Looking to increase business? Join us!

At FBN we are continuing to grow! Are you looking for some friendly business support and networking? Then why not join us. We are looking for a wide range of companies to become members, who have capacity to grow, so we can begin to work with each other.

Limited to only one person per profession. Come & see how our approach to increasing business for each other can also benefit you. 

Complete our on-line enquiry form and we’ll send you the link to join our next meeting taking place on Friday mornings from 7.00AM, currently on zoom.  Our available categories include:

  • Architect
  • Bricklayer
  • Builder
  • Car body shop specialist
  • Carpet / Floor Cleaner
  • Chiropractor
  • Construction
  • Fencing
  • Fire & Security specialist
  • Florist
  • Gardener
  • Handyman
  • Mental Health & Well-being
  • Health & Safety Specialist
  • House Maker Over
  • Insolvency
  • IT Specialist
  • Landscape Gardener
  • Local Radio (Forest FM/Wave 105)
  • Locksmith
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Painter/Decorator
  • Plaster
  • Photographer
  • Physiotherapist
  • Plumber
  • Roofer
  • Solicitor
  • Sports Physio
  • Telecommunications
  • Tree Specialist
  • Town Planner

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Electric Cars – What are they all about then?

It dawned on us a week or so ago at Dorset Car Leasing, after attending an online training session that there is still a great deal of confusion out there about electric cars, so here is a blog which you may find interesting.

Like it or not, we will all be driving electric cars/vehicles in the not too distant future. 2030 is only nine years away now and the Government has made it very clear to manufacturers what they need to do.

An Electric Vehicle (EV) is deemed to be a vehicle that you can charge externally. Here is a brief outline of the most common types currently available:

· Pure electric cars (known as BEV’s – battery electric vehicles) where the battery is the only power source. (An example of these are – Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, Volkswagen ID3, Tesla, Jaguar i-Pace, Polestar 2, etc).

· Plug-in hybrid (known as PHEV’s – plugin hybrid electric vehicles) whereby they have a battery and internal combustion engine (ICE) with a motor and/or engine providing drive. (An example of these are – Mitsubishi Outlander, BMW 330e, Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen Golf GTE, Mercedes A250e, etc).

So, what’s the difference in cost to run compared to a conventional car?

Below are average figures to provide a rough idea of the difference in costs based on pence per mile:

· Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) – 16p

· Plug in Hybrid (PHEV) – 11p

· Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – 3p

What about charging and how long does it take?

This in one of the questions we get asked the most. Many people are opting to have a home charging unit installed. In our opinion this is a great idea, especially as it is still possible to take advantage of the government grants available. Depending on what type of home charger you go for will determine the cost and how quickly it will charge the car.

For example, a 3.6kW (kilowatt) charger will cost circa £449 (inc VAT and installed) and would fully charge a Volkswagen e-Golf in under 10 hours. A 7kW charger is circa £529 and would charge the same car in under 6 hours. (Please be aware this is just an example and different cars will take different lengths of time to charge).

Some of the fast chargers available at supermarkets, shopping centres and fuel stations could charge an e-Golf to 80% of its capacity within circa 30 minutes. A client of ours who has recently taken delivery of an e-Golf has been charging his car at his local Tesco whilst he does the weekly shopping and has not needed to charge it anywhere else since taking delivery 4 months ago! And the best bit is that there is no charge to do this at Tesco!

Government grants are also available for workplace charging points and a great deal of information (for both private and businesses) can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-grants-for-low-emission-vehicles

How can I find out where the charging points are in case I need one when I’m out and about?

There are now 6,382 more devices at 4,087 more locations than this time last year and this will continue to grow significantly over the next few years.

One of the best websites for finding out what is near to you or how you can plan a route if you are going on a journey is www.zap-map.com

It is worth taking a look, you’ll probably be surprised what is just around the corner!

So how far will an electric car travel on a full charge?

There is a phrase known as Range Anxiety – ‘the fear that a vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination leaving the occupants stranded’.

This is by far the discussions we have the most with our clients and in some circumstances can mean the difference between establishing if an EV is the right vehicle to go for or not. One thing is for sure, EV’s travel a lot further now than they did just a few years ago and the rate at which the technology is moving forward is staggering.

Below are examples of some of the ranges achievable from a variety of different manufacturers:

· BMW i3 – 193 miles

· Hyundai Kona 64kWh – 299 miles

· Mercedes EQC – 259 miles

· Nissan LEAF 3.ZERO e+ – 239 miles

· Peugeot e-208 – 217 miles

· Tesla Model 3 (Long Range) – 348 miles

· Vauxhall Corsa-e – 209 miles

· Volkswagen e-Golf – 144 miles

· Volkswagen ID.3 – 205 miles

· Volvo XC40 Recharge – 250 miles

As you can see there is a big variation in the distances covered, but for most people, there is now an EV available which is suitable and worthy of consideration.

Many forget an EV does not need to be fully charged. Many users “top up” the charge to 80% as this is quick and gives them a sensible working daily distance.

To give you an idea of the growth in registrations of EV’s, in 2013 there were 6,000 on our roads, in 2018 this number grew to 195,000 and by 2023 it is predicted there will be over 1 million.

Are electric cars a good idea for company car drivers?

Potentially, yes, very much so.

The government is very keen to get more and more people into zero emission cars as quickly as possible. One way to encourage people is to make EV’s as tax efficient as possible, therefore, from this current tax year, the company car tax payable for a car which has zero emissions is zero. Yes, you have read that correctly, no matter whether you are a lower or higher rate taxpayer, you will not pay any tax for having a company car if it is pure electric! Even if it is a Hybrid car the tax is very low compared to a petrol or diesel engine car.

There is also a great benefit to the employer as there is no Class 1a National Insurance payable either.

You may be thinking the tax payable will go up in the future which is a fair assumption, but, the government has confirmed the tax payable will only rise to 1% (of the cars P11d value) for the next tax year, 2% for the following tax year and will remain unchanged until 2025.

We have clients of ours who have seen this low rate tax as a way of potentially giving their valued employees a pay rise (by replacing their ‘normal’ car) without actually giving them a pay rise as their net income can increase significantly per month.

What about the cost of an EV, I hear they are very expensive?

Most electric cars are still benefitting from the government grant of £3,000 off the list price and many of the EV’s we supply funded via a leasing contract are now significantly better priced than they were a couple of years ago.

You also need to factor in the fuel savings available. You will recall the client of ours I mentioned previously who has been charging his e-Golf at Tesco for free – he used to spend circa £120 per month on fuel! They also do not need to be serviced as often as a conventional car which is therefore another potential saving. Our industry calls it whole life costs, and all these factors are essential to consider before disregarding the EV option.

Many of our clients have been pleasantly surprised by how well priced EV’s are when factoring in all these considerations and the relatively low leasing payments.

Summary

Hopefully, you have learnt a bit more about electric cars having read this blog. Please be aware this has been written to provide a brief overview and there are a lot of considerations before committing to an EV, but we all need to be thinking about it whether we make the change now or in say 5 years time.

We would love to help and would welcome the opportunity to discuss any vehicle procurement requirements you may have.

We have a great deal of experience in this field and have supplied many local companies with EV’s over the past few years having spent a great deal of time ensuring they fully understand how they can work for them both now and in the future.

Even if you are just ‘dipping your toe in the water’ when it comes to EV’s, please feel free to give us a call here at Dorset Car Leasing on 01202 821354 or e-mail hello@dorsetcarleasing.uk

7 Major Points Why Magazine Advertising Works!

1. Target a captive audience

Our readers are incredibly proud and passionate about where they live. Our local magazines offer a sense of community and serve as an important ‘hub’ where locals can learn about their surroundings… including your products and services!

2. Make sure your ads stand out

Do not fall for the myth that ‘print’ is dead. In an age where the online space has a sea of digital ads, your local magazine has far less competition. Thus enabling you to stand out from the crowd!

3. Enable sense of security

Web surfers have become weary of clicking on banner ads. Even if they are enticing, they feel there is a lack of security online. With our print magazines the consumer has nothing to fear. This makes your audience more receptive to your message!

4. Longer shelf life 

While digital ads come and go, print ads have staying power! Our magazines are read countless times. Your advert can be strategically placed to maximise your promotion! Our magazines are placed directly in the hands of your local consumer through door to door distribution. They are also available at large retail outlets with high foot traffic!

5. Brand recognition & loyalty

Advertising in reputable local magazines like ours allows local people to become familiar with your business. In the long run this encourages brand loyalty and recommendation to others!

6. Credibility

Our local magazines are valued and respected publications that build a sense of community among local consumers. As an advertiser, you benefit from this credibility as your ads become much more than ‘just an ad’, they become recommendations from a trusted source.

7. Tactile experience

Did you know that the average reader only spends 15 seconds on a website before moving on? People interact differently with our print magazines, they take their time and linger. This means they fully interact with our content including your ad!

Interested in Promoting your business. Contact FBN member Dorset Publications to answer any other questions you have! Tel Debbie: 01202 894397

Looking to increase business? Join us!

At FBN we are continuing to grow! Are you looking for some friendly business support and networking? Then why not join us. We are looking for a wide range of companies to become members, who have capacity to grow, so we can begin to work with each other.

Limited to only one person per profession. Come & see how our approach to increasing business for each other can also benefit you. 

Complete our on-line enquiry form and we’ll send you the link to join our next meeting taking place on Friday mornings from 7.30AM, currently on zoom.  Our available categories include:

  • Architect
  • Bricklayer
  • Builder
  • Car body shop specialist
  • Carpet / Floor Cleaner
  • Chiropractor
  • Construction
  • Fencing
  • Fire & Security specialist
  • Florist
  • Gardener
  • Handyman
  • Mental Health & Well-being
  • Health & Safety Specialist
  • House Maker Over
  • HR Specialist
  • Insolvency
  • IT Specialist
  • Landscape Gardener
  • Local Radio (Forest FM/Wave 105)
  • Locksmith
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Painter/Decorator
  • Plaster
  • Photographer
  • Physiotherapist
  • Plumber
  • Roofer
  • Solicitor
  • Sports Physio
  • Telecommunications
  • Travel agent
  • Tree Specialist
  • Town Planner

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Are Diesel cars really that bad?

Back in the year 2000 when we were all told planes would fall out of the skies and our PC’s would pack up and never work again, diesel-engined cars accounted for just 14.1% of the new car market. By 2011, this figure had increased to 50.6%.

One of the main reasons for this rise in popularity was the introduction of Benefit in Kind for company car drivers in 2002, who, at the time were encouraged to choose lower emission cars which diesels were. The change in taxation regime also led to many engineering advances which led to a reduction is CO2 emissions from an average of 181 g/km in 2000 to 120.1 g/km in 2016.

The landscape changed for diesels in 2015 though when reports of air quality concerns started hitting the headlines and what became known as ‘Dieselgate’ led to manufacturers selling 38% fewer diesel cars by the end of 2018 than at their peak. NOx became the new CO2 and we started to see the introduction of Clean Air Zones, increases in Vehicle Excise Duty and supplements to Company Car Tax.

A recent Government statement read ‘cleaner diesel cars and vans can play an important part in reducing CO2 emissions from road transport during the transition to zero-emission vehicles’.

With the introduction of the new emissions testing regime known as The Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test, future vehicles will be tested more rigorously to measure pollutants such as NOx, emitted by cars on the road.

With more and more engineering developments we are starting to see manufacturers produce diesel engine cars which are scoring maximum points for the Green NCAP Clean Air Index, the same as electric vehicles. Whilst electric vehicles produce no pollutant emissions, we are beginning to see diesel engine cars, with proper calibration and effective after treatment, can deliver extremely low pollutant emissions.

In recent test carried out by a German automobile club, one of the diesel vehicles tested did not emit any NOx emissions at all which demonstrates how quickly the engineers are developing clean diesel engines.

Might Diesel cars still be a good choice for company car drivers?

Maybe. The latest RDE2 compliant diesel cars are exempt from the 4% diesel Benefit in Kind (BiK) surcharge which comes into effect from April 2020, meaning they are charged at the same rate as a petrol engine powered car with the same CO2 emissions. Some manufacturers are even producing plug-in hybrid diesels which not only are very fuel efficient, but also benefit from an incredibly low BiK rate.

Neil Carlton, Director of Poole based dorsetcarleasing.uk said ‘over the past couple of years there has been great confusion when it comes to the real situation regarding petrol versus diesel cars. We have had situations whereby companies have switched from diesel cars into petrol equivalents and reported a significant drop in MPG which has pushed their and their employee’s fuel spend up by around 15-20%. We strongly recommend that any future car changes are considered very carefully, and proper advice should be sought’.

Ferndown Business Network Members Neil Carlton and his business partner Andrew Garaway can be contacted via www.dorsetcarleasing.uk or by calling 01202 821354

Making Your Vehicle Stand Out

March marks the release of the 20 plate registration numbers. If you’re buying or leasing a new vehicle and require upgraded, updated and uplifted graphics Ferndown Business Network member Signs Express Bournemouth can help bring your brand to life!

On average your vehicle could be seen by over 3,000 people every hour in a typical working day. Powerful and high impact, effective vehicle graphics are the perfect way to create a 24/7 marketing campaign at a slither of the investment.

Vehicle graphics are one of the most powerful forms of advertising and there are plenty of options to explore for all budgets! 

Custom Decals & Stickers

A great option for self-employed business people or start-ups, custom graphics and stickers are quick to apply and can start from £125+VAT.

Decals are a simple alternative to a larger vehicle livery, due to their fast turnaround and ability to be easily removed they also provide a great option for promotional events and ad-hoc usage. Our custom graphics can also be provided on a supply only basis, applied at your leisure.

FAQ – What are decals?

Decals is another term used for vinyl graphics and vinyl signs, commonly used as a term to describe text and logos on cars, vans and lorries amongst other transportation modes. 

Vehicle Wraps

At the other end of the scale, wrapping is a great solution for covering large areas of a vehicle. Vinyl can be very versatile which makes it a popular choice for those looking to completely or partially brand their business vehicles or make a statement with a privately-owned car.

Not only can wraps add the wow-factor, they can protect original paintwork, helping with resale value and also act as a theft deterrent which can lead to lower insurance premiums.

FAQ – How long do vehicle graphics last?

Professionally applied vehicle graphics should last for years if they are cared for correctly. We advise that you do not wash your vehicle for a week after vehicle graphics are applied and do not jet wash the graphics as this may reduce their life. 

For permanent vehicle graphics, we always offer to laminate the graphics which should prolong the colour of any digitally printed images. 

Reflective Vehicle Markings

Reflective markings can serve two important purposes; keeping your branding visible in all conditions and helping to comply with health and safety standards.

Certain vehicles will have to comply with Chapter 8 regulations which includes having fluorescent yellow and retro-reflective red markings applied to the rear. Chevron markings are also essential for ESVs including ambulances and police vehicles, in addition to blue and yellow battenberg graphics.

To make your vehicles really stand out 24/7, reflective vinyl adds the wow-factor and is great in low-light conditions.

FAQ – What are reflective vinyl graphics?

There are specialist vinyl materials available which offer reflective qualities for high impact graphics throughout the night. We can apply your vehicle with rear chevrons or build reflective graphics into your livery design for high visibility of your vehicle. Legislation requires new commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes of any age to have reflective outlines to the bodies and rears of the vehicle.

Fleet Graphics

To achieve a recognisable brand, it’s important to have consistent messaging across all elements of the business and this includes any company vehicles you may own or lease.

From simple text and logos to a full wrap, there are plenty of options to create a professional look which helps to enhance your corporate identity. Most vehicle visuals can also be removed if a vehicle is no longer needed, is being returned or sold making it a convenient option for fleets of vehicles.

There are many types of vehicle graphics with different options for a range of requirements. Signs Express Bournemouth offers a bespoke service and can cater for a wide range of requests. 

FAQ – How do I remove my vehicle graphics?

We would advise all graphics and wraps to be removed by a professional to ensure no damage is done to the vehicle. For a small fee, Signs Express Bournemouth offer this service.

Six steps to successful vehicle graphics

1. Identify – Vehicle graphics can serve many purposes, including showcasing your products and services or providing vital safety protection when out on the road. It’s important to consider what you want to get from your graphics before deciding the route you take.

2. Consult – it’s okay to not fully understand what you want or require from your new vehicle graphics, contact us to discuss requirements and we can recommend what will work best. Our bespoke consultative service can open up a range of possibilities!

3. Manage – especially for large fleet projects a seamless experience is essential to maintain an efficient service and make sure everything is delivered on time and budget. 

4. Innovate – the industry is always changing with new products and ideas, as part of the largest sign company in the UK and Ireland we have access to all of the latest innovations to make you stand out from the crowd.

5. Propose – the key to a good design is collaboration, our in-house design capabilities allow us to create engaging concepts and ideas for your vehicle. We can help you turn a simple idea into a unique and eye-catching design.

6. Customise – any type of vehicle can be wrapped from cars and vans to lorries and buses, but our capabilities don’t stop there, the more interesting the better!

Graphics don’t stop with cars, vans and lorries. At Signs Express Bournemouth we have wrapped a wide range of bespoke transport including everything from planes and boats to tuk-tuks and large machinery. 

Contact us today on 01202 797 239 to start your vehicle graphics journey.

Have you calculated your staffs’ holiday entitlement properly?

The first month of 2020 has almost been and gone ….are you all sorted with your staffs’ holiday entitlements for the year?

Here’s some advice and guidance from Ferndown Business Network member, Just Ask Juli

When staff primarily worked Monday – Friday 9am-5pm it was all very straight forward; now however with more and more people working over the weekends, on part time contracts or working compressed working weeks things have gotten a bit more complicated.

It’s our legal requirement as employers to make sure that all our staff receive their statuary minimum holiday entitlement and to make sure that bank holidays are calculated in a fair and consistent manner. Be very careful if your team are primarily part time and you just give them the day off when a bank holiday occurs; you may well be giving more holiday than they are entitled to (which makes you a great boss) or more importantly you may not be giving enough (which makes you an illegal boss)!

So some tips if your work force works differing hours:-

• when calculating holiday entitlement switch from “days” to “ hours”

• make sure its very clear in their contracts as to whether their holiday entitlement includes or excludes bank holidays (note there is a legal minimum that must be observed)

• show clearly on their holiday forms how you’ve calculated their entitlement. Its often useful to show the bank holiday entitlement as a separate figure

• and finally .. remember this year a standard Monday bank holiday has been moved to a Friday so a different calculation may be necessary for some of your team

The HMRC website gives lots of help and useful tools https://www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights

Need some help? Just Ask Juli!

Just Ask Juli

Just ask Juli started as an idea; I wanted to do something different; to work for  a variety of people; to make peoples lives a little easier … so Just ask Juli was created.

Small businesses are under a lot of pressure at the moment and do not carry any extra staff so, when things become very busy, staff take holiday or go off sick, the implications are felt very quickly. This is where Ferndown Business Network member Just ask Juli comes in. Due to my extensive employment experiences (more about those later) I can help with a variety of tasks ranging from answering the phone, responding to emails to planning an event or managing social media campaigns. All you need to do is Just ask Juli! I’m happy to work for just a couple of hours to help you catch up, a couple of days or a couple of weeks … whatever you need to make a positive difference to you.

Many small companies are aware of the benefits of social media but many do not have the time, knowledge or inclination to “post”, “like”, “tweet” or “re-gram”. I can take all of this off your shoulders and manage your social media on an ongoing basis.

Due to my employment history (yes more of that later) I can also help small charities. They, like businesses often run with the very minimum of staff and rely on volunteers so when something extra needs doing there isn’t always the personnel able to do it. Just ask Juli, and I can come in and help. I can complete funding bids for specific projects, help with preparation of documents, policies, role descriptions or plan a major funding event.

Finally, I would like to be able to help local people. People who have hospital appointments often have to face these alone but would prefer a bit of company. I can pick people up from their homes, take them to their appointment, stay with them while they wait and even have a cuppa with them before we head for home … all you need to do is Just ask Juli.

Now my employment history … I worked for a national publishing company in Poole for 18 years as a senior Production Manager, I’ve worked in several local charities and have been a Samaritan, am a presenter on a local radio station and am an avid dog lover!

So what can Just ask Juli  help with? (list is not exhaustive)

  • Event management
  • Social media management
  • Website updates
  • Creation of newsletters
  • Answering the  phone
  • Email management
  • Diary management
  • Inputting invoices onto accounts system
  • Data entry
  • Spreadsheet creation / updating
  • Updating systems (reducing paperwork)
  • File management
  • Charity fundraising
  • Charity documentation
  • Project research
  • Lifts to / from appointments
  • Shopping companion
  • Online shopping
  • Dog walking
  • Clearing out (recycling) unwanted items

So could I help you or someone you know? ….

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