Big buses may not be for everyone, but for those operators willing to put in the work, coaches can lead the way to more group clients and higher profits.
CEO Edward Coleman says Emerald was founded on integrity and moral ethics. “Therefore, when handling affiliate work it’s imperative to provide the same treatment to affiliates’ clients you would provide to your own clients,” he explains. “Attention to detail is key. If you have a question or concern regarding a reservation, it’s important to reach out to the affiliate immediately.” Both farm-in and farm-outs make up about 10% of Emerald’s operations.
The company’s chauffeurs, who all have been in the Nashville/ Middle Tennessee area for more than 15 years, are one aspect of what makes Emerald a reliable affiliate in the cities of Nashville, Franklin, and Brentwood. “Our vehicles are black-on-black late-models equipped with GPS tracking, and we send automated texts and emails to clients with their chauffeur’s status. We ensure reservation receipts are sent within 24 hours of the client’s services, and they can speak with a reservationist 24/7 if they have any questions or concerns,” Coleman says.
When Coleman entered the industry in 2012, he found barriers to working with affiliates. Now that Emerald has been in the industry for five years, it has been able to solidify its client service. As a result of demonstrating those promises, the company has built trust within the industry and expanded its affiliate list.
“As a whole for the industry, I have started to see more cohesiveness and trust among operators. My belief is tradeshows play a vital role in assisting with this. Also, with the arrival of TNC services such as Uber and Lyft, limo companies are forming more alliances with one another,” Coleman says.
“I understand it can be monetarily costly to attend trade shows, but it can also cost you if you don’t attend,” Coleman says. “The investment is well worth it, and outweighs any monetary investment. Trade shows provide numerous networking opportunities, and as a business owner, you must sacrifice in order to have a progressive company.”
He likes to share the story of how a millionaire once provided him with advice on how to run a successful business. He advised Coleman he would not be able to grow his vision and have a highly successful company while continuing to work full-time in the traditional workforce and being a business owner at the same time.
“I wish that advice would have resonated when it was initially given to me, but I am happy to say it did two years later,” he says. “It was the best decision I made for Emerald, being fully committed to my company. Your company is a reflection of your commitment. Therefore, commit 100%. To mid-sized and large operators, please remember, unless you entered the industry by purchasing an existing business or inherited a family operation, we all had to start somewhere.”
The company provides a long list of services, including but not limited to: Airport, corporate, and meetings and events transportation, site surveys, bachelor/ bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, weddings, anniversaries, engagement parties, sporting events, nights-on-the-town, concert limousine services, shopping sprees, golf tournaments, and out of town services.
The company signed up with LCT Connect because, as a small operator, creativity is a must as it pertains to marketing and branding your company. “LCT Connect was a desirable medium for that,” Coleman says. “Not only is LCT Connect great for marketing, it’s also a go to resource when searching for affiliates in different regions of the country and worldwide.”
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