The COVID pandemic has hit the private taxi hire business hard increasing the need to stay ahead of the competition in a tough market. We look at the best methods to boost your personal profile, from setting up your own taxi website to local marketing and bespoke chauffeuring services.
As experts in private hire taxi insurance, we are constantly on the lookout to see how insurance products best match the needs of those setting up in this sector or those already trading in separate areas such as chauffeuring and special events. The private hire taxi market can be a minefield for the uninitiated, so here’s a few tips to get your taxi business ahead of the rest plus some local initiatives which may help.
Taxis are an important part of the UK’s economy and as vaccinations are rolled out across the country and lockdown is eventually lifted, especially in the hospitality sectors, taxis will once again play a major role in our day to day lives.
So, if you are already in the private hire sector or thinking of boosting your own taxi business now is a great time to start planning.
Do Your Research
Before your even start, you should think carefully about where and how you intend to boost your private hire business. Conducting research in your area lets you find out if there’s a gap in the market for a new (or different) taxi service. This could be an under-served area of town, or a niche that has yet to be exploited by other taxi companies such as a rural service, female-only drivers, student minivans or specially adapted vehicles suitable for wheelchair access.
It’s worth looking at your local internet community groups such as Facebook and Twitter to see reviews of local taxi businesses and complaints customers have written. From that you can work out how you could improve on the service they are offering. According to the UK government research in 2018, the average satisfaction rate for taxi passengers was 68 percent. However, rural areas experienced the lowest overall satisfaction, at 64 percent.
Use your local knowledge to look at other business opportunities. It might be a regional community group, social club or places that aren’t well-served by public transport or taxis. Similarly, big, out-of-town pubs and clubs could also offer the potential for plenty of customers. It’s time to think outside of the box as the country slowly returns to normal.
Taking Your Business Online
Like all other service industries, the private hire taxi sector is not immune to going digital. Building your own private hire taxi website offers you loads of opportunities like showcasing your personality, the multitude of local services you offer (such as courier or chauffeuring), as well as news and customer recommendations. A decent website shows people just what makes your service different from the others.
If you’re unsure of what to do for a taxi website design, there are plenty of cheap web hosting services that can help you get started, or you could pay a website designer to do the work for you. Remember though, that If you want to take bookings online, you’ll need a website that supports ecommerce.
Having a good online presence will help local customers find your taxi website, as will making yourself active on local social media pages. Investing in search engine optimisation (SEO) from the start to ensure you rank highly for taxi searches in your local area will also give you a boost. If you’re new to SEO, you could hire someone to optimise your website.
Websites and good SEO needn’t be expensive. Ask around among friends and contacts or scan the local free ads section. Often students offer website design services to boost their income and you’ll be guaranteed a personalised service.
Don’t forget that if you are looking at expanding areas of your private hire taxi business into bespoke chauffeuring or as a courier, you may need additional chauffeuring insurance or courier insurance coverage. It’s always worth a quick call to your insurance company who can advise you on the best solutions for your expanded business.