Jamie Talan, owner of Idaho Town Car, beside a 1957 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud.
Origins: Owner Jamie Talan worked as a reporter covering neuroscience for 25 years, living most of her life in New York City and Long Island before moving to Boise, Idaho, three years ago with her husband. Seeing a lack of providers in the local Boise market, Talan purchased three limousines. She has now grown her fleet to eight vehicles.
Marketing strategies: The first year Talan marketed through the web and joined the Boise Chamber Of Commerce. “I really like marketing,” she says. Talan will often go to different organization meetings and offer discounts to first-time customers such as two free hours of service. “We just took a big ad out in a golfing magazine. It represents four or five golf courses in our area. Last year, I took out an ad for a private school football team, but didn’t see much of a return. You have to figure out what is going to work and what’s not.”
Fleet growth: A year ago, Talan went to her first wedding show. After talking to brides and grooms, she decided to buy her first vintage vehicle, a 1957 Bentley. “It was busy all summer, so we decided to buy another one, a Rolls Royce, and we just bought a third one, another Rolls Royce. It is just beautiful.”
Idaho Town Car’s latest fleet addition, a 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.
Client types: Idaho Town Car has a healthy corporate clientele for airport trips, and also does many farm-in rides for large affiliate networks. Weddings, bachelor/bachelorette, proms, quinceaneras, and funerals make up the bulk of the retail work. “We also do a lot of philanthropy work,” Talan says. “It’s a great way of getting the brand name out there.” The company offers free rides to many organizations throughout the Treasure Valley, including The Make-A-Wish Foundation and local homeless shelters. Clients often are referred by word of mouth. “Our cars are seen all over the place, and everyone knows my drivers,” she says.
Customer service approaches:
Idaho Town Car’s 1957 Bentley S1 is a very popular vehicle choice for weddings in the area.
“We like to have the limos outfitted with ice, juices, and sodas,” Talan says. “We don’t supply champagne and liquor, but people bring their own.”
Lessons learned: “I’ve made some mistakes joining things I shouldn’t have,” Talan says. “But you learn what works and what doesn’t. I just love people and I’m out there all the time talking about our limos.”
Success strategies: “I think a lot of our success comes from our operations manager and chauffeur Mary Jo,” Talan says. “She is very dedicated and very trustworthy. Day or night, she takes calls and gives people what they need, and everyone just loves her.”
Business loves: “My hope is that people who own limo companies really understand why people want to rent a limo,” Talan says. “They want the luxury, they want fun, and they want to be able to have a great time. And I think that’s what I love the best about this business; the opportunity to give people what they want and allow them to celebrate and have fun.”
Idaho Town Car
Location: Boise, Idaho
Owner: Jamie Talan
Main service region: Treasure Valley area
Vehicle types: Vintage, sedans, stretch limousines, party bus
Fleet size: 8
Information: (208) 871-6900