Industry Research

Focusing On What The Limo Industry Has In Common

Martin Romjue
Posted on December 5, 2013

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — I’ve never understood why some people in the limousine industry privately bash Atlantic City. I hear the reasons, I know the stereotypes, but once you are here, the swaths of wide beaches, busy boardwalk, gentle surf, casino high rises, shops and Atlantic waterways make me realize there is no other place like it. AC has its own distinct character. Even the tacky parts I saw while walking the oceanfront only make the place feel more genuine. It reminds me of youthful summers in the boardwalk-centric Virginia Beach, not so far down the Atlantic coast and close to where I grew up. I’m not ashamed to say, I like to “Do AC.”

Whatever your views of Atlantic City, this world-renowned New Jersey haven on the ocean will be forever linked to the limousine industry. This of course is where the first LCT Show was held in 1984, where competitor trade shows got started, where the National Limousine Association organized itself, and where LCT returned with its East Show in October — already scheduled again for Oct. 19-21, 2014.

Our Show had the added drama this year of being one week ahead of another newcomer trade show, just a few blocks down the Boardwalk, which filled the shoes of a longtime AC limo trade show that departed. I won’t go into all the reasons why this has come about or the backstory — anyone who’s been in the industry the last two years knows the tale twice over. I did meet some attendees going to both shows, and I kept up with all the buzz on social media. So instead of trying to compare and contrast and explain and promote and argue about magazines and trade shows, I would like to close out 2013 by looking at four things we as members of an industry have in common. These challenges all derive from the fact that we all work for, run, or own — private businesses.

Live or die by customers: If your product or service doesn’t attract enough clients, you won’t be doing what you do for very long. At LCT, we have a saying that we’re only as good as our last issue or our last e-newsletter. All of us in the limousine industry are constantly trying to get more clients, more subscribers, more attention, more marketing, etc. We need all of that like oxygen. Our livelihoods depend on that vital flow.

Spirit of service: If you don’t serve up a quality product or service, your clients will notice right away. They may tell you and give you another chance or just leave. Pulling off top-notch service and attention seamlessly whether you are having a good day or a bad day takes effort and commitment. If people don’t come away from our trade shows feeling enriched, we’ll have fewer attendees. If eyeballs glaze over the magazine pages, we’ll lose readers. The same principle applies to limousine companies and the vendors that supply them. A relentless focus on quality goes hand-in-hand with a spirit of service.

Free market verdicts: Unlike government workers and public sector employees, those of us who earn livelihoods from the private sector are at the mercy of free markets and thousands of daily individual consumer choices. Nothing keeps you in shape more than bottom lines and, in our case, the “ratings” of online visitors and magazine readers. It can be alternately exhilarating and brutal. Each of us can relate to the other on those fronts.

Stand out: It sounds self-centered, but you’ve got to get attention. Anyone in a competitive situation must act out of self-interest. Some people don’t think that’s nice, but then none of us really wrote the rules of the world. We all seek to be “cutting edge” and to stand out. None of us in the business world want to be “yesterday.” We all crave the recognition and success that comes with doing things right for others.

Finally, I’d like to step outside the professional world and mention another common draw: The Christmas/Hanukkah/holiday season is here. It’s one of those annual cultural rituals that, while obvious and predictable, still deserves to be heralded over and over. This is the time of year when we reconnect with family and friends and share generosity, as another year has flown by. The spirit of the season gently reminds us that no business, job title, or career is eternal. This season channels such messages and nudges the heart.

While the head tends to expand from achievement, the heart grows from humility. It is the heart, not the head, which ultimately defines your business. So here’s to cultivating bigger hearts for the industry and for customer service in 2014 — the most worthy pursuits for all of us, no matter where we go along the fabled Atlantic City Boardwalk.

Related Topics: Atlantic city, business opportunities, Eastern U.S. Operators, industry trends, LCT editor, LCT-NLA Show East, limo tradeshows, management, Martin Romjue

Martin Romjue Editor
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