Fall and Winter Are Coming: Are You Ready For The Roads?

Well, summer has certainly left us. With the states currently being battered by high winds and storms, fall is definitely upon us, and those pleasant, summer driving outings can be considered long gone. Moving forward, it’ll be all about hot chocolates, cozy nights in, and making sure that we’re safe on the roads. Fall – and, looking forward, winter – presents a number of hazards which, if we’re not careful, can pose a risk while we’re driving around town. Below, we outline some of the dangers you need to be looking out for.

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Check Your Car

 

Our cars get a pretty smooth ride during the spring and summer months. They’re not tested in the same way they are during the fall, and even if something goes wrong, we’re usually just left stranded on a beautiful summer day. No great loss. That’s not the case in the fall and winter when cars are tested to the brink. Before the weather gets even more gloomy, make sure you’re checking that your vehicle is in good working condition. Check it’s topped up with the necessary fluids, that the battery and brakes are working well, the tires are fully inflated, and that the heater is ready to do its job.

 

Fast Weather Changes

 

We’re currently in a transition period between summer and fall. That means the weather doesn’t really know what it’s doing; one moment, it’ll be a sunny end of summer day, and then the next there’ll be dark storm clouds overhead. From seemingly nowhere, the roads can all of a sudden become hazardous, and driving a thread to the safety of you and your passengers. Be prepared to wait out the inclement weather until it’s safe to continue, or cut your journey short if bad weather strikes.

 

Leaves on the Road

 

Fall is a magical time, full of beautiful colors on the trees. That’s all good and well, but those leaves are falling, and creating slippery conditions on the road surface. If you’re visiting the country to engage in a spot of leaf-peeping, make sure you’re extra careful when you’re handling those tight mountain corners. If you live in an area that has a lot of leaves on the ground, regularly check under your vehicle, around the tires, to ensure that leaves aren’t clogging up the mechanics of your vehicle.

 

Wet Conditions

 

We’re about to get hit with a lot of rain, and perhaps even flooded roads. This can cause danger to your car in a number of ways, including the torrential rains beating down and obscuring your view, and the roads that are holding too much water. Before you set off driving on what will be a rainy day, make sure your windscreen wipers are in full working order. On the roads, always drive a little bit more slowly than you usually would, and be conscious of how your steering feels; if it feels abnormally light, then you might be aquaplaning, which means your tires have lost contact with the road. Ease off the accelerator until your steering returns to normal weight.

 

Low Light

 

The nights are getting darker, which cause problems on their own, but there’s also the matter of lower light. You might be driving in great light at 6 pm one week, then the following morning 6 pm is suddenly much darker, but you haven’t noticed. Pay extra attention to how much light there is, especially to and from work; even if you think you can see fine, other drives won’t be able to see you! The sun will be setting earlier, and if you’re driving west, then you might have to compete with blinding sunlight. Keep your windscreen completely clean, and make sure you’re using your sun visor.

 

Wildlife Issues

 

Fall is an excellent time to go wildlife watching. Unfortunately, since wildlife lacks a map, it often finds its way onto the roads, right in the line of your oncoming car. In non-urban areas, drivers often to deal with deer, which are most active during the fall season (also during dawn/dusk, to make matters worse). If you’re driving in an area populated with deer, be extra vigilant when looking for hazards and be careful when going around bends.

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Other Humans

 

Fall and winter is a time to enjoy with other people, but not on the roads, when other people are a danger. In fact, it’s this time of year when drivers are most likely to need the services of a car wreck lawyer. Why? Because it takes knowledge and skill to drive when the weather outside is bad, and most people don’t have this information or skill set. It’s true everywhere, but, paradoxically, truer in areas that always get inclement weather, as some drivers who are used to living with such conditions ignore the safety precautions. To keep yourself safe, keep a gap between you and the driver in front of you, and never speed up just because a driver behind you is becoming impatient.

 

High Winds

 

Fall is also a time when we get high winds. They can come from seemingly nowhere, as the most dangerous winds are usually confined to a few specific areas on a journey, such as bridges. If there’s a high wind warning where you live, drive extra carefully. You should also keep two hands on the wheel at all times, and keep a distance between your vehicle and large trucks, as they are more susceptible to turn over.

 

Have Supplies in the Back

 

You can’t always stop things going wrong when you’re in your vehicle. But you can always be prepared. For instance, make sure that you have a fully stocked emergency car kit in the back of your vehicle, which should include bottles of water, a basic car repair kit, blankets, and a torch, among other items. Now’s a good time to check that your spare tire is in good condition, and to triple check that you’ll know how to change it if you’re in a pinch!

 

Take the advice above, and you’ll have pleasant fall and winter driving experiences.

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Putting Yourself In The Investor’s Shoes

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It doesn’t matter what route you go down when it comes to any research involving ‘how to start a business’ or ‘how to land investment’ you are going to find a plethora of articles where YOUR BUSINESS PLAN IS CRITICAL is written in bold, capital letters. This is because your business plan is the single document that will keep you moving in the right direction, the very blueprint that will help you keep your progress aligned with your goals. More than that, though, your business plan is what every investor will want to see before they delve into their pockets.

 

Venture capitalists, bankers, angel investors, it doesn’t matter, they will all want to scrutinize your business plan as part of their evaluation of your business idea. It is how they decide whether the potential reward is worth the risk. That is why it is so important that you have a well-constructed business plan that answers all the questions they may have and all the questions they didn’t realize they had.

 

How do you do that? Well, the simplest way is to put yourself in the investor’s shoes and think about things from their point of view. Now, that is no easy feat so, to help you out a bit, we have pulled together a list of things every kind of investor will want to know before they sink their cash into your idea or company.

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It All Starts With Money

The very first thing an investor is going to want to know about is your finances. They are going to want to see the numbers you have come up with. So it is up to you to prove – in no uncertain terms – that your financial history is excellent and your financial future looks more than positive. This is especially true if you are seeking investment from an institute like a bank where regulations are strict and criteria specific. If you are approaching venture capitalists, however, then you may find that they have slightly different wants, such as the potential for high returns and a clear exit strategy that won’t disrupt your success. So make sure you have all the answers they are seeking about finances in your plan, make sure you know the answers, and know what your future plans may entail, such as issuing shares or further investment. You will also want to show that you are capable of meeting your financial obligations and that your assets cover your liabilities.

 

Your Background Must Matter

No investor is going to let an entrepreneur make a mistake, not when it is their money on the line anyway. That is why they will also scrutinize your background and experience in the industry you are looking at entering. They are going to know you are capable of being your own boss. They are going to want to know what experience you have operating in this field, what experience you have managing teams, what track record you had at your previous place of employment and anything else that may be relevant. This is where you need to shine, and that means filling them with confidence and swaying them with your passion. Then put all this down in your business plan. If you have pulled together a team of people that will boost your strengths and counter balance your weaknesses, it is a great time to add this to your document as well to show that you are serious about this, not willing to take risks and that you are aware of the fact success relies on a team.

 

What Sets You Apart

This is your time to shine. This is your chance to show off exactly why your business will be a success and what sets you apart from the rest of the market. Your product or service doesn’t need to be unique, but it does need to offer something fresh even if that just means an improvement on what is already out there. It could be that you are looking to go into the life sciences or medical industries, and your secret weapon is your use of this laser company that specializes in precision and quality. It could be that you are going into bespoke furniture making, and you have found a way to use resin to create truly unique pieces. Whatever it is, prove that your idea holds weight and that the marketplace has enough potential to make any investment worthwhile. Basically, what you need to have is an advantage over the competition. It could be intellectual property, a clever patent, exclusive deals, licenses or even distribution arrangements. Whatever it is, make sure it stands out.

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Investors Want A Large Market

The kind of investor you are aiming at attracting will change what they find attractive, but a piece of the market is important to all of them. What an angel investor will want to see is a large net; they will want to see that you have a come up with a fantastic solution that will be beneficial to a large number of people. This is slightly different from VC’s, who tend to prefer the change to grow in a market that has limited competition at the present time. Either way, if you can show that you already have a large and loyal customer base when it comes to pitching for investment then you are going to find you are in a much better position. Why? Simple. It serves as proof – it serves as evidence – that your idea works and that will sway your potential investors more than anything else. That will show that you really could impact your intended marketplace, with the right backing that is.

 

The last thing you will want to make sure that you can offer them is trust. They will want to trust that you can a) grow at a rate of knots and b) manage this quick growth. That is what they will want to know you can handle. Investors aren’t the most patient of people, but they also know the risks that come with scaling fast, so make sure can ease their minds and you will be fine. We promise.

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Why Owning A Scooter Is Wheelie Cool!

Scooters are the ultimate in retro chic. From Vespa to Lambretta, the mod culture exploded as the iconic ergonomically designed scooter was released to the public. People of all ages and from all walks of life wanted to get their hands on a small piece of Italian engineering. In the twenty-first century, there’s something nostalgic about owning a scooter. With their curves, shape, and colors, they remain aesthetically pleasing to the eye. With the resurgence of everything retro within the world of fashion, interiors, and art, it seems logical that retro vehicles would also find their niche among the masses. If you’re tempted to purchase one of these fantastic and fun little vehicles, take a look at these reasons why scooters are the epitome of cool.

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Make It Your Own

 

There aren’t many vehicles that you can personalize and make unique. With a Vespa, you can make all sorts of modifications to the chassis and frame of your bike. You could change the shape of your mirrors, add a windshield, or alter the paint job.

 

If you join a scooter club, you’ll want your little motor to hold its own amongst a sea of bespoke Lambrettas. The scooter community is close-knit, friendly and joining in is the perfect way to meet other like-minded enthusiasts and share stories of how scooters play such a massive part in your lives. No doubt you’ve felt the pang of jealousy when you’ve spied a troupe of thirty or more scooters in formation cruising down the streets, and you’ve wanted to join in. Well, now you can if you take the plunge and purchase one of your own.

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Safety

 

As with any vehicle, from a car to a bicycle, you need to take responsibility for your own safety. Grab yourself a solid helmet, rugged boots, and thick riding gloves as the bare minimum. You won’t be racing around the city at ridiculous speeds but other less cautious drivers might, so you need to be alert at all times. It’s easy to slip into the blind spot of a car driver, so you must take it slow when turning on roads.

 

The great thing about a 50cc scooter is that in most states you don’t need a motorcycle license to ride one. However, if scooter ownership gives you the taste for two-wheeled vehicles and you can see yourself opting for something a little more powerful in the future, you will need to apply for a license. You can get motorcycle test info here, showing the sorts of questions you might face should you want to obtain a license and allowing potential applicants to download sample tests for free.

 

From the James Bond movie Octopussy to the British 1970s classic Quadrophenia, scooters have made appearances on the big screen. Their iconic status as a piece of retro engineering that looks great on the open road has earned them a cult following. Supremely fun and easy to drive, as well as being cheap to run has made them the vehicle of choice for many people across the world. If you’re after a classic cool motor, you can’t go wrong with an original 1960s scooter.

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