This article will give you ride-sharing novices more advanced tools to become a better driver. These strategies come from members of the Casual Capitalist community who are killing it with Uber and Lyft.
Take Sam for instance. Sam is an Uber driver in New York City and is making approximately $50,000 a year by driving for Uber. And it isn’t even his full-time job!
Or Samantha from Atlanta, who is supplementing her income by driving with Uber on weekends, bringing in an extra $1,300 a month.
For Sam, Samantha, and others in the community, a few simple tweaks to their ride-sharing business helped them take off to the next level. And we want to share those quick tips with you now.
Understand the different areas of your city, the traffic flow, and peak driving periods. According to Sam from NYC, one of the worst things you can do is drive around too much looking for riders.
Make sure you test out various areas of your city at different times. You should also be talking with other Uber drivers to see where they get the best bang for their buck.
Uber uses an algorithm to detect events or times of high rider demand with low driver supply. Uber, in turn, will increase prices during these specific situations, which provides drivers with an opportunity to increase their profits. Right? Well, not exactly.
Uber surge is based on passenger demand and driver supply. As such, Uber will notify local drivers of surge periods. But, avoid the temptation to only go to areas where there is surge pricing.
This is because Uber is redistributing drivers and often times everyone and their brother are driving to that surge area. Surge means drivers are being sent to that area, which will dry up demand quickly. Samantha from above noted that at times she has gone to surge areas and hasn’t been able to find a single ride.
Also, driving aimlessly is never a good practice as an Uber driver.
If you’re already in a surge area, don’t run for the hills. Rock it! But avoid the temptation to spend your day driving around looking for surge areas.
As with any business, a small amount of investment can yield high returns. According to a survey of the Casual Capitalist Community, here are seven tools, or investments, every ride-sharing driver should consider:
1. Invest In Yourself – Register for a ride-sharing course that will give you the fundamentals of the ride-sharing industry, and the tricks you need to stand out from the crowd. Our favorite course is the Maximum Ridesharing Profits course by Harry Campbell, aka The Rideshare Guy.
2. Smartphone Mount – It’s very important that all ride-sharing drivers have some sort of dashboard mount for their smartphones. Without it, you will be fumbling with your phone as you drive, and it makes you appear less professional. And it’s super unsafe!
For under $10, you can make your life so much easier. Here is our favorite phone mount.
3. Mileage Log – You should create some sort of mileage log to track your mileage, maintenance, gas, and other costs. You can make your own, or spend $5 on something like this. Either way, for both tax and business purposes, you should be tracking your mileage and associated costs.
4. Seatbelt Cutter – For safety purposes, this is a good tool to have in case you are involved in, or witness, an accident.
5. First Aid Kit – Similar to the above, this type of equipment is always a good idea to have not only for your safety but for your passengers as well.
6. Dashcam – Many in the Casual Capitalist community love their dashcam. This gives them, and riders, the extra comfort that should something happen, there is video evidence of what occurred. For insurance purposes, this could be a life saver.
7. Roadside Emergency Tool Kit – Again, you can never be too careful. Along with the first aid kit, this toolkit can get you out of a sticky situation if your car breaks down.
My number one piece of advice for new ride-sharing drivers is to learn from the veterans. Make it a point of taking regular Uber or Lyft rides as a passenger to chat with other drivers and pick up tips from them. This is a great way to quickly develop your local knowledge.
Finally, here is a fantastic nugget of advice from Kevin from Ottawa, Canada. Kevin told me the other day that the biggest game-changer for him as an Uber driver was when he started treating his driving like a small business.
This is when Kevin began networking with other drivers…err I mean business owners. Kevin also invested a few hundred dollars in some standard equipment (similar to this list above) to make his Uber life easier and his business run smoother.
As a ride-sharing driver you are an entrepreneur, so act accordingly. You need to nurture any business, no matter how big or small, to get the returns you want. The more you put into your business, the more you’ll get out. You don’t need to be Steve Jobs to know that.
Safe driving everyone!
Glenn Carter is a sharing economy expert and is sharing his passion for side income through new digital platforms with his readers.