Your ride to success

the pink cab founders, Mark and Tina Stevenson, reveal to The Franchise Magazine why their franchise is streets ahead of the competition.

Why did you set up the pink cab business?

Like many people back in 2008, I was made redundant. Not a major disaster on its own but the problem was made very much worse by the fact that we had just moved into a new house and my wife, Tina, had just fallen down some stairs, which effectively ended her teaching career. The result was a large but not a substantial mortgage to pay with no income.

Why pink?

The classic scenario – redundancy, set up a cab business! The problem we had was a lot of people were in the same position as us and we had to be very different from the competition as there was a lot of it and the numbers were growing. We chose cerise pink as Tina collects Dr. Marten boots and I had bought her a very stylish pink pair for Christmas a couple of months before.

What makes your franchise unique?

We’re not only a taxi service – we also offer a wedding car service; we do school proms, stag and hen nights as well as children’s parties. This amounts to quite a substantial extra revenue stream that normal taxi services cannot provide.

Where do you advertise?

We don’t necessarily need to advertise because the pink cabs are very distinctive and once seen people generally Google the pink cab, find our website and give us a call. We now regularly receive phone calls from all over the country and have even had phone calls from as far afield as New York and Texas in the USA, as people want the pink cab to pick them up from the airport.

What qualifications do I need?

There are no formal qualifications required at present although some local authorities are introducing work-based NVQ qualifications. However, you do require a driving licence together with a criminal records check (CRB), medical and ‘knowledge test’.

How long does it take to get up and running?

The necessary CRB check, medical etc., can take anything up to eight weeks. Once everything is in place, your initial training will then commence which takes approximately one week, after which time you will be ready to start your pink cab business.

How much will it cost?

The initial cost for the franchise is £15,000 + VAT. On top of that you have the purchase cost of the cab, which can vary depending on what your local authority requirements are. For example, there are no age restrictions of cabs being licensed in the Cotswolds so the pink cab could be on the road for as little as £10,000 giving you a total cost of £25,000. Whereas in Wiltshire, you cannot licence a new cab that is under five years old, which pushes up the price in the region of further £10,000.

What ongoing support will I receive?

As well as the initial training and ongoing business development, you will also be provided with the use of Key Performance Indicators. Our own pink cabs will also be available for promotion and marketing support.

Can the franchise fit around my family?

You are self-employed and as such you are your own boss and can fit your work around your family.