These pages show 'Realistic' Small Businesses Ideas which you could operate right now. Often these ideas are not keys to a fortune, but, they are small business ideas which are working out there, right now, making good money for people. You can use any one of these ideas for yourself, give them a twist or variation or combine some.
They are intended to be thought provoking, not blueprints to a fortune.
Possession of a driving licence proves one thing - your ability to drive. This ability is one way of making money, although you don't necessarily need your own vehicle.
The licence itself can help generate cash. Holding a driving licence could be your passport to profit.
TYPES OF VEHICLE REQUIRED
Passenger work, such as minicabbing, is one way of earning a living from driving, and another is delivery work. For these you will usually require some kind of vehicle.
Your own, borrowed, or hired. Generally, for passenger work you will require a medium range saloon or estate car, less than five years old and in good condition.
Any van or even a large car will usually suffice for delivery work.
There are exceptions, as your transport may be supplied by the company or individual you are working for. There are also ways of earning money from your licence without driving at all.
WHAT YOUR Light And Heavy Goods Vehicle HGJ Driving Licence ENTITLES YOU TO DRIVE
A standard driving licence gives you a wide scope in terms of what you can drive and how you can make money. As well as cars you are entitled to drive minibuses and light vans of up to 7.5 tonnes.
A Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence is required to drive coaches, while a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) licence is needed for lorries. The LGV (C) licence is required for fixed lorries with the LGV (C+E) licence entitling you to drive larger articulated lorries with trailers. Driver training is available in order to gain these licences, but this can often be completed in one week. These courses can cost up to £3,000, but it is possible to apply for a Career Development Loan to pay for this. However, a standard licence should give you ample scope for making money.
This Drivers Information Page gives full details for most vehicles from the smallest, right up to heavy goods driving licence details.
INSURANCE, HEALTH and SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS
You may require additional insurance if you intend to use a vehicle for business, so remember to inform your insurer before you begin. It is necessary for you and your passengers to wear seat belts at all times and it is advisable to carry a first aid kit. Make sure that the vehicle is roadworthy, safe, and that there is nothing inside the car that passengers could injure themselves upon.
THE IMAGE OF YOUR BUSINESS
The image you present is very important, particularly for passenger work, so make sure both you and the car are kept clean and well presented. It is wise to service and valet your vehicle regularly. Use your discretion as regards smoking and in-car entertainment such as the radio, but remember that any passengers may object to smoke and loud music.
ADVERTISING FOR WORK
Generally, if you are advertising your driving services, it is best to have some cards printed, which should include your name and a contact telephone number. It is a good idea to invest in a mobile phone if you are wholly car based.
Place your business cards in popular locations such as newsagents, libraries, supermarkets, shopping and community centres, and company notice boards. If you run a minicab service, place cards in pubs, nightclubs, leisure centres, cafes, theatres, cinemas, stations, shopping centres or anywhere popular with large numbers of people.
Scan newspapers for 'drivers wanted' ads if you are looking for minicab or agency driving work. Keep an eye out for other driving services ads as you will be able to gauge the market and look out for any gaps.
Ways Your Driving Licence Could Help You to Make Money
This is the most obvious way of making money from driving. All minicabbing requires is a car in reasonable condition and a knowledge of the local area. There are usually ads from cab firms in the local press seeking owner drivers. Working for a minicab firm enables you to choose your own hours and once you have paid them your weekly radio hire fee you keep all you earn.
A service ferrying people to and from airports can be particularly popular in the summer months. Not everyone has a car and people with a lot of luggage may not wish to travel by bus or train. This service may prove much cheaper to customers than expensive car parking at airports. A car would be suitable for this work, although if you had a minibus you could ferry lots of customers at once.
DRIVING THE ELDERLY
A service ferrying elderly passengers in remote areas to the nearest town on certain days of the week, or even to local events and attractions, could prove a useful business. By carefully planning your route, you can collect and drop off your passengers door to door, possibly carrying several groups on one day. A minibus would be ideal for this work, although a large car with plenty of luggage space would be suitable.
With the channel tunnel providing easy access to the continent and the difference in alcohol duties between the UK and abroad, there is a growing market for 'booze trips'. Driving people abroad to pick up duty free goods and cheaper beer and wine can be a money spinner. Remember to take care about dealing with customs on re-entering the UK and do not overload your vehicle.
CHAUFFEURING AND WEDDING HIRE
These are two specialised areas where running a freelance service can be very profitable. Both require vehicles from the luxury end of the market, which must be kept absolutely spotless. These services will also require you to wear a uniform and be courteous and discreet at all times. It may be possible to run a business combining these services.
Anyone with a van can offer a removal service, concentrating on light services such as garage clearances, helping students or working professionals to move, or even ferrying band equipment. The key to making this a success is offering a professional, trustworthy and cheerful approach, which will guarantee repeat business. It will be necessary to tell each customer in advance the cost of the job, consisting of a fixed hire fee plus a rate for mileage. Clearly a heavy goods driving licence would give greater scope for the more serious end of the market.
Local traders may require a delivery service as it may be too costly for them to provide their own. By securing the business of a number of traders this service should be profitable. By charging each trader a reasonably low price, you will allow them to make a fixed delivery charge to their customers and make a small profit themselves, thus ensuring you get the repeat business.
Agencies always require drivers for regular delivery work, such as delivering company stock, parcels and newspapers. Often agencies recruit large numbers of drivers across the country for things such as the release of a new record. It is best to get on the books of as many agencies as possible and keep in regular contact, as agencies tend to offer more work to their regular drivers. Be prepared to drive to the other end of the country at a moment's notice, and also be prepared to wait for long periods at a time for work to come in.
Companies often require drivers for regular or one-off deliveries. Scan newspapers for advertisements or approach company personnel departments directly. Companies may provide their own transport or may require you to provide it.
Delivery rounds include things like milkmen, sandwich delivery and other foods, combining deliveries with a sales element, taking orders on the way round. If you do this for a company you will usually be paid a salary plus commission, although increasingly goods are sold on a freelance and/or franchise basis.
There are a wide range of businesses which you can operate from a car or van. There are a number of goods which could be sold directly or hired out, such as CDs, books, videos, sports equipment, electrical equipment, or even children's toys.
DELIVERING NEW CARS
One way of making money if you don't have your own vehicle is through delivering new vehicles. This work can be obtained through car dealers or agencies, looking for reliable drivers with a clean driving licence to deliver new vehicles to their customers. A heavy goods driving licence would allow you access to the multi car transporter market
DELIVERING CARS FOR SERVICING
Professional people often need their cars serviced, but find themselves without the time to take it themselves, particularly if it is a luxury model requiring a specialist garage tens of miles away. Assuming you can establish your trustworthiness, you can charge a fixed fee plus an additional charge for mileage or for your time. You could offer an extra service for finding the nearest and cheapest suitable mechanic in the area, possibly even negotiating a commission from the mechanic.
BECOMING A DRIVING INSTRUCTOR
This is another specialised area, for which you must be over 21, have held a clean licence for three years and passed the Department of Transport Driving Instructor course. These courses, costing around £1,100 are provided by the major driving schools and take between six months and two years to complete.
MAKING MONEY FROM YOUR LICENCE
You don't necessarily need a Light And Heavy Goods Vehicle HGJ Driving Licence to make money, as anyone with a driving licence can use it as proof of identification. Building and plumbing equipment, cleaning equipment, carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment and many other 'tools of the trade' can be hired using your licence as ID, along with documents such as your passport, birth certificate or bank letter. This could be useful if you do not have your own transport and wish to raise enough money to hire or even buy a vehicle.