Minibuses play a very important role in the public transport industry. Everyday millions of people use minibuses as transport to get to their destinations. Minibus public transport business is a very lucrative venture, which is highly rewarding. This article will outline how to start the minibus public transport business, and the minibus business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
Minibus public transportation is a lucrative business, providing income for millions of people, but there are some essential decisions you need to make before you venture into the business. You have to make a decision on how many minibuses you will start with, the type of minibuses, the routes you will be operating in, and your target market. These choices will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and the opportunities available in the market. If you do not have a lot of capital, you can always start small and grow your minibus public transport business overtime.
Size is not everything in the minibus public transport industry – you do not need a large fleet in order to start up the minibus business. There are stories of people who have started a successful public transport business with nothing more than a single minibus. At the same time, the public transport business industry is diverse and rich enough to accommodate very large companies with large fleets of minibuses. Whatever option you choose; there are some critical issues that you must take into consideration as you come up with your minibus business plan.
Formidable Competition To Contend With
In many parts of the world there are affordable and reliable public transportation systems. This can be in the form of trains, and buses, amongst others; typically run by government. This is serious competition for a minibus transport business. No wonder you need to conduct market research. You have to figure out your competition i.e. government-run and private public transportation providers.
Seeking To Find A Disruptor Element
You want to know the routes they cover, their fare structures, and the type of transportation they use. People tend to be loyal to certain public transporters. Your market research is to find gaps and loopholes you can leverage on to be more appealing. After all, minibuses are not typical in many parts of the world. Thus you really have to dig deep to understand the public transport dynamics of your target market. That brings to the fore the target market.
Figuring Which Target Market Is Ideal
You want to figure which markets are worth targeting and how. It could be plying a particular route daily. It might be for companies, schools, and the like i.e. daily transportation of staff or students. You could find underserved routes and cater for them. Another niche is hiring out your minibus for intracity or intercity trips. Being able to know how exactly you must package your value proposition requires in-depth market research. Minibuses are atypical so you cannot just assume, be empirical!
Even though your business will be transporting people on the road; you still need some sort of premises for your minibus transport business. You can lease an office in the beginning of your business and then purchase your own later on. The office will have to be furnished and you have to hire employees to manage the office work. The work of the office is vital to the rest of the business. You should not treat it like a separate entity which does not need to conform to the highest standards of customer care. Instead try to ensure that you have a seamless service provision that is uniformly impressive and excellent. You also need secure premises where your minibuses will be parked when not on the road. The minibus business plan should cater for funds to purchase or lease premises.
Vehicles and Equipment
You need to purchase minibus vehicles in order to start the public transport business. The minibus vehicles can be imported from other countries where they are cheap or you can buy them locally from your country. The number and type of minibuses required will depend on the amount of capital which you have and your target market. You will also have to make a decision on whether to buy brand new minibus vehicles or second hand vehicles. When starting the business with limited capital, it maybe better to purchase used minibus vehicles. The advantage of having new minibus vehicles is that you will have lower maintenance costs and better reliability on the road.
There are several factors to take into consideration when purchasing the minibus vehicles. Some of the factors include: purchase price, fuel consumption, transmission mode (automatic vs manual), passenger capacity, model, new minibus vs used minibus. If you have limited capital, you can always start your minibus public transport business with just one vehicle. Minibus public transportation business is very profitable and if you reinvest your profits, you will be able to purchase more minibuses.
Equipment required for the minibus business include garage equipment and repair tools. The minibus drivers should always travel with basic repair tools such that if they encounter minor problems along the way, they can always fix the vehicles. The minibus business plan should include the costs of purchasing the vehicles and equipment.
Minibus Servicing And Repairs
Aim Is To Be Always Reliable And Efficient
The success of being a public transportation provider heavily depends on your efficiency and reliability. People will prefer your minibuses if they operate efficiently. Breakdowns or poor vehicle performance will put off customers. After all, people already have so many other options they can turn to. That is why you cannot afford to have minibuses that are unreliable. You have to regularly service your minibus as prescribed.
Stick To A Regular Servicing Schedule
The servicing schedule might differ depending on the type of minibus. At times it can be premised on certain mileage milestones. A general rule is that services should not be spaced by more than 10 weeks. Thus in a year, your minibus must be serviced at least 5 times. Sticking to this servicing regiment keeps the minibus operating efficiently. It helps you detect early any issues requiring attention. The need for repairs is significantly reduced or even eliminated just by regular servicing.
Inevitability Of Repairs And The Need For Professional Hands
A minibus has several moving parts – electrical, electronic, mechanical, and so on. Faults can happen which necessitate repairs. When that happens it is prudent to involve qualified and skilled professionals. Maybe you do it in-house or you engage a repairs provider. Whichever the case is, you must ensure that repairs are done professionally; no shortcuts. Improperly done repairs lead to more complications and can shorten the lifespan of the minibus. Plus your minibus transport business will be severely compromised.
Minibus Public Transport Business Insurance and Licences
One of the critical requirements that can potentially have catastrophic consequences for the public as well as the business is insurance. It is advisable to have a comprehensive insurance plan for all the minibus vehicles. The costs of comprehensive insurance are more than offset by the potential losses if you were to have an accident. As a business; the minibus business may be liable for very significant punitive damages particularly if there is a loss of life. Without adequate insurance, the minibus public transport business could be bankrupted by compensation claims.
The minibus public transport industry is regulated and the specific licences depends with the country. First of all, your drivers must be properly licensed with up to date records including health checks and driver licences. Your local council will have a list of regulatory requirements which must be diligently followed lest you lose your license to operate the minibus business. The minibus public transportation business plan should include costs for the insurance and licenses.
Staff and Management
Operations staff is a necessity for the minibus public transport business. Operations staff are responsible for handling the operations of the public transport business. They include drivers, conductors, logistics personnel, mechanics and operations manager. You will need a minibus driver as the minimum starting employee for the minibus transport business.
Finance and accounting employees are also required. For a small minibus business, the duty can be handled by the owner of the business or a part time accountant. However as the minibus public transport business grows, there will be need for full time employees who will be responsible for the finance and accounting needs of the business. Their duties will include usual day to day transaction accounting for business, managing the cash flow of the minibus public transport business, and always ensuring the enough funds are available for the day to day needs of the minibus business.
Capital for Starting Minibus Public Transport Business
The amount of capital required for starting the minibus public transport business depends on the size of the business. It all depends on what you want to achieve and the resources that you have. When starting a minibus business, most of the capital goes to acquiring the minibus vehicles. You can get a loan from the bank, or funding from investors, to use as capital to start your minibus public transport business. If you plan to raise capital from investors and a loan from the bank, you need a good minibus public transport business plan. If you don’t have access to investors and bank loan, you can use your personal savings and start small, and grow your minibus business overtime. Minibus transport business is very profitable, so if you reinvest the profits you get, you can grow over time. Even if you are not planning to get a loan, you should still get a minibus project plan to guide you in starting and operating the business. It is essential for you to have a minibus transport business plan before you venture into the minibus business, so that you know all the costs involved and you make an informed decision.
Build a solid online presence via a business website and social media accounts. Have a framework that even allows people to book online, if applicable. While you are at it, join strategic online marketplaces or business listing platforms.
Branding your minibus is a sure way of grabbing people’s attention. Engage branding companies and have it colourfully and informatively branded. Find a strategic location for an office and brand it well too. Incorporate the use of banners and posters. Put signage at strategic locations so that brand awareness is spread out.
You can do ad placements through strategic platforms such as radio, print media, podcasts, online content, and the like. Consider email marketing by sending promotional material about your minibus transport business to prospects.
Market for the Minibus Transport Business
The market for minibus transport is very huge. Minibuses are an affordable means of transport which are used by many people. Minibuses are used as a form of transport for both short distance routes and long distance routes. Short distance routes include routes within the same city. On the other hand long distance routes maybe from one city to the other or cross boarder routes. Minibuses can also be used for private hire by companies, organisations, schools and individuals.
The minibus transport business is scalable through more trips or getting more minibuses. Expansion should be informed by your minibus transport business’ performance. You can notice that you are underserving the market i.e. demand is higher. There could be more untapped markets or routes. These are both opportunities for expansion. The best way to expand is by growing your fleet. Do not rush this though; roots down first, even if it is just one minibus. It is best to wait till your revenues are now substantial and consistently sustained. This will make it easier to purchase new minibuses either directly or by use of loans.
Keys To Profitability
In marketing your minibus transport business you must use niche marketing. Niche marketing refers to concerted marketing efforts specifically channelled towards a clearly-defined segment of prospects. Remember the transport industry is immensely broad. To maximize on marketing resources, time, and energy you need to speak to the right prospects. Niche marketing considers metrics such as price, income levels, quality, interests, and geographical dynamics, amongst others.
Invest In Your Staff To Differentiate You Minibus Business
One of the biggest turnoffs for customers is poor treatment from staff. This also extends to staff not being time-conscious and driving recklessly. Invest in regular staff training or up-skilling. Satisfactorily remunerate your staff so that they do their duties happily and professionally. This is pivotal in building customer loyalty and in turn, referrals. You can further cement this by offering competitive prices.
Public transportation is a lucrative but competitive market space. Downtime should be avoided by all means if your minibus transport business is to thrive. The long term goal should be to grow your fleet. If you have just one minibus, you will hit the ceiling at some point.
Pre-Written Minibus Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the minibus public transport business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive minibus transport business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the minibus transport business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the minibus public transport business, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global minibus public transport business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your minibus transport business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the minibus public transport business.
Uses of the Minibus Public Transport Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The minibus transport business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your minibus business
- As a minibus business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the minibus transport business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Minibus Transport Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The minibus business plan include, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Risk Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the minibus transport business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your minibus business
The Pre-written minibus public transport business plan package consist of 4 files
- Minibus Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 65 Pages)
- Minibus Transport Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 65 Pages)
- Minibus Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 40 pages)
- Minibus Transport Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of minibuses, number of trips per day etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Minibus Public Transport Business Plan (PDF)
Get the Minibus Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
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