This year we’ve expanded our coverage on “niche marketing” to address at least one area in every issue. In my opinion, one of the most lucrative niche markets to target is the sedan and black car market (depending on the region of the country you’re in, you may be more familiar with the name “execu-car” or “chauffeured car” business). Nonetheless, it’s a growing segment of the ground transportation industry that seems a natural for limousines services to pursue.
Typically, black car operators have come from the taxi industry. While taxi operators may have a sophisticated means of moving people, they don’t possess the same customer service skills of limousine operators. In our business, customer service is crucial to survival. In the taxi business, this isn’t the case.
The limousine industry places a high priority on chauffeur training and understands all to well the importance of preventative maintenance, vehicle upkeep, and, of course, client satisfaction. It stands to reason that our segment of the for-hire industry has the competitive edge over black car operators and should have a bigger piece of that pie than it currently has.
A sedan passenger is generally a business traveler with a full agenda who wants the reassurance of the waiting vehicle. The business traveler requires clean vehicle in good working order with a driver he or she can communicate with. The driver must know the route because schedules are frequently tight. The black car or sedan passenger is not used to being greeted by a uniformed driver and handed a fresh cup of coffee and a newspaper. Nor would they expect to find the vehicle equipped with a car phone or working desk. Providing these types of amenities is almost second nature to a limousine operator.
We all want to run more profitable companies. While the limousines business is a far cry from making the endangered species list, diversified revenue streams are important. Success depends on maximizing all resources. Take advantage of the geographic area and demographics of your business. In this issue, our lead feature hones in on the sedan and black car business.
In New York City alone, the black car industry is a $500 million a year business. The black car, execu-car, and VI sedan market is an expanding and important niche for you. Competing against the sedan and black car operators should be fairly easy. Use service as your key ingredient. Our hope is that you’ll put out articles on marketing tips to good use and get your slice of that pie.