Operating a minibus/kombi transport business in Zimbabwe is a highly rewarding venture if done properly. Millions of Zimbabweans who use public transport prefer travelling via commuter omnibuses especially for short to medium distances. A minibus business will pump cash into your pocket every day if operated efficiently. This article will outline how to start a profitable kombi public transport business in Zimbabwe, and the business plan.
Before you start a kombi business in Zimbabwe, you have to decide on the routes your minibuses will be travelling, and the size of your business i.e. the number of minibuses you will be starting with. You should always carry out a feasibility study, market research and write a business plan before you venture into any business. Do not make the mistake of starting a kombi business or any other business just because someone is doing it and he/she says it’s profitable.
What you need
You will need a garage for the kombi public transport business. This is where you will be operating from, and where your offices will be based. You may buy or rent a garage in the industrial areas e.g. if you are operating from Harare you may get a Garage in the Southerton and Workington industrial areas. However, for most small transport businesses, the kombis will usually park at the owner’s place of residence overnight. Some small business owners allow the drivers to go with the kombis to their homes.
Vehicles and Equipment
You will need to purchase minibuses for the public transport business. Most people purchase the vehicles online from Beforward website, Japan. You can also purchase the kombis from car sales in South Africa e.g. Mussina, and from local car sales garages in Harare. The kind of minibus you need will depend on the route of your kombis. For short to medium distance routes, you can purchase Toyota Hiace passenger van. Examples of such routes include local routes e.g. Harare CBD to Mufakose, or medium distance intercity routes e.g. Gweru to Masvingo, Harare to Chinhoyi e.t.c.
For long distance routes, you can purchase vehicles such as IVECO minibuses, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter passenger van, or Toyota Quantum minibuses. Example of such routes are Harare-Bulawayo route, Bulawayo to Victoria Fall route or Harare to Mussina South Africa Route. You will need garage equipment for your minibuses, and repair tools. The drivers should always travel with basic repair tools such that if they encounter minor problems along the way, they can always fix the kombis.
You are required by Road Traffic Act to have Third Party Insurance for your public transport business. This is a legal requirement, and you cannot operate a kombi transport business without this insurance. This is the most basic cover and protects the client (or insured/policyholder) against loss or damage to third Party Properties in the course of driving, and death or bodily injury to these Third Parties only.
It’s also better to take fully comprehensive insurance for your public transport business. This is the most extensive and complete form of motor insurance cover, which covers third party insurance, fire and theft, and also provides accidental damage to the policyholder’s vehicle. It is important to protect all of the assets of the business. Appropriate and adequate insurance coverage is an important part of this. Insurance cover can be arranged through an insurance company directly, through an agent of an insurance company, or through an insurance broker. There are many insurance companies in Zimbabwe.
Licenses for kombi business
To operate a kombi transport business in Zimbabwe, you need to pay Vehicle license fee, obtain an Operator’s license, a route authority, and certificate of fitness from the VID. If you are operating a cross boarder transport business, e.g. Harare to Mussina South Africa, you will also need a Bilateral Permit.
Management and Staff
The number of employees you need will depend on the size of your business. There is need for someone to handle finance and accounting issues. For a small transport business, this can be done by the owner of the business. As the business grows, there is need to hire full time staff that will be responsible for all the day to day transactional accounting for the transport business, and management of the organization’s cash flow, ensuring there are enough funds available to meet the day to day payments.
You will also require drivers and conductors for the kombis. The drivers and conductors need to be monitored closely, to ensure that they are not stealing from the business, and that they meet the daily revenue targets. Depending on the size of the business, you may also need mechanics, supervisors, and operations mangers.
Profitability of the kombi transport business
The kombi transport business is very profitable when it is operated efficiently and managed properly. The minibuses need to be serviced regularly to ensure that they are always in roadworthy condition. You need to properly account for all the money the public transport business generates, do not mix personal and business funds. The drivers will cash in between $60 and $140 daily revenue per kombi, depending on the route they are operating in, and size of the minibus.
Pre-written Business Plan for Minibus/Kombi Transport Business
For an in-depth analysis of the kombi transport business in Zimbabwe, purchase our business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many Zimbabweans were venturing into the kombi business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.
Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a kombi transport business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the kombi business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the business. The minibus/kombi business plan is designed uniquely for the Zimbabwean market.
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I found the business plans very informative, helpful to make appropriate decisions.
The kombi/minibus business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your kombi business
- As a project proposal
- Assessing profitability of the minibus business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
The business plan includes, but not limited to:
- Market Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Financial Statements (income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs)
- Marketing Strategy
- Risk Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements
- Government regulations, Licence requirements and Licence Fees
- Operational Strategy
- Why some Zimbabweans in kombi business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your kombi transport business in Zimbabwe
We decided to make them affordable for anyone who would want a minibus business plan, and the price for pre-written business plans is only $12.50 for soft copies, and $16 for hard copies.
You can purchase via Paynow using Ecocash, Telecash and Vpayments. You just click Pay now (scroll down) and you will then be taken to Pay now website where you make the payment. Just follow the instructions; you will be done with the payment process in 2 minutes. We will email the business plan (PDF format, Microsoft word format, and a Microsoft Excel file with the financial statements) to you within 24 hours, using the email address you provided when you were paying.
If you have a MasterCard, Visa Card or a PayPal account, you can purchase the business plan via PayPal. You just click Buy now (scroll down) and you will then be taken to PayPal website where you make the payment. Just follow the instructions; you will be done with the payment process in 2 minutes. We will email the business plan (PDF format, Microsoft word format, and a Microsoft Excel file with the financial statements) to you within 24 hours, using the email address you provided when you were paying.
You can also purchase hard copies and/or soft copies at our offices in Harare. Visit StartupBiz Zimbabwe, Office 103, First Floor, Gowero House, Cnr Mbuya Nehanda and Nelson Mandela, Harare . Hard copies cost $16 and soft copies cost $12.50.
For any questions, other payment options, email us on email@example.com , call/whatsapp us on +263 778 798 072 .
Kombi Public Transport /Commuter Omnibus/Mini-Bus Business Plan ($12.50)
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