How to start transportation business in Nigeria
Thinking of a business to start?
Thinking of what business to launch as a Nigerian?
Then I will advise you stick to this article to the end as I will be sharing some important facts of a particularly profitable business and how you can maximize your profit in it without much stress.
Read on how to start transport business in Nigeria.
I know by now most you of you will be wondering what exactly is new in the transportation business that you haven’t known but I can promise you that if you can take your time to read through this article, you will learn one or two things that can help you establish your own transportation business and if you are already in the business, you can improve and increase your profits.
The transportation business in Nigeria is still growing with the increase in population which is estimated at about 180,000 million as of 2018.
Going into the transport business in Nigeria is a viable proposition since the market is there for you and besides, those in the business already are racking handsome profit.
As we know it, the transportation business deals with the movement of goods or people from a particular place at a time to another place.
What makes the business economically viable is that the demand by commercial bus users surpasses the supply.
Even car owners use commercial transport so it is safe to say that up to 70% of the Nigerian population use public transport.
Transportation can be by air, water, rail, or road but in this article, we will be discussing mainly on-road transportation because that’s the most used and known means of transportation in Nigeria.
Road transportation includes the use of motorcycles, automobiles,s, and trucks to move goods and people from one place to another.
This business can be considered as one of the most profitable and lucrative businesses in Nigeria as we can’t do without it.
All our activities in this country are centered around transportation most especially, road transportation. 70% of Nigerians haven’t had the opportunity to fly in a plane, use a boat, or even a rail because all those channels seem to be rare and underdeveloped in this country.
In this article, I will be explaining to us how to start transportation business in Nigeria.
Starting a business should be with the mindset of satisfying people’s needs because if your business isn’t doing that, you can’t have customers patronize you.
The following step will help you in starting your transportation business in Nigeria.
1. Decide which transportation machine you want to use.
When I say transportation machine, I’m literally talking about motorcycle or automobile which includes trucks, lorry, bus, cars and so on.
In Nigeria, we have known each of these automobiles for different purposes.
Motorcycles are for short journeys within a small area because of their speed and the fact that the number of people they can carry is just 2.
This enables it to move so fast and smoothly.
Also, it’s also considered to be the best in places with a large population and many cars.
For example, if not for government policies that banned the use of motorcycles in Lagos, it’s one of the fastest means of transportation then because of the small body of the motorcycle that can fit into any small space in any traffic congestion.
I’m not criticizing the government for the banning because I know they did to stop road accident that happens almost every time because of the reckless driving of the motorcyclist.
The following are the type of machines we have.
- Tri-cycle (keke napep): This is an improved version of a motorcycle and is officially meant to carry three passengers, some drivers carry four passengers, even others in some states carry five passengers. Keke napep is a common machine that is in vogue and it is likely to be used as a means of transportation in the foreseeable future. Some state governments have proposed replacing motorcycles with keke napep.
- Motorcycle (Okada): This is the use of a motorcycle to carry passengers within a town, city, and village. Motorbike, popularly known as okada is used to carry one or two passengers at a time, though some states discourage carrying two passengers. But the days of using a motorcycle as a means of transportation is numbered since some states have banned the use of “okada” as a means of transport, particularly in the cities, other states are likely to follow suit in due course.
- Commercial luxury bus and mini-bus: These are used for both town and inter-city services to carry passengers. Workers that commute to work or others traveling outside the state use this means.
- Car town service (taxi): This is also used to convey passengers within and out of the state. It is a more secure means of transport than the unregistered and unpainted “kabu-kabu” because each owner registers the car with the state government agency. There is also another form of car service known as “kabu-kabu”, also used to carry passengers but for a short distance journey.
- Haulage transport service: This is the use of different types of automobiles to carry goods for a charge. Different types of vehicles include, including tankers, trailers, tippers, etc. are used to convey different kinds of goods.
- Offer hire purchase services: This type of business is spreading to all the states of the federation. It is a new way to transportation business in which you get regular income, more or less, it is a guaranteed income. It works in this way: you buy whatever type of would-be commercial vehicle at a particular price and hire them out to the different types of drivers at higher prices. The driver will pay for the price agreed installmentally. This is another type of strategy entire. You can be earning from the transportation business without driving any car.
You should know the machine you’re going for so as to define its purpose.
2. Define your purpose
Transportation can be used for various things.
Transportation of goods – this involves the transportation of goods only from one area to another.
You can stabilize yourself in the transportation of goods alone and I can say, this seems to be so much profitable these days.
We have a merchant who travels all the way from far places without a car to get good that is much and heavy. You can charge them as much as you feel considering how valuable their goods are, how heavy it is and how far their destination is.
Transportation of people – this is the most common form of road transportation.
It involves the transportation of people from one place to another.
This can be divided into 2 aspects.
Some people will decide that they don’t transport people to another state. That they only work around their vicinity. This isn’t a bad idea also while some people are only based on transporting people from one state to another.
We also have some set of people we call Uber drivers.
This set of people drives their customer’s infancy and neat private car at a high rate. This is one of the most profitable forms of the transportation business. This can even be done with your private car.
You should define if you are transporting goods or people.
This will help you in setting your priority right and as I know how Nigerian thinks, they will love someone who specializes in transporting goods only to help them with their goods, not someone who transports goods today and people tomorrow.
3. Have a strategy
The reason why some people in the transport business don’t make a profit is that they don’t have a strategy.
They only follow the tide and do what they think is right.
Having a strategy is the best way to make a profit in any business.
Know what you’re aiming at.
Are you in the transportation business as just a normal commercial driver if you’re aiming at owning your own registered brands?
We have some transportation companies that are well known for their strategy.
They are experts in their own field and the only difference between them and the normal casual commercial drivers we know is their strategy.
4. Learn maintenance skill
You would have heard of so many transportation business owners lamenting spending most of their profits on repairing one or two things in their machine every day.
I can say this is due to the lack of maintenance skills.
A good driver or transportation business owner should know how to maintain the machine they use.
They should know when it needs oil replacement, water replacement, spare part replacement.
They should always have spare tires around every time, always clean their cars every time, service and check it out one in a while.
Doing all these simple tasks will keep the machine in place and reduce the money spent on repairing things.
5. Employ people with like minds
This advice isn’t only for people in or going into the transportation business but for everyone going into any form of business.
Having people with like minds around you makes you feel so relieved that your company is in good hands.
People that have the same skill you have or are willing and always ready to learn.
It’s always important to have teachable staffs who are open to advice not those who don’t care what you say or what you want.
Having people of opposite interest in your company is a fast way of falling so flat.
Now that we have established the things we need to put in place, we will be discussing the things we need for starting a transportation business in Nigeria.
1. Drivers license
In Nigeria, it’s a crime to drive without a driver’s license. A driver’s license is an issues paper that shows you are old enough to drive and that can be only given to anyone above the year 18.
All business needs capital and there’s no difference in this business also. You will need capital based on your plans.
If you’re planning to be just like the commercial drivers we have, your capital won’t be much as all you will be needing is just a car base on the purpose of your business but if you’re planning to have a brand of your own, you will need large Capital because you will need the following:
It’s unprofessional to call yourself a transportation company without an office where all necessary information about your company can be gotten.
It sounds professional if anyone will have to book their ticket at your office before they are transported.
This will give you a nice picture that shows you know exactly what you’re doing.
We are in the digital world where everything has to be visible on the internet.
If you’re planning to have a successful and well-known brand, then I will advise you to get a website where people from far places can order your service and make payment.
If you’re really planning to have a big transportation company, then you will have to employ people who will help you in various ways.
You can drive people going to the north and at the same time drive people going to the west.
You will need workers who are competent and every worker will have to be paid.
3. Get your car/motorcycle
With these few things in place, you’re good to go.
Nothing in this world is easy to handle, not even the transportation business, especially when you want to be successful and expand quickly.
Be prudent and careful: avoid the problems with the police by obtaining the right vehicle license, renewing it together with the insurance certificate, and other dues and levies when they are due.
Also, avoid the problems of government officials such as road transport workers and other transport unions, and possibly the Area Boys.
This is a basic business plan for the transportation business in Nigeria.
You should do your feasibility study on the transportation business in Nigeria depending on the area you want to operate, then add this knowledge here. Good luck.