Initially, you’ll want to have a solid business plan in place that includes budgeting, marketing and various policies and procedures. Once that’s done, you can start looking for an appropriate used bus for sale. Depending on where you live, this may involve some driving, because reputable dealers aren’t on every corner.
If you see a “bus for sale” ad in the newspaper or your local throwaway, be hesitant. There’s no way to know the condition of a bus bought from an individual. By finding a bus for sale dealer with a good reputation for honesty and integrity (yes – they do exist!) you could be saving yourself a lot of trouble down the line.
When you have found the right charter bus for sale, bought it and gotten used to driving it and how it operates, you’re almost ready to launch your business. Before doing so, however, ask yourself these important questions:
Do I have the necessary driver resources, depending on how much business I generate? Charter bus companies transport groups to all sorts of concerts, games, shows, amusement parks and the like, and there may be a big demand. Do you have drivers available? Can you handle all of the work yourself?
Have I met with the necessary people in creating my business plan? This could include city, county and state agency representatives, attorneys, insurance providers, charter bus industry experts and others. You have to understand the various issues you may face, and these people will help you do it.
Am I prepared for bus maintenance? The dealer you bought your bus from can likely suggest a proper maintenance schedule. The dealer also may have a maintenance and repair shop on the premises. If you choose to maintain the bus yourself, make sure you understand how to do it.
Have I got all necessary licenses and permits together? Each city and county has their own unique regulations and mandates on what a charter bus company owner must have in place. Don’t neglect any of this.
Am I ready with my marketing materials and strategy? There are numerous ways to get the word out about your business including the Internet, direct mail, newspaper ads, radio spots, etc. Know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there with good marketing strategies.
Do I have someone to oversee bookkeeping and accounting? If you will do this yourself, make sure you know how. Otherwise, hire a reputable professional to handle this for you.
These are just a few of the things you’ll need to get into place to run a successful charter bus business. Finding a bus for sale, as you can see, is only one of the important steps.
Doug Thomas is a freelance writer for Busses For Sale, a Springfield, Pa.-provider of bus for sale opportunities to those starting businesses as well as private individuals. Interested in finding out more about Busses For Sale? Visit our website today for more information.