Are you contemplating to start your own taxi business?
Well, looking at the demand in the taxi market, it is really a great idea and you should go ahead with it. There are a number of taxi ventures, like Uber, Lyft, Ola, that have successfully earned a great reputation in the arena of taxis and are constantly establishing new feats in the market.
Platforms like Ola and Uber started off with just 4-6 taxi cars, and today they operate millions of cars on a global level. So, how did these brands really succeed in making it big in the taxi market? Did they go by any specific strategy? How exactly did they do things?
Well, in order to ensure the success of any venture is vital to make the right efforts in the right direction, and the taxi business is no different. So, to make things easy for you, here we will be discussing the right measures that should be followed while starting a taxi business, in order to ensure that it turns out to be a huge hit in the market.
Start by setting the foundation
This is the basic, right? Execute thorough market research to know the state of the current market, challenges that need to be tackled, your competitors, new opportunities to be explored, and your strategy for it all. Yes, it is imperative to do the basic groundwork as ultimately these will prove to be key in ensuring your business attains success. So start with:
Planning: No goal can ever be achieved without proper planning and its implementation. Hence, to make our taxi business a bit, ensure that you plan out each and every sense involved in your business. Now, proper planning consists of startup cost, management, execution, marketing, & expansion plans. It all has to be fool-proof as starting out with a flawed plan will give bad results.
Competitors: This is the basics, again and a crucial step before starting any business. Knowing your competitors is necessary as this would help in realizing the potential in the market and knowing what is not being provided by your competitors that your target audience may need or want. Go into the details as you review the businesses in the taxi arena. Find out what technique they use to attract the customers, know about their USP. This way, you would know what features you need to integrate in order to stand apart.
Find about your audience: It can be lethal for the longevity of the taxi business to simply look to gain more trips instead of focusing on a particular audience. This will take you a step back from making more revenue in the long term. Even though the ultimate aim of every taxi business is to attract more trips, but it is also vital that you focus on your target audience. Every business cannot survive by offering low prices. When a business is built only on the basis of price, then there is risk involved in losing the customers anytime your competitors beat your price.
Hence, try to set your price and your business strategies as per your target audience. Like, are you serving passengers residing in an affluent colony or locality, then you should aim at providing high-end services instead of giving affordable fares. In case, your audience consists of the general public, then you would require to strike a balance between pricing & punctuality.
Define your business objective: on the basis of research that you conducted on the market, it is now time that you create a business strategy, like what kind of service you would offer via your taxi business? Whether it will be an airport taxi service, outstation taxi service, paratransit taxi service, or will it be an all-in-one business model. Also, decide how you plan on generating revenue from the taxi business. Are you planning to be actively involved in the business operations by having your own fleet of cars and drivers? Or are you simply planning to partner with existing taxi owners? Defining your business goals at the earlier stage will help you to define every other step accordingly.
Raise capital: well, next you need to arrange finances for your business. You can seek a bank loan or may approach private investors or invest your own money. Just ensure that your finances are sufficient to create a fixed budget for the taxi business.
Business Registration & Licensing: Different regions of the state may have different legal formalities, so you are required to find about your region to ensure your business is legally compliant. Start with registering your taxi business and firm name, then work to obtain a taxi business license. Ensure that the legalities are completely in order. It is also advisable that you seek the assistance of a legal advisor to keep last minute hassles at bay.
Insurance: It is a common occurring in any business to come across accidents, mishaps, damages at any time, and often they are beyond control. Hence, it is advised to take precautions. Ensuring your business can help you in dealing with several unwanted situations. Thus, ensure the business, and also the fleet & workforce.
Gather your fleet
As per the business strategy you had formed, either hire or purchase your line of vehicles. It is advised that you get your fleet of taxi much in advance, as per your approach. There are several taxi businesses that offer a range of vehicle choices, like Sedans, SUVs, and Hatchback. Thus, you can give a thought to having a range of vehicles. Also as per the kind of taxi service, you plan to offer, make the taxis equipped with necessary accessories, like charging points, wifis, paratransit facilities, and more.
Next, it is time to fix your business model. There are several things that you require to decide on. Like, whether you will participate in running your business? Are you keen on taking measures to market the business? You need to find answers to these questions before deciding on the business model.
Accordingly, you may choose to lease vehicles to drivers or make a partnership with drivers to share fares. As per your budget, you can also buy a new fleet of taxis or hire a fleet on an annual basis. Buying vehicles from the auto-auctions is also a known option. As you purchase your vehicle, keep your audience in mind, like whether the passengers have any special requirements.
Invest in technology
Today mobile apps have become a necessity for every taxi business. People like this idea of booking a taxi from the comfort of their homes pretty easily using a taxi app. There are numerous firms out there in the market that offer mobile app facility for their taxi business. Hence, it is a great idea to invest in a mobile app, as it can greatly help in growing your taxi business.
Develop an app that is user-friendly, and has minimal features, so that users can easily use the app whenever required. A mobile app also allows the business to access the daily proceedings and keep a count of a number of rides throughout the day.
Also, a mobile app provides real-time analytics giving a proper idea of completed and canceled trips to the business. It allows the passengers to schedule, reschedule or cancel rides. Drivers can look for customer details (like location & user details) and accordingly they can accept or reject a request. It allows the users to make easy cashless transactions via multiple payment modes, like Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Wallet, Braintree, PayPal, Stripe and others. Both users and drivers can rate and review each other at the end of the ride.
This way, an app can help a business as well as customers in a number of ways, and ultimately they greatly help in growing a business. Hence, getting an app solution is vital for a taxi business.
Market your business.
Marketing is integral for every business and nowadays social media platforms are turning out to be the most powerful way to market a business. All you need is to plan out a strategy, set the tone of your message, and begin interacting with your customers by posting engaging and informative content about your products and services. Regular promotional activities should take place to fetch the audience’s attention and establish your brand. A great way of doing so is by giving regular discounts and promo codes. After all, every customer loves discounts, and hence it is a great way to attract a wide audience.
Keeping these essentials in mind, you can successfully enhance customer experience and make a mark in the arena of the taxi business.