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Raj Nagi credits the success of his business to his strong relationships with his affiliates. “The majority of my affiliates I’ve known for 10 years,” Nagi says.“They come to family functions and there really is no competition with us because we work together.”
WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Raj Nagi was originally trained as an electrician, but had some part-time chauffeuring experience at his brother-in-law’s nearby operation to earn money as a student. After graduating, he did two years of electrical work until he was laid off in 2010. He came back to the limo industry and restarted many of the connections he made as a chauffeur. A friend offered him a job managing a limo company, which Nagi did with success. He opened his own company last year.
HOW HE GOT STARTED: “The main key for me starting my own company was my network,” Nagi says. “You’ve got to get out talking to the people, and make some cold calls to clients. When I started out in the industry, I used to work for a company that had the airport contract, and they had about 40 to 50 cars in their fleet. So when I was there, I made a lot of friends. As time went on and people started buying their own cars and starting businesses, they became partners.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE/MISTAKE: The biggest challenge for Nagi has been tempering his desire to grow with the capabilities of his operatIon. “One lesson I learned was trying to expand too soon. The biggest mistake would be as an individual, as a human being, you always want more or always want the best. But you really have to go at your own pace and you can’t go too fast. I started receiving a lot of paperwork and falling behind, so I learned that you have to go at a pace where you can keep up with everything.”
BEST MARKETING STRATEGY: Nagi first advertised on Google, saying that people began to call in soon after his postings. “Well it was pretty sudden results,” Nagi says. “For people who are going out and needing a transportation or limo service, the Yellow Pages aren’t really the best place to advertise to them nowadays — everyone is online.”