There’s a clever cartoon that I’ve seen many times which shows a medieval warlord standing in front of his battle tent, telling his warrior he’s too busy to see a salesman because he has a battle to fight.
Meanwhile, the salesman is poised behind the tent, out of the leader’s sight, with a Gattling Gun. What a difference that would have made. If only the chief had taken the time…
Last year, at our Limousine & Chauffeur Show and Conference, a spirited handful of limousine operators banded together to lay the groundwork for what is now the National Limousine Association. Our publication has always promoted the idea of associations, especially on the state and local level, to combat unfavorable regulations and also to promote the concept of limousine travel.
The idea of a national association for limousine operators is an interesting one that may prove to be beneficial. The key factor necessary for the NLA’s success is that they operate as an aid to limousine service operators and not as a platform for any one individual’s self-serving interests. Unfortunately, the latter often happens in the formation of an association. To benefit the industry most, we feel it is of primary importance for the NLA to accomplish the inception of a comprehensive insurance and safety program. Certainly the availability of insurance is sorely needed) and operator members would profit immediately by joining the association if, in fact, an insurance program were instituted. Just such a plan is the main reason for the existence of the United Bus Owners of America, a successful association in a related field where insurance problem s forced some operators into early retirement.
The NLA seems to be taking steps in the right direction. They have hired a full-time professional director to run the operation. They are structuring their membership dues for both members and associates in what seems to be a fair manner, much the way we suggested at the beginning. In so doing, large livery operations are not penalized by their size and small operators still have a voice. Although we have taken a “wait and see” position, we have given the NLA basic support through the pages of our magazine, by providing our mailing list to them, and encouraging their participation at the Show and Conference.
We think limousine operators should take a look at the National Limousine Association and at least hear what they have to say. Who knows; it may be just the tool needed not only for winning the battle but the war.