No Claims Bonus: Save on Your Insurance

No claims bonus (NCB) is one of the best ways to save on your car insurance. You can save up to 30% off your premium with just one year of no claims.

If you drive claim-free for some years, the discount could reach as much as 75%.

What Is A No Claims Bonus?

You can start accumulating NCB for every year that you have insurance without making a claim. The key here is driving defensively – what matters is whether or not you make a claim, and not whether it was your fault or not.

Example 1:

It’s a sunny day, and you are driving on a highway when suddenly an uninsured driver hit your car. Given that it is not your fault and you made a claim, because of this, you may not be earning an NCB for that year. In addition, your existing NCBs will get a step back, and in some cases, go back to zero.

Example 2:

You were sleeping in the middle of the night, and your car is parked in the streets of New York City. Upon waking up, you discovered that your car had been stolen and you made a claim, your NCB, therefore, could be lost.

How Do I Earn A No Claims Bonus?

Car, van, commercial vehicle, tractor and on all types of insurances like third-party, fully comprehensive, and third-party, fire, and theft will earn you NCB.

SEE ALSO: Van Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

Depending on your insurer, you can earn an NCB for up to nine years. Although for most insurers, they will only allow you to earn for up to five consecutive years.

How Much Can I Save From An NCB?

Insurers will reduce your premiums by a set percentage that is determined by the number of years you are driving claim-free. Discounts vary greatly from one insurer to another, but the average discount scale is usually:

YearsReduction
110%
220%
330%
440%
550%
655%

There are other ways to reduce the costs of your car insurance policy; you can read our guide, 10 Easy Ways to Reduce the Costs of Your Car Insurance for more information.

How Can I Protect My No Claims Bonus?

Some insurance companies offer opportunities to preserve your bonus. A car insurer may be able to redeem all costs from another insurer where a claim is not your mistake. In this case, you wouldn’t lose any claims discount. It is best to talk to your chosen insurer about their policy as this can vary greatly.

In most cases, if you do not have a policy in your name for two years, your No Claims Bonus will disappear.

Can I Use My NCB On Another Vehicle?

Yes, you can. In the insurance industry, they call it “Mirrored No Claims Discount,” it is used by a person who has earned a bonus on a car policy and decided to buy another vehicle. To get a discount on his insurance, that person can then “mirror” their accumulated NCB to the vehicle he just bought.

Can Named Drivers Earn A No Claims Discount?

With a standard car insurance policy, named drivers do not earn their own No Claims Discount. However, some companies will allow them to earn an NCB. This is brilliant if the named driver wants to go on with their own car insurance policy later on.

Training To Become An Electrician

Electricians play an important role in ensuring that things work and continue to run smoothly, both within our homes, in factories, and out in the field at sub-stations and pylons.

If you’re looking to change career or want to start your career as an electrician, where do you even think of starting?

What Sector Do I Want To Work In?

There are two main areas of expertise for electricians – Domestic and Commercial – both of which come with their own specific ways of working especially with regards to the environment you’ll be working in, so what does each involve?

Domestic Sector

Domestic electricians are those who attend jobs at homes and businesses, and usually work as sole traders or for small businesses. Their main roles can include the installation, testing and maintaining of electrical systems and the maintenance of appliances, lighting and security systems.

The types of job they deal with can include anything from repairing fuse boxes, rewiring light switches to PAT testing appliances and connecting network cabling for home computer systems.

Commercial Sector

Commercial electricians are usually those who have worked in the domestic field and have moved onto working with more powerful voltages and more specific equipment that could be sensitive to even small changes in resistance.

Clients and employers can include more industrial locations such as factories, warehouses, and power stations, and additional training will be required to accommodate factors such as working at height or with extremely high voltages.

Qualities And Requirements

So what qualities do you need to be able to work effectively as an electrician?

  • Good manual dexterity – some wire work can be very intricate, so being able to keep a steady hand when working with wires and tools is essential to becoming a good electrician.
  • Ability to effectively analyse technical drawings – including CAD drawings and technical manuals – and to interpret measurements of electrical charges, such as voltage and resistance.
  • Ability to problem solve – the ability to identify and solve problems is vital to the job, including when rewiring and laying cable.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills – electricians should be able to clearly explain what is required to customers and clients, as well as be friendly and approachable when dealing with enquiries.

Get Trained

The most important part of becoming an electrician is knowing your stuff, so if you want to get your foot in the door, you need to learn all you can – both in theory and through practice – and there are a number of different avenues you can go down to gain qualifications.

College courses can help you obtain the qualifications you will initially need, including City & Guilds qualifications to get you started on your journey. There are a number of qualifications available for those looking to start in the business – including NVQs – and you’ll need to have one of these at least before you can even think of getting your foot in the door.

It can be worth looking into local colleges to see if they offer these entry-level courses, and there are some which offer part-time study, allowing you to train as you work if you want to.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships can be handy for getting yourself started in the industry, the availability of them will depend on the jobs market at the time and they are usually quite well sought after. If you have an existing skill set you want to top up, apprenticeships can be a good way of diversifying into another area of electrical work – such as starting as a home installer and then moving into commercial.

In-Work Training

Once you’ve secured a job as an electrician, your employer may then offer you some further training as part of your employment – including the following which is essential for any electrician:

  • Periodic Inspection and Testing – a periodic inspection is used to check and ensure that electrical items are safe and in a satisfactory condition to do their job. After testing, an electrician would be required to produce an Electrical Installation Condition Report detailing any damage found.
  • 17th Edition (IET) Wiring Regulations – this is a national standard for electrical installations in the UK and ensures that electrical wiring in domestic, commercial and industrial buildings are of good quality.
  • PAT testing – PAT testers carry out basic safety checks on electrical equipment, both to check current flows safely and a resistance test, leading to either a PASS or FAIL status for that piece of equipment. Advanced PAT testers, when trained up, can also test fuses and insulation resistance, especially in industrial settings.

You’ll also need to complete a Part P certification in order to be able to check your own installations to check if they are within standard. Part P of the Building Regulations determines that some household electrical has to be approved by a certified contractor or building inspector.

Who Can Advise Me?

If you’re looking at starting out as an electrician, it can be worth looking into joining organisations such as the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) – which is privately owned and can provide useful resources for those looking to move into working as electricians.

Through NICEIC, you can gain qualifications – from City & Guilds to ELECSA – in a variety of subjects including PAT testing and data cable installation.

Variety Is The Spark Of Life

Once you’ve gained your qualifications, there are a number of different areas in which you can work as an electrician or electrical engineer, including:

  • Planning – producing plans using CAD systems to map wiring in potential build sites and for rewiring jobs in existing premises
  • Maintenance – regularly checking systems to ensure safe running
  • Installation – installation of wiring and electrical equipment in a variety of buildings
  • Electrotechnical panel builder – building, installing, and maintaining operating panels and control panels that regulate electricity or operate electrical systems
  • Repair and rewind – repairing and maintaining motors and transformers of electrical equipment to ensure safe and efficient running
  • Highways – maintaining and repairing street lighting, traffic signs, and traffic management systems

Whatever route you want to go down, ensuring that you are properly trained is essential before you start working as an electrician, and once you get started in your career, you may find more opportunities opening up for you.

Training To Become A Hairdresser

Barbers and hairdressers provide us with a chance to smarten up and try a new look by colouring or curling our hair. Located on every high street, salons these days can also include additional services such as nail bars, skin treatment or even sunbeds.

Hairdressing is a popular profession for those who like to be creative but can also be responsive to their customers’ needs and wants. And with the world of fashion and celebrity changing constantly, trends will mean that there’s always something new to try or another ‘in’ look to try and replicate, especially after events such as film premieres and awards ceremonies.

So what road do you need to go down if you want to become a hairdresser, and what sort of training will you need before you’re qualified enough to cut hair?

What Qualifications Will I Need?

To qualify as a hairdresser or beauty therapist, you need to look into courses which will help to get you prepared for life in the profession. These will usually be available as City & Guild qualifications and can help you gain NVQ level qualifications which can be a good entry point for a trainee position.

Only after they’ve completed training in college will trainees then get the opportunity to start off doing basic hair cutting, progressing to more complex styles as their training progresses.

Hairdressers can even specialise in particular cuts or types of hair, including perms, plaits, afros or even hair extensions. Some may also specialise in the colouring of hair, and be called upon to try anything from a complete bleach to more complicated layered colouring.

Where Can I Train?

NVQs and City & Guild qualifications in subjects such as Hairdressing, Barbering, and Beauty Therapy are available at colleges and adult training centres all around the UK.

Courses can range from full-time, degree-style courses, to part-time night school courses that you can fit around your everyday work which can be particularly useful if you are considering a career change but wish to keep working while you train.

Whichever timeframe you choose to study in, remember that you’ll need a good amount of practical experience of cutting hair before being allowed to cut a customers’ hair. Many courses make use of models for trainees to practice on, which in itself can be good for earning a little extra cash (and get a haircut while you’re at it).

Can I Gain Work Experience?

Gaining some experience while you are training is important, you’ll need to eventually practice on customers, but it may be some time before your employer allows you to. It can be a long process, but once you’ve gained the experience and confidence, you can start working on your technique and start dispensing advice, in which case, you will need a professional indemnity insurance.

SEE: Why Do I Need Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Apprenticeships are another option for getting your foot in the door of a salon, especially if you are combining them with studies. Apprentices will usually start off by performing tasks such as restocking supplies, greeting customers, shampooing hair, and keeping the salon clean and tidy in between cuts, eventually building up to being trusted to cut customer’s hair on a day-to-day basis.

How Far Can I Train?

Like with many professions, practice makes perfect, and as you learn along the way, you’ll find yourself improving in all aspects of the job and maybe even find a special or preferred technique and procedure that you particularly excel at.

Your course and work experience will give you the chance to train in all aspects of hairdressing, and as you get more experience, you may get the chance to diversify into other areas like barbering.

Once you become a senior hairdresser, not only will you get the chance to use more advanced techniques and take on more complicated hairstyles, but you’ll also get the opportunity to advise customers on particular styles and products that your salon may cross-sell as part of the service.

City & Guilds qualifications in hairdressing go up to Level 4, covering advanced aspects such as working with coloured hair. A large part of your experience is going to come from practical experience gained while working in a salon. So the sooner you start snipping, the sooner you can gain the skills necessary to be confident enough to cut customers’ hair unaccompanied.

What About Starting On My Own?

Once you’ve gotten some experience under your belt by working at a salon, you may want to strike out on your own and either become freelance or set up a salon of your own design.

Much like setting up any business, you’ll have costs of equipment, products, and shop rent to think about unless of course, you decide to go mobile and use a car or small van to make visits to customers’ homes.

In either case, you’ll need to make sure you have all the relevant business licences, business insurance, liability cover, and hair and beauty insurance to cover yourself and your business should something go wrong, either to your premises or to one of your customers as a result of your treatment.

SEE ALSO: What is a Business Insurance?

Whether you’re starting at a college or considering going back to school as part of a career change, hairdressing can be a good way of meeting different kinds of people with different sorts of hair, as well as a passion for delivering a good service and maybe even getting creative with style at the same time.

Why Do I Need Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Businesses need to make sure they are protected against claims brought against them by third parties. Say a customer has an accident such as a slip, trip or fall on your premises and sustains an injury, your business would be liable for compensation if it is proven that you were in some way to blame.

Public Liability insurance will help protect you in this regard, providing a level of protection in case of claims brought against you for injuries and damage to equipment sustained on your premises by third parties.

But what about those instances where damage has been done on an intellectual level?What about those pieces of advice you gave which led to a company suffering financial loss or damage to their reputation as a result?

That’s where Professional Indemnity Insurance comes in, providing a safety net for your business against any advice you may dispense, or helping to cover against any mistakes you might have made along the way which eventually led to damage to your client and their business.

What Does PI Insurance Cover?

Professional indemnity insurance helps cover your business against losses sustained by third parties – usually clients or customers – who may have suffered losses as a result of your advice, either on a financial level (loss of profits) or on a reputational level (downturn in business as a result of bad press).

Who Should Have PI Cover?

Almost all businesses should have some form of PI cover, especially if their work involves dispensing advice as a service. This can include areas such as:

  • Finance – financial advisors, solicitors, brokers, accountants
  • Property – estate agents, letting agents, mortgage advisors
  • Management – management consultants, leadership advisors
  • Technology – computer solutions, IT firms
  • Recruitment – recruitment consultants
  • Services – marketers, design consultants
  • Education – teachers, private tutors

Indeed, any professional who is in the business of dispensing advice, either on a financial level, design level or even on a physical level – in the case of a fitness instructor – is potentially liable for being sued as a result of poor advice which could hurt the reputation of their client and their business.

What Kind Of Situations Can It Cover?

Professional indemnity insurance can help cover your business against situations where your advice may have led to your client or customer suffering harm or financial loss:

Example 1:

Say you’re a florist and you have advised a customer on which flowers would look nicest in a bouquet for their partner, and the customer is pleased with the choice and makes the purchase.

Later on, your customer comes back and you find out that their partner was, in fact, allergic to the flowers you advised them on, which led to a stay in hospital as a result said allergic reaction.

Because you advised them which flowers to buy, you could find yourself liable – even if you were not to know at the time the said allergy – the customer could bring a claim against you as it harmed them on a physical level.

PI insurance would protect you against a claim like this one, where the customer may seek compensation for a stay in hospital which led to a loss of income as a result of your advice during the transaction.

Example 2:

A design agency has taken on the task of rebranding a company’s branding – everything from a new colour scheme to a new mascot and slogan – advising them on the best direction going forward and taking to social media platforms with a new design and a new voice.

All seems fine to begin with, but shortly after everything goes live, the company finds itself being ridiculed on social media, and after a bit of research, it is discovered that there has been a reaction to the slogan or mascot, leading to reputation damage and dip in sales.

Because the company’s reputation and public image took a hit, they could then sue the agency on the grounds of reputational damage. The design agency would have to have some form of PI insurance in place to help cover the costs of any compensation they may have to pay out.

How Much Should I Insure For?

PI insurance policies allow you to insure your business up to a certain amount and have two levels of cover, both of which affect any payouts:

  • ‘Any one claim’ – this would help cover any payments up to the full limit of your cover for each claim made against you. Say you insure for up to £100,000 a year, your PI insurer would cover the cost of more than one claim during that period, provided the amount didn’t exceed the limit.
  • ‘Aggregate’ – on the other side, aggregate PI insurance would only pay up to a certain amount. Say you had a cover of up to £100,000 but you get two claims of varying amounts which take you over your set limit, you’ll have to cover the remaining amount yourself. For example, your business gets 2 claims of £75,000 each on a PI insurance limit of £100,000 would take the total to £150,000, leaving your business to cover £50,000 of this out of your own pocket.

Professional indemnity insurance is an important policy to have when it comes to businesses who are in the industry of dispensing advice. Anything can happen and some advice can be bad, so it’s always best to prepare yourself for such possibilities.

Why Should I Buy An ASU Policy?

It can be a pretty tough time when you’re out of work; money worries are likely to creep in as you try and figure out how far your savings can take you in the absence of any income.

To help ease the burden when you are unemployed, it’s important to make sure you are protected against the unexpected to ensure that you and your family are covered.

And this is where Accident, Sickness and Unemployment (ASU) insurance can help, providing an extra level of protection in the event of loss of income as a result of one of those circumstances.

What Is ASU Insurance?

ASU stands for Accident, Sickness and Unemployment, and is an insurance that helps to protect you should you be affected by any of the following:

  • You become injured, and as a result are unable to work
  • You become ill, and as a result are not able to work
  • You lose your job through no fault of your own and are unable to provide

ASU insurance is essentially a ‘just in case’ insurance, providing protection if you are concerned as to whether you’d be able to cope if you were to fall ill or lose your job suddenly and be unable to provide for yourself and your family.

Who Chooses How Much I Receive?

ASU insurance essentially covers you for the sum of your monthly outgoings such as utilities and also your mortgage costs. A sum is worked out – usually about 60-65% of this total – and even though you are able to set the amount yourself, the percentage is unlikely to change.

Remember as well that, in the event of a payout, this will usually take a month to process, so don’t expect it to be an immediate payment.

How Long Can I Set A Policy For?

ASU policies are designed to be short-term solutions, so you are only able to claim for a maximum period of between 12 and 24 months.

While they can be useful to set up for the short term, there are a few rules about setting up a policy, and providers are quite strict in which circumstances they pay out, this is to avoid the risk of insurance fraud.

What Exceptions Are There?

Insurance providers may not offer you ASU insurance cover in the following circumstances:

  • You take out a policy in the knowledge that you are soon to be made redundant or sacked
  • You have existing medical afflictions such as backache or conditions such as stress
  • You are self-employed
  • You have worked at your current company for six months or less
  • You are over-65

Providers are very strict in who they cover, so those who want to take out cover in anticipation of a redundancy or loss of employment are not likely to be able to get covered.

Check with each broker about any exclusions they might apply with regards to your claim, as these can differ from company to company.

Why Should I Get A Policy?

ASU policies can help provide extra peace of mind in the event of unexpected circumstances; this could be seen as an excellent short-term policy to take if you have not much in the way of outgoings or significant debts.

Many of us will worry about what may happen as a result of ourselves or another breadwinner being out of work as a result of unexpected circumstances.

Taking out some form of policy such as ASU insurance on a short-term basis can be a good investment as it can help take a weight off your mind, much like with policies such as life insurance.

Do Your Research

There are a number of brokers who offer ASU insurance, and when searching for a policy, it’s best to get quotes from a few of them, many will allow you to cover with monthly payments.

Brokers may differ on the period between a claim being made and the payout date, it can usually take a month for such claims to clear but it’s always best to double check with multiple providers to find out if yours will vary.

Remember as well that ASU policies are very time sensitive, both at their inception and towards the end of your cover, so double-checking the details of your policy is always a good idea.

Why Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

Whether you work from home as a sole trader, own a small business, or have a large company with many employees, you need to make sure that you are protected against claims brought against you by those who visit your premises.

That’s where public liability insurance comes in; this insurance is important to have for any business as it offers a level of protection against potential problems, such as trips and falls which could lead to injury or damage to equipment while on your premises.

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance covers you against claims made by members of the public or clients who have suffered personal injury or property damage as a result of visiting your premises.

Public liability helps your business cover compensation costs brought against you by third parties and clients.

Example 1: Client

You have a potential client visiting your premises, and they have brought their own equipment with them. While at your office, they trip over a loose network cable and fell, and dropped their laptop in the process, the impact of which leaves the equipment broken and unusable.

If the client were then to put in a claim against you for the cost of repairing their equipment due to negligence on your part, public liability insurance would help to cover the cost of replacements or legal fees.

Example 2: Contractor

You have hired a plumber to carry out work at your premises, and because of negligence in their work – such as a loose valve – it led to your property sustaining water damage and loss of equipment. The contractor would have to have public liability insurance to cover them should you make a claim against them.

What Is Employer’s Liability Insurance?

Aside from public liability insurance, business owners are also advised to take out what is known as Employers’ Liability Insurance. While public liability insurance helps to cover customers and clients, employers’ liability helps protect you against claims made by your own employees in the event of injuries sustained while working for you.

Do I Need Public Liability Insurance By Law?

While public liability insurance is not a compulsory insurance for businesses to have, if you interact with members of the public or have clients visiting your premises daily, you will need to make sure they are covered against any unexpected circumstances.

Having public liability cover can help give your business peace of mind, for you will be covered in the event of a tragedy. Take a look at our in-depth guide on Who Needs A Public Liability Insurance for more information.

How Much Can I Cover For?

Public liability policies can range from around £1m up to £5m, and depending on the insurer you go with, you will usually have a choice as to how much cover you want to insure yourself – which will depend on your business area and the size of your company.

Can My Business Apply For PL Insurance?

Public liability insurance can be taken out by any business from a sole trader or independent, all the way up to a large corporation. PL insurance is essential for those businesses that are customer-facing or those who welcome clients into their premises to do business.

By making sure you are covered against any potential accidents or property damage sustained by your customers and visitors, you can save money and hassle in the event of a claim.

How Can I Arrange Cover?

Work out how much you can afford for some public liability insurance, then seek out and speak to a specialist broker who deals with public liability insurance. Depending on the size of your business, you can negotiate levels of excess and the level of cover you’ll need.

What Will This Cover?

Your PL insurance policy will cover aspects such as:

  • Personal injury sustained by customers and clients on your premises
  • Damage to property as a result of negligence on your premises
  • Hospital and medical bills incurred as a result of an injury or incident at your premises
  • Damage to property as a result of poor workmanship by your staff

While public liability insurance is not mandatory, it can be useful to have to cover your business against unfortunate incidents. It’s better to be safe than sorry in this case, so taking out some PL insurance can be a wise investment which can offer a level of protection for the future of your business.

Who Needs A Public Liability Insurance?

If you own a business, protection is paramount, and we’re not just talking about the locks on the doors or the security system you use for surveillance. People will need to be protected as well, both the staff you employ and the customers who come through the door and keep your business, in business.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance helps protect your business against claims brought against it by third parties. This can involve those who have suffered personal injury or damage to their property due to your neglect or as a result of a mishap on your premises – usually a slip, trip or fall – which can be costly to your business if you’ve not taken precautions.

Who can bring a claim against me?

Customers who have suffered an injury while on your premises, either due to a mistake by one of your staff or as a result of a trip or fall caused by a wet or poorly maintained floor.

Another example could be if a visitor to your site; a salesperson or contractor we’ll say, suffers injury or damage to property due to a trip caused by loose wires or cracks on the floor, which then leads to damage to their person or to the equipment they might be carrying.

In these cases, public liability insurance can help protect your business against costly claims. Depending on the incident, you’re likely to be chased for compensation to cover medical costs or damage to equipment, so it’s worth making sure you are covered.

What protection does it offer?

Public liability insurance will provide cover for a range of different costs brought forward as a result of claims, these can include:

  • Legal expenses
  • Costs of repairs as a result of flood damage caused by your negligence – for example causing damage to a clients’ property or possessions as a result of a mistake during your duties, which may lead to water damage.
  • Costs of compensation brought against you by a third-party for injuries sustained or for damage to property. This can cover your premises, a customer site, or many others.
  • Hospital treatment costs brought against you by the NHS to provide treatment.
  • Other expenses that are deemed reasonable to claim

Is there anything that’s not covered by the policy?

Public liability insurance does not offer the insurer any personal protection, against damage to their own property nor any claims brought against them by their staff members Such claims will be covered by employers liability insurance and general business insurance policies.

Does my business need it?

Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement for your business, unlike employers’ liability insurance, which offers protection against claims brought against you by staff members who may become ill or injure themselves while working for you.

No matter what your business, if your work involves members of the public – whether it’s providing a service or simply performing at an event – public liability insurance can be useful since it would protect you should anything happen during your period of business.

In some cases, it is better to over-insure your business to further protect yourself against future incidents than to leave yourself short in the event of multiple claims.

RELATED: Why Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

How much will it cost me to cover my business?

There is a wide network of brokers who offer public liability insurance policies of varying degrees of cover to suit your business. Talk to your insurer and discuss in detail what type of cover you want for your business.

All these insurances, which one does my business need?

It can be worth having all three of the insurances mentioned in this guide against your business to ensure all your bases are covered in the event of a claim. Be aware that, while your policy may come down depending on how high an excess you want to set, you must ensure you can cover the cost of the excess should you need to claim.

Our Tips:

  • Public liability insurance covers you against claims made by third- parties.
  • Unlike employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance is not a legal requirement.
  • You decide how much excess to put against a policy, setting it higher could mean a cheaper premium.

Starting A Takeaway

Takeaways are a commonplace on every high street, serving anything from soup and sandwiches, fish and chips, to exotic meals from all corners of the world.

Takeaways can be a good way for entrepreneurs to showcase their love for certain cuisines, but how do you go about starting such an endeavour? Diving head-first into a business such as owning a takeaway can be tricky unless you’ve done your research, so here are a few handy hints of things to bear in mind when first starting out.

SEE ALSO: Starting A Mobile Catering Business: All You Need To Know

Research Your Market

If you have an idea of where you want to set up your business, look around the area and find out what similar businesses are operating in the area already, and ask yourself the following:

  • What food do I want to serve?
  • How many other similar takeaways are in the area already?
  • How long have they been established in the area for?
  • What kind of food do they serve?
  • How much do they charge for what they serve?
  • What establishments are within the area – including universities?

By taking the time to research the area, run focus groups to find out the tastes of the locals, and look into how much your competitors are charging for similar products, you can give yourself a good start in the process of owning your own takeaway.

Plan, Plan and Plan Again

You can never be too prepared when it comes to working out what needs to go into the takeaway business, and it can be expensive if you haven’t got a handle on things.

Drawing up a mock balance sheet including rental rates, the cost of equipment and supplies, as well as essential extras such as takeaway insurance, staff wages, and employers’ liability cover to help protect you against claims brought against you by staff who suffer an injury while working for you.

When drawing up your business plan, keep the following in mind:

  • How much can you afford right now? – whether you’ve got savings or require a bank loan, work out how much you’ve got in the pot.
  • Finance options such as grants or even franchising opportunities can be a useful way of getting onto the ladder, or you could also consider starting with a food stall to test your products in small quantities to test the market and figure out your customers’ tastes.
  • What can you offer your customers – in regards to product, why is yours going to be better than your competitors?
  • Where do you want to base yourself? – location is key when it comes to setting up a takeaway; you want to pitch yourself as close to a catchment area as you can to ensure frequent footfall into your premises.
  • How much will rent be? – research several vacant pitches and shops and make a note of monthly rental rates, including them as part of your predicted balance sheet.
  • How much do you intend to spend on equipment? – be sure to price up cooking equipment such as fryers and grill tops, refrigeration units for keeping food fresh and safe in between orders, as well as the utilities for powering your equipment.

What Do I Want To Cook?

Deciding on a cuisine can depend entirely on not only your taste but those of your audience as well, for what might be delicious for you might not sell well due to lack of interest, so doing some taste testing and focus groups can help you to determine this and help you going forward.

Also, look into local suppliers and where you might source the ingredients for your menu from. Local producers will always be looking for opportunities to get their product to market, including farms and vegetable growers.

By striking a rapport with local suppliers, you can help to promote local produce and give customers confidence in the quality of your product.

Make Sure You’re Safe

Hygiene is vital when it comes to any food establishment, so making sure your premises are clean can help to keep your food fresh and keep your customers safe. Be wary of allergies and make sure that certain food groups are kept separate to reduce the risk of cross-contamination and the risk of allergic reactions.

You’ll have to apply for and display a Food Hygiene Rating certificate on your premises following a visit from a health inspector from the Food Standards Agency. Ensuring that you put in the correct steps to keep food fresh, store your ingredients safely, dispose of waste and keep your new premises free of vermin can earn you a top rating and lead to an excellent local rapport.

Get Insured

Whether you want to serve baked potatoes or baltis, ensuring you have the relevant insurance before you start out is a crucial part of the process. Specialist takeaway insurance is available and helps to cover your premises, your equipment and your stock from damage from the elements and fire.

You can also apply for a business insurance so that if anything goes wrong, you know you’re in good hands – this is especially useful if you are a franchisor.

Staffing Your Shop

Your staff are essential in running the shop, so take your time to recruit the right people – from your chefs to your front-of-house staff – ensure they are thoroughly trained and have the relevant food hygiene qualifications needed.

If you’re looking to employ staff to help out your new venture, ensure you are covered in the event of an incident causing them injury while at work.

Employers’ liability insurance will help to cover these costs, and it can also be worth taking out some public liability insurance as well to cover you should a customer sustain a personal injury on your premises or bring a claim of illness caused by food poisoning against you.

Start Small, Think Big

For a flagship store, sometimes less can be more, so try focusing on a certain number of products – maybe you have a speciality you wish to try out first – and gradually introduce new foods over time.

Testing out recipes in small amounts can help you to gauge interest in particular foods and give you an indication of your customer’s preferred tastes, so don’t be afraid to try new ideas now and then.

Be Careful

Starting a takeaway business can be a daunting prospect, but by putting in plenty of research, getting your balance sheet right and making sure you’ve everything in place before you open can stand you in good stead and help your business to flourish.

Setting Up An Office

With more and more of us breaking away from the rat race and choosing to start our own companies, many people want to become their own bosses and dictate the pace of their working lives.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a fresh idea you want to progress, or a professional who fancies going solo in your line of work, there are a few things you will need to make sure of when you’re beginning your new venture:

  • Draw up your business plan

You’ve got the idea; now it’s time to plan it out! Work out the potential costs of your materials, premises rent, manufacturing costs and of any equipment and technology you may need to do the job itself.

Then set yourself some short-term and long-term goals for the business going forward. By having an idea of where you want to be and how long it could take you to get there through careful planning you can help prepare yourself for any pitfalls you may encounter along the way.

  • Set a budget

Work out roughly how much you want to spend on your new business venture, and make sure you split this into several areas, including amounts for rent, equipment, technology and even stationary.

Speak with your bank about the possibility of opening a business account to help you along. These will come with helpful advice for startup businesses and may even offer additional perks that can help your business in its early days.

SEE ALSO: The Basics of Business Deposit Accounts

  • Get registered

When setting up a new business you must register your company with Companies House – a government department for the regulation of businesses – and decide what kind of business you wish to trade as:

  • Sole trader
  • Private limited company
  • Limited liability partnership
  • Limited partnership
  • ‘Ordinary’ business partnership

When you’ve decided on a name for your business and registered it with Companies House for a small fee, it’s time to get your URL registered, research into hosting companies and secure your URL quickly before someone steals in there before you!

  • Establish a location

Establishing your base of operations is an essential part of the process, for not only is it where you operate from but it can, in some cases, be close to your customer base.

Sole traders will usually begin working from home, and this can be useful depending on the type of business you are looking to establish. Whether your business is purely on a digital level or you require equipment and materials for manufacturing your products on a small scale – including crafts – starting off from your home base can be a good start as you already have aspects such as computer equipment and an internet connection already.

Look into rental prices of a number of locations before deciding on your eventual destination, then look into the costs of the utilities involved – including electricity and water, for a large part of what you’ll have to pay will go to the landlord or letting company.

  • Get insured

After you’ve found your new location, sorted out the rental rates, and worked out any overheads, it’s time to insure yourself against anything that goes wrong. Office insurance helps to protect your business from damage caused as a result of factors such as flood or fire damage, covering both your premises and the contents contained within.

Basic office insurance will usually come with add-ons to cover against various factors and possibilities, including window insurance or computer system cover, allowing you to get back on your feet as soon as possible – whether through relocation or from replacing equipment.

Remember, when you’re starting small it can be worth keeping your insurance costs small too, look into some office insurance policies before deciding on which one is right for you and your business.

We recommend you read: What is a Business Insurance?

  • Get equipped

After you’ve found your new premises, it’s time to fill it with things to enable you to trade, including amongst other things:

  • Office furniture
  • Lighting
  • Storage space
  • Stationary
  • Computer workstations
  • Telephone line
  • Peripherals (including printers and photocopiers)
  • Fire extinguisher

There are many more items you will also need to get, but that’s dependant on what kind of business you want to have, and how much you’d want to start with. As your customer base grows and more money keeps flowing in you’ll have the opportunity to buy more things to help the business.

Check out our handy Office Supply Checklist for more information on what your business will need to run and flourish.

  • Get comfortable

So you’ve moved into your new premises, and the groundwork for your communications is being sorted, including your phone line and internet connection, now it’s time to make the place feel a little more homely and personalised for your business.

When considering layout, allow yourself both a work and rest area, as well as seating for potential clients to sit while they wait for appointments. It can be worth starting off in an office block with a communal kitchen and dining area to save on space. Allow yourself and any staff you may recruit in the future an area where they can have periods of rest during work and lunch breaks, and if there’s free coffee available, then all the better!

And finally, when you’ve set your roots into the ground of your new premises, it’s time to…

  • Get trading!

Make sure you’ve everything you need to be able to do business – from computer equipment to machines that manufacture – and then it’s time to get your name out there.

Budget for some merchandise and get your name out there, either on social media or in person at events such as trade fairs. Make sure you establish a good website for your business as well. Some companies allow businesses to build websites to start using an online template system, but if you can make your own and get it live soon after establishing your business, you can start drawing in customer intrigue and interest in your product or service.

Keeping an eye on your finances is also important, so review your situation regularly and always look into alternatives when it comes to location so you can give your business an opportunity to get a foothold in the market.

Buying A Kit Car

Kit cars are smaller, sportier vehicles that are tailor-made for track days and are usually assembled by the owners themselves, but some manufacturers will sell them in a fully-fitted state.

Kit cars are popular with enthusiasts who like the challenge of assembling a vehicle – anything from a small sports car to more unusual vehicles such as dune buggies – they are the perfect vehicles for those who like to tinker with and assemble the vehicles themselves.

Piecing Together

Many kit cars are sold in parts, from the chassis to which you attach the body kit to the engine itself. There are a number of manufacturers on the market from smaller, more bespoke manufacturers such as GKD Sports Cars, to some of the most well-known manufacturers including Lotus, Caterham, Tiger Racing and Ginetta, a lot of whom have had, or continue to have successful racing teams of some sort.

Indeed, it is the appeal of racing that draws some enthusiasts to these small and sporty vehicles, particularly when it comes to older, rarer vehicles and more unusual vehicle types such as dune buggies.

So what should you think about when looking for a kit car? Whether you’re looking to build one from scratch or just buy an assembled vehicle from the manufacturer, you need to bear in mind a few things when it comes to deciding what to buy.

Where Can I Buy A Kit Car?

Kit cars are available to buy either in parts from stockists and manufacturers, from internet auction sites or from the manufacturers themselves. Auction sites are a good resource for both fully-completed kit car sets, partially completed projects, replacement parts, and body kits.

When researching your ideal kit car, it is vitally important to ensure that your manufacturer is still in business, for while discontinued makes and models might be rare, they can also be more difficult to find.

Research is key when it comes to buying a kit car, particularly as they can be expensive to run and sink time into. Kit cars can be bought readily assembled or in pieces for self-assembly, but whichever state you wish to purchase your vehicle, it’s important to first…

Take A Test Drive

Before committing to a purchase, consider what you want first. Motor shows are a great place to start, especially if you’re able to have a test drive in the model you want to buy. When deciding on a model for you, remember that it’s important to ensure that you not only fit the car but that you have the workspace and storage space available for you to assemble one.

Can I Buy A Fully Assembled Kit Car?

Some manufacturers will offer completed kit cars for sale, allowing you to drive off almost immediately. But for many enthusiasts, it’s the challenge of construction that appeals to them, so many will choose to buy their vehicles in their incomplete stage and assemble the rest themselves.

On the plus side, fully-assembled kit cars will be instantly available to insure.

Buying Second Hand

Be careful when it comes to buying a second-hand kit car, for the vehicle may not be what is promised on the site, so unless you are able to view the car yourself and take a test drive, you may be taking a risk when it comes to buying the vehicle.

Who Should I Talk To?

If you’re starting off in the world of kit cars, it can be worth looking into joining an enthusiasts club in your local area in order to gain an insight into aspects such as what to buy, what to look out for when it comes to parts and even details of upcoming track days and meets.

It can be worth talking with the manufacturer as well, which is why it is handy to meet them at events and motor shows to get a feel of the vehicle, where best to source parts, and how best to insure your vehicle.

I Only Want To Use It On A Track

Many enthusiasts will use their kit cars as part of track days, races and meets, so making sure you’re insured for these is essential, as you’ll need to be covered both on the journey to and during the event itself, whether you transport the vehicle on a trailer or drive it yourself.

If you only use the vehicle on an occasional basis it can be worth speaking with your broker about the possibility of putting the vehicle on a more short-term insurance policy, maybe even a temporary ‘per-trip’ basis to help save you money on your insurance due to the infrequency of use.

RELATED: Insuring A Modified Car

What About Insurance For A Kit Car?

Kit cars are designed for short-term use, usually for track days and motor shows. There are some enthusiasts who like to use their vehicles for longer periods, but kit cars are essentially not designed for everyday use, which makes insuring them an interesting experience.

The price of your kit car insurance will depend on how readily-assembled the car is. Because of the nature of kit cars and their manufacture, no two vehicles are the same, and so it is important to ensure that all your paperwork is correct when it comes to supplying information for your kit car insurance broker. On the other hand, you may check our guide on How to Reduce the Costs of Your Car Insurance.