Category Archives: Helpful Guides

Why a Young Family Needs a Financial Plan

Starting a family is an incredible feeling quite unlike any other in the world. While this is an incredibly exciting time, it can also be daunting and this is for a few reasons. One of the biggest concerns that young families have is money and this is why it is so important to have a financial plan in place.

How Life Changes Immediately

Life changes when you start a family and in more ways than one. You will notice that your financial situation changes and this can be quite a shock to the system, especially those that have enjoyed the double income no kids lifestyle. When you have a baby, obviously you will have many new costs that need to be covered and these can quickly add up. On top of this, you are likely to have a dip in household income as a result of maternity/paternity leave or permanently quitting a job.

The Future

In addition to the above immediate changes to your financial situation, you must also think about the short and long-term future. The cost of childcare is an enormous cost to cover for parents that want to go back to work and you will then have to consider the increased costs as the child gets older and saving for their education. As if this was not enough, you then have your own financial situation to think about including mortgage/rent payments, the increased cost of living and your retirement.

The Importance of a Financial Plan

It is easy to panic when you factor in all of the above, but a strong financial plan can put you in control and help you to make the most of now while also building for the future. It is a smart idea for new parents/those starting a family to speak to a financial planning specialist that will be able to create a financial plan for your family based on your situation, needs and goals.

What a Financial Plan Consists of

This financial plan can cover all important aspects, including reducing spending, increasing income, saving for education, growing the family, helping your child to get onto the property ladder, retirement and even inheritance. Having a long term financial plan like this is important for helping to keep you on track while also greatly reducing the stress that can be involved with money when starting a family.

Life can feel very chaotic and expensive when you start a family. There is a lot to think about in the short and long term, but smart financial planning will help you to manage and build a comfortable lifestyle for your family.

The benefits of using HR software

A human resources (HR) software system is a computer-based program that can make it easier to manage staff. From tracking performance and work schedules to monitoring payroll and benefits, HR software can help your HR team manage your staff more efficiently and effectively. This can be particularly useful as your company grows. Below, we explore the benefits of using HR software.

Saves time

HR software can take over routine departmental tasks, saving your team time and allowing them to dedicate themselves to creating a better workplace for your staff. For a start, the software reduces paperwork by ensuring there’s a uniform response to dealing with employee information processes. Plus, by keeping employee information all within the system, you won’t need to sift through physical documents searching for information.

Have important information in one place

HR software keeps important information all within one place. With most companies carrying enormous amounts of data on every employee – much of it confidential – it can take a long time for the HR team to update this manually. With the help of software though, this data is updated quickly allowing your team to focus on more impactful work.


Protecting employee data is crucial. You have a moral duty to protect your staff, and if you fail to then you could end up paying GDPR compensation and a fine should there be a leak. Fortunately, a solid HR software system can bolster your security. Personal information is encrypted to ensure that hackers and unauthorised personell can’t access data even if they manage to get onto the platform.

Track/monitor employees and help them to progress

HR software can also produce sophisticated employee performance data. By tracking this data you and your employees will get instant feedback on performance. This can allow staff to pinpoint precise areas for improvement and also plan ahead with goals to improve towards. With the help of performance data it should help your team consistently become more productive.

Monitor annual leave/sickness

The system can track the number of days an employee is absent without making mistakes – the worry of human error fades away with HR software. Clear management of sick days and leave can avoid time-consuming email trails and ensure that everyone understands the days off they have remaining each year. Again, this can help ease the workload on your HR team so that they can focus on improving the working environment.

The larger your company grows, the more important it is to invest in HR software. As you employ more staff, keeping track of their data becomes less manageable. By using HR software, though, you’ll be well equipped to run an efficient and effective HR team.

What Mistakes Could You Be Making With Your Online Business?

There are a lot of mistakes an online business owner can make. Sure, the online world is a very accessible place, but when it comes to navigating these waters safely, there’s a lot you need to account for in the early days. And if you don’t, there’s a good chance you could be working with a foundation that’s not as secure as you’d like it to be! 

After all, you’ve got cyber security to always keep an eye on, and the social media landscape to attune to, and doing so gets more complicated as you go on. So you need to know you’re working with a reliable, well-built website. But don’t worry, there’s lots you can do right now to refocus your energy for the better, especially in the areas below. 

What Mistakes Could You Be Making With Your Online Business?
What Mistakes Could You Be Making With Your Online Business?

Not Having a Quality Customer Service

Customer service is always a necessity. You need to have a reliable and dedicated ‘desk’ to answer any and all queries and complaints you receive, otherwise, your business will be swamped with unhappy customers and no way to placate them. At the least, you need to be able to filter out the emails and/or direct messages you get to the right place, to make them easier to sort through and answer. 

So think about how you’ve been dealing with customers until now. How long is your average response time? Do you have a chat bot to rely on? Do you even make it easy for customers to get in contact with you, by displaying your details clearly on the website? If not, it’s time to rearrange your homepage a little! 

Not Focusing on Cyber Security

Cyber security should always be a top priority for you. Keeping customer data safe is a business’ number one job, after turning a profit, and you should never compromise the details of those who have shopped with you. Not only does it prove you’re not a trustworthy company, but it could cost you a lot of money in the long run. 

Which means it’s time to look into your online business security; start making backups at least once a week, make sure any software you use is updated to the latest patch, and change any passwords you’ve been using. This should be done about every 30 days anyway, and try not to use a similar arrangement of characters each time either. 

Not Enough Social Media Coverage

Finally, do you put much thought into your social media coverage? How often do you post? Because without a proper use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it’s going to be hard to get your name out there. People will find it harder to relate to your brand, and your chance of recognition will go out the window. So think about putting a content schedule in place, and use social media much more constructively in the future. 

It’s easy to make a mistake when working online, but it’s not that hard to rectify them either.

Affordable Ways To Improve Your PC Experience

Computer upgrades can be very expensive, but not every upgrade to your PC needs to be. Improving the setup around your PC can have a big impact on your day-to-day experience of using your computer more than faster render times or higher framerates. If you’re looking for an affordable way to improve your laptop or desktop, try some of these affordable options. 

Affordable Ways To Improve Your PC Experience
Affordable Ways To Improve Your PC Experience

Clear Desk Clutter While Adding Convenience

You can make a lot of difference to your experience with a budget-friendly device that combines an under-the-desk hanger for your headset, a USB hub, and a jack for plugging in headphones. Depending on where you put this device, this will likely be more convenient than plugging into your top-panel connector or running audio cables around the back of the PC. Cable tidies and other options to shift some of the clutter from the top of your desk can make a lot of difference, so it’s well worth doing.

Give Your Wrists A Break

Whether you’re a gamer or you use your PC a lot for work (or both, like many of us), using the computer without a wrist rest for a long time can soon become uncomfortable and painful, which can even lead to serious joint issues over time. Some keyboards, such as higher-end gaming keyboards, come with wrist rests already attached, but these are often uncomfortable and made of rigid plastic, which is not ideal. For a low amount of money, you can make an excellent wrist rest, with memory foam surrounded by gel. This is very comfortable for your wrists, making using it a lot more pleasant. 

Even an older gel wrist rest that’s getting a little worn out can be enough to help, so it’s well worth considering this upgrade. Your wrists will thank you, and your desk could even end up looking a lot more hygienic and smart too. 

The right keyboard, such as a custom mechanical keyboard, can also be a lot nicer to type on. It’s worth trying a few different types to see what suits you and you find most comfortable. 

Eliminate Mouse Drag

If you have an old mouse for your computer that you love and have been using for years, then in all likelihood, it’s probably showing some signs of wear and tear by now. The slick parts on the bottom can wear down. If you’ve had to take the mouse apart for a thorough clean, you might have had to remove these pads to get at screws, and they’re difficult to get back on properly. 

You could replace the mouse entirely, or upgrade your current mouse with a kit that will help your mouse to glide around the desk like new again. These kits have six ceramic feet that are compatible with both optical and laser mice, although you may have to recalibrate your lift distance due to how thick these feet are. Make sure your mouse software will let you do this before you part with your money. 

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Running a Business

Running your own business has the power to open up so many doors in your life. You’ll be able to make a better income, become more self-assured, don’t need to deal with pressure from a mean boss, and can constantly track your own progress. While running your own business can be something extremely rewarding, it can also be stressful. There is a lot that goes into running a business. You have to take a lot into account when it comes to your own business. You’ll need to think about each action that you do and how it affects you, your clients, and your business overall. Here are some very important things that you must consider when you’re running your own business.

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Running a Business
6 Things to Keep in Mind When Running a Business

Hiring the right staff

If you’re needing help, you need staff, right? Well, you’ll want to make sure that you hire the right person to get the job done. Depending on your line of business and what is available, you may be able to look into fire and security recruitment.  When you find the right staff for the team, this is going to help in harnessing a good connection but it also is going to increase the efficiency of the business as well. This is because you’re not having to spend so much time finding the right people and trying to train them. While finding and hiring the right person is a big trial on its own, it’s worth it in the long run so you can have a functional business that is operating smoothly.

You need to understand your customer

Most go people into business because they have a solution to what a customer is after. You need to know who your customer is and you need to know what they want. If you want to have your marketing strategy become a success, then you need to target the market accurately. This means that you need to analyze your current customer base and the customer base that your competition has. You want to try to tailor your business and your product to what the customers are after. You can do this by using technology for business advantage. This can include doing marketing research, having a good and compelling marketing strategy, and just engaging with possible customers.

Your finances

As a business owner, you’ll need to manage your business finances. It’s so important that you do your finances properly. Because if your decisions are bad, especially in the first year of your business, they can have some serious consequences later on. Also, you need to think about how much you’re spending and how much you owe. A lot of small businesses quickly fizzle out due to being in too much debt or they entirely run out of money.

You’ll have to make a lot of hard decisions
You’ll have to make a lot of hard decisions

You’ll have to make a lot of hard decisions

You are a boss, you are your own boss, and if you hire a team, then you are also their boss. As a business owner, you’ll need to make a lot of decisions. Unfortunately, some of these decisions may be very hard too. This can be something such as firing someone, staffing costs, dealing with finances, and so much more. It’s definitely not fun but it is something that you must be aware of as it is the reality of being a business owner.

You’ll need a support system

This support system can be from your friends and family but it also is from other small business owners. These owners can be within your community or even the same industry as you. It’s always good to have a support system, especially if it’s from other business owners. You’ll be able to share ideas, network, give advice, and just cope with the ever-changing world of business. You can find plenty of business networking events online which also can include trade shows.

You’ll work harder than ever before

Many people switch to running their own business because they think it will be a breeze. They worked hard and had long hours at their previous job, so working for yourself is going to be smooth sailing, right? That’s completely wrong! You’ll most likely find yourself working longer hours for yourself than you will for someone else. It’s crazy to think about but it’s usually the case. When it comes to trying to get your business off the ground there is a chance that you’ll have to spend late nights, holidays, and even weekends doing what you can in hopes that this business will be a success in the long run. 

How Much does it Cost to Hire a Van?

A van is an extremely practical vehicle, capable of transporting fairly large amounts of goods without being awkward to drive. When it comes to house moves or business moves, they’re almost indispensable. It’s for this reason that many of us elect to hire a van when the date of the move arrives.

It’s possible to minimise costs by driving the van yourself, rather than going for a more traditional man and van service. But, as we’ll see, some of the costs of going down this road can be hidden. It’s thus worth making yourself aware of how much hiring a van will really set you back, ideally well in advance of the day that you actually need the vehicle.

Weight limits

The van that you rent will have a safe maximum weight, which should not be exceeded. If you’re looking to carry a heavier load, then you’ll either have to take more trips, or rent a heavy-duty vehicle.

A standard driving licence will allow you to drive a vehicle of up to 3.5 tonnes. If you want to go beyond that, then you’ll need to take extra tests. It should go without saying that a man-and-van service will get you a driver who’s qualified to drive the vehicle you’re hiring.

Hidden Costs

While the headline price for a van rental might be attractive, you should beware of extra costs that might be bolted on once you’ve expressed an interest. These might cover things like extra insurance and removal services.

Most of the time you’ve paying for an entire day at a time, so for most economical results you should plan everything out to make the most from the hours you have available. You might also incur a fee for returning the vehicle late, so make sure that you’ve got everything done in plenty of time.


We’ve already mentioned insurance – but be aware that the kinds of insurance offered by van hire companies often come with very high excesses, which might catch you out in the event of an accident. The cost of your insurance might also be greater depending on your age and driving experience.


Before committing to a rental, you should be sure that you’re hiring from a reputable firm who’ve received good reviews from their customers. If you go with an unfamiliar name, then you’re taking a risk – and you might find that there are nasty surprises lurking in the vehicle you’ve rented. If you need something that you can rely on, it makes sense to go with the company that’s trusted by others.

Shopping Around

With that said, you’ll also want the best possible deal – which most of the time means collecting multiple quotes from multiple firms.

How to become a taxi driver in the UK

Becoming a taxi driver can be a rewarding career switch or career start. You get to set your own hours, meet and chat to all kinds of people and carry out a valuable service which helps get the public from A to B. But how do you start this career? Below we explore how to become a taxi driver in the UK.

What kind of people are suitable for taxi driving?

Some people are more suited to being a taxi driver than others. There’s the public-facing aspect – those who are friendly and like talking to customers are more likely to succeed. On top of this, you need to be healthy enough to drive around for a long stretch of time each day. And then there’s the directions: you need to have a strong knowledge of the local area, and if not, have map reading skills to compensate.

What qualification do you need?

You need a licence to become a taxi driver. There are two types and It’ll be depending on inside or outside London. Outside of London, you need to apply to your local council for a special licence. To be eligible you’ll undergo a fit and proper persons check (essentially an evaluation of your character and background), plus you’ll need to have been driving for over a year.

Inside London you’ll need to apply to Transport for London (TFL) for a licence. This follows similar tests, but you’ll also need to prove your knowledge of London.

How much money do they make?

In the UK, £14,000-£30,000 is average salary depending on your hours, which can be stretched up to around 43 hours per week.

Buying a taxi

When you buy a taxi, you need to get a perfect one as they will become your work buddy for many years. Think of how much money you can get a profit from, which seat is comfortable for you, what kind of features you are looking for. Passengers will be hoping for a smooth ride, an adjustable temperature depending on the weather and plenty of space to sit. Just make sure you purchase from a reputable taxi seller, that can meet your needs while providing expert aftercare.

Becoming a taxi driver will take dedication and discipline, but by following the above advice you can make a start on taking up this rewarding career.