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Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Chauffeurs are often the first to learn of problems a corporate passenger might experience. From projection systems that fail to copies of proposals mistakenly left behind at the home office, we hear it all. Many corporate event planners, travel planners and administrative assistants ask about amenities that may be needed by your arriving passenger because they know a chauffeur is usually the first person seen in an arriving city and generally will know the area well.
From needing 20 copies of a proposal in a hurry to a larger meeting location, there are many things your passenger may call upon you to fulfill. Being “prepared” doesn’t mean knowing where to obtain and procure services. It means having an account established in advance. It means developing relationships with the people you call upon, so that when you call, they understand the importance of getting a rush job done. You can’t simply open an account with an equipment rental company and expect them to jump through hoops for you if you don’t know the name of a single employee.
JoRonco Party Rentals in Bakersfield, Calif., provides tables, chairs, podiums, staging, sound systems and nearly any items needed for an event or party.
Find a dedicated representative and stop by and visit on occasion or call just to keep communication open. Make sure you know all they have to offer. Refer business to the company as often as possible and tell your contacts when you refer them. Make sure your representative knows exactly what your company offers as well and provide them with brochures to give to their clients. You are both in the business of working events so a marketing partnership is easy to forge and you are targeting the same clients.
Increase profits with pass-thru billing
It is possible to increase your profit by marking up the goods and services provided to your client by using “pass-thru” billing. That is, you procure the services directly from the third party vendor and add it to your final charges to the client. Most businesses enjoy paying one vendor for everything.
Most people also enjoy making one phone call to get many things accomplished. Clients will appreciate it if you can take care of such things during the initial reservation or an emergency. Many operators seek and obtain additional services to please the client without charging. We are in the service business and you should charge for anything that consumes your time.
Ask your vendors in advance if they are willing to provide a discount to you for mark up to your client or pay you a commission. In some cases, they may provide you with two invoices. One invoice will be to present to your client with the retail value and the other will show the discounted amount actually paid by you.
Depending on the discount you receive from the vendor, a fair and reasonable mark up for most things passed thru on your invoice is 15-25%. If you are not able to make a profit from your involvement, you should consider a direct referral between the buyer and seller and save your time.