Operations

LMC Group Offers Ready Resources For Operators

Lexi Tucker
Posted on July 5, 2018

A shot from one of the company's monthly team meetings.
A shot from one of the company's monthly team meetings.
MANCHESTER, N.H — If you’ve been to an LCT Show or checked your Facebook at least once a day, you’ve seen members of the LMC Group contributing to the success of the industry. From hosting educational sessions to answering questions they are tagged in online, the team is always ready and willing to help.

Gentle Touch

Something unique about LMC Group is that all of their consultants are women. But they are an equal opportunity employer, with a male administrative assistant. This wasn’t by design, but ended up being a happy coincidence for an interesting reason.

“95% of the owners we work with are male, and most of them are extremely confident and opinionated entrepreneurs,” says Kristen Hotham Carroll, founder, CEO, and business artist (a fitting title, seeing as how she uses creativity to solve business problems). “Men can sometimes jockey for position with other men — it’s probably evolutionary, but it’s a fact.”

“Our consultants are strong, brilliant, educated, and effective women. You can tell us your deepest darkest fears and business secrets, and we will keep those secrets for you. We don’t judge you; we just look for a path to progress and success.”

Clients can let their guard down around the team, and can count on gentle delivery of difficult information when necessary. In turn, this makes their clients less tense and more receptive to advice. “This makes us more effective and our clients more successful.”

Carroll credit this team for the company’s progress. “I have never worked with a more creative, passionate, skilled, honest, and inspiring group of people in my life. We have an incredible office environment, with endless opportunities for cross training and advancement where everyone thinks like owners. I am incredibly blessed.”

Services Change WithThe Times

Every operator needs help eventually. However, what kind of help they need tends to vary from year to year. “During the previous administration with changing regulations and compliance standards, our HR services were in high demand,” Carroll explains. “They still are now, but we are working more with recruitment, employee engagement, and performance management than with compliance matters.”

Their current biggest sectors are equally split between business development, human resources, finance, and social media.

When discussing services with a client, they take a consultative approach and ask probing questions to help operators discover what they really need. They want to ensure clients are pursuing the right service so they don’t try to grow on the back of a broken operational structure.

"We take work seriously, but never ourselves" is a philosophy the company lives by.
"We take work seriously, but never ourselves" is a philosophy the company lives by.
“We’ll ask things like ‘how does your local community perceive you?’ and research that to help them work to remedy any negative feedback. They have to admit they have a problem and honestly want to fix it.”

This past year, the company launched LMC Year, which has 12 modules to focus on each area of business within the luxury transportation arena. “Many of our clients hire us for full outsourcing services. We recently identified a need to provide an affordable solution for small businesses they can implement themselves that also allows them to obtain intensive support and guided growth,” she says.

In the near future, they plan to roll out more self-service options. Generally, the LMC team does all the work for their clients, but with these options they will provide the materials and training you need to do it yourself. At the end, the group will go back and ensure everything looks good.

“I don’t want anyone to not have these resources because they can’t afford it. It is our goal to help further this industry, as well as the companies within it, so the more ways we can provide our services to those in need, the closer we can get to that goal.”

They are also writing and publishing books and other resources which can help businesses grow and improve, without the need to contact them directly. A training library of videos that can be leveraged for a wide range of organizational needs is also in the works.

Experienced Industry Woman

Carroll formed The LMC Group in 2014 after working with Mike Campbell and Grace Limousine since 2012. She was consulting, and her wife Chris was Grace’s operations manager. Before that, she had a thriving healthcare consulting business and owned an art gallery as well.

In 2016, LMC Group partnered with their client DMCO to raise funds for the victims and families of the Pulse Massacre. They hosted a virtual 4.9k (for the 49 lives lost), and many other limousine companies joined their efforts. They raised over $3,000, and all of the participants received a medal for the event.
In 2016, LMC Group partnered with their client DMCO to raise funds for the victims and families of the Pulse Massacre. They hosted a virtual 4.9k (for the 49 lives lost), and many other limousine companies joined their efforts. They raised over $3,000, and all of the participants received a medal for the event.
“I know most people stumble upon this industry, but when I first told my mother I was working with limo companies, she smiled ear to ear knowing that as a child I was completely obsessed with limousines. I hadn’t known it would be an industry I could contribute to until my work with Grace, but once our work began, I fell in love,” she explains.

Having worked with large corporations for so long, she was shocked at how quickly things could be done in the small business world. “We could have a discussion about pricing, and moments later, implement a new pricing model. It was the opposite of the analysis paralysis I so often found in healthcare, and I was hooked.”

She also found the industry a better fit for her personality. “I love laughing, meeting new people, getting my hands dirty, and making big moves. I can do all of that here every day. I haven’t been bored once.”

Not A One Industry Pony

Although about 90% of their clientele is luxury transportation providers, they also work with some of Carroll’s former healthcare clients, including the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute and Wellforce Health System at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Lessons And Advice

A lesson Carroll has learned that’s applicable to any company is it’s important to get paid in advance for your services, or you might have trouble getting paid period. “It wasn’t until working in this industry that I was burned financially by clients who we saw as friends. That hurt a lot, but we learned from it, changed our billing practices, and decided not to dwell on a few bad apples,” she says.

While they’ve had a few bad experiences, they’ve have been blown away by the generosity of the industry. “We count ourselves lucky to be included in a group that cares so much for each other, and that gives us faith in the work we are doing and passion to help our partners grow.”

Kristen Carroll, NLA Director Sarah Gazi, and Chris Carroll before their session at 2017 LCT East.
Kristen Carroll, NLA Director Sarah Gazi, and Chris Carroll before their session at 2017 LCT East.
Carroll advises operators just starting out to determine your value proposition and make that the center of your growth strategy. Why should someone work with you, and not the company down the road? “I don’t want you to tell me it’s ‘because I have the best service and the latest model vehicles,’ because everyone tells me that. If you’re not bringing anything new to the table, the odds are that if you grow, you are just going to undercut the competition until you grow your way out of business.”

She always tells new operators to “sell, baby, sell.” Most chauffeured car operators rely on affiliates or word of mouth to grow their business, and for many, that has worked fine. However, if there are 10 companies in your market, and you are the only one working the market for opportunities, bidding on RFPs, seeing and being seen…you will dominate.

Related Topics: business growth, business management, customer service, industry consultants, industry vendors, LCT Events, LCT Show, LCT-NLA Show East, Michael Campbell, New Hampshire operators, social media, social media marketing, WebXclusive, women in the industry

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
What's your favorite airport? (Photo: Pexels)
News

What Are America's Best Airports?

U.S. passenger numbers are at record levels, but packed terminals aren’t stopping them from enjoying wait time for a flight.