Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Limousine Marketing 101

When people think about limousines a lot of times the things that come to mind are weddings, nights on the town, graduations and things of that sort. In the limousine world these types of rides are known as leisure trips. They are also for the most part weekend only limo trips.

But in order to have a profitable limousine business, you need to make sure your limousines are on the road as many days as possible. You can do this by getting involved in the corporate part of limousine transportation. Now before I get ahead of myself I must say that although the corporate transportation world can be very profitable it takes a lot of pre-planning before even going after. For example in the leisure trips, white limousines are most often always OK, in fact that it what is usually expected. But in the corporate world if limousines are even used they are always black. The most common vehicle of choice for a CEO of a company would be a simple black sedan, luxury without the flash. With leisure travel most of the times the plans are made during regular business hours, but with corporate transportation you have changes being made all the time, so the phones have to be monitored 24 hours a day.

Once you have put your company in a position to handle the corporate market, here are some type of companies you my want to go after.

1. Destination Management Companies

DMC's have clients traveling in and out of town all the time. A good way to get in touch with these companies would be threw your local Convention and Visitors Bureau. You will find needs for limousines, but most of the time the request will be sedans, and shuttle buses.

2. Surgery Centers:

Lots of plastic Surgeon's perform what is called same day surgery, it is a great marketing tool for Doctors to be able to offer transportation to the customer, just in case they don't have a ride. This small offer may be the deciding factor of which Doctor the patient goes with. You can find these types of business by searching google. Example, modesto plastic surgery.

3. Fortune 500 Companies
These companies have CEO's and executives traveling a lot. Most of the time these trips are arranged by the executive assistants. They are who you should market to. Send a limousine to take them all to lunch. Before they will let you handle the boss, they have to see how the service is themselves.
4. Funeral Homes
This is an area that not many limousine companies think about, but during a struggling economy it is one of the most consistent. Limousines are a big part of a funeral service. Limousine drivers have to have compassion while handling these families. But this type of business can prove very profitable. Go into your local Funeral Home and find out what they are looking for in a limousine service and see if you can be of service to them.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What to look for when choosing a limousine company

When looking for a limousine company you may notice there are many to choose from. Here are a few tips to help.

1. Not all limousine companies are created equal:

When picking your limousine company remember you should not base everything on price. Companies that have older limousines can sometimes afford to charge less. So make sure you know what you are getting for the price you pay.

2. Variety is the spice of life:

Whether you are looking for a hummer limousine, a stretch Lincoln, maybe even a party bus, Make sure the limousine company you are working with has a wide variety of limousines to choose from. You should not compromise with any other limousine just because the company you are working with does not have the limousine you want.

3. Who will be your limousine driver:

Nothing is worse than having a limo driver that does not know his way around. Therefore make sure the driver you are given fits the occasion. If you are going wine tasting, make sure your driver is familiar with the wine region you are going to. Spending your day giving your driver directions really takes away from your the limo experience.

4. Safety first:

Limousine companies are regulated by the states in which the conduct business. Make sure the limousine company you choose has the proper licence and insurance.

It's a simple matter of protecting yourself against unforeseen discrepancies that may pop up at a later date. Another great rule is to look before you buy. Can you think of anything you would buy sight unseen? Of course not. Check out the limousine to make sure that the ride you're getting is the ride you're paying for. Be it for a party, special event, or for airport or corporate transportation, there are few more satisfying experiences than being the passenger in a limousine or luxury sedan.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Limousine Service 101 Starting a Limousine Company

During my years in the Limousine Transportation Business, I have ran across many people wanting to start their own Limousine Company. I thought I would dedicate my first blog entry to those wanting to start a limousine company. I wanted to touch on a few main points to get you up and running.

1. Limousine Company Rules

Get to know the law- many states require that new limousine companies prove that there is actually a need for additional limousine companies. Make sure you contact the organization which regulates limousine companies in your state. Make sure you get all of the requirements to start a limousine business, especially the insurance liability requirements.

2. Limousine Company Niche

Find your niche. Most all new limousine companies go into the business looking to capture overflow work from others they know in the limousine business already. This is fine at first, but what will be your niche in the long run? What types of clientele will you cater to, and what will make your limousine company stand out? Will it be corporate work, weddings, airports, weekend work, or something else? In whatever direction you choose to take your limousine company there are do's and dont's.

3.Limousine Company Service:

Answer your phone. I can not stress the importance of answering your phone, customers don't like leaving messages, they will simply hang up and call the next limousine company. If you cannot be available at most times, hire someone who can.

Vehicle. Your limousine needs to be in immaculate condition - top of the line. You are the new kid on the block, you need to be as competitive as possible.

Appearance is everything. If I wanted to be picked up by someone in jeans, I would have had my neighbor drive me. Always make sure your chauffer dresses the part. However, remember a tuxedo is not always the answer...

Timing-if you are not at least 15 minutes early to your pick up, then you are late. Don't have your customer waiting for you, you wait for your customer.

Following these steps while starting your limousine business, and building on them as you grow your business will quickly push you ahead of your competitor and increase your staying power.