What do you do to prepare for the busy season?
I am buying another stretch limousine but I’m not doing any extra advertising this year. Business is still coming in steady and I’m ordering another car before the spring season. I’m not speeding up my maintenance cycle but staying on the same schedule. -Francis Kerr, A Clean Limousine, San Francisco, CA
We don’t even advertise. We do it all by word of mouth. I have two granddaughters who go out to the local high school and talk about our service to everybody. We have to turn the prom business away. I invite everyone I talk with to come by and look at the cars because we have the best long stretches. -Ralph Gigliotti, Classic Limousines, New Britain, CT
We could have 100 limousines for prom season and book them all. We don’t do any extra promoting. It’s all small towns where we are located and the kids are knowledgeable about our limousines. They start calling in January to book the service. This year we have a four hour package instead of two hours for proms. Regarding maintenance, we have a checklist for our drivers to use. It covers everything inside and out — from televisions to tires. -Glenna Cox, Touch of Class Limousine, Glenwood, IA
Company-wide we start gearing up in January for the busy spring season. We are taking care of all our maintenance right now, during the slower periods. Any major maintenance problems we take care of before March. Regarding promotion, we print up a number of prom contracts, which we started using two years ago. We are going to fill our cars every night of the week anyway and a prom contract helps attract more responsible kids. -Tom Lawler, Brigadier Limousine Service, Houston, TX
I am being very cautious this year. I want to add a couple of sedans, but the war and the airline industry upheaval have made business strange this year. Monday used to be the busiest day of the week but this year it’s been Tuesday. I think it’s because airline rates are up and businesspeople are not traveling as much. International business travel is way down. -Kay Hoskins, B&K Luxury Coach, Hillsdale, NJ
We step up our marketing campaign. For instance, we recently took one of our limousines to a mall for 12 hours. We decorated it as if it were going to a wedding: pom-poms, red carpet, etc. We handed out hundreds of brochures. -Robert & Maria Hamilton, Satisfaction Limousines, Anchorville, MI