In addition to food, clothing and shelter, transportation is one of the most important needs of man. People have to move from place to place every day to meet their other basic needs.
Therefore, starting your own transportation business or company is a good business which can generate good income for you and even make you an employer of labour.
You may have thought about going into transportation business or owning your own transport company. You may admire transport companies like God is Good Motors, ABC Transports, etc and don’t know how to go about starting your own transportation company.
This is the reason for this article. This article is intended to provide you with the basic information your need to start-up your own transportation company in Nigeria.
Tips to start your own transport company
In starting your own land transportation company, here are some useful tips :
1. Do your feasibility studies:
You should have an idea about the fuel cost, appropriate distance a quantity of fuel purchased will cover, expected cost of weekly maintenance of the vehicle, your planned routes you will want to cover if you are running within the city or the states.Which ever means of transportation you choose, you have to decide if you will want to convey goods and services or you want to convey commuters with it.
2. Identify pitfalls and develop a mitigation plan: Sit down and find out what will make your business to crumble and avoid it at all cost. Watch out for reckless drivers ; don’t employ them, ensure proper and timely vehicle maintenance and ensure good passengers relations. You also need to invest in durable brands of vehicles as frequent vehicle breakdowns and too much repair costs can impact negatively on your business and could drain the profits away.
3. Ensure proper drivers supervision: If you are going to employ drivers, you need to find out the best strategies for managing your drivers so as to avoid being cheated and to ensure longer life for your vehicles. Be ready to give it your time and best efforts so that it can grow faster. Many people in this business prefer the “hire purchase method” of drivers compensation as it helps to ensure that your vehicle is well taken care of by the drivers and keeps the drivers highly motivated.
If you do not have the time or experience to supervise your drivers, then you should employ an experienced transportation manager who would do the work for you and report directly to you.
4. Buy your vehicle: An average Toyota corolla car is good for a transport business, because it is cost-effective and fuel-efficient. Also, the parts are very affordable, in case of repairs, Toyota corolla car cost approximately 1.3million Naira for a Nigerian used one when you get a good deal, and the directly imported one cost about 2.5million naira or less depending on the dealer.
You can get a 14/18 seater Toyota Hiace bus. Depending on the date of manufacture, Mileage, inbuilt features and condition of the vehicle, you can get a good one from 3.5million Naira.
If you don’t have the needed funds for a car or bus, you can also consider getting a tricycle which cost below 1 million naira for a brand new one.
A motor cycle as at the time of this writing costs about 300k naira.
5. Register your vehicle with the appropriate regulatory bodies: If you are starting off in a standard way and with a business location of your own you should register your company name with the corporate affairs commission, CAC. You also need to register your transport business with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW for commercial buses and ensure to always pay your dues.
You can also register your car with the companies like uber, taxify, if you want to be among their drivers and if you don’t intend to have your own company etc.
6. Start small: Transportation business is a capital-intensive business and I will advise you to start small. Starting small will help you cut down risks and gain the needed experience before expanding the business. Plan your business, put strategies in place on how you want to run the business. If you don’t have a plan for your business you may not succeed.
Four ways to go about transportation business
1. You can buy a vehicle and chose to drive the vehicle yourself commercially as your own full-time or part-time business.
2. Another option is to open a transportation company, buy vehicles and employ drivers would drive commercially for you for a salary or you pay them according to the mileage they cover.
3.You can buy vehicles and offer rental services. This is one aspect of transport business that is not fully explored in Nigeria. Many people would rather rent luxury cars and use them for their weekend occasions than buy the cars. If you buy luxury cars and offer them for rentals, you should succeed in the business in Nigeria, as many Nigerians love to show off.
4. You can buy a vehicle and give out the vehicle for hire purchase to a driver. The driver would pay you daily, weekly or monthly an agreed sum of money until he pays up a total agreed cumulative amount. Once the cumulative amount is completed, the vehicle will belong to the driver. This method is usually preferred by many people as it ensures that the driver takes good care of the vehicle and it motivates the driver to put in his best into the business since he knows that after completing the total agreed cumulative sum, the vehicle would be his.
Knowledge without action won’t do you any good. If you plan to get into the transport business and you have the needed funds to start, what are you waiting for?
Start now. You can start small and expand with time. If you plan well and put in the needed effort, in no distance time, you could be among the owners of the best transport companies in Nigeria. Who knows?
About The Writer: This article was written by Salome Precious ( with inputs from Gospel Emeka ). She is senior content developer at myafribusiness.com. She is an accountant by training and a business enthusiast by passion.
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