Taking the plunge into starting your own business? If you’re a budding entrepreneur with a passion for independence, it could be the best move you ever made. The world is changing fast, but one thing is certain: people and things will always need to be moved.
Pizzas to parcels, families to groups of schoolkids: there’s always something or someone that needs to be somewhere else, and someone somewhere willing to pay for this to happen with the minimum of fuss. Here are 10 ideas for transportation businesses you can start right now, even if you start with just you and your van.
1. Household removals
Every city has a mobile population, with people moving in and out of houses and apartments. You don’t always need to offer a full-size removal van to accommodate most of these; a straightforward medium panel van like a Renault Trafic* or a large panel van like the Renault Master** would do the job nicely.
2. Party Packs
Party supplies as a service (call them “PSaaS”?) are a growing field of business. Basically, that means providing everything that’s needed for events like BBQs, children’s parties or outdoor high tea. A party pack service could offer everything from the fairy lights and sound system to the grill for a BBQ, or ice cream and jellies backed up with conjuring tricks, balloons and goodie bags for kids’ parties. Depending on your personal skill set, you could even provide services that range from BBQ starting-up to party entertainment yourself!
3. Minibus charter
Whether it’s providing a minibus for one-off trips or building up a portfolio of regular commitments, starting this transportation business requires you to have the right transport. As for business, rural and urban areas alike always have groups of people who need to get to shopping centres, out-of-school activities, and one-off popular events. It makes sense to go for economies of scale and invest in a public service vehicle licence, which is mandatory for carrying more than 8 people. If you expect booming business, the Renault Master Passenger, which takes up to 17, will be more than up to the task.
4. Airport transfers
A subset of minibus charter, but with some very specific aspects. Specialising in airport transfers is an especially good idea if you’re in the right location. Build your customer base around hotels and guest houses, typically those too small to run their own transfers but still wanting to offer the service as part of their customer package. These local B2B partnerships could be a big boost! If you aim to serve a high-end clientele that places a premium on comfort, the new Renault Trafic SpaceClass can offer an absolutely first-class travel experience to up to 9 passengers.
5. Courier service
It’s not just online ordering of goods that has led to the explosion of courier services; whether in city or countryside, companies and customers have growing expectations that things will happen fast. If you’re working in a city and likely to be handling multiple small packages, a car-derived van like the Renault Kangoo ML19*** or the larger Kangoo Maxi panel van is a great idea for a transportation business: plenty of space for the cargo and all the ease of car-style handling. You could even make significant savings on fuel and congestion charges with the 100% electric Kangoo Z.E. 33 van – not to mention heaps of customer goodwill.
6. Haulage and logistics
If you’re willing to be flexible and responsive to urgent requests (and of course you are; otherwise you wouldn’t be setting up your own business) general haulage and logistics can give you variety, challenges and a sound business model. If you favour a specialised rather than standard vehicle, the Renault Master Box Van is an off-the-shelf Renault conversion tailor-made for transporting goods and objects, featuring an optimised loading area and a load volume of up to 22m3.
7. Livestock transportation business
There are plenty of rural areas where people want occasional transport for a horse without the outlay of having their own horsebox. Renault’s Accredited Converters have no problem with a Renault Master tailor-made conversion, making a horsebox to accommodate one or two animals.
8. Landscape gardening
If you love the outdoor life but would prefer your cargo to be a little more docile than the four-legged variety, landscape gardeners often need to transport rose bushes and other shrubs, garden pots and pergolas, plus landscaping tools of all varieties. A Dropside flatbed truck would be your best option.
9. Waste disposal transportation business
Every company in the UK has a responsibility to dispose of its own waste and, unsurprisingly, many prefer to use a contractor. You will need to be registered to dispose of waste. Not all rubbish removal is about transporting skips and large loads of builders’ rubble; there is plenty that you can do with a panel van and a good marketing approach.
10. Bulk shopping for business
Many business supplies are delivered direct from the supplier but corner shops and mini markets often need a quick trip to the cash and carry when things get busy. Many small transportation businesses have built up their expertise and a loyal customer base from such small beginnings!
*Standard Trafic model with a combined fuel consumption of up to 47.2 mpg. Official fuel consumption figures are produced for comparison purposes and are measured according to the European Regulation 692/2008 and may not reflect real life driving results.
**Standard Master model with a combined fuel consumption of up to 36.2 mpg. Official fuel consumption figures are produced for comparison purposes and are measured according to the European Regulation 692/2008 and may not reflect real life driving results.
***Standard Kangoo model with a combined fuel consumption of up to 65.7 mpg. Official fuel consumption figures are produced for comparison purposes and are measured according to the European Regulation 692/2008 and may not reflect real life driving results.