Are you passionate about driving, with a keen interest in conveying people or goods from one location to the other? Let’s look at examples of some of the transportation business ideas you can start.
Transportation involves conveying people, goods, and services by air, water, road, rail, using vehicles, trucks, planes, trains, boats e.t.c It is a very profitable business with a steady flow of income. It plays an important role in the distribution, trade, and economic growth of every nation.
More so, transportation businesses have already predefined models, and a standard operating system, and can be very sustainable as long as you follow the rules.
If you are an entrepreneur ready to invest in transport business services, this article is for you. So sit tight as you learn some of the transportation business ideas you can invest in Nigeria.
For all the entrepreneurs who would rather watch a video on the different transportation business ideas you can start, we’ve got you covered too! Watch here.
Transportation Business Ideas
Taxi or cab service involves hiring a vehicle with a driver. A taxi can be hired by a single passenger or small group to convey them to locations of their choice. The vehicles are usually owned by an individual who signs up as an independent contractor under a union or a private brand.
There are different taxi service offerings in Nigeria. For instance, we have traditional taxi vehicles peculiar to each state like yellow and black cars in Lagos; green and white in Abuja; blue and white in Asaba; green and yellow in Ilorin; etc.
Also, taxi services can be offered using ride-sharing apps like Uber, Bolt, and Oga Driver, where drivers are booked online. Equally, there are taxi services for executive and chauffeur hire; private and public hire.
Mostly, taxis are found in airports, railway stations, malls, hotels, and public places. It can be booked on ride-sharing apps, cab stand or flagged down on the road.
If you are interested in offering a taxi service, do due diligence on the type of service offered in your location and its peculiarities.
Car rental is one of the transportation business ideas you can start. It also involves hiring a car but unlike a taxi service, you do not need to hire a driver.
Car rentals involve renting out automobiles to people for a short period of time. The timeframe can be in hours, days, or a few weeks. The car must be returned at the stipulated time in the same condition. Most times car rentals have different locations that allow customers to return the car to another location closest to them.
It is a business that serves people who require temporary vehicles like travellers, or for other specific purposes like weddings, parties, music videos e.t.c. As a result, car rental companies are mostly found near airports, recreational tourist centres, or big cities in a country. Bookings can be online or in a physical location.
Also, they offer different kinds of exotic rental services like power bikes, bicycles, cars, trucks, and vans. In addition, they offer extra services like insurance, GPS navigation system, mobile phones, portable WiFi, child safety seats, and entertainment systems in the vehicles.
This is a premium, all-inclusive service that delivers messages, packages, or letters from one place or person to another within the shortest possible time frame.
Courier services operate on all scales, from a specific town or city to another regional, national, or global location. Depending on the size of the goods and location, courier services can be carried out with bicycles motorcycles, trucks, railroads, boats, and aircraft.
Courier services are widely known for speed and efficiency. The packages are secured and can be tracked. It can be a physical or online booking arrangement. They ensure to get the goods from the sender and deliver it to the receiver within a time frame.
Commercial Bus Services
This is the commonest of the transportation business ideas you can start. It involves operating a transport system that conveys a certain number of passengers and their personal baggage from one point to another. It could be within a state or interstate. They pick passengers from a defined location to another location.
Operating a public commercial bus business in Nigeria requires that you become registered under the appropriate authority and follow the rules and regulations binding the system.
Basically, it is about rendering transport services to a large audience especially the low- and middle-income earners in society. A public commercial transport service can also involve the use of motorcycles and tricycles beside the bus.
Haulage services, although capital intensive, are one of the most lucrative transportation business ideas you can start. Just like courier service, road haulage involves the transportation of goods and services.
However, haulage involves the conveying of heavy-duty goods like gravel, oil, sand, electronics, or other large shipments of 150 pounds or more. You can operate as a sub-contractor, contractor or as lease agent.
The haulage business offers a wide range of services like packaging, inventory, transportation, warehouse and security. Their delivery service can take days or weeks before it gets to its final destination.
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This is a transportation system that uses aeroplanes, helicopters or jets to convey people, goods and services often from one state to another or one country to the other. It can also involve delivering goods and mail to islands or serving international freight. It is the fastest mode of transportation and often connects to international boundaries.
Just like an airline, maritime transport is also one of the huge transportation business ideas that you can venture into if you have the capital. It involves transporting goods and services typically for international import/export businesses. It can be over any distance by boat, ship, speedboat, large sailboat, or barge over oceans, lakes, through canals, or along rivers.
More so, it can also involve transporting passengers through waterways from a defined destination for short trips, or pleasure cruises while they protect themselves with a mast or life jacket. It requires expertise and knowledge of customs regulations, especially for specific merchandise like military weapons, food, or other commodities.
How To Start The Above Transportation Business Ideas
There are specific requirements for any of the transportation business ideas you may wish to venture into. But, I will highlight the basic steps you need to get started for any of them.
Step 1: Secure Funding
The transportation business requires significant startup resources. Therefore, you need to have a basic understanding of your finance and a sustainable source of income before you get started.
Firstly, you need funds to acquire a transport system, for registration, licensing, maintenance, employee salaries, trackers, security, and business promotion. At least there should be funds that can carry you through the first few months of operation. Once finance is settled, you can focus on providing quality service.
For funding, you can decide to bootstrap or approach financial institutions for a loan. Or perhaps, approach other like minds who have an interest in the same business and team up as partners.
Step 2: Write A Business Plan
Writing a business plan is one of the essential steps in setting up any business. This will give you answers to cogent questions that will have a long-term impact on your business. A business plan for any transportation business ideas should factor in the vision, financial plans, organisational structure, pricing, competition, and market strategy.
Step 3: Business Registration
To register a business, choose a unique name that describes your service offering. Then, proceed to Corporate Affairs Commission website to do a name search. After the name search, you can then complete the registration.
You can also employ the services of firms like ReDahlia. They make the business registration process seamless and affordable. There are different business legal structures to choose from after considering important factors.
With a registered business, you can get your Tax Identification Number (TIN) and then proceed to open a corporate bank account with any bank of your choice. A registered business is trusted and credible and enjoys some benefits from the government like access to grants.
Step 4: Purchase Vehicle
The type of vehicle to purchase will be determined by the transportation business ideas you are planning to operate.
For haulage, you need trucks and trailers; for a taxi, cars; maritime, boat and ship; air transport, helicopter, and aeroplane. Depending on the capital, you can buy fairly used, or newly built systems. Also, you can buy a hire purchase and pay in instalments for a period of time.
If you can afford one vehicle, start with it and expand as the business grows.
Step 5: Register With The Appropriate Authority
Once the transport system is ready, proceed to register with the appropriate authority and get the necessary permits and licenses.
For road transportation, register your number plate with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). Also, obtain a roadworthiness certificate from the vehicle testing station, and get your vehicle purchase document intact.
Then, for air transportation, register with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCCA), and the International Airline Transport Association (IATA). And, for maritime, register with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Step 6: Obtain Insurance
In this business, obtaining insurance and a surety bond is very important. Insurance secures the transport system against any damage that may arise in the course of being used. It removes the financial burden of fixing a vehicle from you and places it on the insurance company.
You can speak to an insurance company about the best package that will work for your business. Generally, it should be standard insurance that covers yourself/employees, vehicles, goods, and services.
Step 7: Human Resource
You can not single-handedly operate a large-scale transportation business. Besides drivers, you need administrative personnel like office managers, clerical officers, and accountants.
For road transportation, you need chauffeurs; air, pilot; for a ship, and helmsmen. These people need to be well trained on how to discharge their duties and they should be certified too. Also, they should have the relevant licenses and must understand all that the business needs to succeed.
Step 8: Business Promotion
The transportation business is very lucrative but people will not patronise you if they don’t know that your business exists. Aside from delivering credible services, you need to create awareness for your brand. Therefore, I have highlighted in the following paragraphs some of the steps to take to enhance your reach.
How To Promote The Business
Firstly, put your business online. This involves having a website with information about the services you provide. The website design should be user-friendly with easy navigation features. This will allow your visitors to effortlessly go through the web pages and get information that might influence their decision. Then, optimize for search engines so you can come up in searches relating to your business.
Secondly, leverage social media to grow the business. You can register on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube. Post promotional content in the form of text, visuals, and videos, and share reviews/ testimonials for motivation. Also, reach out to relevant influencers in your niche and ask them to promote your business.
Then, create flyers and business cards. Your flyer can be a one-page marketing piece. Share it with people on the street or market places just to create awareness. And, for business cards, you can always hand them out to your potential customers. The two should have the contact details of your transport company.
Do you have an interest in any of these transportation business ideas? If you do, the time to start is now. Are you already in the transportation business? We will like to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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