MOHEGAN SUN RESORT & CASINO, CT — H.A. Thompson of Rose Chauffeured Transportation in Charlotte, N.C., Jim Mosely of Trip Tracker, and Robert Alexander of RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation near Washington, D.C. shared their views of growth markets.
H.A. Thompson: MOTORCOACHES. “At Rose, we were farming 25 motorcoach jobs per month. We bought a small bus first to test the waters. Then, before we knew it we added six full-sized motorcoaches. We differentiate our service by providing chauffeurs on the motorcoaches, not drivers. Many bus companies use truck drivers to drive their buses. We didn’t want to go this route. Our clients love it. They assist with the baggage, have water in the vehicle. We added WiFi and ipod docking in all of our buses. We gave them more amenities than what they would get with a regular bus company. We have made tremendous strides in the past 18 months. The expenses for motorcoaches are significant and it is a major investment. The markets for motorcoach business are great: sports teams, retirement centers, school charters. But I caution you to do your due diligence when buying buses. Today, buses are different then they were before. Don’t go out and buy a used vehicle until you understand what is available today in new. I also would recommend looking at your real estate. Your vehicles are a depreciating asset. You may want to buy the building you operate in and then lease it back to yourself as a revenue stream.”
Robert Alexander:: “I am getting back to the fundamentals in my business. It is much more challenging today to build business. In the past you, had more staff and vehicles than you need to accommodate the work you had. Today you can’t do that. Look for low-hanging fruit. We looked at the ride usage of our accounts. We contact our clients directly to understand why they may have dropped. Then we found creative ways to get them back. We looked at things like combining rides and bus service to get them back into our vehicles. We started a frequent rider program. I believe the key to winning is usage and understanding opportunity costs. Always make sure you are providing the best service and create raving fans out of your customers. When you work with fewer vehicles, you will need to form relationships with others in your market to service your clients.”
Jim Mosely: I recently stumbled into a niche market. Have you ever seen the London Taxis? They are a neat vehicle that has a ramp which is handicapped or wheelchair accessible. Many markets have a shortage of handicapped accessible vehicles. America is aging and the demand for this is increasing. I think you need to make yourself a necessity to your clients. I don’t believe that you need a ton of these, but I believe that there is room in every market for this type of vehicle.”
Source: Linda Jagiela, LCT Magazine