Southern Operator Appreciates The Power Of Mentorship

Lexi Tucker
Posted on October 31, 2017

Mullane runs a unique Ford-Lincoln fleet mix of MKTs, Expeditions, and Transits.

Mullane runs a unique Ford-Lincoln fleet mix of MKTs, Expeditions, and Transits.

Who: Kevin Mullane, owner of Silver Oak Transportation in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Advice: Mullane recommends finding a successful business mentor whose brain you can pick — and they don’t necessarily have to be a part of the chauffeured transportation industry. “I have had [several] mentors in my career: One is my dad who has only been self-employed almost his entire career. My other mentors are John (his uncle), and brothers Chris and Jeff Nyikos from Leros Point to Point in Hawthorne, N.Y., who’ve been in the business since the 80s. All three were a massive help when I first started out, especially in the affiliate network I have built,” he says. He also advises to do what your clients expect. The customer is always No. 1, especially when it’s an affiliate job.

Customer service tips: Always answer the phone with a smile and try to reply to the potential client’s questions even if it doesn’t deal with your company. “I always recommend the best restaurants in the area if they are interested,” he adds.

Location: Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Owner: Kevin Mullane

Founded: 2012

Vehicle Type: Lincoln MKTs, Ford Expedition ELs, and Ford Transit Vans

Fleet Size: 5

Employees: 8

Website: www.silveroaktransportation.net

Origins: Silver Oak Transportation was started back in 2012 after Mullane worked for two other companies in his area for four years — Low Country Adventures and Diamond Transportation.

Start-up costs and methods: He started his business with $5,000 and the use of Google AdWords to promote his services. After taking one of Bill Faeth’s Limo University courses, he migrated to Facebook ads. “They are easier to build and track, and I saw better results,” Mullane says. His first vehicle was a Ford Expedition EL. Word of mouth also helped propel him to where he is today.

Mullane can often be found contributing advice on various Facebook limo discussion groups.

Mullane can often be found contributing advice on various Facebook limo discussion groups.

Marketing strategies: Mullane also attends as many networking functions as possible. He believes in going to any meeting where he could encounter potential clients, including Chamber of Commerce events and occasions that promote area tourism.

Biggest success: Rapid growth in just five years, plus the jobs Mullane has created for his chauffeurs.

Lessons learned: “Patience is a virtue in this business because you do not know what is around the corner or what opportunity you may have tomorrow.”

Future plans: Mullane wants to continue to grow the company and eventually get into the bus side of the business. “I can see that happening in 2018,” he says. For now, his work is about 90% corporate, so he plans on doing more group transportation in that sector. “They will call you up and book trips because they are not price driven; they just want good service.”

Related Topics: customer service, mentorship, operator profiles, small-fleet operators, South Carolina operators, Southern U.S. Operators

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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