Getting customers when your taxi business is on a tight budget

First of all, I want to thank all of you who have participated in the survey (112 people so far). I now have a really good idea of what you want and how to help you. Some exciting new products are coming soon. Stay tuned for news from me in the very near future!

I case you haven’t yet participated in the survey, it only has 4 questions. It will take you about 30 seconds to fill it out and I would really appreciate you help.


Here’s another email from one of my subscribers:

Hello Tom,

First of all I want to tell you that I have gone through your website and of course I am very impressed with the site and contents.

At the moment, i have a number of challenges as my taxi business is still new and i have one vehicle only (a corolla Saloon) but i try my best for the few customers i have.

My main challenges include:
– Few customers.
– Driver reliability and remuneration (how much should i pay for a day’s work)
– How do i determine distance/ hours car is used vs Income and what is the best criteria to use.
– What is the best system to use for monitoring trips vs income.
– How best do i increase my fleet?

Kind Regards,
Crystal Rose Cabs

Speaking of new customers.
Find a segment of the market that is not being served or that is being served poorly. Chances are, your competitors are doing a pathetic job. That’s what I see all over the world: smelly old cars, drivers who look as if they are intoxicated even when driving, etc. When I interviewed Alan Fels, the Chair of Inquiry into the Victorian Taxi and For-Hire Car Industry in Australia, I asked him what his most interesting discovery was about taxi business. His answer was: I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize that it was that bad. My experience from working with taxi business owners from all over the world, from USA to Russia and Malaysia confirms that.

There are 2 very powerful strategies for getting new customers when your taxi business is on a budget.
1. Referrals.

Give a form to your regulars to fill out with 3-5 names of their friends who they think will benefit from using your taxi service. Give a small gift to those who fill out a form RIGHT AWAY. This is instant gratification. We all love it.

Contact those on the form. Best ways are calling or sending snail mail. Email is worse, but may still work. Present them with a great offer for them to try your taxi service. Right after giving them a ride, ask them if they were happy. If they were, try to sell them something (pre-paid package of 5 rides with a 10% discount, etc). The next time they use your taxi service – ask them to provide you with 3-5 names of their friends. And so on.

Sure, all of the above is a lot of work, but hey, it wouldn’t cost you much at all. Usually when you don’t have money you have time. The above strategy lets you utilize your time to make money. Use it!

There’s more detail on referrals in this article of mine: How To Get Customers For Taxi Service: Referral Program

I’ll talk about the second strategy tomorrow.

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