Taxi and fleet businesses, while expensive to start up, can be incredibly lucrative in the long run. A taxi service can start small with a few cars and drivers, and be expanded gradually as you begin to profit. Before you start driving, consider whether there is a demand for a taxi service in your area and make sure to apply for all necessary driver’s and business licenses and insurance.
- Research the competition. Look online at the websites of other local taxi companies. Research their services and rates. Consider whether your area needs another taxi service. If you live in a relatively small town that doesn’t have much demand for taxis, it may not be the best business move. Make a list of ways that you can set yourself apart from competitors by offering airport shuttles, reduced rates or large vehicles for group transportation.
- Search for vehicles and equipment. Purchase vehicles that have already been modified for taxi use to save yourself time and effort. Look at online auction websites or other vehicle sales sites that focus on cab sales. Select vehicles that are clean, guaranteed safe and offer enough trunk space for customers’ luggage. If you will modify existing vehicles for taxi use, you’ll also need toplight signs, taxi meters, yellow or other bright paint and decals with your company name, and contact information to place on vehicles.
- Apply for licenses and insurance. Apply for a commercial driver’s license at your local department of motor vehicles if you will be driving. Register your vehicles and ask about any required inspections. Apply for a business license at your city clerk’s office. Meet with an insurance agent to discuss the type and amount of insurance you’ll need. Ask other local cabbies about where to get the best insurance rates.
- Search for a location. Choose a location with enough space for vehicle storage and a dispatcher office. Centrally located sites are best if you will be serving your entire city.
- Hire drivers and other employees. Choose drivers who have driven taxis before and already have a Commercial Driver’s License if possible. Ask for copies of driving records and references from previous companies they’ve worked for. Only hire drivers with excellent records. Maybe use a criminal record check by uCheck to ensure there are no issues.
- Advertise your taxi service. Take out a large ad in your area’s online or print telephone book to draw the most customers. Advertise in local newspapers. Make sure to include your services and contact information on all marketing materials. Create and distribute fliers with coupons to attract new customers to your business.