GOING BIG TIME:
And did I mention the plans to take his company public on Nov. 23 on the OTC BB publicly traded market?
Pierce Fleming, vice president of operations at Dynasty Limousine in Jacksonville, Fla., and a 2009 LCT Operator of the Year Award finalist, defies many of the recessionary tactics that become common among struggling businesses.
Dynasty, founded by Pierce’s mother, CEO Anne Fleming, in 1998, operates 12 vehicles, including nine stretches and limo buses, one SUV, and only two sedans. What’s more, the nine limousines include four Hummer stretches, a 140” Chrysler 300, a 180” Town Car, a 180” Escalade, and limo buses. The other three vehicles include two sedans and an SUV.
Dynasty drew in sales revenue of $700,000 for 2008 and is on track to hit $1 million in 2009. Year to date, revenues are up 11%, and March was the best performing month in the company's history. Dynasty has consistently posted gains in 11 out of the past 12 months.
Fleming emphasizes that his company does not do much corporate work, opting instead to serve a client base of weddings, nights out, bachelor parties, proms, and special events. He attributes his solid financials to a strong repeat customer base, and six key strategies in the areas of location, Internet, Limos.com, rates, networking, and investment.
Location: The company sits on San Jose Boulevard, a busy, major thoroughfare in Jacksonville. To the south of Dynasty offices lie four high-end neighborhoods that provide fertile ground for wealthy, repeat clients. “They have to drive by us every day to get to downtown Jacksonville,” Fleming said. “We have very high visibility.” Dynasty stores its vehicles in nearby Orange Park, also a high traffic area where many motorists see the vehicles. He plans to open a second office there in two weeks.
Internet: Fleming has placed as much company information as possible on third-party feeder sites, such as Yellow Book, through Google and Yahoo. He also has paid for high positions on Google and Yahoo searches.
Limos.com: Fleming signed up with the Internet leads and reservation referral service after attending the International LCT Show in January. “They are the least expensive lead provider we have right now, and we are 100% satisfied with them,” he said.
Rates: Dynasty charges $110 for an airport sedan pickup and about $175 an hour for its Hummer stretch, which typically gets $139 per hour in the Jacksonville market. “Lots of people are slashing prices in this market, but we’re going more after the service aspect, and focusing more on service and trust,” Fleming said. “That’s why many people haven’t made it; they’re cutting prices amid a fall off in clients. That could be one of the reasons why we’re doing so well.”
Networking: Maintains strong contacts and word-of-mouth promotion through the Chamber of Commerce, and keeps an A-plus rating with the local BBB.
Investments: So far, Dynasty has lined up 51 shareholder-investors in its bid to become a publicly traded company as of Nov. 23 on the OTC BB. Dynasty is now in a mandatory “quiet period” required by the Securities and Exchange Commission for IPO companies. At the end of the waiting period, the SEC will review and audit the company’s financials, issue an opening share price quotation, and assign a ticker trading symbol.
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor
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