How to start an online taxi booking business?


Transportation in the 21st century has seen lot of change. With the growth of mobile technology and internet connectivity to all, people have started using taxi services online a lot. The giants of these sectors are considered to be Uber are Ola. They have the most number of cabs running on the road under them. They have been seen to be adapting with the changes to get their business running. In 2009 Uber was started, and looking at it we have seen that it has kept on growing with adapting with the changes around it. Considering the part of Ola, they had the target of making cab ride possible for everyone. They have a lot of different segment running making the app versatile and usable for all types of people. The main target which they had was cost first then luxury. 

Getting a new app cab service will be a tough call to take there has to be something very unique to stand-out from the competitors. After entering the business, they slowly one can grow and compete in all segments with the giants. A lot of people have this idea of starting a app taxi booking services, with a very good idea, what is missing in the business is the uniqueness. 

Before stepping into this business on has to answer a lot of feasible business questions. Then only the business can flourish. 

There are some points which one must keep in their mind before starting this business, they are;

  1. Scope 

Irrespective of the business one if doing or about to step in, the person at the initial stage itself look the scope of the business in long run. To understand this one has to look at the surveys which are conducted in the areas to see what future can be in the business 

  1. Knowing the competitors 

A businessman is considered a good businessman only when he knows everything about his competitors. This include details like who they are, from how long they have been in the market, their turnover, their growth rate in last few years. 

  1. Strengths and weakness of the competitors 

Knowing the strengths and weakness of the competitors is a very important part to do. It will help the business a lot. Strengths will help you see what are the positives of the opponent which is making it grow so much. Those things can also be tried by you to help your business grow. It will also help you make competitive strategies. While the weakness will help you understand the wrongs which they are committing and help you from not doing it by yourself for your business. It will also help in letting you know the missing elements from the business which you can offer to gain customers. 

  1. Seeing the number of commutators 

Your business can only grow if there are enough commutators in the area. To see one has to conduct the survey of the area and look who can be their potential customers. If one finds out that the area already has good public transport facilities and also it is not very crowded, then there are high chances that the business can fail due to getting lack of commutators. 

  1. Looking into future 

This business requires a lot of investment to run. The plan is to grow in the future and one has the thinking that the business will grow. So before fully stepping into it one needs to find out whether it will reach the goals which he or she has. They should categorize the goals some into long terms while some short term ones. This will help in differentiating with the required investment for both. 

After looking into all these matters if the person is ready to get into the business then he has to get into the further steps of action to start running with the business. These things are; 

  1. App Development 

Each and every business is nowadays getting an app developed. So for a full taxi service one must get an app developed. People rather than going to the browser typing the website and going into it to get the services, do prefer to download the app and use the services. The app is developed by a developer with the business owner giving him inputs regarding all the necessities and functions he wants in the app. 

  1. Transparency 

In the market of competition one has to place the prices very competitively. Also the pricing should be fair and all the charges which they are costing each and every penny details should be mentioned on the bill. This is also help them build trust with the customer that whatever he or she is paying for is getting dull details of what he is being charged for. They have to maintain the customer-friendly fair pricing policy; it is one of the most crucial step regarding this business. 

  1. Hazel-free user experience

Nowadays with the pandemic going on people generally refrain themselves from using public transport, as the chances of getting infected with the virus is more. In such case people who don’t own a car have the choice of booking a cab. It is also seen that the usage has increased ant the gen-z mostly book a taxi to travel. On the other hand, there is the driver who is waiting to get customers. So it should be designed in such a way that both of them do get the job done without much of working too hard. The app should be easy to use for both the passengers as well as drivers. There shouldn’t be unnecessary things added to the application it becomes problematic to use. All the features which are to be provided to the customer should be very simple and easily available for the customer. The most important aspect which the customer looks forward to is that he gets to see the fare when he puts in the drop location. The app should be competent enough to get this feature. 

To run the application smoothly there has to be some tools which are also mandatory to make it compete with its competitors. These are; 

  1. Significant admin panel 

To give a competition to the already king of the industry under there has to be an admin panel. It is a combination of web applications that reviews, stores, keep checking and also operates all the business actions respective to the cab app. With the help of this feature one is capable of obtaining a lot of wide-range of business operations. All over this it can also help the drivers optimize through the best routes available. 

In a day-to-day work admin panel helps in performing smoot work operations. 

  1. GPS based maps and locations

With the saying that time is money, people nowadays are always in a hurry and want everything in no time. To make sure that the bookings are send to the near-by driver GPS are fitted in such a way. Also the feature of estimated time of arrival (eta), this shows how much time the cab will take to reach you for pick-up based on the real-time traffic conditions. Customers do like the service more where the cabs reach them in shorter time span. 

  1. Online payment gateways 

People nowadays carry very limited amount of cash and do prefer to pay for the rides in online mode. The app should have the feature of paying for the services using credit or debit card. Also the information of the card can be saved on the app itself for not adding it every time to pay. This helps the user in saving time, but the most important point here is to have the credibility. The business should keep the information to themselves and not leak out such confidential information of the customer. 

  1. One app for all user 

Everyone should be treated equally. No special app development should be made for any specific customer or any region of the country. In that app itself there one can add the multiple features they provide with different types of cars and different rate for them. In the app only the customer can add pickup location and drop location and the fare along with the time taken to travel is displayed. 

  1. Solving server problems

The most important work to do in this business is to build a strong server with time to time management of it. When a customer books a cab it should give the booking to the nearest free driver and the GPS server will have to be strong so that it manages the location settings and track the driver to the pick-up, also it shouldn’t lag while being on a trip. Here the task is to synchronise the customer application and the driver application. This is a tough job to do. Two different servers which is joined by a third server all has to managed very nicely so that the users don’t have to face any trouble. At the initial stage of the business when there is less revenue one can ask the competitor to share the server because the ones who are there in the business from long generally have their server built of their own to manage their business. The newer one can pay rent to them and when it grows in future then they can also make their own server and manage it. 

  1. Feedback and rating 

There has to be a feedback and rating feature in the application because that is how one engages through their customers. All of them have this feature of rating the ride they took which is to rate the driver and report any grievance if in any case it happened. This makes the customer thing that the service provider does care for their customers and with that feedback the service providers should try to improve themselves. 

If in any case any incident happened on the ride and the customer reports that then he or she should be addressed immediately. There should be a customer help desk where all these matters are recorded and help provided. If they don’t pay any heed to the complaint, then the customer will have a negative image regarding them and will also promote about the providers that they do such things which is bad for the company in the long run of business. 

With the pandemic on in the last two years travelling hasn’t been allowed very much, which has eventually made these businesses being run in a loss. Another alternative which people have found is avoid public transport like buses and taxis and they have brought cars or if a car is not affordable then a bike and travel with it. This has reduced in the customer base of the companies. Still the companies are running effectively the reason behind it being, they will get the market share and in later stage they will sell it to giant player who with more investment will take over and run the company. This way they are also in a profitable business as not that they are buying a company which is making losses in the business but they are getting an established setup of customers. Later they will go in the public issue with the release of IPO and then within time the company is again in profit much more than they even wanted. 

One should not run a business in loss but looking at the longer run businesses should be seen. The success cannot just be defined by the sales and revenue of something but it depends wholly on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM). All the decisions, entire planning should be customer centric. 

In a taxi business customers are the only way one can earn more revenue hence their safety, convenience and all the grievances should be taken care of by the service provider. Considering the side of drivers there should be a meeting with them time to time to listen to their needs and also help them in their issues. They should also be taught the newer technologies of how to use it and what betterment it will give it to them while driving. They should also be given training of how to behave, and show ethics which will eventually make the business grow more and customers will be more loyal to you. 

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