5 Tips For Starting A Driving Service Business
Getting tired of being stuck in the same place, doing the same repetitive tasks? Not a fan of staring at a computer screen? Office jobs aren’t for everyone, especially if you’re the restless type who prefers a little action.
So if you love to drive and are looking to launch your own business, a driving service start-up could provide the perfect working situation for you. You get to work on the move, be your own boss, and do something a bit different every day.
There are lots of different options, from taxi services to delivery, and just as many ways to start up your own business. So if you’d like a few pointers to get the ball rolling and give you some ideas, check out the list below on starting your own driving service business.
Pick Your Specialism
First things first, what specific area of the driving industry is right for you? If you’d like a more social working environment, taxi services might be a good fit, as you get to chat with different clients and work your own town or city. It’s a great way to get to know your area whilst working flexible hours.
You could even step it up a notch and go for a luxury car, chauffeur, or limousine service, if you like the idea of driving beautiful cars and delivering a classy service to your customers on their special day.
If you like the idea of hitting the open road and getting some peace and quiet, transportation of goods, or removals might be more up your street. There are lots of smaller specialisations in transportation, including medical, livestock, refrigerated items or even modular houses.
Perhaps you like the idea of a little variation, in which case delivery could suit you better. Hot food, parcels, alcohol – you name it, there’s probably someone who’d pay a little extra to have it delivered right to your door.
These different areas have different licencing laws, and have varying degrees of competition. For example, taxi services in lots of cities are now in competition with companies like Uber and Lyft. Whilst big transportation corporations are able to offer competitive prices.
So it’s good to think of a personal niche, and do your research into what licences you will need to do the job.
Organise Your Business Plan
The most essential aspect part of a well-organized startup is a solid business plan.
A good business plan should include a comprehensible description of your startup, a clear understanding of the service you offer, the problem your startup will solve, what industry your business fits into, the location of the business, and your “management philosophy” (how you plan to manage your business).
Those are the general points, but don’t forget the specifics. What is special about your service in particular? What are the benefits for your customers? Why will they choose you over your competitors? What is your pricing strategy and how does this compare across the industry.
And last but by no means least, you will need to think about marketing. Who is your target audience – where do they live, what sort of age are they, what industry do they work in – the more specific the better. How are you going to reach this audience and connect with them?
Marketing and advertising can require a big budget in itself, but there are many marketing strategies such as viral marketing; guerilla marketing and social media marketing that can reach a decently-sized audience for free or for a reasonable price.
After this, you will just have to calculate your costs and organize your financial documents.
Writing a business plan is much easier once you understand your target market and what need or problem your startup is trying to solve and fulfil. So do some thorough research!
Licences and Insurance
The licences and insurance you need will, of course, depend on the type of driving business you are running. But there are a few standard things to consider.
In addition to securing business licenses from your local and state governments, you must make sure you have the appropriate driver’s licenses to operate all your business’ vehicles. On top of this, if you plan to hire employees to drive, you must make sure each individual has the appropriate license. This can be pricey so make sure to look into prices.
To drive cargo vehicles for commercial purposes, you will require a Class A, B or C commercial driver’s license (CDL). In most areas you must be at least 18 to get a Class A and B CDL, (and look into add-ons if you’re looking transport hazardous materials).
Commercial auto liability coverage is crucial for any driving service business, as is business insurance. It will protect you if a customer issues a complaint.
Once you’ve selected your niche, organised your business plan and researched the right insurance and licencing, it’s time to think about the smaller details of running a driving business.
An essential tool to consider is a digital tachograph. A digital tachograph is a device fitted to a vehicle that digitally records its speed and distance, together with the driver’s activity selected from a choice of modes.
This will help you keep track of the distances you are travelling, calculate fuel and time costs, and monitor any employees you have hired. There are certain tachograph rules
that all operators and drivers should be aware of, and keep in mind during their daily driving time and even during their resting hours, so check out all the available info and see if a tachograph will work for you.
Driving can be dangerous for a range of different reasons and as a business owner, it must be your priority to keep yourself, your employees, and your customers safe at all times with safe driving.
A few basics include: do not use, or encourage employees to use, cell phones whilst on the road. It is not only illegal in most areas, but will also seriously puts the lives of the driver and travellers at risk.
Tiredness can kill. Driving long distances or overnight, or simply driving for long hours can leave a driver dangerously tired and lacking in focus. Make sure to look into driving safety tips for businesses, to make sure you are doing everything you can.