It is time to look ahead at new opportunities and new beginnings. The slate has been wiped clean and things are looking up. Make sure you are looking up too!
2010 was not a kind year to many people I know. Many of our friends threw in the towel on their marriage, their business, or both. Some local competitors didn’t make it. Much as that is a good thing for me, it is also a bad thing for our local economy and means the city can’t support multiple livery services. Even big box companies such as Linens and Things and Mervyns have become a thing of the past. At least that makes me feel like it is not just our industry hurting. Everyone is.
On the plus side, there has never been a better buyers’ market. From vehicles to new homes and restaurants, everyone is offering low rates on everything just to keep cash flow going. This also diminishes the profits of each business. We all know the profit in the livery industry was already razor thin. With that, I say, thump shut the front door on 2010!
Welcome 2011! Each new year always seems to be like a second chance. I suppose that's why so many people make New Year’s resolutions and plan to quit smoking, lose weight, go to the gym, and other similar things that could be done at any time but the beginning of a new year provides a logical turning point.
Speaking of fresh starts, I am already thinking of all the new promotions that can take place this year. The proliferation of Facebook users has provided a new avenue for connecting with potential clients. The best part is that it is free. You can have as many promotions, campaigns or specials running as you want, and change them as often as you please. You can take them down when you want and you can get really creative. Print media, television and radio advertising have never been flexible in this area and tend to be very expensive with no guarantee on investment return. If your Facebook promotion doesn’t work, you simply remove it from your page and move on. There is no loss.
The calendars of the month provide ample opportunity for promotions. Right around the corner is Valentine’s Day. Start thinking and planning now. While it might not be conventional, start thinking of an Easter promotion as well.
Obviously, unconventional is “in” for 2011. The old ways won’t work anymore. Don’t forget Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends. The party gets started on Friday night of each of those weekends so figure out how you can promote safe and responsible partying for the weekend. You might even have media support if you take this angle and make a Public Service Announcement that includes a message from local law enforcement to avoid drinking and driving.
There are graduations days in May and June, the Fourth of July, back to school in August and September, Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, and I don’t even need to mention the plethora of work available in the month of December because it is probably still fresh in your mind. Now is the time to plan out the year. Don’t wait. Get going and make 2011 the year that made the difference.
Be sure to attend the 2011 INTERNATIONAL LCT SHOW Feb. 14-16 to get a head start on contacts, new ideas, and management training. See you there of course.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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