Great Reasons to Start a Designated Driver Business

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Designated Driver Business Business Overview:

Starting a designated driver business is a smart way to be your own boss while providing a much-needed service to your community. A designated driver is typically the one person in a group who refrains from drinking alcohol and whose responsibility it is to drive everyone home. This is a great plan, in theory, but usually the designated driver ends up being the person in the group who’s had the least to drink—not someone who has completely abstained from drinking alcohol. Obviously that is not safe and there needs to be an alternative to leaving your car at the bar or club and taking an expensive cab ride home. Your designated driver business offers clients the freedom of going out, having a good time and not having to worry about who will drive home. When called, your business will send out two drivers. One will drive the customer and his car home, the other will follow in another car to pick up the other driver at the client’s home. This gets your customer home safely with his car in the driveway ready for the next day. If you are unsure how to set up a designated driver business, there are franchises available to help. A franchise will be more expensive up front but will come with training, marketing, advice on hiring drivers and much more. You can start a non-franchise designated driver business for much less if you prefer. If you print up some business cards and distribute them to area restaurants, bars and clubs, you’ll find you have enough business to fill your nights and weekends. This is a part-time business that will typically be slow during the day so you can focus on other business ideas and marketing. If you run a personal assistant business during the day, adding a designated driver business at night would be the logical next step since you are likely already familiar with your city and could easily navigate to pick-up and drop-off destinations. Consider creating a website and listing your services and pricing so that you can market your business to other businesses like event planners who could recommend your services for weddings, birthday parties, retirement parties, etc. Their clients may even choose to offer designated driving services to all their guests. Offer both individual rates and group rates and have some extra staff on hand for large events since you’ll likely need to drive several people home around the same time. Other than large group events, bartenders and club managers will be your best referral tools, so spread the word to them and they will pass business on to you.

A Day in the Life of a Designated Driver Business Owner:

This article brought to you by Business Ideas! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the Business Ideas Newsletter to get ideas sent straight to your email inbox.If you have a large event, you will need to coordinate your “stand-by” staff and have them on call for when the party ends. Otherwise, you and your partner will be on call during your set hours (8:00 pm – 2:00 am, for example) and respond to calls throughout the evening. When you’re not making pick-ups, you will go to various bars and clubs distributing business cards to customers and bartenders.

About Your Customers:

Your customers will be individuals who have had too much to drink and need to get home safely. Your customers may also be responsible people who throw parties or large events who want to hire you to ensure their guests get home safely after they’ve had a great time at the event.

What You Need to Start:

  • Two-person team
  • Proper insurance
  • Vehicle
  • Marketing materials
  • Method of accepting credit card payments in your vehicle
  • Website (optional)
  • Extra staff (optional but necessary if you market your services to large parties and at certain times of year like St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve)
  • Computer with finance software

The Good:

  • This business provides an invaluable service.
  • Franchises are available to help you get started.
  • It’s rewarding to know you’re keeping intoxicated drivers off the road and getting them home safely.
  • The start-up investment for a non-franchise business is low.
  • You can easily run this business part-time.

The Bad:

  • The hours are late.
  • Some customers may be so intoxicated they are difficult to work with.


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