Uber and Lyft aren’t the only ridesharing services in the game. Smaller companies with a local focus are making a name for themselves as well. Anywhere there’s a taxi presence could be a potential ridesharing spot and plenty of places still lack an Uber or Lyft presence (college towns, for instance.)
If you’re planning to enter the rideshare market as a driver or a new company it pays to look at what’s going on. Some cities are fighting to have stricter requirements for drivers or trying to ban them from airports and other “taxi territory”.
How to Start a Ridesharing Business?
Have an Angle
Seeing the complaints of local, potential customers and government officials in the news can show you exactly what kind of service might thrive in your target area. Uber and other big names aren’t going after any particular groups and won’t take the time to cater to their needs anytime soon.
For example, if you look at the Uber driver requirements, you might realize that they’re a little lax. For general purpose rides that might be okay- but what about giving rides to a more vulnerable section of the general populace, like kids. Parents use or would like to use a rideshare service. That’s the idea behind HopSkipDrive– rides for kids with qualified professionals to sports, lessons, and even school.
Is there a particular population in your area that you could cater to? Specialized groups like senior citizens or veterans that you might be able to affiliate your company with? Nearly everyone will have to start small, having a built-in group of dedicated users is worth more than nearly anything to a new business.
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Who Are Your Ideal Customers?
Modern rideshare apps and services start out with a perfect customer- for Wingz it’s someone that wants to get to the airport. For SafeHer it’s smart, safe female drivers. Gett favors the corporate type and Via attracts those that are after a predictable flat rate.
A customer avatar can shape the whole look and feel of a service- those that get it right survive. Those that try too hard to please everyone falls by the wayside (excepting the well-funded giants like Uber and Lyft.)
Check Your Location
With the major players dominating many big cities, there are plenty of smaller services filling in the gaps. Lots of college towns are Uber-less, large cities like Austin, Texas have standards that Uber doesn’t pass, and many cities previously dominated by Uber and looking for alternatives (beyond Sidecar and Lyft) that offer better compensation for drivers.
Know Your Competition
If you plan on offering a local rideshare service, whether it’s just you or a small company, try driving for Uber or going for a couple of rides. That way you can truly know what your service has to offer that’s better or much improved.
The big names in the rideshare market are paying less all the time. Plenty of smaller, more accurate services are offering better wages and attracting the best drivers- some of them even come with a built-in clientele.
By offering a better wage, better insurance, or a safer experience overall, drivers are more likely to stick with you- and their potential customers might too.
Anyone Can Compete
With the right strategy, anyone can make a name for themselves in this new rideshare economy. Since 2015 these services have been surpassing anything that the taxi industry had ever achieved and it’s only grown from there. 15 million US adults used a major rideshare service in 2016, and that number is expected to increase substantially in 2017. With so many more potential customers the opportunities for rideshare services, both big and small, show no sign of shrinking.
Guest Post By James Ruhle