Private and public school transportation is a potential niche market operators may consider since it can drive business and brand growth.
Although somewhat new to the affiliate market, LaDeaux says the business has grown from being 90% farm-in and 10% farm-out to a 70/30 ratio in two years. One of the factors in their success has been patience, he says.
“We’ve mastered the art of being patient and we try to make sure every affiliate run that comes through our system is perfect. That’s the best way to build your brand,” he says. “Not every company can handle the demand of affiliate work; you have to have the staff, time, and patience for it. We had one affiliate change a reservation five times within an hour. It can get frustrating, but it gets better with time and every run you deal with.”
Another tool that has helped them grow affiliate business is word of mouth. “I believe you have to do the ground work and reach out to other companies,” LaDeaux says. “We didn’t just sit back and wait for the phone to ring. I think people are becoming more proactive with going to the shows and things of that nature. You have to put the work in.”
The company joined LCT Connect after the groundwork had been laid on its own network. He explains, “We thought, ‘Why not join LCT Connect and have an affiliate base at our fingertips?’ We continue to grow and learn every day, and if you want to be a part of the affiliate work world, you have to be a part of networks like this one — it only makes sense.”
“Just be patient with your affiliates and give them a chance. If you have one bad experience, I understand it will set the tone, but you never know what someone can do for you until you give them a shot.”
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