If you compare the current taxi industry to how it was 10 years ago you’ll notice how different things are. With the rise of smartphones, Uber and contactless card payments it’s not hard to see why local cab companies are struggling to stay afloat. The economy is often fluctuating, and people would rather pay a set rate than have their cab journey running on a meter. However, if we can anticipate trends and tailor our business plans to meet the needs of our customers we’ll be fine. To find out how to do that, keep reading about how the taxi industry is changing.
The first and possibly most important piece of information to remember is that the world has now gone mostly digital. And by this we mean that everyone uses the internet, their smartphones and their computers to run their lives. Whether it’s using online banking or ordering a cab via an app – the digital world is the new normal. We suggest that cab firms take the time to invest in building an online presence and creating a mobile app. That way, you’re meeting customers’ needs and not losing out to other apps that have cabs available.
Another controversial thing that has been happening recently is the cash vs card conversation. Nowadays, most people use their cards to pay for things and as a result are not carrying cash as often. This can affect the taxi industry if there aren’t card readers in vehicles or opportunities to pay by debit card via an app. For example, it’s easier to order an Uber as you’ll get an estimate on the fare and the money will be taken out of your account automatically after. So, in comparison it is easy to see how time consuming it is to find a cash machine and not be sure how much your fare will be until the end of the journey. Investing in taking debit card payments is safer for drivers and more convenient for customers. So, what isn’t to like about it? (Although, the cash option should always be available too. That way you can cater to the needs of every customer.)
When you think about the cash vs card and the digitalisation points above – there’s potential for new businesses to take advantage of the gaps in the market. While Uber has been the prime example that we’ve used in this article there are many other national cab companies that we have to compete with. For example, Addison Lee is a particularly well respect private car hire service in the UK. So, how can you beat the competition? It’s a combination of being able to anticipate trends, think about what customers want and being willing to embrace change. While it is harder to compete for business in the current taxi industry – there’s still room for everyone to succeed. However, it’s becoming harder to make as much profit unless you adapt your business plan slightly. Something else to remember is that reputation and reliability will carry your business a long way, especially if you’ve been established locally for a few years!
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