People

Black Ties, Tulips, & Technology Help Philly Operators Get It Right

Posted on November 2, 2012 by

What they did before starting the company: Jordan Sanders and Shawn Holloway, co-founders of Hollowsands Luxury Limousines of Philadelphia, met while driving for a trucking company. Sanders had a background in the service sector, bartending at the Four Seasons, and Holloway worked in the entertainment industry. While driving trucks, they also held part-time jobs as chauffeurs for a South New Jersey limousine operation.

Operators Shawn Holloway (L) and Jordan Sanders believe that a lot can be accomplished with very little: clean vehicles, chauffeurs who share the same vision, an iPad, Wi-Fi hotspot, and decent reservation software. 
Operators Shawn Holloway (L) and Jordan Sanders believe that a lot can be accomplished with very little: clean vehicles, chauffeurs who share the same vision, an iPad, Wi-Fi hotspot, and decent reservation software. 

Why they got into the business: Sanders and Holloway noticed a lack of quality customer service in the industry, specifically in the tri-state Philadelphia region. After hearing clients repeatedly complain that it was hard to find good service, the pair formed Hollowsands Luxury Limousines with a solid focus on customer service and good management.

Start-up costs and methods: Sanders and Holloway invested about $40,000 to $50,000 to start up their operation and pay for licensing, legal fees and the acquisition of their first vehicle, an SUV. The money came from their retirement savings as well as from “very trusting friends who knew we would pay them back,” Sanders says. “This was basically after the banks kicked us out of their doors.”

Best marketing strategy: Connections through the late Tom Mazza, whom Sanders and Holloway met at the beginning of their careers; word-of-mouth referrals; and attendance at industry trade shows, local chamber of commerce events and other networking functions.

Biggest mistake: “We should have started with one sedan instead of the initial SUV,” Sanders says. “We’ve learned from that [experience] to carefully analyze every vehicle purchase before it’s made.”

Biggest success: “It’s a tremendous success when a chauffeur completes a trip that a new affiliate company sends us, and the next day the same company sends us more trips as a result of the great feedback from our first trip,” Sanders says.

Keys to success: “Really good chauffeurs make all the difference in the world,” Sanders says. “We take that very seriously, and we look for chauffeurs who we believe want to grow with us and share the same vision as we do. Chauffeurs make or break you as a company. They are extremely important, so make sure you communicate that. Your success depends on their success, so guide them in the direction that will make them successful.”

Unique approaches to customer service: Good communication, paying attention to detail, and delivering what is promised. “A Signature Series Town Car will not show up when we promise the Executive L,” Sanders says. “A chauffeur wearing a gray suit and a hat will not show up when we promise the chauffeur will be wearing a black suit. We go the extra mile whenever possible. During a recent trip, a client told us how much she likes tulips. This was communicated to us, and when our client returned for her next trip to Philadelphia, we had tulips waiting for her in her hotel room.”

Advice to operators: “You can accomplish a lot with very little,” Sanders says. “As a small operator, you can run an entire business from your iPad. With this business you need a perfect car, iPad, Wi-Fi hotspot, and decent reservation software. Return every email in a timely manner and deliver what you promise. Never take on more trips than you can handle. Don’t be afraid to tell an affiliate that you don’t have availability, because they would much rather hear that and farm the trip to another vendor than to hear you call and say you just won’t make it in time because you’re on another trip.”


Tech ToolxBox

Hollowsands Luxury Limousines relies on technology to operate because it evens the competitive playing field. The company uses Limo Anywhere and provides iPads to each chauffeur equipped with Driver Anywhere. Chauffeurs can see their trips, display name signs with affiliate logos, and check real-time traffic reports. The company also can accept and assign on-demand trips without having to call the chauffeur. All Hollowsands vehicles have
Wi-Fi hotspots.


Fast Facts about Hollowsands Luxury Limousines

Location: Philadelphia
Founded: 2010
Main service region: Philadelphia
Vehicle types: sedans, SUVs
Fleet size: 6
Employees: 11
Annual revenues: $675,000
Owners: Shawn Holloway, Jordan Sanders
Website: www.hollowsands.com
Information: (215) 863-1910

View comments or post a comment on this story. (2 Comments)

More News

GCLA Casino Night A Sure Bet For Pro-Industry Efforts

The annual fundraiser shows how a state group can boost lobbying, membership, and networking all in one place.

Supersized Chauffeur Downsizes By One Third

The human fast-food Hoover was so fat he could not longer fit behind the steering wheel of livery vehicles.

Limo Operator Who Killed Son, Shot Ex-Wife Is Found Dead

UPDATE: The suspect fugitive confessed to the shootings in a chilling Facebook video.

Choose Candidates Now For LCT People’s Choice Awards

Help select the industry’s most innovative and charitable operators.

Dav El | BostonCoach Hosts Limo Elite At Affiliate Meeting

The nation's largest chauffeured network immerses hundreds of operators in seminars and convention style.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (2)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - September 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * How Do We Max Our Markets? * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close