How to Start a Shuttle Bus Service
You’ve decided to start your own business and live the American dream, but are not sure where to start. Beginning with a clear understanding of what lies ahead is the best first step you can take. The road ahead is paved hard work and lined by failure. That may not be a sentiment that you want to hear but it is one you need to hear. Start-ups fail at an alarmingly high rate and even those that succeed don’t often lead to great wealth.
The good news is that with proper preparation and diligent follow-through start-up businesses do succeed and thrive. The keys to being one of the success stories and owning and operating a going enterprise is having a well developed business plan and sticking to it. Business plans all follow a set framework but there are things that are specific to a shuttle service that must be included.
The Business Plan
Business plans are often referred to as a road map to success which is an apt description. A well written and thoroughly researched business plan presents and honest evaluation of what needs to be done to start, run and grow the business. A good business plan also takes into account obstacles and makes provisions to overcome them.
A business plan has two main purposes, a guide for the ownership and management of the shuttle bus service and a means to attract and secure financing from potential partners, investors and banks. In fact most sources of financing will not even consider extending credit without a business plan.
Many businesses require state and local licenses and permits before than can begin operating. A shuttle bus service is not exception and depending on your location may require a more rigorous licensing process than other businesses. Consulting with an attorney or CPA who is familiar with your locality will help you determine not only what licenses are required but also what form your new business should take, such as; sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), corporation or partnership.
Whether your plan is to drive your shuttle bus yourself or to hire a team of drivers, training, licensing and adequate insurance are considerations that you must take into account. The success of your business rests on potential customers trusting that they will be safe and secure when they step onto your shuttle bus.
Marketing starts with determining what type of shuttle bus service you want to offer, commuter, airport, shopping or something else. Marketing starts with determining what needs are being underserved or can be better served by improved service and than seeking to attract those customers. For example a shuttle bus service that is geared toward serving the elderly but is located in a college community might not have enough potential customers to be a success.
Once the market for your shuttle bus service has been identified you will need to attract customers and that is where the advertising portion of marketing comes into play. Newspaper ads and fliers have to be designed and written for the specific market you are hoping to build. Joining organizations that provide access to potential customers and build word of mouth buzz should also be a part of your marketing efforts.
At the end of the day the success of your shuttle bus service rests on your shoulders and will be built on the foundation of research that you built in the preparation stage of writing and developing your business plan.
Bio – Paul is a freelance writer for Buses for Sale and is interested in places where individuals and businesses can find a shuttle bus for sale .