Private and public school transportation is a potential niche market operators may consider since it can drive business and brand growth.
Ronnie Singh, owner of Eagle Eye Limousine in Santa Clara, knew after 10 years of working as a manager at Bank of America that he was meant for something more. He followed the advice of fellow operator (and cousin) Harry Dhillon, owner of Ecko Transportation in San Jose, and jumped into the world of chauffeured transportation.
Encouragement Is Everything
In an ideal world, everyone would be their own boss and work for themselves. But in reality, it takes a lot of guts to break free of the normal nine to five routine. Singh says without the encouragement of his family and friends, he wouldn’t be as successful as he is today. He started Eagle Eye with one Suburban, and has since grown to a fleet of 10 in just two years.
Dhillon, a 2015 and 2017 LCT Operator of the Year Award winner, provided him with plenty of good advice and help whenever he needed it, and Singh credits his wife as the backbone of his success. “She is always helping out when days are stressful, and she became my constant source of strength. The love and support I’ve received from those I’m closest to is the only reason I’ve made it this far,” he says.
Although he didn’t first see himself pursuing a career in the chauffeured transportation business, the response he got from others in the industry at trade shows encouraged him, and he says he sees himself remaining in the industry for at least as long as he was at his last job.
His passion certainly shows when providing the best possible service in the area he operates and beyond. A diverse fleet of vehicles helps him in his mission to “never say no” to a client. These include the Chevrolet Suburban, Cadillac XTS and Escalade, Mercedes-Benz S-550, BMW 750Li, Lincoln Continental, a stretch limousine, and a Grech Motors minibus and Sprinter van.
“If the demand rises and you don’t have the specific vehicle that person is requesting, I would rather have something in house to cover the job than always rely on affiliates. You know your company is going to do 100% satisfactory work, so it gives you more peace of mind,” he says.
Eagle Eye does corporate and retail work because together they can produce more clients through word of mouth. “The corporate side of the business brings in new customers because they start telling other companies about yours. When it comes to retail, we focus on how we can get more leads out of them by learning what company they work for. The intention is to convert them into corporate clients.”
Growing By Learning
Singh has learned several lessons while expanding his business. A few are never make any assumptions and be on top of your team. “It can be stressful, but as long as you do everything right and have backup procedures in place you’ll be fine,” he says.
It’s also important to be consistent. “From day one, set and deliver your standard. If you say you provide a certain kind of service, back it up,” he says. “It’s not about doing it once or twice; you have to do it every time.”
Singh hopes to keep growing his business, build relationship with large, well-known affiliates, and delve into coaches and minicoaches. “I want to make sure people know my name and company because of the kind of service we provide. We want our reputation to remain trustworthy, and never let that standard slip.”
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