The global financial crisis may have seen many companies go out of business but it brought to life a lot of successful, inventive ones as well. Many budding entrepreneurs had to come up with unique ideas or services to start making money, while a lot went back to basics in attempts to turn a profit. One such idea is making use of existing resources to start a business, such as running a business out of your own van.
This has many advantages as you’re the boss so can choose working hours to suit your lifestyle and the money you make is even more rewarding.
A Business Plan
Firstly you’ll need to decide on what type of business you and your van are going to set up. A simple removal service requires no extra skill and there’s always a need for it, but the work will be physically demanding.
Catering services are a good option for those with the culinary abilities, or a business partner with them. Likewise handyman, gardening and decorating all require use of a van and some prior skill. Alternatively providing delivery services for another such company will work.
Unless you intend to rent or buy one, owning a reliable van is necessary. Depending on your chosen business model buying a new vehicle should be decided based on this. A transit van will be more appropriate for transporting larger materials and equipment for example.
Having appropriate equipment for the service you and your van are providing is essential, such as gardening tools or facilities to store and serve hot food. Keep tools, a spare tyre and back-up generator on board in case of a breakdown. With people relying on your service it’s ideal to be prepared to fix any problems as quickly as possible to not lose custom.
If you run the business on your own you must register as a sole trader. You will then need to complete a self-assessment tax return each year to stay on the right side of the law. It also presents your company as legitimate to any potential investors or clients.
Commercial vehicle and public liability insurance should also be taken out to further protect you and your business. This means you shouldn’t instantly go out of business in the case of an accident or any property being stolen or damaged. These steps will get your van business up and running in no time.