February 2016

Understanding Fleet Fuel Cards

Having fleet fuel cards is the newest way you can easily manage your fleet. Gone are the days when you need to manually account receipts and compute the amount you need to reimburse to your employees. With this system, you gain control of your fleet’s expenses you never knew you could have.

If you haven’t heard of fleet fuel cards yet, then chances are your company is losing money on the traditional fleet fuel system.

Fleet fuel cards offer lots of perks and benefits for both you and your employees. But before indulging into the details on what it can do for your company, you should first know what fleet fuel cards are.

What are fleet fuel cards?

Fleet fuel card, such as that offered by Motorpass, is a type of card issued to your fleet employees, particularly drivers, to use for purchasing fuel and other fleet-related transactions. They are available in many different forms, from brand-exclusive to nationwide fuel coverage.

They also vary in who may use them, and what vehicles can they use them for, from driver-specific cards, to vehicle-specific cards, or if you want, you can have both.

Fleet fuel card also includes automated systems designed to provide information on your fleet’s activities, expenses, and efficiency.

What can it do for my company?

A fleet fuel card can bring a lot of advantages, not only to the company itself, but also to fleet managers, drivers, and the back office. Through a fleet fuel card system:

  1. Fleet managers/administrators could monitor and control real-time transactions through online fleet management tools. They are provided with state-of-the-art management software that they can use to manage fleet’s expenses. They would also get access to each driver’s transactions and other important information, which means they could account off-road fuel purchases and costs. They would get fuel efficiency reports, which they can use to improve the inefficient use of fuel.

  2. Your fleet drivers don’t have to pay for company fuel out of their own pocket. On top of that, since most fleet card companies offer nationwide coverage, they wouldn’t have to track a specific fuel station. They also don’t have to find the fuel station offering the lowest cost as fleet card companies like Motorpass partnered with fuel stations to give discounts to their fleet fuel card users. Fleet fuel cards are also very simple to use, so implementing them to your company requires little to no training at all.

  3. Back office support also benefits from a fleet fuel card system as they no longer have to manually track fuel receipts as the system already do this for them. They also no longer have to interpret the data as easy-to-read reports are automatically generated. All of these benefits also reduce time spent by the back office on manually generating all of these information, thus increasing their efficiency.

Implementing a fleet fuel card system in your company should be considered an investment that continues to give back. With all of the benefits it could add to your company, it’s more of a cost reduction than an additional expense.

The Top Emerging Mega Trends In The Middle Eastern Business World

The Middle Eastern region of the world is currently experiencing an unprecedented explosion of commercial activity, the likes of which have rarely been seen in recent years. Some of these trends are bound to affect not only the region, but ultimately the world, in the coming decades. It’s an excellent idea to get acquainted with a few of these emerging mega trends so as to be fully prepared for the major effect some of them are going to have on international commerce and culture.

An Explosion Of Basic Infrastructure Development In The Middle Eastern Region

To begin with, an explosion of basic infrastructure development is radically reshaping the Middle Eastern region in the most basic and self evident manner. Many of the leading economic authorities in the region, such as Fahad Al Rajaan among many others, are helping to bankroll and supervise this massive explosion in infrastructure development, which includes such trends as the building of airports, high speed railways, private and state banks, food storage facilities, highways, and other important projects.

The Demand For Infrastructure Involves Global Cooperation

The demand for basic infrastructure has reached such a point that many companies in the Middle East are reaching out to their peers in the global community for financial and material assistance in the realization of these crucially important projects. As a result, the basis for mutual cooperation and economic gain is stronger than ever between the Middle Eastern corporations and their international compatriots. 

An Increased Export Of Electrical Resources Is Projected

An increased export of electrical resources is projected to take place in the very near future. The countries of Europe are set to begin importing a projected 20 percent of their total consumption of electricity from various companies in the Middle Eastern region. Such a development means a massive increase in the power and influence of regional corporations all throughout the Middle East, with a very significant percentage of energy exchange involving the use of renewable resources. 

The Need For Clean And Renewable Energy Is An Emerging Trend

A newly created non profit organization, known as the Desertec Initiative, is already hard at work to provide electrical and other environmentally friendly power sources to the world. At the moment, European nations are scheduled to receive some 15 percent of the total amount of clean electrical power that is generated from this massive project. This is only one of several energy providing projects that could radically reshape the face of international power consumption in the coming decade.

The Increasing Prevalence Of Social Media In Business Networking 

Another major trend that is taking place in the Middle Eastern region is the increasing prevalence of social media interaction, both personal and commercial. As of 2015, over 75 percent of the population of the Middle East is already using some form of social media, whether this be Facebook, Twitter, or other networks. 

The increased presence of Middle Eastern businesses and individual entrepreneurs on social media networks will facilitate an increased amount of global cooperation, on a scale that is just now beginning to be realized. Of all the trends that can be forecast by the continuing linkage of communicative possibilities between the various companies doing business all over the world, this is perhaps the most important of them all.

How Your Business Can Benefit From Networking

Whether your business has plateaued and you’re looking for a great way to kick-fire sales again (other than redesigning your website, improving branding or researching rollup banner printing), or you’re relatively new to the industry and want to raise your profile, networking is the way to go. Attending the relevant events and meeting new people is also ideal for well-known companies looking to unveil new products or promote special offers, so let’s take a closer look at how your business can benefit from networking.

  1. Networking will help build and develop your professional contacts

Essentially, networking is the process of meeting and interacting with like-minded people who may bring value to your organisation personally, or put you in contact with people who can – after all, how well you do in the business world often depends on who you know rather than what you know. With this in mind, it’s crucial to get out there and mingle with as many interesting, business-focussed people as possible in a bid to develop your professional contacts.

The key to success, however, is not simply to hand out business cards carelessly to whoever may come your way, but to take the time to spark up a conversation with specific individuals and form something of a bond which should then naturally lead to swapping contact details and exchanging the relevant marketing materials such as business cards. And when the networking event is over? Don’t rely on people contacting you as they might be too busy to remember. Instead, why not send them a follow up e-mail, invite them to a future event or put them in touch with any relevant contacts to help secure professional relationships? You never know where these may lead?

  1. Networking can open up new and exciting opportunities

If you’re sitting around wondering whether to attend that local tradeshow or morning breakfast meeting – put your doubts aside. Networking in whatever form, be it going along to a lecture or signing up to Internations and joining in the monthly social events, can lead to new and exciting opportunities. Not only might you hear about avenues which you and your company can explore, but you might also meet the crème-de-la-crème of employees who are looking to join an inspiring team. Similarly, you might come across an entrepreneur whose business perfectly complements what you do and end up strategising how to join the two empires together. The options really are endless, but it’s essential to attend arranged activities with an open mind.

  1. Networking will keep you in the know and help you access advice

The business world is forever changing which is why it’s so important to stay on top of the latest trends and business activities. Networking will keep your mind active and allow you to discuss and debate all the latest trends, structures and ideas circulating during tradeshows, coffee mornings and happy hour evenings. What’s more, if you need any help or advice, you should be able to find someone with the experience and knowledge to assist you – just don’t be afraid to ask.

Networking is a really important tool for companies worldwide, so be sure to incorporate this into your business development plan and approach things with a positive frame of mind.

Can You Get Compensation for Your Work Injury?

You never plan for getting hurt at work so when an accident with injury does happen you may be shocked and confused at first. Your company will have a safety policy that dictates the steps that must be followed in treating you when an accident happens in the workplace. Your co-workers and supervisors will help you get to an area where you can be treated and can also call for outside help if your company medical personnel aren’t equipped to handle the emergency. You should try to remain calm and avoid other stress factors that can make your injury worse. Let’s look at how you can deal with an injury at work and the claim process you’ll have to navigate for compensation.

Accidents on the Production Floor

If you’re injured on the production floor, there will be other employees who can immediately turn off the equipment and get you to a safe location where treatment can be administered. You should be able to count on nearby co-workers who can attest to how the accident happened and what was done to make you safe and comfortable after it happened. As with all other injuries, make notes of the date and time, who witnessed the accident, and record any maintenance issues with the equipment and how they were addressed. The experts at http://shireslaw.com suggest that you begin to collect data about the accident as soon as you are mentally and physically able to do so.

Jobsite Accidents

If you work in construction, you know the risks of working on a jobsite that is unsafe. As an employer in the UK, your company is required to follow certain safety procedures to keep you secure whilst you perform your regular duties. Always follow the recommended safety rules when working on scaffolding or when running heavy equipment that prepares a jobsite for construction. If you are injured, be sure to make notes about the training that you should have received but that wasn’t offered to you. Also pay attention to the condition of the equipment that you were using and make written requests for repairs or replacements that need to be made. By visiting the website http://shireslaw.com/types-of-claims/accident-at-work you can see some of the injuries that qualify for claims for accidents whilst on the job.

Poor Housekeeping Leads to Falls

Work areas that are littered with debris, and items that should be stored properly, can lead to falls that injure employees like you. If every member of the team takes responsibility for keeping the workplace neat, clean and free from clutter, the number of accidents can be decreased dramatically. The maintenance team along with cleaning staff should make sure that all aisles and work spaces are properly maintained for a safe and secure environment.

Image attributed to sippakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Should You Consider A Freelancer Or A Web Development Agency?

Nowadays, it is easy to find people that would be able to create something suitable for your online web presence. Development and design are not complicated and we have two options available at the moment: the freelance web developer and the professional Sydney web development company. Choosing between these two is not difficult but mistakes can be made due to a lack of knowledge and understanding about what is the best for clients.

In order to help you make a correct choice, here are the advantages and disadvantages to remember about both options.

Web Development Company Advantages And Disadvantages

The agencies will normally have many web developers that are hired and that can work on different aspects of a website. The programmer’s specialization is a huge advantage since there will be a team that will create exactly what the client needs, including use of PHP, CSS, HTML, Dreamweaver and iQuery.

A web development company will normally be able to finish a project faster than the freelancer because of the number of people that will work on the site. Maintenance is also normally included in the services offered.

The problem with the web development agency is normally the price tag since it will be higher. At the same time, it is possible to be faced with some conflicts that would appear because of the appearance of more people working on the project. Besides this, the only other problem is that sometimes the web development companies will add too many features or plugins to a site.

Freelance Developer Advantages And Disadvantages

The largest advantage is that you will end up paying less for the work that is done, making the choice perfect for startups and smaller businesses. We do have access to some freelance web developers that are very good and that can get it all done properly.

The problem with hiring web developers is that sometimes there is an extra risk in the sense that the freelancer may not be able to actually deliver what is initially discussed. It is really important that you know as much as possible about the freelance web developer and the work that was done in the past. If this is the case, you would be able to quickly make a good choice.

Keep in mind that hiring a freelance web developer automatically means that he will work outside business hours. This is much more common than you may believe. It is possible that the freelancer will not finish the project and you do want to avoid this by only considering those that are true professionals.

What Should You Choose?

In the event that you do have access to a suitable budget, working with a web development company is almost always a lot better. Do think about the freelance option only in the event that there is a limited budget available. You do want to think about the web development firms since they are almost always a whole lot better and what they offer is complete.

How to Offer a Unique Customer Experience

Companies across the world are competing with each other on a daily basis to be the best in their industry. Not only does the internet allow people across the globe to access all sorts of information, but it has also resulted in the rise of millions of online businesses, which allows people to shop and spend on a much grander scale.
It is therefore more vital than ever to stand out from the crowd. You have to offer something different if you want to compete; otherwise, you might just find you will become lost amongst the crowd.

How to Stand Out
So, you know you need to stand out, but how? Go away and look at your industry. Not your company, your entire industry. What’s it missing? What are your competitors doing that you could do better? Use their services, spot their flaws and make the change. By identifying where others are going wrong, you can find what you need to do to become the most attractive option.

Find Your Idea
Take a look at the Liverpool hotel company, Signature Living. Co-owner Lawrence Kenwright spotted a gap in the market following two bad hotel experiences. He wanted to provide unrivalled experiences that didn’t come with any hidden extras – and he also identified a need for group accommodation.
Hotels were created so people could enjoy a break together, but all the hotels in city were splitting their guests away from each other – and so he decided to create large group accommodation in Liverpool, and he hasn’t looked back since. From one small hotel company that opened in 2008 has gone on to offer 4 Signature Living hotels, the Titanic-themed hotel 30 James Street and the Bill Shankly inspired hotel The Shankly Hotel. This is in addition to multiple bars, restaurants, a spa, office space and more. It only takes one small idea to create a fantastic business.

Market Your Business
If you’ve found a gap in the market that you’re happy to fill, it’s time to market your brand and services. There’s no point offering an amazing USP if you can’t shout about it. So many good companies have failed in the past because they failed to advertise, or even engage with their customers. Marketing can be as big as a TV or print campaign, or as small as advertising on Facebook or offering great deals and competitions. Showcase your products and encourage others to talk about them both online and in person. You never know, it could be your marketing campaign that makes you different.

Your company will never reach its full potential if you offer the same services as everyone else – and it could also result in your business failing as a result. Yes, doing something different can be risk, but taking a chance could result in much bigger rewards. You just have to have confidence in your business model; the rest is up to you.

Why Mystery Shoppers Are More Accurate Than Customer Surveys

If you want to gather feedback about your business which is more effective – customer surveys or mystery shoppers? Many businesses use customer surveys to gain information about how their companies could improve, but there are several reasons why mystery shoppers can be the more effective option.

They Are Honest

There is a reason why some people will answer, “Yes, everything is fine” in a restaurant when asked whether they are enjoying their food – even if they aren’t 100% happy with it. Some people don’t like to make complaints and feel uncomfortable bringing up issues. Perhaps they don’t want to be perceived as “fussy” or “negative,” especially if they are dining or shopping with others. They would rather quietly let it go and just not visit your business again.

This can be a problem, as it means that your customers could have complaints that you have no way of knowing about. The solution is a mystery shopper – as their job is to be honest about the areas in which your company is failing to provide the best possible customer experience. They will tell you the truth, so that you can take that information and use it to improve.

They Tell You The Good, Bad and Everything In Between

One of the problems with customer feedback is that people usually only give it when things have gone very wrong or occasionally when they have had a very good experience. This means that you will only get feedback from your happiest and unhappiest customers. This helps you to figure out your best strengths and your most serious weaknesses, but what about all of the areas in between?

There are probably many ways that your business could improve that make only a medium impact on the customer. However, all of these small adjustments really add up and make the difference between an average business and a very high quality business.

A mystery shopper will be able to report back to you on all of the potential ways that your business could improve, not just the most serious or obvious ones. They are customer satisfaction professionals, so they know what to look for and what to report on when it comes to improving your business. This is why mystery shopping agencies are such great tactical solutions for getting a competitive advantage for your business.

They Are Specific

Often when you get feedback from a customer survey it is too vague to be helpful. The customer might say something like, “the staff were rude.” However, this doesn’t give you much information to work with. In what way were they rude? What did they say that offended the customer? A customer might indicate that the wait time for being served was “reasonable” but a mystery shopper will tell you in minutes exactly how long the wait time was. You need to know more concrete information so that you can figure out how to solve the problem.

A mystery shopper will give you a detailed report on what went wrong so that you know exactly what you need to do to make things right.

You Can Ask for Clarification

Usually customer surveys are anonymous and once the feedback has been submitted you have no way of tracking down the customer who made the observation and finding out more information from them. However, when a mystery shopper makes a comment about your company you know who they are, so you can always contact them again and ask them to clarify what they mean. You can follow up on feedback they have given and even hire the same mystery shopper to come back again later so that they can evaluate the changes you have made.

These are just a few of the reasons why mystery shoppers can be much more accurate than customer surveys when it comes to collecting valuable information about how your business can improve. The right mystery shopping agency can be a very valuable resource for you and can help you figure out the best way to maximise the customer experience at your business. Of course, if you really want to do as much as possible to improve your business you might want to consider using both customer surveys and mystery shoppers – it can’t hurt!