Startup Costs: Under $1000 / $10,000 – $50,000 (if you don’t own your own vehicle)
Mode : Home based / Part-time / Full-time
Franchises Available : No
Kids these days seems to be just as busy as their parents – after school, it’s piano lessons, ballet lessons, karate classes, baseball practice and the list goes on and on. The problem is – kids are kids and they’re not old enough to drive! Many working parents have this problem – rushing to pick up their kids to and from school, extra classes and sports practice. It takes a lot of creative time management and schedule juggling to transport kids around and most times, it leaves everyone – parents and kids alike – frazzled by the end of the day. What happens if there’s a miscommunication or an unexpected car breakdown or traffic jam? The kids are left waiting, maybe for hours. Statistics show that criminals who target kids often look out for kids who are waiting for the parents who are late to pick them up.
If you’re a retiree, stay-at-home-mom or someone with lots of free time, you might want to provide this service to overworked parents. You will transport their kids to and from school or scheduled activities. As anyone who’s ever ferried their kids around knows, you will need to be someone who :
- Loves kids – you’ll be spending lots of time with them.
- Is a great multi-tasker – you’ll be juggling lots of schedule changes not of your own doing.
- Is dependable who understands punctuality is the result of having great time management skills.
- Patient – your little passengers may not be the most pleasant people in the world.
- A safe driver (obviously) with no criminal record and not a repeat traffic offender.
- A great sense of direction with a flair for logistics – knowing the best and most efficient routes to reach your pickup/drop-off points.
Parents will be depending on you to safely transport their children. That’s why you might find referrals from friends and family the best (if not the only) way to start out. In the beginning, you might just want to restrict your transporting duties to sending and picking up kids who go to the same school as your kids, or who go to a school within your school route. After all, you will probably have additional space for three or four small children, so you might as well make extra money.
Startup, Equipment and Advertising
What you need:
- A vehicle – A van or MPV is great. The more seats, the more kids you can ferry. Keep within the law though, so don’t overload, especially during peak periods.
- Liability Insurance – make sure you comply with any laws that are applicable within your locality. You want to protect yourself and your small charges.
- Cellphone so you are easily contactable. Tablet or smartphone so you can keep track of schedules.
- Info sheet for parents – A list of all the details they will need ; Vehicle registration number, Make and model of vehicle, your contact number, driver’s license number etc.
- Info sheet of parents – A list of all your kids’ parents contact numbers (including office contact), home and work address, kids’ allergy or medical notifications (in case of emergency) etc.
- Consent agreement – while most of the time you will be servicing friends and family, consider having them sign a consent form that verifies that they have given you permission to ferry their children.
- First Aid Certification – you might never need this, but as they say, “It’s always better to have something you never need than to need something you don’t have”.
It might seem a bit tedious to have to request some of the above information, but it’s always better to be prepared. Having a system ready also gives your kids’ parents the impression that you are a thoughtful professional, giving them peace of mind. If you have another vehicle and your spouse is available to help out, you can double your income. Of course, this is a seasonal money maker – being available when you are needed will greatly help your clients and also build your reputation as a dependable child transporter. How you charge parents is entirely up to you – each child’s schedule will be different – but you must remember to factor in fuel, parking, toll charges and add a little for vehicle maintenance and your time (wages). Then you can add whatever profit you think is appropriate.
Your child transport service is doesn’t require expensive advertising – mainly because you are the sole driver of one vehicle which can accommodate only so many kids, and you will want to confine your service area to within a given radius from your home. To advertise :
- Name cards – easy to carry around, easy to give away and low-cost.
- Flyers – to distribute around your neighborhood, parents at your kids school, nearby schools/daycare, office blocks, public libraries, music studios, dance studios etc.
- Posters – hand them at your local convenience store and community halls.
- Social network – let your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know you are offering this service.
- Word of mouth – ask your friends and family to give a shout-out for you.
This money maker is easiest when it’s just you who’s driving and handling the scheduling. However, there ARE opportunities to expand your service. If your service is really taking off , you could invest in more vehicles to enable you to service a larger area and cater to more kids. However, a bigger business means more costs and more administration – not to mention liability and legal issues.
Another way to increase your income opportunities is to set up a network of like-minded folks who also want to be child transporters. This way, you can suggest child transporters in your network to parents who live too far away from you or whose kids’ schedules just aren’t a fit for you. You will set up a meeting between the parents and the child transporters. Once an agreement is reached, the child transporter will pay you your agreed one-time referral fee – easy money for just a phone call or two.
Transporting kids is a great way to spend your time keeping active and youthful and doing a great service for your community. You probably won’t get rich doing this, but it’s great getting paid to help people.
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