Are you ready to start a chauffeured transportation business? Being an owner of your own business is not only rewarding but also gives you ownership of your work. You're no longer working for someone else or an app, but instead, get to keep the profits you work so hard for.

When we first launched a transportation business, it felt like staring at a blank canvas not knowing where to start. Looking back, the mistakes we made are not uncommon for first-timers. That’s why we wanted to create the kind of resource we wish we had when we started—a walkthrough of all the decisions that go into setting up a ready-to-launch transportation business.

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Starting a transportation business should not be too hard- so let's jump right in with our top 8 Tips: 

1. Understanding your Customers and Target Market

The first thing you want to understand is who you want to serve since this has implications for everything you do, as well as some of the tactical things like licenses, permissions, and vehicles. For example, do you want to provide shuttling, wedding transportation, high-end luxury vehicles, airport services, black car services or limo transportation?

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2. Set up the Basics of a Business (Feel Free to Reach out to Moovs for Help)

This step is around making sure you have a legal business set up to start providing transportation to your customers. Here is a list of the basics:

  1. Form a legal entity, like an LLC. Services like Legalzoom are the most effective.
  2. Get a Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business
  3. Open a bank account
  4. Obtain all necessary licenses and permits for your business (e.g. DOT, TCP, Airport permits)
  5. Get insurance for your business and vehicles
  6. Create a website for your transportation business
  7. Choose the right software to manage your business and payments (read why Moovs is right for you)

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3. Be Customer First, Always

In essence, the most important thing about running any business is having customers that love your product. Keep this in mind as you build your business. Best practices include:

  1. Asking for feedback after trips
  2. Being transparent in your communication and pricing
  3. Be on time (which means 15 mins early) for every trip
  4. Adhere to all safety and sanitizing practices (we created a template you can send to your customers here)
  5. If your customers love your service, ask for referrals

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4. Get to Work and Acquire New Customers

You might bring some existing customers to your business, and now it's time to bring the new customers. Start by building a website, which you can do in under 10 seconds on Moovs. Then ask your existing customer, friends and family, and anyone you can think of for referrals. Next build your presence on Facebook, Instagram, Google and Yelp to get customers to see your business. Ready to get to the next level of growing your transportation business- find all the tips & tricks here

5. Understand Your Pricing

One thing that happens in the transportation industry is that companies are increasing their rides, but are not profitable businesses. So when you start your business understand your economics. This means adding up all of your costs (including vehicle leasing, insurance, gas, etc.) and then charging a price that gives you the margin you are looking to keep for yourself. Here we recommend anywhere from a 20-40% margin.

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6. Work Hard

There is no way around it, transportation business are a lot of work. It's fun and profitable, which is why more and more people are switching to transportation but requires you to be on at night, drive yourself or work with customers in the middle of the night. If this excites you, this is the right space for you.

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7. Hire the Right Drivers

Your drivers are the image of your business. They are the ones who interact with the customers and therefore are the main part of a good or bad customer experience. Hiring good drivers can be hard, but we are here to help. To start off, look for drivers in your network or drivers that are referred to you. If you are looking out of your network, make sure to meet them before offering them the first ride, do a reference check with a previous employer, and do a test ride with you as the customer. Lastly, make sure their first trip is an easy, short trip. This is also a good opportunity for the driver to show that they are a good hire and serious about working with you.

8. Avoid Common Mistakes

Even with this list, there are around a million edge cases that can come up. See a list of the most common mistakes we heard from interviewing hundreds of operators.

  1. If you get affiliate work, make sure you are paid on time. We recommend credit card charges only, and putting a hold on the card prior to the trip.
  2. If a customer seems too good to be true, be especially cautious about fraud. A good way to detect fraud is through Moovs Payments or asking the customer for a copy of their ID and Credit Card, and ensuring the information matches.
  3. Be a leader in this industry. It's great to ask around and always being curious. But at the end of the day this is now your business. Be confident and make decisions that are right for your customer.
  4. Be a team player. If you want to go far in the transportation industry you have to be a team player. Don't be shady or burn bridges. The transportation and limo companies that think long-term are the ones who have been around the longest.
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We hope our insights on how to start a chauffeured transportation business will help you build a successful business. We will keep updating the blog based on new tips that we receive by other transportation owners. If there is anything we should add, please let us know. Also if you need help building your business, please feel free to reach out anytime to us at info@moovsapp.com