important to install trust within your brand at a very early stage. I believed it was essential to deal directly with the Diamond Trading Company, the world’s largest diamond miners, to ensure that our diamonds are ethically sourced. We only deal with associated companies whom, like us, proudly adhere to and enforce the standards established by the Kimberley Process (an international system that polices the trade of diamonds) to ensure that they’re from sources free of conflict; therefore building trust with our customers and making us a recommended and reputable company.

Ultimately, running a successful online business with an ego doesn’t mix. If you’re in business for the wrong reasons it will not work.

London Fire Brigade Demonstrate Against Cuts

A demonstration took place outside the meeting by the LFEPA (London Fire and Emergency planning authority) on Monday 21st January, opposing the recent Fire brigade cut proposals. The meeting resulted in the rejection of these cuts but the consultation will still be going ahead.

The crowds gathered outside Brigade HQ opposing the £45 million cuts proposed by The Mayor, Boris Johnson and the London fire commissioner, Ron Dobson. The FBU (Fire brigade union) organized the demonstration and speakers that took to the stage on Union Street in Southbank.

Hundreds of fire fighters, union workers and representatives and members of the public came to show their support. London Labour MP’s Kate Hoey and John Cryer spoke, as well as Labour fire authority member Andrew Dismore amongst others. They took to the stage to support the campaign against the cuts that may happen to the LFEPA budget.

Fire Brigade Demonstrate

The latest proposal suggests closing 12 fire stations within the city including Clapham who responded to the recent helicopter accident in Vauxhall. Also, around 520 fire fighters would lose their jobs.

Luke Bell, fire fighter at Whitechapel station, said, “We will be losing a pump at our station, and also another station in our borough, so two appliances which means Tower Hamlets will be getting hit really hard. Response times will go up. We were on the list to be closed so we have been very vocal about it signing petitions and starting campaigns over the last few months.

“Voluntary retirement letters were handing out a few months ago. “They offered a nice sum of money, but no one is going to take it out.”

According to the London fire brigade figures, the number of fires in the city have dropped significantly in the past ten years. However, many boroughs across London have many highly populated high rise blocks of flats, and these are a big concern for many as they are often the most challenging fires to control.” Tower Hamlets is one of the poorest boroughs and it seems madness. There are such a large amount of high rise buildings and risks in the area where loads of people are crammed together. Everyone saw what happened with the Larks estate fire in Camberwell – that’s how people lose their lives.” Luke continued.

Dave Lewis of the Sceaux Gardens Tenants’ and residents Association, whose estate includes Lakanal House was present and also said a few words. The Lakanal house fire, in Southwark, happened on the 3rd July in 2009 and cost six people their lives and 20 were injured. Fire fighters came to the scene of the twelve floor building within five minutes. Continue reading →

Business Students Help Students Find Jobs

London Metropolitan University’s business and PR faculty have set up a ‘Met Temp ‘project which will be run by students to help students find temporary work.

Met Temps is a new service available at London Met and it is run by business students and the LMBS (London Metropolitan Business School) faculty. It has been set up to give business students experience, whilst helping other students from other faculties find paid work.  It will be co-located with careers services, which is already available.

Paul Skiven-baker, HR business partner and the Met Temps project manager for the last 12 months has “nurtured” the project.

“We want to enhance the service already available to student, not replace what they do. We want to do our damndest to make sure students can afford to study.”

Find Jobs

The project is partnered with Keystone employment group, a recruitment agency. They provided the software and enabled Met Temps to use the web address www.directemping.com where many local employers are already registered. Paul explains,

“When students register, they have to agree to have their information passed outside of the university. 50% of students live within seven miles of the university so we’ll find local employers for local students.”

Vanessa Airth, Business Relations and Employability Manager, will be in charge of the project and has recruited two business students, one from North and one from City campus. Both students were looking for a 12 month placement alongside their course, which would give them an additional 30 credits.

“They will take a whole year off from their studies in their third year to get an additional 30 credits, and then they will return to their studies in October 2013 to continue their studies. They will also get a City & Guilds award which is an international, industry award which will improve their employability.” Continue reading →