"What do I do? Where do I go from here?" The voice was pleading, persistent and a little sad. Over the din of passing cars and shouting cabdrivers, a frustrated, hard-working, one-car operator on a cell phone asked me how to grow his business and make his life better. He had to deal with an emergency that December day so I did not get a chance to tell him. With the help of some friends in the business, however, here is my advice:
Ask yourself a simple question: Who are the customers I currently have that are thrilled with my company? Who does my company work well for and why? Maybe these clients are located within one mile of your base. Perhaps they have developed certain expectations that you consistently meet. Maybe they simply like you and want you as their chauffeur. In any event, take a hard look at why these customers are satisfied.
Let?s assume these dozen regular clients give you more than half of your company?s revenue. Pull the run sheets out for these clients and grade yourself. Do you deliver ?excellent? service 95 percent of the time or more? Talk to these clients and ask them, ?What can I do better?? Suppress the urge to defend and explain yourself, and really listen to their critiques. Look in the mirror and be honest! Before you can move one step forward, you have to be 100-percent confident in the services you currently provide. If your vehicle is spotless 90 percent of the time, figure out a way to improve! Is your part-time driver as capable as you are? Invest additional time and effort in training him or her.
Jeff Greene, president of Greene Classic Limousine in Atlanta, Ga., is a big operator who firmly believes the key to success is simple:...