Operations

Arizona Company Specializes In Relationship Building

Lexi Tucker
Posted on June 6, 2018

Sandi and her husband Steven, founder of the company.
Sandi and her husband Steven, founder of the company.
GILBERT, Ariz. — The luxury transportation industry is filled with family businesses. That was something that made Sandi Dial, VP of operations for Your Personal Driver, feel at home when she joined her husband Steven at his company. He started with a pencil, datebook, and a single vehicle in 2014, and has since grown to three cars and reservation software with Sandi by his side.

“We’ve developed a lot in the past year by building relationships with other operators. Having a strong community in the industry pays in spades because you meet other people who understand the struggles and triumphs. It feels like a big family,” Sandi says.

Skills Transferred To Limo Work

Sandi has a master’s degree in educational psychology, and was originally training to be a school psychologist. Eventually she teamed up with Steven in his endeavors instead. Luckily, some of the skills she picked up in her education and former professional positions helped the company grow.

Sandi Dial, VP of operations for Your Personal Driver
Sandi Dial, VP of operations for Your Personal Driver
She worked as a Boys and Girls Club director for four and a half years, a big part of which was building relationships with other businesses in the community and municipal leadership like town and city council members to leverage funding for the non-profit. Another position she held was with Arizona State University doing education outreach work with administrators, counselors, and teachers of K-12 schools to help support their efforts to get kids ready for college.

“A lot of that entailed figuring out what schools needed from the university and how we could meet those needs. It mirrors how we now reach out to hoteliers, airlines, and other businesses to determine how we can help them meet their transportation needs.”

Passing On Knowledege To Others

Watching Steven run the business and now being a part of it herself, Sandi has discovered the importance of understanding your strengths and skill sets and not being afraid to outsource your weaknesses. “We aren’t web developers, marketers, or accountants, and reaching out to outside connections can help save you loads of time and money.”

Being on top of daily financials is also a must. “Every decision you make has to be done with its potential financial impact in mind. It’s a lot easier to correct your course when you’re looking at finances month to month than finding out you have a big problem on your hands at the end of the year.”

Tied to the financial aspect of business is standing your ground when pricing your service. “We are a luxury service. We have a specific market we are trying to reach, so you can’t get discouraged when someone outside of that market says you’re too expensive.”

Finally, understand strong relationships are paramount to your company’s success. Look for opportunities to build them in industries that use services like yours. Use your time wisely; it’s important to know when to walk away from groups when you aren’t seeing referrals.

“Be prepared for the business to be a lifestyle more than a job. Be patient — overnight success stories are appealing because they are rare.”

Planning Around Core Values

Since the founding of the company, the couple has had three core values: Delivering quality, delivering it consistently, and doing it with integrity. “If we quote a price, that’s what it’s going to be. If we don’t fulfil our promises, we do everything we can to make things right,” she says.

In the short term, she will be focusing on expanding the company’s network of local affiliates to help with runs they can’t do yet, and that will deliver the same level of service as they do. “We never want to say no to people,” she says.

Acquiring more contract business for steadier revenue streams will also be a focus so they can expand what they offer. “We just want to keep the wheels on the street and turning.”

Related Topics: Arizona operators, customer service, family businesses, financial planning, LCTFast40, Millennials, operator profiles, women in the industry

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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