By Jon LeSage
Having joined the magazine in 2005, I've been given a lot of opportunities to learn more about this industry and build relationships, which certainly allows me to do my job and work on providing what our readers need. Having been out of work for almost six months in the second half of 2007 on medical leave, it's been almost like starting over and putting the pieces together. I do really appreciate the support and suggestions that many operators and suppliers have provided me since I've come back to work.
As I've attended industry events and association meetings this year, done interviews, and stayed on top of news and announcements, a few facts have once again emerged on what it takes to be successful in this industry. Limousine operators are the most talkative, informative, amusing, colorful, and entrepreneurial people I've ever met, which makes life more interesting and what I can put together in editorial content more useful.
I'd like to cover the path to business success that I've learned from successful operators in a few LimoLicious write-ups, and will organize the topics like this:
NLA and state/local orgs
NBTA and MPI
Chambers of commerce
Other local business groups, breakfast clubs
Affiliate and farm-out work
Building your own network
Increasing local farm-out network
Search engine optimization
Blogs and social sites
Marketing brand image
Branding logo, letterhead and documents, biz cards, website, promos and brochures
Choosing the right phrases and expressions on website, announcements, letters, promos
Press releases, client letters, newsletters
Office facility layout and cleanliness
Phone greetings and communications
Client services provided by all staff members, especially chauffeurs
Fleet purchases and finance
Insurance and claims
Maintenance and repair
Staff hiring, training, changes
Billing and payment
Real estate rental/leasing and purchases
Strategic growth plan
Growing revenue through fleet and market segment expansion
Opening offices in other cities
Mergers and acquisitions between operators
Investing profits in the company and other ventures
There isn't going to be a book on every subject - just highlights of what I've learned and want to share with readers. That's it for now - just wanted to introduce the topic and encourage feedback and tips. I've enjoyed the journey and look forward to the next steps.
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