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How To Start A Roadside Assistance Business
A roadside assistance business focuses primarily on rendering services to motorists , tricyclists or bicyclists, whose vehicles have suffered a mechanical fault, that leaves the owner in dire straits. This situation becomes more telling if it occurs at night or on a deserted stretch of highway.
Roadside assistance businesses bear their roots from the activities of some motoring clubs established in the early 1900s..These clubs supported their members by engendering a spirit of camaraderie, in assisting members who suffered vehicular problems.
To this end, a list of members who could be reached for help was kept, in some instances, members paid dues in order to facilitate the hiring of towing trucks, when needed. From 1897 to 1927, more formal associations sprang up, to render quasi roadside assistance to their members, while later extending such help to non-members of the public.
The continued rise in car ownership over the years, makes starting a roadside assistance business, a viable venture. A roadside service business will, first and foremost, require the owner/operator to put in place structures and means, to ensure all-day availability of service.
Customer demands will range from unlocking their cars to procuring gasoline, to kick starting dead batteries, to changing flat tires or towing vehicles to repair facilities.
The following factors must be given due consideration by an entrepreneur/investor interested in starting a roadside assistance business:
STARTING A ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE BUSINESS
Obtain relevant training and secure attachment to an existing roadside business
Starting a roadside assistance business behooves the owner/operator to have adequate technical expertise with the operation of vehicles .Apart from the possibility of rendering repair work on faulty vehicles, the owner of a roadside assistance business may also be solicited in giving advice and tips to vehicle owners as to what further help is required for fixing a broken car and maintenance tips for vehicles.
From a business end, the start-up roadside assistance business owner will require a period of training at an established roadside business in order to acquire adequate knowledge from experiencing first hand the nitty-gritty of operations of roadside assistance business. The reason behind this effort is to learn the rudiments of the investments before having to launch the startup.
Develop a roadside assistance business plan
There is need for a business plan to achieve success in roadside assistance business as it exposes the dynamics and strategies behind income projected and expenditure, the available techniques to survive a competitive market, as well as expanding into other states or regions, and other necessary information and facts.
A robust business plan format eliminates the propensity for guess work, while shielding ones roadside assistance business from omitting critical inputs, so as to project the roadside assistance business commitment to quality.
Get all relevant tools and equipment and stock up on essential consumables
The newly established roadside assistance business will need to have the following tools and equipment in its inventory, for starters: A reliable tow truck, gas cans, locksmith tools, flat tire change tools, and starter cables. The business owner should know how to use these tools, especially at the infant stages of the business.
Later on, expansionary drives may warrant the hiring of more hands to operate some specialty tools, like the locksmith. As much as capital permits, the roadside assistance could also procure a flat-bed tow van, so as to expand the range of services.
Develop a robust marketing, sales and advertisement plan.
A roadside business can choose to market directly to end users. Or it can decide to market its services to larger road assistance programmes like AA Rescue, Insurance firms and auto dealerships. The road assistance business will have to prove that its services are up to standard and that it can deliver on a timely and consistent basis.
The road assistance service business must seek ingenious ways of publicizing its services. Business directories and automobile magazines and newsletters are veritable start points. Also leaflets and flyers can be used, especially for serviced customers, who may in turn engender repeat business and referrals.
It may also be necessary to register with local authorities and the police, who may then make referrals for the services of the roadside assistance business. Especially in the advent of emergencies and road accidents.
Define the coverage area of the road assistance business
The road assistance business must decide how far it can go, in rendering its services to the public. If it is 25 kilometers, then the roadside assistance business needs to be adequately prepared to respond to issues and requests under this radius. Appropriate charges should be instituted and service quality must not be compromised in this regard.