Doing your homework
You know what they say: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This rings quite true in the today’s business world. Before doing anything else, research your target market — the hotel sector in this case. See how much competition there is. Will you have to go against other start-ups, established corporations, or disruptors like Uber? Be realistic about your prospects, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of you and your competition.
You must find a way to set yourself apart from the rest and offer something that they don’t. This is a viable strategy to build a strong customer base and following locally. To make it happen, you need to use facts and figures acquired to flesh out your business model.
One of the main dilemmas is whether to run the business based on contracts or a daily hire operation. The former model involves customers leasing vehicles for a set period of time. This kind of contract hire is more suitable for companies renting to hotel businesses that offer bundle deals (accommodation + car rental), while daily hire makes sense for companies that cater to individuals.
Fleet, location, and the hiring policy
Next, work out your vehicle options. Decide on how big your fleet needs to be. You can start small, although it should be noted that the bigger the fleet, the bigger the potential for profit is. Another crucial consideration is related to the type of vehicle that satisfies hotel guests’ wants and needs. Whatever you choose, bear in mind also that you have to maintain the fleet properly and achieve a maximum turnover.
Most start-ups establish business relationships with local repair shops instead of having full-time mechanics on a payroll. Outsourcing trims costs and enables small businesses to pay money only when they require a particular service.There is no need to have an in-house specialist, though, when you can always call a local car key locksmith. The same goes for IT experts, who can maintain your network remotely.
Once that is sorted out, set up the ideal location, one that is in proximity to multiple clients. Traditionally, locations around hotels are quite remunerative, even more so if you target hospitality businesses. You also need a parking area that is safe, something like a guarded garage space. Regardless, it would be wise to invest in security systems such as surveillance cameras and alarms.
Day-to-day operational excellence
After you get your operation up and running, you have to tackle all the moving parts of daily management. Make an effort to streamline and automate instead of relying on clunky, manual systems. Make the most of fleet management software solutions that allow you to effortlessly monitor which vehicles are due in and out. Finally, you should craft a strategy on how to promote your business.
In this day and age, creating a website is an absolute must. Apart from that, you should set up social media profiles and engage the audience. Be responsive and use your digital presence as an extension of your customer service. To go the extra mile, allow customers to contact you around the clock, as well as to pay and book at the time of their convenience. In other words, integrate a complete web booking systems with automatic confirmations and email reminders and you will likely drive more customer traffic your way.
Set the wheels into motion
With the right amount of planning and forward-thinking, it is possible to assemble a highly-profitable vehicle rental company. To translate your vision into reality, come up with a business model. Get to know the local business landscape, your customers from the hotel sector, and your fleet.
Provide a service that will always be in demand and keep your fleet in top shape. You must never be asleep at the wheel when managing operations or lose focus amidst the daily grind. Stay on course to your business goals, delight your customers, and get ahead of the curve.