Interested in small bus business ideas? If YES, here is how to start a bus company with no money and no experience. How much does it cost to start up?
How to Start a Private Charter Bus Company
Do you want to start a bus transportation business? There is no gainsaying the fact that the transport industry is now one of the leading industries that are so easy to start once you have all the needed requirements. Truthfully, starting a bus company is very profitable, no doubt!
Starting a bus company may be capital intensive, but yet you can make an encouraging return from the business if your company is well positioned. So, if you are so sure that you can take care of the financial capacity needed to acquire good buses, it is advisable you consider starting your own bus company right away.
Your prospective clientele won’t be restricted to schools only, but also offices, sport clubs, weekly event, and what have you. Interestingly, if your bus company has new buses at its disposal, the company will definitely be appealing to more clients.
However, here are tips and strategies that you will find helpful to start a bus company even from the scratch and still build it well to a profitable one within a short period of time.
- Carry out a Market Survey and Meet with Business Expert
Starting a bus company required a good and adequate research prior to its setup. Meet with those that are experts in the bus business before drawing and putting together your business plan.
Dialog with local as well as government business experts to know more about the bus industry, including the legal requirements, standard operating procedure of successful bus company enterprise, industry forecasts etc.
The local competitors wouldn’t be willing and ready to share their hidden card and best practices, but yet you can still get up-to-date information on things like pricing, rates, and promotional tactics if you browse through their bus business websites, brochures or their business pamphlets.
- Write Your Bus Company Business Plan
It is no more a news that to start a bus company you need to have a huge capital, and a business that will succeed will need a good business plan on how you intend using the available and non-available capital.
Your bus company business plan should show your marketing strategies, your source of finance, the bus company’s mission statement and vision, your administrative style, goals, your bus company succession plans, number of bus and staff to employ and other important factors that will be helpful in the course of running your bus business successfully.
Having done drawing out your business plan, make sure that it is subject to reality check up to confirm if actually it can fly. If at all your business plan fails the reality check, it is advisable you go back to the drawing board and do it all over again.
- Raise the Bus Company Startup Capital
Starting a bus company need a huge amount of capital to acquire the necessary buses and facilities, large enough that can contain both the administrative space, parking lot for the fleet of the acquired buses.
Thus, you should go out and conduct the bus business feasibility studies to enable you to know the type of buses that are accepted in your prefer location and the amount needed to purchase them.
From the market survey conducted, you should be able to come up with the cost price for setting up your bus company, after which you should plan your budget. As such, there are plethora ways to raise money to finance the bus business among which you can apply to your bank for loans, raise money through your savings or better still, from selling out some of your stocks, through family and friends and you can also raise money for your bus company through investors.
- Register the Bus Company and Obtain the Necessary Business License
A bus company is not an industry you can venture into without the approval of the government. Therefore, once you’ve got your capital ready and you are sure that you are so good to go, then you can proceed to register your bus company with the distinguished government agency or body.
After registering your bus company, you can proceed to obtain your bus business license and permits from the federal, state and local government and then insure your company, buses, drivers and your bus administrators.
- Acquire or Lease Buses
Advisably, if you have enough and adequate capital at hand, it is cheaper to buy all the needed buses for your bus company, but if the reverse is the case, the only option would be to look for a company that can lease you the buses and pay them over the period of time.
By and large, make sure that the buses you are going to acquire for your bus company will be very stable and comfortable to your prospective clients that you would want your bus company to transport and partner with.
- Design your Tours and Routes
It is of high importance that you design your tours and routes before kick starting your bus company. You cannot implement your advertising and marketing plans unless and until you have designed your tours and routes.
Decide if the bus company will be offering general transportation services–like transport to events or weddings or it will base its specialization on tour-like offerings, like the Grand Canyon trips of celebrity homes, historic locations and others.
To calculate the tour and rate pricing, figure out the driver’s paycheck, the cost of fuel and other important travel-related expenses; only this will be of help to you to know the exact amount of profit you are liable to earn.
Check your competitor pricing list to compare and contrast price ranges, and if possible, adjust accordingly
- Hire Professional Drivers
Make sure that you only hire and employ professional drivers that can represent and portray the good image your company. Beyond employing professional drivers, you should make it a priority that you make adequate provision for giving them additional training at regular intervals.
When hiring drivers, make sure that you run a background checks if they have poor driving records and whether or not they driver’s license is a valid one.
- Source for Business Deals
Essentially, a bus company cannot progress and it cannot maximize any profits without huge business deals. There are a plethora of organizations and individuals that will be in need of your bus services, as such, it is your onus and responsibility to market them. The kind of organizations you should approach for contract or business deals are companies, schools, churches, sport clubs.
Network with travel agencies, schools, retirement homes, event and wedding planners, hotels and big association to keep bookers abreast that your bus company is available for hire.
Consider doing a free charter as a way to influence bookers so that they can experience your bus company offerings first hand. Warning– The lasting success and impression of your bus company will depend greatly on whether the passengers have an enjoyable, safe, and fun trip.
Promote your bus company so as to stand firm and strong amidst competitors by creating a business cards, brochure, handbills, website (if possible) and other promotional materials.