If you hope to be successful at starting a taxi company, you need to know how to market and promote a taxi business. There are a number of different things to think about regarding taxi business marketing. The key to starting the business and getting it off the ground is to be creative and to do something to stand out from the rest of the competition.
Starting Your Taxi Business
The first key essential when learning how to market and promote a taxi business is to make sure you are in compliance with all laws for licensing of taxis in the location where you live. This may not seem like it has a lot to do with marketing, but it does. Customers are going to be very wary of unlicensed taxis because of the risk involved in getting in cars with strangers. Find out the rules where you live for becoming licensed, obtain that license and make sure to prominently display the license or certification in the back of your cab to put customers at ease.
Think About Your Location
The next major factor in deciding how to market and promote a taxi business is to think about where you are located. The environment and practices of your locale are going to make a huge difference in how you market your business. For example, if you live in large urban areas like New York City where taxis are common, there may be a minimal amount of marketing necessary- just driving up and down the busy streets where taxis are always needed could be enough to get you more business than you can handle. However, if you live in a small town where almost everyone has cars, coming up with a good marketing and promotions scheme is going to be essential if you want your company to be a success.
How to Market and Promote a Taxi Business
Depending on where you live, and especially if you live in a smaller town where cars are the norm, the key to marketing your business is going to be to think about how, when and where people use taxis. Once you think about your most likely customer base, you can consider marketing efforts directed at attracting that base. For example:
- One of the most common times when people need a taxi is after they have been drinking. Talk to local bar owners and see if you can make a deal with them to be "on-call" for customers who have too much to drink. Give the bar owners your card and perhaps offer a special promotion to customers or a commission to the bar owner if they will call you first when someone needs a taxi trip home (before you do this, make sure this is permitted based on the rules for taxis and taxi drivers where you live)
- People also need taxis at hotels and airports. Find out if you can just drive your taxi to these locations and join the line of waiting taxis or if there are special requirements. Sometimes, airports especially will have specific "airport taxi services," but this is not always the case
- Be creative when thinking about people who might use taxis; for example, those at a senior citizens home who are no longer able to drive might need a taxi too. While some of these people may need special handicapped transportation, others are mobile enough to use a regular taxi but just can't drive anymore for various reasons. Talk to local senior homes in your area and see if they have a relationship with a taxi service or want to form one.
Getting Your Name Out
Once you have a good idea of the demographic of the business you want to target, you'll need to get your name out there. Consider making up business cards or magnets you can give out so people will have your number handy and at the ready when it comes time to call a taxi. If you create relationships with repeat customers and with people who call taxis often (like bar owners or hotel managers) and maintain those relationships, you'll likely find yourself with a steady stream of business.