Before welcoming any new team members to your business, it's important to set employee standards. There are a number of traits that make the ideal candidate for any company. As you interview potential staff members, be on the lookout for someone who possesses the following qualities:
Does the candidate seem like someone who will bring a lot of new ideas to the table? If he or she shows that the willingness to invest in the future of the company, Forbes contributor Ken Sundheim said the person will make a great fit.
The potential team member should have a great understanding of the industry. If he or she already knows a thing or two about your company, that's a bonus.
A confident employee will take on the tasks and difficult issues other team members are not comfortable with.
If the candidate has an ambitious personality, he or she will be more likely to come up with monumental ideas that help your company grow.
If you don't hire a team of honest employees, your company could lose credibility. Find someone who has strong moral principles and will bring authenticity to your business.
Every work day isn't going to be a piece of cake, and the interviewee needs to know that. According to the Houston Chronicle, an employee who is discipline-oriented is committed to the company and determined to complete assignments, rain or shine.
7. The ability to work with a team
Get an understanding of his or her past experience and find out how well he or she works with a team. Great social skills – with other employees and outside clients – are a must.
A person who is self-motivated and thrives on proving other people wrong makes the ideal candidate, according to Inc. Magazine contributor Jeff Haden. An impressive employee is someone who is always willing to go above and beyond for the company.
As the administrator of your limousine business, you know cutting unnecessary costs every month will only help further your success. The problem is, most businesspeople make the mistake of getting rid of certain strategies, strong employees and coverage that could've potentially turned them into business moguls. Don't let your company fall under this category. Instead, make sure to prioritize the following costs at all times:
1. Digital marketing
Above all, it's in your best interested to nail your marketing strategy – not to cut it from your costs. When you get rid of marketing, you lose potential customers from referrals, B2B, organic searches and more. Besides creating strong relationships with your clients, your company website needs to be on point. That might be as simple as adding a blog or interactive feature, or it might mean giving the site a whole new look to increase the amount of time users spend there. Whatever you do, don't cut marketing costs. You can't only rely on word-of-mouth these days for business; the internet is going to be one of your best business partners.
"Business insurance is essential."
Besides the car insurance you'll need for your limousine fleet, business insurance is also essential, according to the Houston Chronicle. General business insurance will cover everything from business contracts and interruptions, to liquor liabilities and workers compensation. Your business insurance will come in handy when a potential disaster occurs, and you won't want to regret making that cost cut when the time comes.
3. Strong customer service
Between your chauffeurs, customer service staff and other employees, you need to make sure to hire and keep as many service-oriented employees as you'll need – depending on the size of your business. Hiring more people might seem like a quick way to lose money, but the right group of workers will bring in happy customers. This, in turn, will make you a profit overtime, turning it into a positive long-term investment. If you can't keep your clients happy, then you won't keep clients. With an impressive team, you can ensure your business will always run smoothly and your customers will always be satisfied.
4. Fleet maintenance
Keeping your limousine fleet sleek and shiny makes the impression you need to make a profit. If you cut the costs on taking care of your limos, you'll start losing customers and your margins will drop. Make it a point to have your limos thoroughly cleaned at least once a week, inside and out.
"Take care of issues as soon as they occur."
And don't forget about routine maintenance services, according to Limo Digest. Taking your limos into the shop for a check-up will cost you, but it's an investment that will save you in the long-run. If you neglect to take your cars into the shop when something goes wrong, they'll end up breaking down eventually and you'll be stuck with a dead limo. What sounds better, spending minimal dollars now to get the oil and tires changed, or spending thousands to replace the fleet entirely? Don't skimp out on maintenance costs. Take care of issues as soon as they occur.
5. Limo software
If you're looking to increase productivity and grow your business, you have to prioritize the cost of using limo software. If you haven't even thought about using it for your business, you need to consider Limo Anywhere. With this software, you can turn your business into a reservations engine, streamline your booking, scheduling and dispatch, and allow your passengers to communicate with drivers and track ride progress before pick up. It's the key to building your global network, and it'll save you money and get you business faster than any other software. Stop neglecting to set aside funds that will help your business grow. Let Limo Anywhere be your ticket to success.
If you want to run a successful limo business, you have to make certain your fleet is properly maintained. Just like with any other car, taking your limousines in to the shop is crucial for reliable driving. After all, what kind of impression will you make if one of your vehicles breaks down and needs to be pulled over with clients in the back seat? Avoid the embarrassment and potential loss of business by keeping your fleet in top shape. Here are seven routine maintenance services you can't avoid:
1. Changing the tires
Because your business solely relies on driving clients around, you need to make sure your tires are always in great shape. Typically, you can wait about 80,000 miles to change limo tires, but there are a number of contributing factors that could lead you to need new tires sooner, according to Limousine, Chart and Tour magazine. Those include road temperature, driving patterns, load factors, tire inflation and poor road condition. Be mindful of the obstacles your limousines are going through and take them into the shop for an inspection every 50,000 miles just to be safe.
2. Replacing the battery
Your drivers might find themselves stranded on the side of the road if you don't replace the batteries in your vehicles. Because batteries wear down regardless of use, Angie's List said it's crucial to replace them every three to six years. And don't overlook this maintenance task – it often won't give your driver a sign that it's about to die, according to what shop owner Lynn Beckwith told Angie's List.
"These days, most batteries don't give you much or any warning before they fail," she said. "They work one day and don't the next."
3. Getting the oil changed
Much like replacing the tires and battery, getting the oil changed in your limousines on a regular basis is crucial. It's typically the same as taking care of your own car, as Royale Limo's Scheduled Maintenance Guide suggested changing the oil at 7,500 miles or every six months, depending on which occurs first. Proper oil maintenance will ensure your engine works its best, improving the fuel economy and protecting the hardware against wear and tear.
4. Checking the belts and hoses
While it's a maintenance service that's often overlooked, checking on your limos' belts and hoses is necessary. After all, they are the mechanisms that help your vehicles operate on a daily basis, especially the engine and cooling system. MotorWeek recommended replacing the belts and hoses every 75,000 miles or five years, depending on whichever milestone comes first. If you neglect to repair and replace these parts, you could find yourself replacing the engine or limo completely.
"A compromised coolant circulation system could leave your drivers stranded."
5. Check the engine coolant
If your engine coolant is leaking, a number of things could go wrong. According to LCT magazine, coolant circulates through the engine and is carried back to the radiator to cool off and circulate again. If this system is compromised, it could stop the power steering, alternator, water pump and air-conditioner compressor from working properly. Ultimately, this could leave your drivers stranded on the side of the road or your passengers feeling uncomfortable in extreme temperatures.
6. Keeping the interior clean
This one's a no-brainer, but it's worth the mention. If you don't pay attention to the way your drivers are taking care of the cabin, there's a chance you won't be getting much return business – especially if the limo's interior is a disaster. Your entire fleet deserves detailing every few days, or once a week at the very least. And that's not just vacuuming and dusting – steaming the carpet and polishing the leather makes a great finishing touch that's likely to bring your customers back for more service.
7. Washing the exterior
What kind of impression will your fleet make on your business if the vehicles arrive on the job covered in dirt and grime? Taking care of the outside of each limo is just as crucial as cleaning up the interior. By scheduling a routine wash, wax and rust proofing for each one of your limousines, you can extend the life of the body and improve the overall appearance. Depending on the weather, your limos should receive a thorough wash at least once a week.
Providing your drivers with a well-maintained, working fleet is essential for running your limo business. Be sure you're always keeping up with these routine services for success.
Whether you've been in the business for a while or you're just starting your new adventure, consistent marketing is key in the professional car service industry. By staying relevant and constantly showing your customers what you have to offer, you can ensure they'll remember your name when it's time to contact a company for limo services. Coming up with fresh, relevant marketing content that pulls in potential customers can set you apart from your competitors.
Use the drive and passion you have to promote your limo business on a regular basis. Here are 10 ways to spruce up your marketing strategy:
1. Understand your audience
There are many different groups of people to market your services to. Before you start promoting your business, understand who your target audience is. Are you offering rides for airport transfers? Or will you be helping the bride and groom get to their wedding reception? Answering these questions will help you decide where you plan to advertise your business.
2. Give your sales pitch a facelift
Once you understand your audience, consider your sales pitch. Does it cater to the needs and wants of your potential customers? Drive Profit suggested coming up with a unique proposal that produces an emotional response out of said clients. This increases the chance repeating business in the future, and could also potentially inspire them to recommend your services to friends and family.
3. Keep your social media outlets updated
Print advertisement is a classic way to get your brand out there, but have you considered the social media world? Now more than ever, people are trusting in the internet to find specific services. If you keep your social media outlets up-to-date and relevant with your industry, new customers will find you with a quick search.
4. Ask existing clients for referrals
Marketing your business through existing clients is an excellent way to build stronger relationships and acquire new business. By asking past customers to fill out a review on your Facebook page or talk to their loved ones about the services you're offering, you can ensure a good word will get out about your limo business.
5. Create a portal for testimonies
If you're looking for a way to gain new business, create a tab on your website dedicated to previous customer testimonies. This allows potential clients to get a feel for the type of experience your drivers provide. When they read about positive occurrences, they'll likely trust in your drivers to provide similar service for them.
6. Email your clients, but don't go overboard
Using email to get the word out about your business is an effective marketing strategy. It can, however, crush your credibility if you don't know how to use it. Nobody wants to receive a weekly email that repeats the same business jargon as the previous. If you want to encourage more business through your emails, just keep your messages short, sweet and to the point. Drive Profit suggested making it personal and including a call-to-action so the client is always inspired to reach out to you.
7. Offer discounts to previous customers
When you provide incentives for previous customers to return, it's likely that they'll choose you over the competitor. Forbes suggested creating loyalty reward programs that encourage your clients to return for business. Once the word spreads that you're honoring users with discounts and special offers, you'll likely see some new faces.
8. Attend more networking events
Digital and print advertising can get your name out there, but so will word-of-mouth. By attending more networking events, you can make strong connections with businessmen who will send potential clients your way. The Strategic Business Network said attending events increases your visibility, keeps you current with the trends and offers an opportunity to get motivated by key speakers.
9. Hand out business cards
Social media posts might be the new billboard, but business cards are forever. Handing existing and potential customers your business card makes an interaction more personal. It also shows you're willing to take calls and emails whenever it's most convenient for them.
10. Use limo software
The world of technology is always finding ways to make life simpler, especially when it comes to growing your business. Aside from consistently posting to your social media outlets on weekly basis, consider using limo software. Limo Anywhere lets you manage administrative tasks from wherever, whenever. This allows you to spend more time growing your network and less worrying about the time-consuming duties you once spent countless hours taking care of.
Welcoming a new driver into the fold of your limousine or livery business is an exciting time. Despite the joy that you and your new employee may feel, it's important to keep in mind that the first few weeks of training – known as the onboarding process -are crucial to ensuring that your new driver or office worker settles in, learns the ropes and ultimately excels in the long run.
The key to an effective onboarding process is prior preparation – you need to have a clear understanding of the training that your new worker will undergo, and the reasoning behind it.
Are you a startup company looking to develop your onboarding program for the first time? Or are you an established company, and have recently noticed that your new employee training initiative needs some work? If so, check out the list of five important tips for onboarding a new employee below:
1. Email ahead
One of the most important steps begins before your new employee's first day at the office. Send an email to the individual outlining what he or she can expect on the first day. All Business advised that it's a good idea to include important details such as dress code expectations, start time and lunch etiquette. This is especially important, given that your drivers will likely be required to wear a suit or other formal wear. The source elaborated that it could also be a wise idea to send over any necessary paperwork that needs to be completed, so the new worker can get a head start – think I-9 employment authorization forms, tax forms, direct debit forms and so on.
"Email the new employee important paperwork before his or her first day."
2. Start later than usual
On the first day it's important to make sure that your energy is directed primarily at your new employee. Sure, you run a business and other things will arise, which is why it's important to have the new employee start later in the day, Entrepreneur argued. That way you can use the morning to wrap up any other pressing projects or deal with other concerns, ensuring that your new worker can have your attention for the rest of the day. If you open your door at say 8am, have the new recruit arrive at 11am, for example.
3. Get started
Introduce your new employee to some of the most important aspects of his or her new job on the first day, while keeping in mind that he or she will be unlikely to remember everything straight away. In other words, offer a gentle introduction to the work. If you are onboarding a new driver, consider having he or she spend time driving a limousine, with you as a passenger. Or, if your new employee is going to be based in your office or dispatch center, have them take a look at your limo booking software and limo dispatch software, so they can begin to get a handle on how to use it.
4. Have a team lunch
Entrepreneur advised treating your new employee and the whole team to a lunch, so that every will be introduced and professional bonds can begin to be established.
5. Keep it easy
A first day can be overwhelming enough, without a heavy work load. In other words, don't throw your new employee in at the deep end, All Business explained. Keep assignments straightforward and manageable, and be sure to exhibit plenty of patience – your new worker will more than likely have a lot of questions.
One of the hardest parts of any successful limo company is customer retention and sales. While specific livery software can help improve the overall operations of your business, it will always take some extra finesse and skill to continue to grow your base.
Thankfully, it is certainly possible. There are a number of tools and tricks you can use to keep customers coming in, especially as competition heats up in the space. Here are three tips to attract new customers to your limo company this summer:
1. Do some research
The first step toward a larger customer base is a bit of internal research. Specifically, you need to figure out exactly who your target audience is and what they want out of a limo company. While limos are desirable modes of transportation for several big events – proms and weddings, for example – they are still sought after in other areas. Figure out where this is by analyzing your existing customers that come to you year-round. Why are they using your company? Consider sending out surveys to current clients for some feedback. Learn what they like, and then you know what you can highlight in your marketing, promotions and sales efforts.
2. Review your finances
Believe it or not, an introspective look at your company's finances can actually help you attract new customers this summer. For instance, think about your margins. Where does your money go on a monthly or quarterly basis? How much are you investing in employee salaries and benefits? Fleet maintenance? Day-to-day operations? Odds are, there's an expense in there somewhere you can trim or cut. And once you find this expense, that means you now have a larger margin to in turn invest back into your sales and marketing efforts. And that is when you can start to bring in new customers.
3. Offer rewards and perks
Finally, one smart and simple way you can bring in new customers is with a bit of loyalty. Many top companies in all industries have rewards programs – you should as well. For example, you can have a program in place where repeat customers earn discounts. Or, you can host community events for return clients like potluck dinners or charity fundraisers. The possibilities are endless, but the overall message is that you value your customer base. Show them that. Once that happens, new customers will see the value of using your limo company over a competitor, and you'll start to grow this summer.
Engagement is critical at top-tier limo companies – that’s why tools like limo dispatch software have become so useful over the years. With that said, what happens when you need to take engagement to the next level? You’ve got the tech basics down – your apps help you run your business from anywhere, at any time – but you know you need to improve the level of engagement your drivers and staff have with your business.
That’s where these four savvy ways to boost employee engagement come into play:
1. It begins with the boss
Think back to an old boss you had at the beginning of your career. Did you consider them a mentor? Were they good at doing their job? Odds are, you have some strong feelings about your previous supervisors, and for good reason. A manager can make or break a job. Therefore, you need to look inwards when you improve employee engagement. Senior leadership have to be supportive, active and engaged if they want their employees to follow suit. Create quality company values and embody them on daily basis. With this role model, it will be a lot harder to cultivate engaged employees within your limo company.
“Remember – engagement starts at the top.”
2. Embrace ideas and change
Few people know your business better than the staff members and drivers on the ground, working daily to deliver high-quality service to your customers. That’s precisely why you should listen to them. Engaged employees know that their voices are being heard. Many have great ideas to bring to the table, from new tech to benefits and rewards. Be comfortable listening to them and embrace what they have to say – this will only make them more engaged.
3. Reward production and quality
Most importantly, you need to actually reward great work – engagement is all about supporting quality, not just creating satisfied employees. For example, you can satisfy your team by paying them more. Will this grow your business? Will this create engagement? Perhaps, but probably not. Instead, you need to focus on top performers. Call out a job well done, highlight positive changes to your culture – connect high performance with your engagement, and you’ll show all employees a direction they should be striving toward.
4. Create a concrete strategy
Finally, you must build a strategy around engagement. Having a few ideas about what you want to do is a great first step, but you truly need to come up with a concrete plan to support your goals. Map out the benchmarks you want your employees to hit, any changes you want to see take place, and so on. Then communicate that clearly with your staff. This will give them clear insight into your expectations and what they can do to improve and become more engaged.
There you have it – four smart ways you can start building a culture of employee engagement within your limo company. Remember – these changes start at the top.
While the majority of your business takes place on the open road, your limousine or livery operation likely still has an office or dispatch center, where staff members utilize limo reservation software and limo dispatch software to send drivers out on assignments.
One notable cost associated with running an office – especially if you are a small or startup company – is energy. The weather can be extreme in this country, with many areas experiencing long cold winters and hot humid summers. Extreme weather drives up the cost of heating and cooling, and that's not to mention the day to day costs of general electricity use.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways to use energy responsibly, in a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way. So before you run that ac unit all summer long or keep the heating on high this winter, check out the list of five energy saving tips below:
1. HVAC maintenance
Your office will likely have a HVAC system that provides climate control throughout the year. Your HVAC system will be especially busy if your operation is located in a particularly warm or cold part of the nation. Given that HVAC systems are often working continuously, it's easy for them to suffer damage, wear or just generally become less efficient, which in turn could be costing you money. An effective solution, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, is to reach a maintenance agreement with the HVAC provider. Such a contract means that an inspector will come out and assess your system before the summer and winter months to ensure that it's working properly. For this small fee you can make sure that you save a significant amount of money in the long run.
2. Keep lights off
It can be tempting to keep certain lights on, especially at night to ward off criminals. It's also likely that you have a few employees that are more than a little forgetful when it comes to turning off lights. But as Small Business Trends pointed out, turning off lights is one of the easiest ways to start making a dent in that energy bill. A great way to make sure that lights go off when necessary is to install a lighting system that turns on and off automatically when people walk in and out.
3. Switch off equipment
While this perhaps isn't practical during the week, make sure that all of your electronics – computers, printers, microwaves in the kitchen – are switched off, at the wall, over the weekend and especially on holidays, Conserve Energy Future argued. This is because even though a computer may be switched off, it still uses energy if it's plugged into the wall.
4. Keep temperatures reasonable
Just because it's boiling hot outside doesn't mean that your office needs to turn into the Arctic. Similarly, if it's cold out you don't necessarily need to crank the heat up to tropical levels. Select a temperature that is reasonable and then ask staff to dress accordingly. For example, an extra layer may be needed in the winter to stave off the chill and conversely your dress code may need to be relaxed in the summer, to accommodate for the warmer temperatures. An ideal room temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit – anything higher or lower, in any season, can add to your bill. Indeed, Conserve Energy Future noted that by adjusting your temperature by just one degree higher or lower than normal – contingent on the season – can save you almost 10 percent on your bill each year.
5. Keep windows closed
This should be a no brainer, but you'd be surprised how many employees will crack open the window for some fresh air. When your HVAC system is running, ensure that all windows remain closed at all times. Loss of heat and cool air through windows makes your system work harder, using more energy in the process, subsequently placing a strain on both the environment and your wallet.
Socializing can be a significant aspect of working as a limousine or livery driver. While some passengers may wish to sit in silence, read a newspaper or complete work on their laptops, others may wish to strike up a conversation. While a limousine driver should always politely assume that a passenger may want privacy at first, if the customer decides to open up the lines of the communication, then the driver should be encouraged to politely engage.
Simple chit chat may not be as harmless as it seems, however. There are a number of topics of conversation that your drivers should be taught to avoid, as they run the risk of causing offense and damaging your organization's reputation. When onboarding your next round of new employees, be sure to stress that they cannot discuss the following:
We're in the midst of one of the most fraught and contentious election cycles ever, and almost everyone has an opinion on who should be in the White House next. It's so important, however, that your driver fights the urge to discuss his political views, even if the passenger tries to engage him in such a discussion, U.S. News & World Report explained. This is because political talk has the potential to become tense or argumentative quickly if both sides do not agree, and there is ample opportunity for either party to take offense. If your driver articulates a political stance that also implies to some degree that your company may share the same opinion, which again is problematic, as businesses should try to stay as politically neutral as possible. Of course, if your limo booking software reveals that a passenger is a politician open to such discussions, then exceptions can be made!
"Drivers should refrain from political discussions."
Much like politics, religious conversations are fraught with opportunity for either side to take offense. As About Careers explained, this is because religion is often a highly personal thing for each individual, and not everyone will see eye to eye. That's not to say that your driver shouldn't mention his religious affiliation at all. Rather, deep conversations about the topic should be avoided.
3. Anything too personal
According to About Careers, your driver should be taught to refrain from asking his passengers anything overly intrusive or personal, especially anything that pertains to dating or sexuality, as the risk of a sexual harassment lawsuit will increase exponentially. Other personal topics that should be avoided include, health, disabilities, personal struggles, drug abuse and so on. Drivers should be able to use their discretion and best judgment as to what may or may not be okay.
Talking about money in any capacity is a big social faux-pas, Excelle detailed. Such a discussion can make a lot of people uncomfortable, and few passengers will enjoy disclosing their salary to your driver or conversely listening to how much he makes.
Your driver shouldn't be talking about his partying habits. While social plans are generally a good neutral topic of conversation, your driver should refrain from boasting about how much alcohol he can consume or the last embarrassing thing he did on a night out, Excelle explained. While some passengers may find such a discussion amusing, many others may find it immature and/or take offense. Such behavior also reflects poorly on the company, even if it was conducted while your driver was off the clock. The safest course of action is to refrain from mentioning any behavior that could be considered crass or vulgar.
It's the digital age and almost every component of running a successful business, big or small, relies on technology. For example, your limousine or livery business will likely utilize limo booking software to take customer reservations and dispatch software to send drivers out on assignment. There's also a chance that your operation now uses driver and passenger smartphone apps, so that customers can book trips conveniently.
Given that technology is becoming more sophisticated and patrons are now able to connect with your business via their smartphones it can be easy to overlook one of your more basic digital marketing tools – your company website. A vast majority of small businesses will have a website, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is working the way it should. It's important to keep your organization's homepage fresh, up-to-date and easy to use. After all, your site is usually the first place potential new customers will look, and therefore its usability can win or lose you new business.
So if you're looking to improve the website of your limousine or livery business, check out this list of six handy tips below:
1. Keep it simple
One of the most notable problems that many websites have is that they are overcrowded with information and awkward to use. The information on your page should be presented in a clear and concise way, with as little text as possible. Business News Daily stated that the most prominent points of information should be bolded and spaced out. Also, don't try to convey too much information in one area. It's better to have several shorter and easy to navigate landing spaces than just one or two lengthy pages crowded with text.
2. Make it mobile friendly
As discussed, smartphones are the future in terms of driving up customer engagement with your business. Therefore, if your company website isn't compatible with smartphones, or if it is awkward to use on a mobile, you will have a problem. As Fast Company reported, roughly half of all web-based searches actually first start on a mobile device, so it's important that a customer isn't turned off by your design. The source elaborated that the best way to make your company's website mobile friendly is through a process known as responsive design. Essentially all this means is that the website will shrink in accordance with the size of the smartphone that is being used to access it. Some companies may chose to have a separate mobile friendly website, but Fast Company explained that this can be less effective in terms of search engine optimization.
"Half of all web-based searches first start on a mobile device."
3. Use white
The use of white on your website is actually a great way to improve the design, HubSpot stated. This is because it generally makes the text on your page easier to read. The source detailed that a white background can help hold a user's attention for longer as the content is usually more vibrant and eye catching. Conversely, darker colors or bright backgrounds can make your information appear less bold and captivating.
4. Keep it new
Update your website as often as possible, whether that's with new content, such as blog posts or videos, or simply new advertisements promoting deals, offers and the like, Fast Company stated. If you neglect to update your website on a routine basis, you send a message to your customers that you are not relevant or driven. A website with fresh content, however, signals that your business is successful and a leader in your area.
5. Chose the right images
Your website should have plenty of images that represent your company. Whether that's pictures of your fleet of limousines, or more general stock images designed to reflect your services, the images should be bright, captivating and consistent with the goals and values of your operation, Business News Daily stated. The source noted, however, that it's important to be aware of copyright laws, which may prevent you from utilizing certain pictures.
6. Social media
Your company will likely already have a social media presence, and if you don't it's time to build one! However, using social media properly entails more than just the occasional Facebook post or tweet. Your social media pages should be used to entice patrons to visit your company website, Small Business Trends asserted. It's important, therefore, to include clear links to your company's home page on your social media channels, as well as post content that will direct customers back to your site. Indeed, this is another reason why it's vital to keep your site updated with interesting and shareable content.