Starting A Valeting Business

Starting a new valeting business makes sense in this current climate; there are so many cars on the road, and it only seems like a natural growth to see more valeting companies popping up. So, while there are many opportunities for business, there is also a lot of competition out there. You just need to find a way to make your business more desirable than theirs, by offering more than just a high-end cleaning service. You can add in cosmetic body repair, rust treatments and alloy wheel refurbishment to just name a few. It also takes more than just knowing how to valet a car to run a business; you need to know how to market your business, advertise in the right places, be able to manage your business finances and to be confident in the everyday running of the business.

Property

With a valeting business, you have the luxury of choosing whether you would like a fixed premises or a mobile one. The latter allows you to reach more clients and be more flexible. However, it does mean that you have to limit your services a little, as you have to carry your job with you. A fixed property can offer a secure unit, an additional motorised car washer for another level of service, but does limit your clientele to your location – which is key. City centres, partnerships with large shopping centres and along main roads are the best places to look at. However, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be successful in a smaller town or village. Find an opening and take it.

Experience

You need to have the right business experience before starting out on a venture like this. A valeting business could require a startup cost of anywhere between £4000 and £30,000 depending on the equipment you need and the specialised services you provide. So you need to have a good head for money, and a deep trust in what you are doing before going ahead on this. When employing staff, you need to be looking for experience – particularly for your specialists. You can train people and teach them how to valet a car. But any repairs need to be completed by someone with the right skills and experience to do so.

Insurance

No matter whether your business is mobile or stationary – you will need insurance. You will have a lot of equipment either in your van or in your unit, and you need to protect them. A motor trade insurance would cover you to move your client’s cars and cover your equipment and premises from theft and damage just to name a couple of things. The more you have in your insurance contract, the more you’re covered, and the more your staff and clients will trust you.

Marketing

You need to be able to know how to present your company to the world. With so many competitors out there you need your voice to be heard. A great part of any job, and a key thing to ensure return business is customer service. And there are so many aspects of good customer service that you can apply to a marketing strategy.

Image: Tookapic

Create a marketing quiz the easy way

Have you ever considered making a quiz as part of your marketing strategy? If that’s something you’d like to explore, read on because I’m going to show you how to create a quiz quickly and simply with Typeform.

So why are quizzes so good for marketing? They can help you collect leads, because you ask for an email address before the user takes the quiz. They are also great for engaging with your audience. A quick look around Facebook will show you that people enjoy taking quizzes and sharing the results with their friends.

Not so long ago a downloadable report or ebook was great for generating leads and while these can still work, they don’t grab attention as they once did. Information isn’t exactly in short supply online, so social media users want to have fun, connect with friends and pass some time instead. Even if you feel your role is to educate rather than to entertain you may find your audience responds better to ‘edutainment’ than straightforward information. A quiz ticks all these boxes (see what I did there?!).

I’d created online forms before, but my quiz creation had never got beyond downloadable PDFs. I’d always assumed quiz creation would be a time-consuming, fiddly process, so Typeform was a pleasant surprise. The first thing I noticed when I created my account was the very simple, clean interface. That might sound like a minor design detail, but I often get that “Sigh, that’s something else to learn” feeling when I sign up to a new platform and I’m faced with lots of features, especially the pop-up walk throughs. Not with Typeform.

Quizzes also need to be quick from the end-user’s point of view if they are going to answer all the questions and share with their friends. I checked out an example quiz and found it very quick and intuitive to fill in. I didn’t even need a mouse, I just typed and hit the enter key.

typeform quiz

Then, I created my own quiz based on a template. The template was a ‘ready made’ quiz and I just had edit the questions and answers to change them to my own:

As you can see, you can have multiple choice, drop-down, picture and long or short text questions as well as many other types. You can even take payments if you want. This could be really useful if you’re getting started with online selling but aren’t ready for a full e-commerce solution yet.

typeform quiz builder

If you’re wondering what this all costs, well I was too! The free plan gives you plenty of opportunities to get to know Typeform and decide if it’s for you, and you can unlock Pro features by upgrading if you want to. The paid plans start from £24 a month which is very reasonable considering all the features available, including the ability to send data to 500+ apps including Zapier. This price includes other types of form besides quizzes, including branding questionnaires, customer surveys, event registration forms, application forms, contact forms and many more.

The Forgotten Side Of Managing Employee Health

Most managers, when they think of health issues can’t see beyond the mandatory health and safety regulations. While there is no denying that without H&S rules, a company is doomed to failure, it would be foolish to assume that it is enough to keep your employees healthy in the workplace environment. In reality, your employees are the primary asset of a company. Consequently, it is a natural behavior to assume that their health issues are directly linked to the health of your business. Let’s ignore the cases of flu and cold and focus on the lessons that modern managers can learn from inspiring leaders when it comes to managing the health of the team. Physical health is naturally easy to measure. But mental health tends to be rapidly ignored, which leads to a significant but yet difficult to explain the impact on the overall productivity and team spirit.

Creating a comfortable thinking environment

When the news is filled with pollution peaks in urban environments, it can seem odd to imagine that the air in your workplace is also polluted. This indoor air pollution is not linked to car emissions, but it is directly connected to the lack of air circulation in buildings. As a result, you can’t consider that your office is a healthy environment for work if you haven’t provided for a regular circulation using plate axial fans for the best extraction in industrial and commerce sites. Additionally, the presence of plants in offices can help to purify indoor air by removing airborne toxins. The presence of these invisible toxins can cause headaches, concentration troubles, and nausea for those who work in an office, without mentioning symptoms of depression and irritation.

Maintaining healthy management relationships

Surprisingly the way in which you manage the relationships with your employees can have a dramatic impact on the health of your business. It’s essential to accept the inevitability of the sick days: People get sick, and they need to have time off work as a result. It’s about caring for your employees, firstly because their health is linked to your productivity, but also because nobody should be made to feel guilty for missing a day at work. Keeping an eye on how your team feels means that you can help them to care for themselves and that you can have their back when they need you.


Avoid toxic management and relationship

Finally, a last word on managing a team, in health or not, needs to focus on developing a fair and human relationship with the people in your business. Toxic bosses, whether they are aware of their behavior or reacting to a professional or mental unease, are dangerous for the overall mental in the business. Don’t be a boss who makes the team feel uncomfortable or who micromanages their every task. Bringing toxic behaviors in the workplace can have a significant and destructive influence on your team’s self-worth and self-confidence. Managing through fear or humiliation only leads to failure.

In short, putting health at the core of your management focus is not only a matter of H&S regulations. It’s about caring for others, as sincerely as you can.

Getting Your Business Workplace Into The Christmas Spirit

December is finally upon us, and while it can be by tradition a month where business slows down, you still need your business to perform and work. So a great tip is to embrace the christmas period. This keeps your employees happy that the spirit of Christmas is alive at work, and should still enable you to keep those productivity levels stable. However, how do you inject the Christmas spirit into your workplace? I thought I would share with you some tips.

Image: Freestocks

Getting the office to look festive

One of the first areas to consider would be to try and make your office look more festive. You could put up a Christmas tree, maybe get some twinkly lights around the windows or on display in the office, or just add a bit of tinsel and festive cheer. If you want to take the whole lights and decorations seriously, then make it easier by wiring up the lights to Rocker switches to ensure they get switched on and off easily to avoid any problems in the workplace or at night. Having some decorations in the office can really help to keep the Christmas spirit alive, and keep your staff smiling and happy.

Organising a Christmas party

December is the ideal time to allow your work colleagues and employees to relax and bond with one another and a great way to do that is to organise a Christmas party. You could hold it in the office after the working day, or you could book somewhere specific. Maybe a restaurant for a nice Christmas dinner, or getting a little competitive at a go karting center or paint balling. Getting your employees involved could be a great way to keep up the morale.

Having a Christmas jumper day

In recent years the rise of the Christmas jumper has grown in popularity, even enabling schools and workplaces to having a jumper day for charity. So why not organise one in your place of work? It’s another way to ensure that you are keeping the spirit of christmas alive in work, while allowing your work friends and colleagues to feel like they are doing some good at the same time. You could even keep things competitive by allowing a competition for the best and worst christmas jumper. Keeping spirits high is a great way to ensure that productivity stays high.

Enabling more flexible working in December

Finally, you could choose to allow more flexible working options in December. It can be a very stressful month for everyone. The pressure of buying presents, getting organised for the big day, and often, there isn’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Allowing flexibility on booking holidays, or enabling your staff to work more flexibility could help them to feel less stressed. As long as the work is getting done, you still have a productive work force, without the anxiety that comes with Christmas.

I hope these tips help you to get your workplace in the Christmas spirit this December.

How Important Is Your Company’s Website?

Having a good company website is no longer just an added bonus. It’s now something that is absolutely crucial to the success of your business. Here are some of the reasons why a good website is so important, and could even mean the difference between your success and failure.

Image: Pixabay

You’re Always Open

Unlike a brick and mortar store, when you have a website online you’re essentially ‘always open.’ Customers can place orders or get the information they need without you physically being there. This is not only cost effective, but convenient for all parties too. It allows you to reach customers from further away, as well as those that just would have never stumbled upon your business any other way. Being accessible is key, and having a website allows you to be exactly that.

People Are Put Off By Slow Websites

According to research, almost half of people will click off a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds. And a slow or badly designed website would be enough to put them off so badly that they’d never return. In the age of instant gratification, your site needs to be fast, intuitive with easy to find information within the click of your fingers. You’ll need a clean, crisp and professional design. It should be aesthetically pleasing, but without putting style over substance. It will contain important features such as a search bar and clear navigation. Hiring a company which offers IT support could be useful, as it gives you peace of mind if anything goes wrong. Even being offline or displaying a broken website for a few hours could cost you valuable customers.

It Makes Your Company Look Trustworthy

Most people take their online safety seriously. People are wary of buying things and putting information into websites that they don’t know or that don’t seem credible (for good reason!) A professional, well thought out website helps to show them that you’re a legitimate business. Your website needs to look smart and professional, you need a web design expert to bring your vision to life and ensure your business presents itself in the best way possible online. People will often buy from places that they know, just because they see this as the safer option. And so to convince them to take the leap and buy from you instead, you need to show them that you are legitimate and trustworthy.

Peace of Mind For Customers

Your website should have clear contact information, such as a support email address, links to well-run social media accounts and a phone number. This gives customers peace of mind. They’re going to want to know that if they make a purchase, that they can get hold of someone if anything goes wrong. Again it just makes your company look more trustworthy and reliable which is something that customers want. You could add a contact form to make sending queries quick and easy. Displaying a support email address too, in case people prefer to email through their regular email account.

They Can Browse ‘On The Go.’

For the first time, more sales are now made through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets than on traditional laptops and computers. To ensure you’re making the most of this, a great company website will be fully optimized for all devices. Again, something as simple as a poorly optimized site could be the difference between success and failure. Having to zoom in on text or scroll sideways may well be enough to put potential customers off.