Connect with us

Types of Businesses to Start

Types Of Transport Business Opportunities

Nicole Crampton

Published

on

86-types-of-transport-business-opportunities

Here are some specific business ideas in the transport sector that might suit your capital, skill set and pursuits. Once you’ve figured out what type of business you would like to start the next step is figuring out how to get going.

Our comprehensive guide to starting a transport and logistics business provides you with everything you need to know.

1Transport and logistics opportunities

The aim of this type of business is to deliver other business’ products, affordably and quickly. In this category you can specialise in the import and export of goods from inside and outside South Africa along with deliveries to and from other African or international countries.

If you want to successfully run a transport and logistic business you’ll eventually need a link to freight transport. This will make your business start-up an expensive investment, but a transport and logistics business can be lucrative if you have organisational and management, skills along with the right expertise.

Start out small and be reliable, there is a low barrier of entry for this business so you will have to set yourself apart from your competition. You also don’t want to invest large amounts and find that the market was wrong or you need to pivot your idea. If you’re going to start big, be sure to plan and research your business idea before you start buying expensive vehicles.

2A courier business

courier-business

You can effectively start-up a courier business overnight. All you need is reliable transportation and enough time to make it worth your while. You can pick up and deliver small packages every day, until you’re able to grow your fleet of vehicles. You can start out with any vehicle you like, your personal car, a van or even an SUV.

You’ll have to grow your customer base; to achieve this you’ll need to perform consistently and offer a reliable service. Remember there are a lot of entrepreneurs in this industry; good service can really help you stand out.

When starting out you’ll have to go above and beyond for your customers. Clients value the extra effort and will continue to use your company as long as they feel appreciated. Try to offer added convenient services along with your courier business. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to convenience your customers and make more money.

If you’re a little wary of starting out on your own and want to gain first-hand experience then consider a courier franchising opportunity.

3Specialised transportation

If you’re looking to corner a niche market then perhaps specialised transportation is what you’re looking for. This can include abnormal load trucks, in other words trucks that carry or transport abnormal or larger loads.

It can also include medical vehicles such as ambulances, helicopters and air ambulance. This is an expensive but worthwhile endeavour.

Read more about a specialised transport business here.

4Owning public transport

The public transport sector has had many disruptors over the past few years. There are many in this country whose sole means of transportation is public transport. You can offer an alternative and service their daily even hourly needs. Along with more competition there are many alternatives that have started to gain popularity recently.

Uber

Uber offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to start a public transport business with the benefit of accessing already established systems and processes. You can purchase a vehicle and hire a qualified driver to handle the run around. The advantage of Uber is that it allows you to piggyback off a reputable name to start your business and the marketing is done for you.

The only drawback to this type of business would be that you’ll have to share a portion of the profits with Uber. They expect 20% from each driver for the use of their app, for the convenience of having the customers come to you, and being able to use their respected and reliable name.

Minibus taxi

Minibus Taxis have been the main source of transportation for the majority of South Africans for many years. Millions of South Africans use the Minibus Taxis every day, several times a day. Owning just one will eventually give you return on investment and allow you to start making profit.

The only drawback to this type of business is you only earn while you work, until you can grow your fleet of buses and drivers. Your vehicle will also need to be continually maintained and go for regular road safety checks.

Bus transportation

Public transport is how many people travel in South Africa. Investing in a bus or a fleet of busses can help you to create a long term, profitable business. There will always be demand for reliable quality public transport, as many South Africans can’t afford private vehicles.

A bus business will cost more to start, but will have a faster return on investment. You’ll most likely have to seek funding or an investment partner to get your business started, but since a bus can hold a larger amount of people, your income will be substantial.

The driver of your bus, whether it’s you or someone else, needs to have a bus driving licence to legally operate a bus. Be sure you’re compliant with all the law regarding public transportation and your bus is constantly maintained and check for roadworthiness.

Take a look to get a better understanding of how to set up a passenger transport business.

What is the next step?

truck-driver

1. Write a business plan

Use a business plan to help you organise your ideas before you launch your company. It can be used as a guide to help you remain focused on your vision and goals. Business plans can be flexible, to help you to course correct or help you to pivot if you want to change your businesses direction or offering.

Here’s an example of a transportation business plan. It will help you to plan, organise and prioritise your own transportation business plan.

2. Adopt the lean method

The lean method involves experimentation, customer feedback and interactive design. Its focus is on receiving constant feedback from your target market instead of trying to stay under your competitors’ radar. This approach allows you to design and develop a business on the foundation of what your customers are looking for.

3. Insure your transport business

Fuel price fluctuations can cause you to end up paying for severe costs you weren’t prepared for. As an insurance measure you should be sure to link your fuel costs to inflation or on escalation when signing a contract.

Related: How Uber Grew To A Billion Dollar Business (And How You Can Ride On Its Coattails)

This will help you control your costs even after time has passed. The end user or your client will end up cover the cost of the increase in fuel should it increase during your contract. If you don’t have an escalation clause in your contract you’ll need to ensure your business can carry the costs and risks associated with an increase in fuel price.

It’s important for your drivers to be sufficiently trained along with receiving constant and up-to-date driver education and awareness training.

Nicole Crampton is an online writer for Entrepreneur Magazine. She has studied a BA Journalism at Monash South Africa. Nicole has also completed several courses in writing and online marketing.

Advertisement
Comments

Company Posts

Ideas To Start Your Own Business In Signage And Printing

The event is taking place from 13-15 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.

Published

on

sign-africa-expo

According to Lynette Nicholson, Research Manager at Old Mutual, ‘a growing number of people in working metropolitan households – particularly in the middle to upper income brackets – are finding ways to supplement their incomes by having more than one job’. This is based on research findings of the 2017 Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor.

The signage and printing industry offers opportunities for small start-ups or those looking to grow their businesses with minimal investment. These opportunities will be showcased at the upcoming Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo, which is co-located with Africa Print and Africa LED.

The event is taking place from 13-15 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.

Entry level screen printing solutions

Screen printing on T-shirts and other promotional items is a simple and cost-effective business solution. It is also a way to open opportunities in new market segments. Applications include overalls, shopping bags, promotional, corporate and safety wear, wood, vinyl, paper, plastics, metals, flat substrates like clipboards, binders, notebooks, mouse pads, coasters, business cards, stickers and corrugated signs or posters.

Related: 3 Tips For Starting A Company In An Unfamiliar Industry

‘A minimal investment of R10,000 or less can get you started with a one colour table top unit. This comes with a screen a squeegee and inks as well as cleaning materials, photo-emulsion and cleaning chemicals. A heat press can be used to cure the inks. These vary in price, starting at R4,500 for a 380x380mm unit,’ said Dov Meyers, Sales Director at Chemosol.

‘For all newcomers into the printing world this is where you need to start because there are endless possibilities when it comes to screen printing,’ he added.

Depending on the size of your equipment, you can set up in a small space such as a room in a house or garage. Hall one at the FESPA Africa and Sign Africa expo is dedicated to textile printing, with exhibitors showcasing inks, screen printing equipment, garment decorating equipment, heat presses, cap presses, digital printers, consumables and more.

Mugs and promotional gifts

The heat presses, sublimation printers, crystal and glass decorating systems, inks consumables, sandblasting systems and equipment that will be exhibited at the event will enable visitors to enter into the Signage and Novelty and Corporate gifting market.

Sublimation systems allow you to print on T-Shirts, caps, ceramic plates and tiles, mugs, mouse pads, paper memo cubes, jigsaw puzzles, lettering, kit bags, jeans, takkies, belts, sweatbands, plaques, mirrors, coated metals and other miscellaneous fabrics and material.

Vehicle Wrapping

Vehicle wrapping is a popular medium to ‘drive’ brand awareness, and with the great volume of cars on the road and high congestion rates, it can be a very effective marketing tool for commercial vehicles.

Vehicle wrapping’s return on investment is high. Richard Wood, National Retail Solution Manager at transit media specialist Graffiti, said that the main reason for the high demand for vehicle branding is how cost effective vehicle advertising can be for brands.

‘The channel means that a business can use its assets as mobile billboards, which eliminates the monthly media fees associated with other out-of-home platforms.’

Related: 9 Answers You Need About Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business

Various companies will be doing vehicle wrapping demonstrations on their stands, showing off the capabilities of vinyl.

Of course, these business opportunities require training and some research. Luckily industry experts will be available at the Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo to answer visitors’ questions. For more information about the event, and to register online, please visit: www.signafricaexpo.com/entrepreneur

Continue Reading

Types of Businesses to Start

How To Be A Social Entrepreneur

If you’re ready to launch a business, but want to make a real social impact too, the social entrepreneurship model might be right for you. Here’s how to get started.

Published

on

130-how-to-be-a-social-entrepreneur

A social enterprise is an organisation that serves a social and/or environmental purpose, generates income from business activities and reinvests its profits back into driving its mission.

Examples include African Schools of Excellence (provide world-class schools to poor communities at a low cost); Hands of Honour (upcycles waste and provide employment for former drug addicts and ex-convicts); and my own social enterprise, Nkazimulo Applied Sciences (helps young people become scientists regardless of their background).

Some people say most of the profits should be reinvested into the mission, but others say a worker is worth their wages. 

Doing business differently

Social entrepreneurship is a different way of doing business. Previously, few people cared about whether a company did good or not. Today, food outlets that serve healthy eating options are growing their market share because consumers now care about their health.

Related: Eva Longoria And Social Entrepreneurship

Farming responsibly opens the growing market that cares about the environment. More people care about the quality of education South African children have access to and support the efforts in this area. This is where social entrepreneurs can make a real, sustainable difference.

The entity can take any legal form, from a non-profit organisation, to a private company, a trust, or adopt a hybrid structure. Each has its pros and cons. Social enterprises take attributes from commercial entities.

They generate income from business activities. They also take attributes from non-profit organisations and government departments by tackling challenges previously addressed by these organisations, such as poverty, inequality, poor education and unemployment.

They run more efficiently, and are more accountable and transparent than public sector organisations. They are less dependent on external funding than non-profit organisations and charities. Worldwide, there is not enough grant funding for all the non-profit organisations looking for it.

Sustainable social models

An important element of successful social entrepreneurship is social impact monitoring and evaluation. The enterprise must constantly improve on delivering its mission and communicating the results of the impact to all its stakeholders.

Measuring impact may seem difficult. How can you tell a child became a doctor because they had access to lab facilities they previously had no access to? Maybe they were influenced by another factor. There are several tools to help a social enterprise focus its activities on outputs that will lead to the intended outcome which can then be measured.

These outputs become inputs that form a series of outcomes that, together, achieve the intended overall impact and become indicators the enterprise measures. Instead of measuring the number of learners who become doctors, the measure is the number of learners with access to lab facilities where none existed before. This is better than looking at the number of lab facilities provided, which is an input.

See the bigger picture, collaborate and achieve collective impact

These tools are called Logic Models. Demonstration of impact communicates why an enterprise should be supported by stakeholders. The use of Logic Models envisions the bigger picture and identifies other players to collaborate with to achieve collective impact.

Thompson Reuters Foundation reported that South Africa comes third in Africa after Egypt and Nigeria as the best place to be a social entrepreneur. This is very encouraging and is much needed in not only boosting the economy but addressing social and environmental issues.

Related: Busi Skenjana’s Two Core Rules Of Entrepreneurship

IN ACTION: Using a logic model to prove your impact

logic-model

A logic model is a visual representation of how day to day activities of an organisation relate to their overall mission or long-term goal. The model is key in deciding what to measure for impact evaluation.

It has six components:

  1. The current situation: The problem being solved.
  2. Inputs: Resources used to address the problem.
  3. Outputs: Activities and services delivered by the enterprise.
  4. What outcomes will come about because of the inputs?
  5. External factors, or circumstances in the environment that influence the problem but which the enterprise has no control over.
  6. Assumptions that are conditions needed for the success of the programme.

logic-model

Getting started

Involve all stakeholders in drawing up a logic model. The different perspectives help draw a complete picture. Impact measurement indicators are then based on these inputs and outcomes.

Adding value

Logic models link inputs, outputs and outcomes and ensure that the correct indicators are monitored and measured as an enterprise achieves its mission.

Continue Reading

Types of Businesses to Start

Selling Online: Be On The Right Side Of The Law With Your Ecommerce Start-Up

With ecommerce in South Africa growing at an exceptional pace, and the expected triple figure percentage surge of mobile spend predicted for 2018, it is more important than ever to ensure your online terms are in order.

Published

on

online-shopping

E-commerce is at an all-time high across the globe. Selling products online is no longer only reserved for large retailers. With a variety of ecommerce platforms available, it’s never been easier for start-ups and small businesses to enter this competitive sector.

That said, many entrepreneurs are unaware of how important it is to have the necessary terms and conditions visible throughout their online store.

With ecommerce in South Africa growing at an exceptional pace, and the expected triple figure percentage surge of mobile spend predicted for 2018, it is more important than ever to ensure your online terms are in order.

What are online terms and conditions?

Online terms and conditions set out your agreement with your customers and users. They can range from simple, standard terms for ‘browse only’ websites, to complex e-commerce arrangements regulating the relationship between the buyers and sellers.

Online terms should essentially set out the rules that you and your users will follow and the terms when a purchase or transaction is being made. It should limit your liability if your product or service fails, explain each parties’ rights and cover what to do if any conflict arises.

Related: 5 Ecommerce Myths That Are Sabotaging People’s Businesses

The terms which should not be neglected are browser terms, privacy terms and commercial/ transactional terms. Each one of these deal with specific aspects of your app or website’s use. It includes, for example, limitation of liability, intellectual property rights, the collection of personal information, payment methods, dispute resolution and each parties’ rights.

Here’s a quick guide to each of these and why they are important:

Browser terms:

Browser terms apply to anyone “surfing” your website before you have a customer relationship with them, i.e. before the “browser” decides to make a purchase. It protects your business by setting out rules for the use of the website and making it clear that you have no responsibilities to the user.

The most important things to cover:

  • users to acknowledge that you don’t owe them any responsibilities
  • users are to respect your website and intellectual property
  • users don’t yet have any rights to any of your services or products
  • you own all intellectual property
  • website content is copyright protected and that the user only has a right to view it on your website.

In summary, the browser terms set out the “dos” and “don’ts” in relation to using your website and exist to limit your potential liability to users.

Related: 5 Basics To Success When Starting An Ecommerce Business

Commercial/ transactional terms:

Commercial or transactional terms are by far the most important terms to have in place. It serves as the contract between you and the user, once they become a customer, i.e. make an online purchase or an order for services through your app or website. It is the binding contract upon which your start-up earns revenue from selling products or delivering services.

Revenue is the lifeblood of a business, so you should give careful attention to the commercial terms to ensure that the essential features, including those that are unique to your product or service, are commercially accurate.

The important aspects that these terms should include are:

  • a general explanation of the service or product being offered through the app or website
  • payment methods, fees and any associated costs i.e. delivery fees
  • user/ customer account or profile requirements
  • duration and renewal terms
  • the applicability of promotional codes and vouchers
  • any unique sale terms that would apply to the products or services
  • the terms applicable to returns
  • limitation of liability provisions
  • any warranties made by the parties
  • any other disclosures that are required to be made in terms of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002.

Privacy terms:

The goal of privacy terms is to create your right to collect and use certain information about the users for specific purposes.

Personal information is often collected through cookies as well as when browsers become commercial or transactional users of your website or app. Users do so by creating an account or by integrating their social media accounts with the website or app. You need to explain the rights of the users regarding the information being collected, how it will be stored and the purposes for which it will be used.

The Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (“POPI”) sets conditions for the lawful processing of personal information and privacy terms assist you to comply with the legal requirements.

Privacy terms usually include the following important aspects:

  • the use of cookies to collect certain information
  • the purposes for the processing of the personal information
  • the sharing of personal information by the website owner with certain select third parties
  • the storage of personal information, including the security measures taken and whether cross-border storage will occur and
  • the user’s rights in relation to his/ her personal information and the recourse that he/ she has.

Related: 4 Methods For Building A Successful Ecommerce Brand

In closing, online terms are there to protect you and your business. Although it doesn’t mean you won’t ever be sued, it will ensure that you are prepared and protected against unlimited damages. Furthermore, make it your priority to be proactive and mitigate any claims that may arise against you.

So, if you don’t have online terms on your website or app, make sure you are compliant and put them online as a matter of urgency. If they are in place, review them regularly and make sure you’re covered on all fronts.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement

Trending

FREE E-BOOK: How to Build an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Sign up now for Entrepreneur's Daily Newsletters to Download​​