Important Announcement from Limo Anywhere

A new chapter at Limo Anywhere begins today!

We are excited to announce the appointment of Sean Arena as President of Limo Anywhere. He will replace Mark Gentry, who will remain with the company as an Advisor.

Sean comes to Limo Anywhere after 18 years at travel technology giant Sabre, where he was Executive Director of New Business Ventures. Sean has led teams ranging from product marketing to corporate strategy and business development throughout his career, and brings a strong technology and user experience background to Limo Anywhere.

With over 40% of the limousine industry and over 20,000 users on our platform, the opportunity at Limo Anywhere is staggering. Under Sean’s leadership, we will continue our drive to build the most robust, user-friendly, and affordable set of technology solutions in the limousine industry.

Please join us in welcoming Sean to the team.

P.S. We can’t wait to deploy the coming dispatch mobile app and new back office user interface!

Automate Limo Anywhere tasks using Zapier

Nearly a year ago, the team at Limo Anywhere began looking for a solution to our most intractable problem: how do we help reduce friction between the multiple software solutions used by larger Limo Anywhere customers? The most obvious manifestation of this problem is with our high demand for a QuickBooks integration, but we have found a much bigger set of needs: it affects all facets of ride and account management, including the “big three” custom needs of CRM, accounting, and reporting needs.

In 2015, the team discovered Zapier, a task automation platform that allows software applications to talk to each other seamlessly. With our Zapier integration, Limo Anywhere can connect to literally hundreds of popular software applications, including popular names such as QuickBooks, SalesForce, Facebook, and MailChimp. And as of December 15th, Limo Anywhere is an officially approved Zapier integration partner!

What can you do with Zapier?

Currently, there are three “triggers” in Limo Anywhere which automatically can prompt an “action” in any Zapier-connected software application. The “triggers” are 1) creating a reservation in Limo Anywhere, 2) creating a quote in Limo Anywhere, and 3) creating an account in Limo Anywhere. The integration allows these triggers to automatically prompt the same action to be taken in a partner application. See below for examples:

  1. Any new account created in Limo Anywhere can automatically create an account in MailChimp
  2. Any reservation created in Limo Anywhere can automatically create a new record in Zoho for reporting purposes
  3. Any quote created in Limo Anwhere can automatically create a lead in SalesForce

For more information on configuring and setting up Zapier, see our help documentation, and make sure to check out some of the pre-made Zaps and more information on Zapier here.

Can I see an example of how Zapier works?

Get started with Limo Anywhere automation by trying one of these pre-made examples today!

What’s coming with Zapier?

We intend to aggressively build upon this initial integration, adding a full suite of “triggers” for the entire ride management and account management life cycles, with the hopes of completely eliminating manual entry for Zapier-connected applications.

We hope you give Zapier a shot! We believe this platform is “the future” for Limo Anywhere customers, and hope all of our users take full advantage of this awesome functionality.


 

13 creative ways to reward your employees this holiday season

Now that we're fully immersed in the holiday season, it's the perfect time to recognize your hard working employees. With even the slightest kind gesture, you can show them how much you appreciate them and how they're a huge asset to your growing business.

Making a move, on your part, could even motivate your employees to stay in business with you. A survey by Glassdoor found that more than 50 percent of respondents would stay longer if the boss expressed his or her appreciation.

Recognizing your workers could seal your fate as a business owner. Looking for a creative way to reward them around Christmas and New Year's? Here are 13 ideas:

1. Be more than a boss
You shouldn't just be the person your employees are intimidated by – you should be looked at as a confidant, too. Inc. Magazine recommended taking interest in your employees and being more than just their boss. Show that you're interested in what they do outside of work – it'll form a new bond between the two of you. 

2. Show them the kind of respect you'd expect
Contrary to popular belief, the customer is not always right. Recognize your employees through a hard situation and always have their backs. They deserve the same amount of respect you'd expect in return.

3. Write a thank you letter
A genuine token of appreciation, in the form of kind written words, can move mountains. Sit down and write personalized thank you letters for each one of your team members. Highlight what they've done – specifically – to help the company grow.

Write thank you letters to your employees to show how much you appreciate their hard work.
Write thank you letters to your employees to show how much you appreciate their hard work.

4. Send home a personal Christmas card
Much like a thank you letter, sending a Christmas card to your employees' homes shows you're grateful for their hard work, especially around the holidays.

5. Encourage them with a brag board
Any time your workers make a great impression on customers, it deserves to be showcased for the company to see. Create a brag board and hang up positive reviews and feedback your team members have received.

"Throw an after-hours party with an open bar and endless appetizers."

6. Throw a holiday party
Your employees will likely be celebrating with their families this Christmas, but no one can ever attend too many holiday celebrations. Throw an after-hours party with an open bar and endless appetizers for the company to enjoy.

7. Provide a catered lunch
If you can't swing a holiday party after work, just provide a catered lunch during office hours.

8. Brighten their mornings with a cup of coffee
Before your employees head home for the holidays, choose a day to provide them with their morning cup of joe. Give each worker his or her choice of specialty coffee, or grab a carafe of gourmet brew to share with everyone.

9. Give the gift of flexible hours
It's the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also the most hectic. By giving the gift of flexible hours, you're showing your team members that you care enough to offer more time to do last-minute gift shopping, travel home for the holidays or simply spend time relaxing during this chaotic time.

Offer your employees the option to work flexible hours during the holiday season.
Offer your employees the option to work flexible hours during the holiday season.

10. Hand out an extra paid day off
If you want to take a step further, surprise your workers with an extra paid day off. Just send an email or make a phone call the night before. Much like the trusty meteorologist who just called to announce a snow day for the kids, you're going to make each team member's night.

11. Provide company swag
Want to give your workers a brand-inspired present? Insperity recommended handing out company apparel. This is a simple and inexpensive, yet thoughtful way to say thank you around the holidays.

12. Give out a holiday bonus
You can give out dozens of trinkets, kind words and meals to your employees, but they likely won't react in the same manner if they received a monetary holiday bonus instead. You know your workers have spent plenty of their hard-earned paycheck on Christmas gifts this year – so consider giving them a little extra.

13. Offer a raise
If an employee has hit incredible numbers for your business since January, now's the perfect time to consider that raise. Think of the joy and light you'd bring to his and her life – a raise around Christmas time means a stress-free holiday season, which few and far between can come by.

5 ways to cut costs for your limo business

As a business owner, you know that following a strict budget is key for success, especially while you're still establishing yourself. But between supplying a fleet, taking care of maintenance costs and fueling your limos, the bills are going to add up fast. So how can you cut back while improving your monthly revenue? It's simple – just follow these tips:

1. Cut your fleet size
Consider the current size of your fleet. Do you use all of your limousines on a regular basis? Do you need more than a few to fulfill business? If not, Noobpreneur.com suggested cutting a few from your roster. That'll save you about $5,000 per vehicle! Not to mention the money you'll make by selling it.

2. Encourage fuel efficiency
Fuel might not be as costly as it was in the past, but it's still an expense you can't exactly avoid. To make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck, encourage your drivers to be more conscious about fuel efficiency. Driving the speed limit, getting the limos serviced regularly and adding minimal weight to the cabin can ensure an improvement in your fleet's fuel economy, according to American Limousine Sales. 

3. Keep up with maintenance services
When you neglect to maintenance your vehicles on a regular basis, they're more likely to breakdown and cost a fortune to restore. Make sure you're taking the limos in for oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacements and other necessary services. Consult your mechanic for a proper fleet maintenance service schedule.

4. Educate your drivers to make wise decisions
Your drivers are going to make a lot of decisions while they're on the road. To prepare them, you need to train each chauffeur properly. Transportation management consultant Andy Ahern told Truckinginfo.com that educating your drivers will help them make thousands of decisions that affect variable costs on a daily basis.

"Think of them as general manager or president of their own business, then think about the tools and training you need to provide them," he said.

Set high standards and goals for your employees so you can rest assured knowing they're respecting your budget, but more importantly, your company as a whole.

5. Start using limo software
Growing your revenue should be just as important as cutting costs for your limo business. If those are both your top priorities, then it's time to consider using Limo Anywhere. For a low monthly cost, we can help you take your business to the next level. With the software, you can connect with your passengers via mobile app and communicate with drivers while they're on the road.

You can streamline your entire business by managing your scheduling, dispatch and booking, all in one place. Furthermore, you'll build your global network without putting a dent in your budget. Save money and grow your business by choosing the preferred software of over 4,000 livery services: Limo Anywhere.

6 tips for improving customer service in your limo business

In order to become a successful limo business, your chauffeurs need to be masters of quality and customer service. The way your staff members interact with your clients has a large impact on the fate of your company. By hiring passionate drivers who take pride in work ethic, you'll provide customer service that's nothing short of impressive.

Your customers have chosen your company over others for a reason. Prove to them that they made the right decision by training your drivers properly and providing an untouchable experience to your clients. Here are six tips for improving customer service in your limo business:

1. Determine strict employee company policies
Above anything, you need to set strict company policies and make certain your drivers understand these rules across the board. Consistency between chauffeurs is key and the difference between making a return on investment and losing clients.

2. Teach your drivers to be approachable and available
Your drivers should be reachable at any given moment when they're on the clock. Forbes contributor Sunday Steinkitchner said this is one of the easiest ways to build strong relationships with your customers. Teach the importance of being approachable and available to keep your chauffeurs from making a bad impression for the company.

Your customers will return if they have a great experience with the driver.
Your customers will return if they have a great experience with the driver.

3. Utilize social media outlets
Make the face of your company attractive, approachable and high-quality. To make this happen, consider revamping your Facebook page and other social media outlets. These public sites are great sources of information for your new potential customers to get an idea of how you run your limo business. Keep your pages updated and relevant to gain new clients and always encourage customer engagement.

4. Ask for feedback
Whether you set up a comment section on your website or ask users to provide concerns on your Facebook page, you should always be interested in receiving feedback from customers. This allows you to get a better understanding of where your company excels and where you need to make improvements. This also strengthens the relationship your company has with clients, as long as you take the feedback and learn from it.

Take customer feedback seriously and learn from it.
Take customer feedback seriously and learn from it.

5.  Always take responsibility for wrong doings
Once customers express their concerns, make certain your drivers understand the importance of taking responsibility for their actions. Not only will this impress passengers, it'll likely push your staff members to work harder and make improvements for the company. 

6. Provide quality limo software
If you want to grow your business and increase consumer interactivity, you need to consider limo software. Limo Anywhere, for example, allows you to turn your business into a user-friendly gateway to your services. Customers can make reservations through the software, which allows you to keep track of booking, scheduling and dispatch. Your passengers will be able to communicate with drivers and track ride progress before getting picked up. All in all, limo software can help you build your global network, increase user productivity and help you maintain high standards and relationships with your clients.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to learn about how your business would benefit from Limo Anywhere.

Regular maintenance services your limo fleet needs

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."

Replacing the battery every three to six years is crucial.
Replacing the battery every three to six years is crucial.

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.

5 important tips for onboarding a new employee

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.

A first day can be stressful - keep the work load light and manageable.
A first day can be stressful – keep the work load light and manageable.

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. 

3 tips to attract new customers this summer

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.

Looking at your business expenses is a great way to attract new customers.
Looking at your business expenses is a great way to attract new customers.

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. 

4 savvy ways to boost employee engagement

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.


 

5 tips for saving energy in your limo office

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.

Switching off all outlets is an easy way to lower your energy bill.
Switching off all outlets is an easy way to lower your energy bill.

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.