Operations

Know Your Enemy!

Scott Fletcher, editor/publisher
Posted on January 1, 1990

Here's a simple recommendation. . ..call a reputable competitor, ask how business is, and invite them to lunch. Don't pick the same person you always farm business to. Try someone you don't know, but who you suspect is doing a good job. If you pick the right person, the right time, and the right place..... there's a good chance that both of you will benefit.

Once you get the competitor away from their office, you'll have a chance to get information, confirm rumors, and clear up misunderstandings. Talk about your rates. Talk about your problems. Be honest. Arrange to check out each other's offices. "Know your enemy," as they say.

A reputable competitor is a potential ally against illegal operators and other problems. There should be enough room in the business for everyone who provides a legitimate service at a fair price. It's the renegade operators who are shooting arrows at your wagon.

And as long as I'm giving advice. . . here's a thought about employee management. It might be worth reviewing how your company treats key employees. Who are the people who make your company successful — and how do you reward them for superior performance? Do you provide financial motivation and do you do anything to promote a sense of pride in their work?

One thing you might try is sending your managers, dispatchers, senior chauffeurs or other key people out with their families for an occasional evening in a limo. Perhaps you could do this for your "Employee of the Month." This will remind them what good service is all about, and will convey that this is a profession that an employee and their family can be proud of.

And speaking of Las Vegas, the stage is set for the biggest and best Limousine & Chauffeur Show ever. If you are not yet registered, all the information you need is in this issue. 120 radically new 1990 limousines will be on display and conference sessions will prepare you for the challenges of the 1990's. The final day of the show is "National Limousine Association Day." The NLA will present valuable information on the industry's most critical subjects. We look forward to seeing you there.

Related Topics: employee retention

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