Student Van Shuttle Service Business
You might be asking about the earning potential of a student van shuttle service business. With all those campus-based shuttles for free or at minimum fees, how could a business compete effectively and profitably? But there is income in this venture, and there is room for expansion.
This article specifically teaches you the essential points about how to start your very own student van shuttle service business.
In-campus shuttles servicing students, faculty, visitors, and to some extent, parents/guardians are your main competitors. But the services these campus-based shuttles provide are limited. As a new entrant to the student van shuttle service business, tap the unserved sector of the market and provide differentiated services. So how do you offer differentiated services? Go beyond the usual home-school-home route and include other off-campus/home destinations. Offer special services like emergency pick-up, door-to-door, and weekend/summer outings. Provide a diverse pricing schedule – hourly, daily, weekly, monthly packages, pay per mileage, or a combination. Be open for negotiations. Fees for daily services could start at $5 (one-way) and $10 (two-way) which increase by $1 for every 2 miles. Weekly rates could start at $25 (one-way) and $45 (two-way) which increase by $5 for every 2 miles. Have customers sign up for membership (at least $25 non-refundable) inclusive of insurance and special benefits. Give discounts to customers who pay ahead and those families who enroll their other kids for the shuttle.
Safe transport is the core of your student van shuttle service business. Choose vehicles with excellent performance and with considerably low maintenance. Used vans are priced from $600, but the best ones cost at least $7,000. The number of vehicles you run depends on the size of the market you serve. If you have space at home for parking and home-office then it is even better. Otherwise, hunt for a location somewhere at the heart of your serviced area. Hire competent and friendly drivers. Serve areas within close proximity to the campus/campuses. Collect extra fees for rides off established routes. Establish good rapport, alliances or mutual agreements with campus management. Partnerships with gas stations and auto shops are also valuable. If you patronize them, you might get discounts/privileges in return. Don't forget to obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and pay your taxes and fees. Obedience to the law enhances your dependability level. License/permit fees vary in every state or city -- at least $100 for each van, and at least another $100 for related permits, insurances, etc.
Promoting your business is simple. Newspaper ads, flyers, posters are worthwhile. Offer week-long trial transportation at a discount or for free. Allow free membership for the first 10 or 20 customers. Start-up cost for a 3-vehicle student van service business operated home-based is roughly $60,000. This includes vehicle acquisition, insurances, licenses, permits, business registration, office remodeling/furnishing, driver/personnel screening, and initial business operating costs.
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