• 10 reasons why your business is losing money

    There’s no doubt that getting up and running with a new business can be very exciting. You are your own boss and that can give you a lot of freedom. However, if you are inexperienced with the corporate world, your enthusiasm could soon fade as the costs start stacking up. Many of those costs, you might not even have foreseen. Perhaps what had started as just a trickle of expenses has, unexpectedly quickly, ballooned into something much more serious. How you use vehicles for business purposes could be to blame – so, let’s look more closely at how you can control these costs better.

    Inefficient use of fuel

    Your vehicles are incapable of running without fuel, making it seem very necessary to spend some of your precious revenue on. However, you might not be maximising the efficiency of that fuel. Alec Lee, operations manager at small-tours firm Rabbie’s, made a major admission to The Guardian.

    He said that training in more energy-efficient driving helped his firm to save money on fuel.Workers were “also decreasing the general wear and tear on the vehicle” – which, in the longer term, could help Rabbie’s reduce its necessity of paying for costly repairs.

    Failure to regularly audit your vehicles

    Spending time carrying out this kind of audit can help you see where cash might be being haemorrhaged, advises Grant Boardman, Fleet Alliance’s regional sales director.

    Boardman, whose firm keeps SMEs supplied with fleet management services, explains: “It’s about understanding the whole-life costs of a vehicle”. That means, he adds: “Not just looking at the purchase or hire price, but other consequential factors over the next three or four years.”

    Leasing commercial vehicles from a single provider

    Does your company routinely hire commercial vehicles, like vans, from the same provider? Then you are making what Boardman has branded a “classic mistake”.

    What you should instead do, he says, is look for a combination of providers capable of offering what you need – and all at what adds up to the lowest possible overall price. He also notes that, in doing so, you should especially strongly consider lease costs and fuel consumption.

    Not paying attention to company cars’ CO2 emissions

    You might often use cars in running your business; cars put to this purpose can be succinctly referred to as company cars. If you indeed utilise cars in this manner, then check, before you decide to buy any such vehicle, how much it will produce in CO2 emissions on the road.

    This is crucial as, for discerning how much tax should be payable on different cars, the government puts these cars into different “emission bands”. The less CO2 emissions a car is responsible for, the better its CO2 rating can be and so the less tax you could need to pay on this vehicle.

    Improper management of your fleet

    If you have an entire fleet of vehicles at your company’s disposal, how is that fleet being managed? If the company is directly handling those affairs, you might want to rethink that strategy.

    John Hargreaves, Kia’s head of fleet and remarketing, has noted that a vehicle fleet poses a “significant overhead” for many businesses. That fleet “should be managed professionally, whether by a dedicated person within the company or by outsourcing to a specialist vehicle management company,” headded.

    Not taking advantage of telematics for cost-cutting

    You might have seen or heard the word “telematics” occasionally popping up in discussions about how money can be saved on corporate vehicles. However, what does it actually mean?

    It is commonly used as shorthand for “vehicle tracking systems”, as they are more formally called. Jenny Powley, who has worked at the RAC as a sales director for corporate partnerships, has recommended such systems that “collect data on the vehicle and give business owners a much better picture of wear and tear, enabling them to take cost-effective preventative measures.”

    Not using fuel cards

    These payment cards are available from various firms, the RAC included, and can help you lower your fuel bills. Furthermore, as Powley points out, when a business owner uses them, they receive “regular reports and can see exactly what is spent, rather than having drivers submit receipts”.

    Taking out vehicle insurance for longer than is necessary

    Your company’s vehicle needs might actually be very low. For instance, they could be limited to requiring simply a van for use in transporting items to a new office or an even more modest car for occasional times that you want to attend a trade show or team bonding event.

    That’s fine, but it doesn’t take away from the need to check that you have insurance for a vehicle before you use it. In the UK, driving without insurance can lead to you incurring a massive fine and other penalties. However, a standard insurance policy lasting a year or more can be much costlier than short term car insurance which you could source through UK broker Call Wiser.

    Trying to meet vehicle costs by pricing products too highly

    You might reason that you need to price your company’s products at a particular – probably relatively high – level because you have hefty costs to pay in keeping vehicles running.

    However, advice posted by Forbes insists on the need to strike a middle ground when pricing products. Set prices excessively high and too many people could be put off. Nonetheless, on the other hand, keeping prices overly low could see you struggling to achieve a profit.

    Whatever prices you settle on, consider that trimming those vehicle costs – by, for instance, using remedies listed in this article –could be a better strategy than keeping your prices high.

    Reluctance to invest in vehicles necessary for growth

    One reason why we are eager to provide advice on how to cut costs of running vehicles is that paying those costs could, ultimately, be necessary for cultivating your company’s growth.

    Therefore, if you have so far resisted drawing extensively on automotive assistance for your own company, this could help explain why it is financially struggling. Avoid the false economy!

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  • WILD-EYED & REVVED-UP: RODS AND ROSES!

    It’s become a tradition: The High Noon Engine Rev at the Rods & Roses Car Show in Carpinteria, CA. The show celebrated its 20 Anniversary on July 1st – and the roar of the engines this year was a loud salute to local automotive legend, Andy Granetelli.

    There were over 150 wicked, wonderful and wild-eyed customs, classics and musclecars lining Linden Avenue, Carpinteria’s main thoroughfare that delivers you to the “World’s Safest Beach” on the Pacific. Proceeds from this always-enjoyable show support local non-profits such as Future Farmers of America and Carpinteria Education Foundation. Our Jim Palam captured the spunk and spirit of this July 4th weekend event.The only thing thorny about Leonard Login’s ’23 Ford “C” Cab Custom, above, is the complimentary Participant Rose catching a stare from wild eyes on the air scoop covers.

    If you had a Fury fixation in 1958 then you needed to drop $3,892 to grab the title to this full-option Plymouth Fury. This one features an optional 350/305 dual-quad engine and push-button automatic. Bill Craffey proudly owns this high-fin beauty, left.

    It’s official: Chicks dig Porsches! Bill Pitruzzelli’s ‘56 Porsche Carrera GT attracts a bevy of young show goers.

    If there’s a car show anywhere near Michael Hammer’s home base in Montecito, you can bet that he’ll be there with a big grin and some eye-poppin’ treats from his impressive car collection – like this super-slammed and sexy ’51 Chevy Lead Sled.

    One of the High-Noon noisemakers was this Chip Foose designed, Jordan Quintal built F-100 Custom from the Petersen Museum Collection. That’s a towering cast-iron 502-cube V8 sporting a blower with “F-this” badging!

    Purple People Pleaser!. Rob Hansen’s plum-perfect ‘70 Dodge Challenger R/T sits ready to pounce at the intersection of Sleek and Sexy.

    Seeing Double: The folks at Mathon Engineering in New Jersey like doubling-up on their project bets. ’23 Ford T-Bucket – another Petersen Museum car – has at its thumpin’ heart a double-Chevy 350-inch motor mash-up.

    Ron Lawrence is a retired LA County firefighter who apparently got tired of polishing things. So it’s no surprise that this car guy’s pride and joy is this perfectly weathered and unpolished ‘30 Model A Ford roadster.

    How to Drive to Work: This beautiful and original (one respray since new) ‘68 Shelby GT350 is a daily driver for a Santa Barbara technology executive. What, no Tesla?

    Heading out of the show I spotted this ‘Work in Progress’ Low Rider parked on a side street. POTUS might call this frugal custom a “Bad Hombre.” But come on, those frenched antennas are a sure sign of style and sophistication. Pass the Grey Poupon, s’il vous plait!

    Words & photos: Jim Palam, http://www.jimpalam.com/

    For more information about Rods And Roses, please visit https://rodsandroses.wordpress.com/

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  • Jeep gets dirty with Renegade ‘Tough Mudder’ Edition

    Jeep is celebrating its fourth year sponsoring the UK Tough Mudder series with a special edition Renegade 4×4.

    Just 100 Jeep Renegade Tough Mudder 4x4s will be made, and to mark the occasion, the first ever ‘Tough Mudder for Jeep’ took place at Silverstone Circuit’s off-road course in Northamptonshire.

    The Renegade successfully waded through a course designed by Tough Mudder, tackling rough terrain, dirty water and signature Tough Mudder obstacles, including ‘Mud Mile’ and ‘Quagmire.’ The SUV also tackled the steep slopes and inclines of ‘Killa Gorilla’ and the treacherous Cliff Hanger obstacle.

    Priced from £27,795, Jeep reckons the limited edition “embodies the spirit, fun, adventure and innovation of Tough Mudder with Jeep’s legendary off-road credentials, ensuring drivers can tackle any challenge while Mudders push themselves into the unknown”.

    The Tough Mudder Renegade is a 4×4 2.0-litre Multijet diesel automatic, available in orange and black. Standard features include:

    • 2.0 Diesel Multijet II (140hp)
    • 9 speed automatic transmission
    • 4×4 Active Low
    • 17” black alloy off road wheels – with 215/60/ R17 Mud & Snow tyres
    • Tough Mudder exclusive bonnet decal
    • Limited edition numbered stickers on upper rear three quarter panel
    • Tough Mudder tailgate badge
    • Off road style front bumper
    • Specific interior look – orange and black – with anodised orange interior bezels
    • Fabric – heated front seats
    • (DAB) Digital radio
    • Uconnect 5” touchscreen with Bluetooth, Sat Nav and live services
    • All weather floor mats
    • Tough Mudder Merchandise Pack to include water bottle, cap, hand towel, lanyard and wrist band in a drawstring bag

    The post Jeep gets dirty with Renegade ‘Tough Mudder’ Edition appeared first on Automotive Blog.

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  • IR X RM Outback Motorcycle Shoes – Ridgemont Outfitters & Iron Resin

    The IR X RM Outback motorcycle shoes are an interesting collaboration between two South California clothing companies. Ridgemont Outfitters has produced boots and shoes for a while, while Iron and Resin sell a range of clothing for motorcyclists, skaters, and surfers. So now they’ve teamed up to produce something that looks good and works well for bikers.

    IR X RM Outback Motorcycle Shoes Ridgemont Outfitters and Iron Resin
    The IR X RM Motorcycle Shoes

    The result is the IR X RM Outback, which features genuine Horween full-grain leather sourced from their Chicago tannery. The main upper uses 2.5mm thick pieces in the construction, along with a super soft and durable oiled suede collar.

    In terms of practicality, the toe cap has been extended compared to normal Ridgemont boots to give protection from gear shift levers. And they’ve done the same on both boots to accomodate anyone with their shifter on the right side, for instance, vintage British bikes.

    On the bottom is a Vari-flex Bi Fit lasting board, which apparently has been stiffened from the heel to the middle of the foot in case you still have to deal with a kickstart. But the front is flexible enough for walking.

    There’s more protection with an internal nylon malleolus protector hidden in the suede collar to help look after your ankles, and a thermal plastic heel counter.

    IR X RM Outback Motorcycle Shoes Ridegmont Outfitters Iron Resin Diagram
    A photo of the IR X RM Outback motorcycle shoes. With some words and lines on it

    So here’s where it gets even more interesting. The existing Ridgemont line are reasonably priced for both the UK and US. But the companies have decided to test the demand for the new IR X RM Outback motorcycle shoes by running a Kickstarter campaign.

    If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s actually not bike-related. It’s what’s known as a ‘crowdfunding’ site, where interested backers can invest in a future product in advance, and usually get something extra for their support. Each project has a limited time to reach a set goal, and if it succeeds, they get your money, make the products and ship them to you. If they don’t reach the goal, then you don’t pay.

    There is a slight caveat to that, as you’re investing in a project rather than pre-ordering a product, and some risks are involved. But basically, you can invest and get a pair of shoes in your choice of Black or Brown Horween leather for $165, which is 45% off the planned normal retail price of $295. And $200 gets you a pair of shoes, a T-shirt and a leather key chain. The estimated delivery is June 2017.

    If you interested, the Iron and Resin by Ridgemont Outback Riding Shoes Campaign aims to hit $60,000, and ends on Saturday, February 18th, 2017. Each of the discount packages is limited to the first 100 or 200 backers. The IR X RM Outback Motorcycle Shoe will be produced in US mens sizes 5-12 with half size increments, and also a size 13, in a medium width. T-Shirts are in sizes XS-XXL.

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