Creating Income With Facebook

Posted on April 7, 2010 by - Also by this author

NEW OPPS: With the limo-bus charter business still sluggish, California operator Jim Luff sells a wine tour on Facebook.
 
I read the article posted below about the sluggish sales in the Central California region. NLA director Deena Papagni dished on the slump of the region and about her recent downsizing. Papagni is a personal friend, a fellow GCLA member, and an affiliate so I was saddened to read about her troubles in the city of Madera in the Fresno region. Madera is about two hours north of my city. In the same article, I read about Gerald Smith from the town of Visalia and his similar woes. Smith is also an affiliate and colleague. An hour south of Visalia and here we are in my neck of the woods with me suffering the same battle.
 
I used to run wine tours every weekend but that got sporadic as the economy tanked. Why? Are people not drinking wine? No, it is because I served mostly corporate accounts doing employee retreats and out-of-country visitors touring the region as guests of corporate accounts. The wine tours were profitable to me. They paid the payments on the bus. I knew that I had to do something. You can’t just sit around and mope about how it used to be. I had to find a way to fill those seats up and get those buses rolling again. I needed to do it immediately.
 
Another wrinkle in a bad economy is that your advertising budget shrinks. When your sales are off, you need to advertise but usually have no money to advertise because your sales are down. It is a vicious merry-go-round effect. I had to figure out some other way to connect and get those buses filled without spending any money.
 
All of a sudden, it hit me! If no individual or company is going to charter the bus, I will charter the bus myself as an individual and I will invite all my Facebook friends. I will take the normal retail cost of the wine tour, divide it by the number of seats available, add a box lunch and tasting fees, and set the price. Since we have always had two permits from the Public Utilities Commission with one of them for sightseeing, it was time for us to start using that permit. 
 
I posted the information on my personal Facebook page along with your company’s Facebook page. I asked all my friends and employees to re-post it on their Facebook pages. It took off like wildfire. I asked for a deposit of $25 to guarantee a spot and make it very affordable to reserve. I asked that the balance be paid one week before the date of departure, and that there would be absolutely no refunds. We met at a local restaurant so everyone could have breakfast before a day of wine tasting and for a brief orientation. When we returned home after the tour, people on the bus already wanted to sign up for the next one. We have already booked the date. Several people that rode on the bus have now booked their own wine tours in the future, and will use the same concept of charging a per person fee and hosting their own tours.
 
— Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More LCT Blog Blog Posts

July 18, 2017

Getting It Wrong On Uber’s Return To Austin

See Exhibit A on the misleading spin the limousine industry faces when exposing the unfairness of TNCs.

July 18, 2017

Comic Conventions Can Be A Geeky Goldmine

It’s time to tap into your inner nerd and expand past traditional tradeshow group transportation.

July 6, 2017

Welcoming All Back To The New LCT Blog

JIM LUFF: I'm not retired, tired, or tuned out. Just immersing in other areas of the industry.

March 8, 2017

Immigration Issues Can Hit Limo Operators

Illegal or not, immigrants in one California region spend hard-earned money on renting stretch limousines.

March 1, 2017

Did The Dent Fairy Come To Visit You?

Unlike the tooth fairy and baby teeth, the dent fairy never runs out of vehicles.

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blog

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - July 2017 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Why These Titans Work So Hard to Give it Away * *
LCT Magazine - June/Fact Book 2017 $47.95 * Facts & Stats * Directors & Guides *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close