Airport shuttles are a popular means of transport for people who are looking for an easy way to travel to or from the airport. They provide convenience and are quite affordable. Shuttles are generally used by families, solo travelers, business groups, travel companies, etc. Passengers are picked up from pre-determined stops and taken to their destination from there. So, you can say that such shuttles operate just like buses, but operate specifically for the airport.
However, while this system may seem quite fitting and suitable for the needs of many, many airports that do not provide such services or have inefficient services already in place that do not cater to the needs of the demand. Finding a Vail airport shuttle service, in particular, can be quite difficult because there are little to none in place.
What is an Airport Shuttle Company?
An airport shuttle company can be a very difficult business to manage because it requires a lot of logistics, scheduling and can become a mess if it is not executed properly. This is why it is highly important to ensure that you research the topic well enough to be prepared for anything.
Your shuttle company will require a lot of hard work, organization and efficiency if you want it to operate well and running one in the Vail region will be extra challenging because of high competition and high demand. Being in high demand will also entail a lot of hopes and expectations from your targeted consumers, so there will be a lot riding on your shoulders when your business starts to operate.
What You Need to Know First
Before you begin with the operations, there are a few things you need to understand and plan for in order to achieve a successful business venture:
The Cost of Operating
There are a lot of different costs that will go into the operation of your airport shuttle business and you should have an estimated budget of what you will be spending once your business is up and running. You may not have enough money to get several shuttles running at the same time or you may have enough financial backing to support a fully operational business, what matters is how you manage your finances.
Critical Elements of Running a Shuttle Service
Before your service begins, you need the following essential elements to keep your business up and running:
- At least one working vehicle that has enough capacity to seat at least 7 people comfortably.
- A reliable driver who understands the routes to be taken and the stops to be made.
- Somewhere to run your business from (you can even start at home if you do not have the finances for a bigger space).
- Scheduling software that will allow you to accurately manage the schedule for your drivers without being disorganized.
- A list of routes you would like your rocky shuttle service to cover (you may decide to become the designated Denver to Vail airport shuttle, for instance).
- A regional map that can help you determine all of the airports that are within a 2-hour drive distance for your shuttle service to travel to.
- A website or mobile app that can be used by your customers to get your service’s schedule or any updates.
- The licenses that are needed to run your business and the associated fees.
Who are your Target Consumers?
Your targeted customers will also be an important contributing factor for determining how you will operate your business, because the age bracket you target will help guide you in marketing your service, deciding price range, the route the shuttle takes, etc. The targeted consumers will give you a general area that you should use as your route, whether you want your company to be a Vail to Denver airport shuttle service or DIA to Vail. You need to have a clear idea about this before you even begin because it will guide you through a lot of business decisions.
You Will Need Permits and Licenses
It goes without saying that you will have to make your company completely legal from all aspects and this includes getting all of your paperwork done on a timely basis. You need to attain all the needed documentation, permits and licenses before your shuttles start operation because without them, you will face penalties, fines and your business may even get shut down for illegal operations.
You should also make sure that the drivers you hire are licensed and experienced enough to drive the shuttles. You cannot simply hire anyone off the street because being an airport shuttle driver requires a certain amount of professionalism, etiquette and understanding. The driver should also be familiar with the route that needs to be taken.
What Should You Expect from an Airport Shuttle Company?
The operations of an airport shuttle company may begin a bit bumpy, but once you get a hang of it, they become quite smooth and easy to handle. A typical day on the job would require you to manage the shuttle schedules, supervise your shuttle drivers, make sure your customers are satisfied with your company’s service, do menial bookkeeping, perform or supervise any necessary vehicle maintenance, and ensure your shuttles are clean and in ideal conditions for your customers. You may even have to come up with new marketing ideas to help grab attention from potential passengers or widen your targeted customers.
While all of this may not seem too difficult, you will have to remain calm and rational throughout the day because the conditions of your shuttles will not always be perfect. You may have to face difficult situations, like delayed schedules (which may affect when your passengers reach the airport for their flights), accidents and much more. In such situations, you will have to think on your feet and come up with an appropriate plan of action to solve any problems.
How to Succeed with Your Business
One of the best ways to ensure profitability is to market your service to big businesses that make frequent use of the airport and offer them reduced rates for your services. This will ensure that each time a group from your partnered company needs to go to the airport, they will use your airport shuttle services to get there. They will eventually become your permanent customers if they are satisfied with the service provided to them.
Another way to succeed is to send your shuttles elsewhere during their downtime. Do not let your resources go to waste by having your shuttles parked and waiting for the next round they have to make. Instead, send your shuttles to nearby hospitals, nursing home or other places you think will provide passengers. This will allow you to keep your shuttle moving and maintain a steady income.
Another great thing you can do is to start your service in a place that needs it. This will ensure that your service does not face any unwanted competition and obtains all of the profitability that you can get from that certain route. You can operate, for example, as a Vail Airport Shuttle service provider as that area has a high demand for such services.
You should also create different packages and deals that your passengers can obtain for a more satisfying experience when using your shuttle service. Such packages can include discount rates on their next ride, stays at hotels, a day of tourism, etc. You can even partner up with different local businesses, like bars, hotels, casinos and museums to get these packages solidified for your consumers. Such deals are quite attractive, especially for people who have travelled on vacation and want to go sightseeing.
Finally, the single most important key to success when running an airport shuttle company is to make sure that you remain organized no matter what. Being organized will help you save time, which will allow you to make more money. An organized approach is also an essential part of running a smooth, well-oiled operation. But, do not fret if you have bad days and simply roll with the punches. On such days, you will have to go with the flow and prepare yourself for whatever will happen next.
While the above-mentioned aspects are not the only ingredients you need to start your own airport shuttle business, they are certainly the most important ones that will help you succeed during the operation. Your operation will definitely become a success if you focus on the aspects that have been mentioned. However, even if you simply want to figure things out for yourself, your company will likely keep operating and you will have to gain hands-on experience to climb the ladder to success.
Thus, keeping your mind open and diving in with a good amount of preparation and research will aid in your journey of maintaining a smoothly running airport shuttle company.