Driving is one of those activities that you seem to either love or hate, and being a lover of driving opens you up to a world of career opportunities. For those who love driving, running an airport transfer business feels like a dream job. You get to cruise the motorways for a living, often driving premium-class vehicles and get to meet some really interesting people in the process.
However, there are as many cons as there are pros. Like any job, you don’t realise what they are until it’s too late, so we have highlighted those traps you might risk falling into if you’re not aware of them and give you guidance as to what you should be doing to make sure that your new business is a real success.
Choosing The Right Vehicle(S)
Before investing in a fleet of vehicles, you need to be absolutely sure that it matches the business you are aiming to create. You need to take into account the following:
- Are there enough seats? When working with individuals or couples, it is an inefficient use of your fuel to be driving them around larger, empty vehicles. Equally, a good MPV will fundamentally be the most efficient use of your time and fuel usage. Finding the right balance will come with trial and error.
- Is there enough boot space? One of the biggest mistakes people sometimes make is buying a vehicle that can seat multiple passengers, but there is minimal luggage space. This may seem counterintuitive when you consider that if people are going to the airport, they will have plenty of luggage as a direct consequence.
- Does the brand of the vehicle match your target market? If you’re looking to target high value, premium business travelers, then you don’t want to be chauffeuring them around in the equivalent of a transit van. Equally, if rowdy bachelor parties are your target market, you certainly don’t want to risk trashing expensive interiors. Have a clear vision about whom you intend to work for, and ensure you meet that brief.
Aim For Repeat Business
Repeat business is great because it can give you a steady stream of income. At the same token, that stream can be turned off at any time, so you want to make sure you find the right balance by keeping a steady influx of new business leads as well.
Below are the key values that will keep customers coming back to you again and again.
- Reliability: it may seem obvious, but it does need highlighting – reliability when people are looking to catch a plane is an absolute must. Equally, on the return journeys, you may be required to change your arrangements if flights are delayed or canceled. The more you can be versatile and flexible (within reason) to meet client expectations, the more they will rely on you for future bookings.
- Stress-free: traveling is a stressful occupation. The more you can remove an element of that stress from the shoulders of your passengers, the more they will appreciate your commitment to service.
- The personal touch: There are those passengers who are happy to chat away about life, the world and everything in it. There are also those who prefer to sit in silence or use the time productively to work. Be cognizant of their individual needs – your primary priority is to drive them safely from point A to point B, not be their pal.
Your Price Reflects Your Value
Ultimately you are running a business and need to turn a profit rather than offer bargain bucket prices that will end up costing you. Be proud of your service, make sure your passengers are comfortable and relaxed, and you’ll have got yourself a great business.
Determining your prices will also stem from the target market you’re looking to tap into, which has previously been mentioned. When it comes to a premium business travel service, your prices are naturally going to be higher, and this is because you’re going to need to invest more to provide a premium service. This means flashy cars, minifridges filled with bottled water and Champagne, remote-controlled windows, sound systems, lighting, TVs, and more. Naturally, the insurance and upkeep of these vehicles are rather expensive, meaning you’ll need to demand more money from your customers. Despite this, the price they pay will be reflected in the quality of the service you offer.
For bachelor parties, though, it might be a case of a less flashy interior but with more emphasis on things to do. E.g., beers, speakers, karaoke machines etc. Since bachelor parties can be a bit on the wild side, a showy interior that requires extensive and expensive cleaning isn’t the way forward. The likelihood is that they’re not going to be too concerned about appearances; they simply want to get from A to B and have some fun doing so. They’d likely be happy to pay more money for activities; however, from an appearance perspective, this isn’t going to be too high on their priority list.
When it comes to establishing prices, you need to weigh up what’s important to your target market, as this will determine how much they’re willing to pay and for what.
Ensure All Necessary Certifications And Insurance Are In Place
It goes without saying that drivers require valid driver’s licenses in the country they’re operating in. Despite this, to ensure passengers are safe and secure, there may be a number of checks that drivers need to be assessed on. This will differ from state to state and country to country, but it’s not uncommon for commercial drivers to need more than just a valid license.
In addition to driving licenses, all drivers must have the correct insurance that covers any vehicle they will be driving. Not only is this a legal requirement, but it protects your company and drivers, too. The road is a dangerous place, and it’s important to put as many safety precautions in place as possible.