How to Start a GPS Company

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Most of us know the term "global positioning system" by its acronym, GPS. GPS companies help track, map and locate a variety of items, places and people. Businesses with fleets of vehicles, shipments and products that require tracking may be interested in building a long-term working relationship with a GPS company. GPS companies bring peace of mind to families and individuals by providing a way to track elderly family members, teens and pets. Global positioning systems can be used from mobile phones, PDAs and home computers and are available 24 hours, seven days a week.

  • Choose a target audience. Decide what market to sell GPS services or products to and define that target market by age, income, occupation and any other demographics deemed necessary. Define the target audience to understand who will buy the GPS product, where to sell the product and what the audience needs and expects. Contact the local chamber of commerce, explore government census records or visit the U.S. Small Business Administration's website to learn about finding a target market. GPS markets to explore include tracking business and personal assets, mapping and tracking medical symptoms and locating and tracking people and pets.

    For example, the GPS based company called, Asthmapolis, helps asthma sufferers track symptoms, medication use and asthma triggers by selling a GPS enhanced inhaler called the Spiroscout. Gathering demographics about this target audience can occur through the Centers for Disease Control. Asthmapolis not only sells its product and services to patients and doctors, it also aggregates the information and sells it to public health researchers and scientists.

  • Write a business plan that outlines how the company will sell GPS services and products to the target market. The business plan should clearly state what the company intends to sell and how it will create revenue with a GPS product. A guide to writing a business plan is available at the SBA website and includes free business plan templates. The SBA has offices across the U.S. staffed to assist business owners in starting new businesses and writing business plans.

  • Develop the product or service. Investigate what GPS products and services are available from manufacturers and how they might be adapted to the GPS company business plan. Manufacturing directories, such as Thomas Net, a web-based portal for the Thomas Publishing Company, lists manufacturers of all kinds of products including global positioning systems. GPS companies focused on selling a medical-based GPS device will likely need to contact both a medical device supplier and a GPS products and services supplier to incorporate GPS into the medical device.

  • Choose a GPS solution provider. Solution providers sell the positioning service, but may also sell turnkey GPS products for GPS tracking including GPS devices, product support and software tracking. Contact providers and inquire about purchase plans, pricing and price breaks. GPS solution providers may require a minimum purchase from distributors and some may require an application fee. Ask about the ability to brand a GPS product with the business logo to build customer recognition. Look for providers that offer 24 hour, seven day a week support so that customers are never left without access to tracking.

  • Choose a business location. A GPS company can be operated from just about anywhere including a home office. However, it is a business and it must follow the requirements for running a business in the state it claims as its home base. Contact the city or state business regulations and licensing department to apply for both a business and sales tax license. GPS solution providers may require a copy of the business license before allowing a GPS tracking company to sign a contract.

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