We are living in the age of entrepreneurship. Everyone wants to be self-employed or have an extra source of income. If you are thinking of starting a transport business, you have come to the right place for information. We will tell you how to start a transportation business in Nigeria and succeed.
Transport business is one of the hot business ideas in Nigeria today. Why? The explanation is easy - everyone needs transportation in Nigeria. In a country of over 180 million people, imagine the number of people using road transport each day. Some people, in order to commute between their home and their place of work, spend a lot of time on the road. Others use transport to move their goods from one place to another. Also, we should consider the number of intercity travels per day. When you look at all these, you understand why this business is a hotcake.
Before we will go into how to start this kind of business, let us lay down some basic things you need to keep in mind about transport business in Nigeria.
To succeed in this business, you must be ready to give your time and effort. You must be ready to supervise your business well since you will most likely employ the services of a driver. You must be well informed about the daily cost of running a transport business. For example, such daily expenses as the amount of fuel needed per day or weekly maintenance of your vehicle(s), etc. Above all, make sure you know the loopholes in the business (things that will make you run at a loss) and avoid them.
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Also, let us look at the types of transport services you can offer. You can either go into human transport or transportation of goods.
For human transport, it could be one of the following:
• Commercial intra-city transport (buses or taxis)
• Intercity transport service (car, buses or luxury buses)
• Commercial tricycles
• Commercial motorcycle
Commercial transport of goods is also known as haulage. You haulage for big companies such as oil companies, telecommunication companies, manufacturing companies, building companies etc. Also, you can own tippers and transport goods from quarries, logging site or sawmills.
How to start a transportation business in Nigeria?
The first thing to do before starting any business is to come up with a business plan. So, how do you come up with your business plan? You start with understanding what type of transport service you want to offer. What is the size of the market in need of the service. You need to study your environment including transportation in and out of your region. You should estimate how much profit you expect to make per week. What you will need to provide the services to people and how you can do it in a better way. How many vehicles to start with. Also, you need to think of how you can get a trustworthy driver.
When you have been able to figure all these things out then you are ready to start your business. Remember, the hard work you put into planning will determine your success in this business. If you rush into it without proper planning, you will have a high risk of failing or running at a loss from the start.
Any business requires a lot of planning, patience, and hard work. Transport business is not an exception. The best way to start any business is to start small. You can start with one or two vehicles. Don’t try to start with many vehicles at a time. If you don’t have the money to buy a brand new vehicle, you can buy a second-hand one. Starting small will help you to minimize your risk while you are still trying to master the business and also gain experience. If you start big, you may lose a lot of money and as result get discouraged. When you start with small, you gain experience quickly and become smart in the business. So, remember this, do not be eager to make a big start, just start mall, and work towards something bigger so you can build a big business in a short period of time.
After getting your vehicle, make sure you get all the necessary documents and license for transportation.
You should also remember to register your business with appropriate bodies to avoid problems. For example, you must be registered with the regional branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers if you are into commercial transport. And you must always pay your dues or levies.
After getting a vehicle and registering it, you should hire a professional driver. You may drive your vehicle yourself especially if you are unemployed. But it is advisable that you look for someone with experience and good knowledge of vehicles. This will save you a lot of running cost on the long run.
When your business starts growing, you will need to hire more drivers. When it comes to hiring drivers, just make sure you are well informed about the business. This will prevent them from cheating or taking advantage of you. Remember to be nice and fair with your drivers too. Respect is a very important aspect in any business.
Finally, you need to decide how you will pay your driver(s). One of the ways adopted by most people is to agree on a fixed weekly return from the driver. Another option is a fixed salary. Whatever method you choose, it will depend on the following factors:
• Type and size of vehicle
• How much other drivers make daily
Every other modality will be decided between you and your driver.
How profitable is transportation business in Nigeria?
You might be asking yourself if this business is really profitable.
To answer this question, we need to look at the size of the market and the number of people who needs transportation in Nigeria today. Millions of Nigerians commute daily between home and work and also between one city and another. So, the need for transportation services is very high. According to statistics released by FRSC, the number of vehicles registered in Nigeria as of 2015 is about five million. When you compare this number to a population of 180 million, then you will see that there is a large market for transportation services in Nigeria. So, a lot of people use road transport every day, especially in such busy cities as Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos, etc.
The most important thing is to be patient and vigilant. Note, every business has its risk. You just must be able to take a chance, keep things balanced, and minimize the risks. Remember, no guts, no glory! We wish you all the best.
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