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Auto & Transportation

Auto Towing

Bring in more profits with an auto towing company.

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Business At A Glance

Auto Towing

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

In many areas of North America, obtaining a license to start or operatean automotive towing business can be a frustrating task sinceauto-towing licenses are heavily regulated. Some operators of towingcompanies forego the license entirely and don’t provide towing servicesto the general public; instead they only subcontract their services onan exclusive basis to car dealers and property managers.

However, thiscan still be a risky venture given that it may be difficult to secureproper liability insurance for this type of towing operation. Thealternative to waiting to be awarded a towing license is to purchaseone from an existing towing operator or company. Purchasing a towinglicense and tow truck in an urban area can cost you as much as $200,000with no towing accounts in place. Overall, starting an automotivetowing business can be a terrific and profitable business venture,providing a license can be obtained or purchased at a reasonable price.

The Market

Your primary customers will be people who are stuck in emergencyvehicle situations, or businesses seeking to tow illegally parkedvehicles. A strong marketing program–via advertising and word ofmouth–will help potential customers remember your business in a jam. Acatchy name and easy phone number will greatly help your business.

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Auto & Transportation

Courier Service Business Opportunity

Help get things from one place to another with a courier service.

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Business At A Glance

  • Business: Courier Service
  • Online Business? No
  • Basic Needs:
    • Transport vehicle
    • Stock room
    • Logbook
    • Website.

Business Overview

Start a courier service specialising in envelopes, small packages or large shipments, or combine all package types and sizes to maximise profit potential.

The least expensive way to get started in the courier industry is to subcontract your services to an established courier company, meaning that you supply the transportation and yourself to pickup and deliver parcels. But this option also leaves you with the lowest profit potential and ability to grow the business.

Related: The Courier Guy: Steven Gleisner

A better option is to start your own courier service outright, and hire other owner/operators on a revenue-sharing basis to make deliveries, while you concentrate on marketing, managing and building the business.

In addition to suitable transportation, depending on the types of parcels you will be delivering, you will also need to invest in a courier’s license, a two-way radio system and moving dollies.

Every municipality has its own regulations for issuing courier’s licenses to both drivers and courier companies, so you’ll need to take a trip to city hall or a transportation office to make inquiries about obtaining a license. Courier rates vary by size, weight and parcel destination.

Competition in the courier industry is stiff,but providing great customer service and reliability will go a long way toward ensuring long-term success.

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Auto & Transportation

Self Service Car Wash Business Opportunity

Set up a spot where clients can wash their own cars and watch the profits flow in.

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Business At A Glance

  • Business: Self Service Car Wash
  • Start-up Costs: Medium
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? No

Business Overview

When most people think of a car wash, they tend to think of an exterior-conveyor wash. There are other types of washes, though,including self-service car washes. Most self-service car washes are coin-operated brush-and-hose combinations that the driver uses to dispense soap, wash the card and rinse it off.

The Market

The self-service car wash patron is typically a renter. Since they don’t own a home and may have little space to wash a car where they live, a professional facility is a necessity.

They’re also a bit more cost-conscious than those who frequent full-service or exterior-conveyor washes, and tend to have slightly lower incomes.
Men tend to use self-serves more than women, according to industry research.

Needed Equipment

You need the wash unit, vacuums and water systems for your car wash.

Related: Car Wash Business Plan

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Auto & Transportation

Trucking

If you like the wide open spaces, this might be the right business drive for you.

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Business At A Glance

Trucking

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

There are a few approaches that can be takenin terms of starting a trucking business. The first approach is tostart a trucking business, secure transportation accounts, and hiresubcontract drivers with their own trucks and equipment to service thetransportation accounts. The second approach is to purchase or lease atruck and work as an independent trucker, servicing your own accountsor subcontracting for a transportation firm.

Both approaches tostarting a business within the trucking industry have their pros andcons. However, be forewarned: the trucking industry as a whole isextremely competitive, and the rising cost of fuel, maintenance, andinsurance has resulted in drivers having to work extremely long hoursto generate any profit beyond a working wage. Profit potentialincluding income, $50,000+ per year.

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