Just a few years ago, it was a bit difficult for one to imagine starting up a Ride/Taxi services in Lagos, not to talk of any other part of Nigeria. But today there are a good number of them that have sprung up in major cities across Nigeria, and of course this is majorly because of the increase in internet penetration, which has also led to an increase in the use of Smartphones, which is the primary medium for hailing a taxi on any of the platforms.
The sector is believed to be currently dominated by Uber (launched in 2014) and Bolt (formerly known as Taxify; launched in 2016), there are other (less popular) players in the ride-hailing ecosystem of Nigeria who are giving the top 2 a run for their money.
Recently Gokada was launched, In 2017 to be precise, by Nigerian entrepreneurs. The service was first focused to operate around the Yaba Axis of Lagos state and more recently has extended their operations to Victoria Island – Lekki Axis Lagos, Ikotun and other parts of Lagos, Nigeria.
In May 2019 it was reported that Gokada raised $5.4 million in series A funding to grow its two-wheel transit business.
They are not alone in this Ride hailing 2 wheel sub sector, as there are others like Max.ng and ORide etc
With this in mind, it goes to show you that not only are there enormous potentials in this new but promising line of business but it also shows that investors both local and foreign see it as a huge business in Nigeria that has come to stay.
So this brings us to the part which you probably most interested in, ” How do you start a ride hailing business in Nigeria”
This entails quite a few things like Registration of your company with CAC (Corporate allied commission) and other things that are beyond what one can simply put into a blog-post, but we’ll be touching some more key areas which will be critical for starting up and also for your survival in the business.
Business Development and Branding
The first thing that every business man/woman must do before embarking on starting a new business, is to first of all, have a viable business plan. The sector is already occupied by companies who are very organised, popular and in some cases they also have a large pool of resources to draw from ( money in this case), which in turn means that any wastage as a result of poor plan or No plan could prove to be fatal. So that means that you must be able to come up with ideas and branding moves that will stand you out and also serve as your selling point. No body will patronize your services out of pity, so you need to develop ideas that would make them see benefits in patronizing your ride hailing services. The good thing is that you don’t have to do all the research and business development yourself as you can hire people in house or employ the services of an experienced Business Development Firm to help advice and plan for your new Ride hailing Start-up
Web and Mobile Applications Development Team
As you know that ride hailing services thrives on the use of custom built mobile applications which riders must install from the Goggle play store or Apple ios storeto be able to order/hail a taxi/bike and the drivers will in turn see the location of the passenger and go pick them up. This therefore means that more any other thing you need a good team to help you build and MAINTAIN your Ride hailing App. as you must have noticed i typed the MAINTAIN in capital letter as many people tend to think that as soon as they have built one then they can simply do away with the developers and just focus on other areas. But no it doesn’t work that way, you need a trusted team of Mobile App developers to ensure that issues that could arise from the use of your Ride hailing App are promptly attended to, either security related or poor behavior of your drivers, it might also be some adjustment born out of new ideas that could help improve the riding experience of your customers. Else you stand the risk of losing the trust of the riders who will in turn dump you for other Apps who offer better services. So it is of very huge importance that you get a team to help you Design, Develop, Deploy and most importantly Maintain your Ride hailing/Sharing App. (Call or Whatsapp NEW CONNECT +234 808 970 0958)
Digital marketing is the most important form of marketing for this model of business. As most people who will use your services are people who have smartphones or other internet enabled devices. So it then becomes a lot more strategic that you get a good Digital Marketing Company or Expert to help you take your message of superior quality services with more affordable pricing to all the social media platforms where most of your potential customers spend a lot of their time daily. Your online campaign needs to be managed by a team that understands your brand, and are continually looking for smart ways of communicating with your target market.
Start Hiring your own or Third party Drivers
Of course, the business cannot function without having Drivers either in house like Gokada and Max.ng who buy the motorcycles themselves, or using of third party drivers, like the cab hailing companies do with people who already have cars that meet up to their standards. You must ensure that due diligence is carried out in the process registering drivers, as they are the ones who will constantly come face to face with your riders/customers. So as to avoid having a shoddy process that will open up a flood gate of quack or badly behaved drivers.
One of the biggest problems most companies in Nigeria have, is have poor customer care services. This could be seen across different sectors maybe accept for the Telecoms providers and a few other companies who have well trained customer service agents. This impasse have discouraged many potential customers who probably purchased or subscribed to a product only to discover that there is a problem with one thing or the other. And therefor the only reasonable thing to do at that moment, will of course be to reachout to the company. Who on many occasions have badly behaved or completely untrained personnel standing by the customer service desk.
So to avoid losing riders due to issues that could easily be resolved, try to set up a dedicated customer service department, and ensure that their activities are closely monitored in other to ensure that they are helping your riders resolve issues in no time and not worsening the situation.
Finally we at NEW CONNECT believe that It will be a great pleasure to work with you on your journey to owning and efficiently operating the next big Ride Hailing Company out of Africa. We’ll help you develop a robust Ride hailing, Web and Mobile App, with the ability to function seamlessly across different internet enabled devices. From planning to your official launch, we’ll guide you through with our wealth of experience in this new transport sub-sector.
You can also Call or Whatsapp +234 808 970 0958
Like our Facebook page @Newconnectnigeria
follows us in instagram @newconnectword