Do you want to start a business like Uber? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a shared taxi business like Uber with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample Uber-like Taxi business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample Uber-like Taxi marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for Uber-like Taxi companies. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a business like Uber. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
Table of Content
- Why Start a Business Like Uber Taxi?
- Starting a Business Like Uber – Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Starting a Business Like Uber – Legal Matters
- Is Professional Certification Needed to Start a Business Like Uber?
- Starting a Business Like Uber – Technical and Manpower Details
- Starting a Business Like Uber – The Marketing Plan
Why Start a Business Like Uber Taxi?
Starting a business in the transportation sector especially a taxi Cab Company could be fun, profitable and an interesting business for someone with business sense, perseverance and smartness. With comfortable taxis, the right location, top-notch service and good marketing, you can serve large customers who require the services of taxi Cab Companies to be able to move from one location to another and at an affordable price.
It is important to note that starting a standard taxi cab business with over a handful of taxis and drivers also needs a significant investment capital, solid planning, and attention to detail in order to keep your business profitable. But a company known as Uber Taxi has demystified the concept of taxi business. They have proven that you can actually run a standard and world-class Taxi Company with loads of drivers and taxis without owning one single taxi.
The truth is that if you are serious about starting a standard taxi cab company in any part of the world, you are expected to have done your feasibility studies and market survey before committing your capital in the business. After you must have done all you need to do but you don’t have the financial capacity to purchase standard taxi cabs, then you can go the way of Uber; all you need is good business and coordination skills and most importantly a good e-hailing software app.
If you have been tinkering with starting your own taxi cab company, but do not know how to go about it, then you should consider going through this article; it will give you the needed direction and information.
Starting a Business Like Uber – A Complete Guide
- Industry Overview
It is important to first establish that Uber-like taxi services companies are known as taxi e-hailing software app Services Companies and the business is under the taxi and limousine services industry. A taxi cab cum limousine Services Company provides comfortable and private transportation via automobiles (usually sedans/cars) for passengers. Taxi services are not operated on regular schedules or routes like the usual buses or car that usually pick several passengers along the road.
The Taxi and Limousine Services industry has experienced remarkable growth in the united states. The growth of the US economy has indeed directly benefited the industry as business expense accounts have grown and clients have been more willing to spend on small luxuries such as taxi and limousine rides. In addition, increased demand from corporate travelers, tourists and private households is expected to result in steady growth for this industry.
The Taxi and Limousine Services industry is indeed a very thriving industry in most countries of the world. It is a major sector of the economy of the United States and it generates well over $20 billion annually from more than 338,882 registered and licensed Taxi and Limousine services companies scattered all around the United States of America. The industry is responsible for the employment of over 413,046 people (drivers and administrative staff members). There is no establishment in this industry that has a dominant market share in the United States.
A research conducted by IBISWORLD shows that the Taxi and Limousine Services industry is in the mature stage of its life cycle. Industry value added (IVA) is also expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.3 percent within the next 10 years. Within that same period, GDP is estimated to increase by 2.1 percent per year on average. The industry demand is usually influenced by disposable income levels, corporate profit and domestic trips by US residents.
When it comes to advertising your taxi cab cum limousine Services Company, there shouldn’t be any limit to how far you can go. You could start with handbills and distribute them in cooperate organizations and public places. If you have cash you can place advert spots on Newspapers, TV and Radio, and if you don’t have enough cash you can start with the worldwide web. As a matter of fact, the internet has become one of the cheapest and most potent advertising platforms.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own Uber-like taxi services business could be that the business is easy to set up and it is indeed a thriving and profitable business venture that an entrepreneur with a little startup capital can comfortably start.
Over and above, taxi cab cum limousine services businesses all over the world are still enjoying good patronage particularly if they have comfortable taxis, professional drivers, if they are well positioned and if they know how to reach out to their target market (corporate organizations, hotels, travels and tours companies, government and household et al).
Starting a Business Like Uber – Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The people who need the services of a taxi cab company is all encompassing and it is not restricted to celebrities and public figures, event planners, travels and tours agencies, tourists, hotels, household, corporate executive and students et al.
List of Niche ideas Within the Uber-Like Business That You Can Specialize in
It is important to state that Uber-like taxi business which is actually called taxi e-hailing software app services business is a niche idea in the Taxi and Limousine Services industry.
The Level of Competition in the Taxi and Limousine Services Industry
The level of competition in the Taxi and Limousine Services industry depend on the location of the business and of course your business concept.
But over and above, there are several taxi e-hailing software app services companies scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own Uber-like taxi cab services company in the United States, you will definitely meet stiffer competitions not only amongst similar taxi cab businesses in the United States, but also from other forms of transportation such as car hire services, taxi and limousine charter services et al. Besides, you should be ready to compete with Uber taxi when sourcing for clients.
List of Well – Known Brands in the Industry
It is only but natural that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading taxi e-hailing software app services companies in the United States of America and also in the globe;
- Uber Taxi
- Didi Chuxing
- Ola Cab
- Grab Taxi
- Easy Taxi
When it comes to starting a taxi e-hailing software app Services Company, you just have to get your feasibility studies and market research right before venturing into the business. It is good to mention that the taxi e-hailing software app services business comes with its own share of challenges.
To get things right, you are expected to hire experts that will help you with comprehensive economic analysis of the business within the location that you intend launching it. If you get your economic and cost analysis right before launching the business, you may not have to stay the long before you break even.
Starting Your Taxi e-hailing Software App Services from Scratch vs Buying a Franchise
If you want to start a taxi e-hailing software app service, you would have to start from the scratch because there is no known taxi e-hailing software app services company that is into the sale of franchise. Besides, the nature of the business does not permit franchising.
Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Taxi e-hailing Software App Services Business
If you decide to start your own taxi e-hailing software app services company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established taxi e-hailing software app services companies and also taxis, and other forms of executive transportation services who are offering same services that you intend offering. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other threats that you are likely going to face as a taxi e-hailing software app Services Company operating in the United States are unfavorable government policies, the arrival of a competitor within your location of operation and global economic downturn which usually affects purchasing/spending power. There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.
Starting a Business Like Uber – Legal Matters
- Best legal entity to use for this type of business
When considering starting a taxi e-hailing software app services company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow.
You have the options of choosing a general partnership or limited liability company for a taxi e-hailing software app Services Company. Ordinarily, general partnership should have been the ideal business structure for a small scale taxi e-hailing software app Services Company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital.
But if your intention is to grow the business and have both corporate and individual clients from all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing general partnership is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
Catchy Business Name Ideas Suitable for a Taxi e-hailing Software App Services Company
When it comes to choosing a name for a business, it is expected that you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own taxi e-hailing software app services company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Online Taxi Services, LLC
- Taxi – Net Services, Inc.
- Pick ‘n’ Drop Taxi Services, LLC
- Executive Taxi Services, Inc.
- Your Taxi Services, LLC
- Caller Cab Services Group
- Green Taxi Services, LLC
- Alpha Plus Taxi Services Ltd.
- Binary Solution Taxi Services, Inc.
- Direct Click Taxi Services, Inc.
- People’s Partner Taxi Services, Inc.
- Headway Taxi Services, Inc.
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy covers and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your taxi e-hailing software app Services Company.
Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own taxi e-hailing software app services company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Motor vehicle insurance (comprehensive insurance)
- Health insurance/Medical insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
Intellectual Property Protection/Trademark
If you are considering starting your taxi e-hailing software app services company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your taxi e-hailing software app, your company’s logo and other documents that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
Is Professional Certification Needed to Start a Business Like Uber?
Irrespective of the results you produce as it relates to helping people solve their transportation problem, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some taxi e-hailing software app services companies stand out. If you want to make impact in the taxi e-hailing industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in the market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own taxi e-hailing software app Services Company;
- Microsoft (MCSD)
- Microsoft (MTA)
- Amazon Web Services (AWS Certified Developer – Associate Level)
- Cloudera (CCDH)
- Oracle (APEX)
- 6-8. Oracle (OCP, OCM, OCE)
- Related Diploma or Degree in Transport and Logistics
Please note that you can successfully run a taxi e-hailing software app Services Company in the United States and in most countries of the world without necessarily acquiring professional certification as long as you have acquired the required technical skills to build a taxi e-hailing software app and also manage the business.
List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Taxi e-hailing Software App Services Company
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized especially a business like scheduled and taxi e-hailing software app Company. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catch-up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own taxi e-hailing software app services company in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Tax Payer’s ID
- Fire certificate
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Non-disclosure Agreement
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Employee’s Handbook
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
Financing Your Taxi e-hailing Software App Services Company
Starting a taxi e-hailing software app Services Company may not be capital intensive especially if you have limited workforce and a pretty small office facility. But if you have over a dozen full-time employees under your payroll and a standard office with a state of the art server room, then you may need to source for start-up capital to launch the business if you don’t have the required money saved-up in your bank account.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, then you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your taxi e-hailing software app services company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
Choosing a Suitable Location
Choosing a location for a taxi e-hailing software app Services Company can be in two phases. Firstly, it can be located in the comfort of your home. Secondly, you may want to start away from home by choosing an office location.
Indeed, location has a great influence on the success of a taxi e-hailing services business. If you have taken your time to study the taxi and limousine services industry, you will realize that players in the industry are willing to pay expensive rents in order to stay in a metropolitan city and of course a busy business district; a place where business activities and financial activities are at its peak.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to open your taxi e-hailing software app services company is key to the success of the business; hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consist of people and organization with the require purchasing power and lifestyle.
So, if you are looking for a location for your taxi e-hailing software app services company, ensure that it is a place that is located in a business district in your city, a place that is visible and easily accessible. Of course, you would not want to locate this type of business in the outskirt of town.
Your clients should be able to drive down and locate your office with little or no difficulty. Vendors also should be able to easily locate your office when they have to come submit their bid/proposals, documents or for background checks et al.
Starting a Business Like Uber – Technical and Manpower Details
If you want to run a taxi e-hailing software app services business, then you should be ready to build an effective taxi e-hailing software app that can stand the test of time and compatible with all internet enabled devices. You will also need computers, internet facility/server room, telephone for your call center, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used. Please note that the needed aviation technology is provided by the airport authority.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing an office space, the size of the taxi e-hailing software app services company you want to build, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a standard taxi e-hailing software app services company, then you should consider the option of leasing a facility for your office.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. Averagely, you would need a Chief Executive Officer or President (you can occupy this role), an Admin and Human Resource Manager, Accountant, IT Specialists, Business Development Executive and Customer Service Officers or Call Center Executives.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 5 to 15 key staff to effectively run a medium scale but standard taxi e-hailing software app Services Company.
The Service Delivery Process of a Taxi e-hailing Software App Services Company
If you are making plans to start a taxi e-hailing software app services business, then you should adopt the Business model of Uber Taxi. In general practice, a taxi e-hailing software app services business is expected to create a platform where private car owners can sign up under your company as Taxi drivers, and taxi users can book taxi under your platform (please note that the maintenance, fueling and ownership of the taxi is not under your care).
Customers are charged based on the distance they travel; some percentage of the fee paid by the customer goes to the taxi e-hailing software app Services Company and the other part to the owner of the taxi.
It is important to state that a taxi e-hailing software app services company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them good return on investment (ROI) efficiency and flexibility; the above stated business cum services process is not cast on stone.
Starting a Business Like Uber – The Marketing Plan
- Marketing ideas and strategies
As a taxi e-hailing software app services company owner, you would have to prove your worth over and over again before attracting high profile clients (both car owners and customers). So, if you have plans to start your own taxi e-hailing software app services company, it will pay you to build first build a successful career in the taxi and limousine services industry.
People and organizations will sign up under your platform or make use of your platform if they know that they are going to take them safely to their destination and if they are not going to encounter problems with your software apps.
So, when you are drafting marketing plans and strategies for your taxi e-hailing software app services company, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to taxi and limousine services industry. This will help boost your chances in the market place when sourcing for clients.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your taxi e-hailing software app services company;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the corporate organizations, households and international business community in the United States and also car owners that meet your specifications who may be willing to use their cars as taxis.
- Advertise your business in relevant transportation magazines, radio and TV stations (make yourself available for transportation related talk shows and interactive sessions on TV and Radios)
- List your business on local directories/yellow pages
- Attend international transportation expos, seminars, and business fairs
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing
Possible Competitive Strategies for Winning your Competitors
The taxi and limousine services industry is a competitive industry, and you must come up with a unique and highly creative strategy to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to continue to operate safe and affordable services. Organizations and people will always hire or use your platform if they know that you can take them safely to their destination.
Another strategy that you can adopt is to ensure that your software app is user-friendly and compatible with all internet enabled devices, cars under your platforms are of great shape and drivers under your platform are highly professional and friendly. You can also offer free training for all the drivers that sign under your platform.
Strategies to boost your brand awareness and Create Your Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be.
If your intention of starting a taxi e-hailing software app services company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
In promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should leverage on both print and electronic media and also social media. As a matter of fact, it is cost effective to use the internet and social media platforms to promote your brands, besides it is pretty much effective and far reaching.
Below are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and promote and advertise your taxi e-hailing software app services company
- Place adverts on transportation magazines and related newspapers, radio and TV stations
- Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from your loyal customers
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+ and other platforms to promote your business.
- Ensure that you position your banners and billboards in strategic positions all around your city
- Contact corporate organizations, households and international business community et al and also car owners with cars that meet your specifications who may be willing to use their cars as taxis by calling them up and informing them of your taxi e-hailing software app services company and the services you offer
- Advertise your business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Brand all your official cars and ensure that all your staff members and management staff wear your branded shirt or cap at regular intervals
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