Cost of Advertising to Sustain and Expand a Taxi Business in Florida USA
Miami, Tampa, and Orlando - the State of Florida has no small amount of big cities filled with interesting and engaging attractions. Engaging attractions means tourists who come from across the globe to sample the sights and sounds. Long distance travel means the convenience of your own vehicle won't be at hand. All of this translates to a market for reliable and convenient travel options which, ends up creating a fertile spawning ground for any taxi company. With the constant and steady flow of travelers, the state of Florida has enough of a market for even a fledgling company to get a solid start.
The problem comes in figuring out how a small company can get enough business to grow! While a huge market can provide a business owner some awesome opportunities, it also makes it difficult to stand out from the crowd and gain the chance to expand. This isn't a cheap industry; a new cab can easily cost $20,000 by itself and, a used one ends up being the same after factoring in repairs and maintenance. Meters, insurance, cleaning, and permits can also add up quickly. The state of Florida doesn't require a commercial license, though individual counties can have their own demands and fees. Even if you've had some experience in the taxi cab business, it takes a lot of cash flow and delicate consideration to make sure your business not only takes root but flourishes.
Getting Your Name Out There
The best way to get the ball rolling is advertising, regardless of how small or large your business is it can only attract customers if people know about it. No matter how you want to run your company, there are options of promoting that have a wide range of costs. From the inexpensive to the extremely pricy, their effectiveness can vary greatly. It's more in how you use them than how much you spend. Plenty of businesses in countless industries have lost large sums of money on poorly delivered advertising, while others have launched themselves into the spotlight on a shoestring budget.
How people can and should advertise their services have changed drastically over the last few years and, this affects the taxi service industry just as much as it has affected everyone else. The rise of the smart-phone has substantially diminished the power held by phone book advertisement. If you're reading this hoping to find out why your ad in the yellow book isn't offering
the return of investment that it used to, the reason is simple, people have the entire internet in their phones whenever they need it. Why would anyone go paging through a book when they can simply talk to their iPhone and ask it to dial your number automatically? This isn't to say that there is no longer a place for paper advertisements because there definitely is. What has changed is that they're no longer the place you should start.
Sites like Facebook are easy to work with and expose you to millions of people daily. Even better, their business pages are free, can be put up in minutes and are easily found via Google and other search engines. This is a key point as people often use the internet to research places like Orlando or Tampa long before their arrival and, other vacation hot-spots in Florida. Even a three minute YouTube clip can attract you additional business and, it can be done cheaply and efficiently. For the skeptical, take a look below.
“Taxi Dave” 500,000 Views -and Counting!
In order to promote his business, a guy who calls himself “Taxi Dave” did silly, awkward, and amusing videos on YouTube. They were low budget and ironic videos of a goof-ball singing jingles and parodies of other songs. Currently, he has over half a million views on his YouTube channel. Ask yourself how much you'd be willing to pay to gain that sort of attention for your company, you can bet good money that this guy paid a lot less. While no one should count on being the next YouTube sensation, it still serves as a good reminder that the internet is not a place you can afford to turn away from.
Magazines and Phone Books
As stated before, it isn't all about the internet. Many senior citizens vacation and travel in places like Orlando or Miami and, they’re not known for their great awareness and comfort with technology. As such, feel free to continue to put advertisements in local papers, phone books and in magazines that cater to tourists. These methods just don't have the raw fire power that they used to. Technology is changing in such a way that it drastically alters how people find the services they use. You can't afford to leave the basic and tried and tested methods behind, but you can't afford to rely solely on them either.
Third Party Advertisements
Don't forget that the cab itself can help reduce some of your expenses. For companies just starting up, an advertising budget can be a “luxury” that some may be willing to question. Especially during our economically lean times, it can be tempting to forget about advertising so you can pay the bills. Using your fleet of cars as a method to display third part advertisements (via an attachment on the hood) can kill two birds with one stone.
This extra revenue can provide you a little bit more breathing room during off-season months where business can be a bit slower. There are some companies willing to handle these processes for you, or you could simply opt to handle such transactions privately.
There are, of course, the standard risks and rewards for either option. If you opt to go through a company, the money is more reliable. The downside here is that a nice chunk of the ad money is going to end up paying the other company, instead of you. Offering your cabs privately can get you more bang for your buck, but be prepared to deal with reluctant clients who pay bills late or not at all. It's up to you to decide which of these options is best for you and your business. Either way, using your cabs for third party advertisement can get you some extra revenue to ensure you can pay for your ads and keep the fares coming in
Advertising is a Necessity
This is just a review of the most basic options that afford themselves to a cab company looking to sustain itself in a highly competitive market like Florida. Just remember that expensive doesn't always equal quality. Internet advertising often gets you a rather large return for a relatively small amount. No matter how you do it, make sure you advertise in some way, shape, or form. It's not a luxury; it's a necessity.