Spending is estimated to advance another 7.1% in 2018 and will expand to $1.7 trillion total by 2022.
Emam’s father knows it’s the small yet essential aspects to running a business that really make a difference. Having clean cars, properly dressed chauffeurs, and being on time and reliable are the essence of what a limo company should promise its clients.
“We still get calls from people who switch to our company and say they have to find one that’s more reliable than what they were using before; it’s still and issue,” Emam says. His father never wanted their fleet to become too large because he didn’t want to lose his company’s personal touch.
Emam and his father give their cell phone numbers to clients and their admins because they think it’s essential to maintaining a strong relationship with them. “If you’re a small operator and you’re not going to give out your personal number so you can be the person they can reach out to, then it gives your client the opportunity to go try someone else.”
This also means making sure your customers can use whatever means they feel most comfortable with to contact you. Clients can call, email, or even text to make a reservation with Chauffeurs Limo. Oddly enough, even in a time when people’s preferred method of communication seems to be whatever takes the least effort, Emam says admins booking rides still like calling in and talking to the company’s staff.
Emam has learned a lot from his father over the years, and the two have made a great team. “We have different outlooks on the company, and our personalities are different, but I’ve learned a lot of lessons from him and he’s still learning new things as well,” he says.
Emam was also tech savvy and able to help update the company’s social media presence with photography and videos. “Technology made me start liking [being involved in the industry] more. Instead of having to wake up at three in the morning to make sure chauffeurs were where they needed to be, the work load became more manageable,” he says.
When advertising (which his father never really pursued), Emam took the reins and made sure to get the company’s name out on Facebook. “It’s increased our reservations even in this small town because people can actually find us now,” he says.
“I reach out to clients and ask if they’ll review us on Google, and even big bankers who have limited time say they’ll do it for us.” Emam’s dad is still very hands-on and occasionally chauffeurs for some top clients just so he can say hello and keep them in the loop.
Something Emam has learned working in the industry is you shouldn’t jump into making a decision: Whether it’s vehicle- or customer service-related. “You have to step back and think about what you should do,” he says. “You never stop learning in this industry; there is no end to Limo University. Don’t be afraid to fail, because you can always try again at a different angle.”
The company has never run more than 15 cars and now has nine. It always uses new vehicles and changes them out once a year. It sells them once they rack up around 80,000 miles. Their fleet is comprised of Lincoln MKT Town Cars and Continentals, Chevrolet Suburbans, and a Sprinter van.
“[The Sprinter] puts you in front of more affiliates, and our First Class Customs built one has nice leather seats and an Apple TV. That’s the way to go to beat Uber and Lyft because they don’t have vehicles this size.”
The business went nationwide last year, and Emam looks forward to fully getting back into the retail side of the market with vans. “Getting through the recession and 9/11 as a small business doing mostly corporate work is something to be proud of. When it gets hard, you just have to find ways to cut expenses and keep on hustling.”
The company also benefits from having a Sprinter since the client market is heading toward larger vehicles. They’ll continue to service their growing network of affiliates, which has increased significantly since he started networking.
“We didn’t network for a good 10 years,” Emam says. “The minute I started to was the minute we started getting more work. There are many more people to meet and learn from.”
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