Carsharing businesses have been popping up left, right and center over the last few years as more and more entrepreneurs cater to the increasing consumer demand for this kind of service. If you’re keen to follow their lead and enter this booming market, it’s vital that you do so carefully and in a smart way.
Although the trend is there and doesn’t seem likely to slow down soon, you still need to make sure you set your business up in a way that makes success more likely. Read on for some tips you can follow today to help you start a carsharing business that achieves your goals.
Learn About Your Competition
One of the most important things you need to do up front is learn about your competition. Find out about all the other businesses operating in your market and what they offer. Remember: This isn’t likely to be only local competitors as there will probably be national or even international carsharing companies to go up against.
Conduct research to discover key details such as the different services or features each business provides; the prices they charge; where they operate; if there is a certain type of customer they’re targeting and who these clients are; what their customer service is like; how their advertise their services; and so on.
Have a Unique Selling Proposition
The next step to ensure your carsharing business has a good chance of success is to develop a unique selling proposition. That is, make sure your business has some kind of point of difference that helps it to stand out in the market. Use the research you’ve completed about your competitors to help you work this out. By knowing what others are doing, you can be sure you provide something unique.
Brands can stand out in a market for any number of reasons. For instance, you could have a unique selling proposition that revolves around the locations where you operate; the prices you charge; the types of vehicles you make available to clients; the level of customer service you provide; additional features you offer for each transaction; and so on.
When developing a point of difference, make sure you understand your target customers and what it is they want to get form a carsharing business. There’s no point in coming up with a unique selling proposition that doesn’t attract bookings because it’s meaningless to the demographic you’re pursuing. Be clear about the kinds of problems you will solve for your customersas well as the benefits you’ll provide them.
Put a Detailed Plan in Place
Before you launch a business it’s wise to complete a detailed business plan. It might take a significant amount of time, and you might think you don’t need to worry about doing it, but by concentrating on putting a well-thought-out plan in place, you’ll ensure you have considered every aspect of your business. Business plans also help entrepreneurs stay on track over time, always working to achieve new goals and not getting distracted by new (yet unhelpful) opportunities.
The most effective plans are those which cover many different areas of business operations. For instance, your plan should list out exactly which services you will provide and to whom; the prices you’ll charge and what your profit margins will be; how you will market to potential customers; likely sales forecasts; details of any investors or business partners who may be involved in the venture; and the different responsibilities each person will be in charge of, if relevant. Include information about legal and insurance matters you need to take care of, too.
Get the Tech Right
Lastly, since carsharing firms rely so heavily on having good technology to process bookings and handle other elements of business, you should spend the necessary time to find the right tech for you. To be successful, your booking platform needs to be easy for customers to use and accurate, too.
You don’t want people to have to be on-site to hand over car keys, so some sort of keyless car technology (such as a pass code on a vehicle or a lock box in the vicinity of it) will be needed to cover this element. You’ll also need tech to handle things like GPS tracking and maintenance scheduling.
It pays to choose software platforms that have been created for carsharing firms. By doing this, you’ll know the tech will be able to handle the kinds of functions you need it to. Also, when choosing a system, look for something that can be scaled over time, so it can grow with your business, and choose something that’s customizable, too.