Idaho Operator Succeeds With Small Fleet

Lexi Tucker
Posted on July 31, 2019
(L to R) JR Garza of Diamond Limousine & Sedan and LCT contributing editor Jim Luff

(L to R) JR Garza of Diamond Limousine & Sedan and LCT contributing editor Jim Luff

[This is the ninth episode in a recurring series of educational videos by LCT editors Martin Romjue, Lexi Tucker, and Jim Luff]

JR Garza with Diamond Limousine & Sedan in Boise, Idaho started his company in 2004 with his wife Maria. The couple operates under 10 vehicles, with a fleet that includes a mix of sedans, party buses, vans, and SUVs.

Adapting To The Market

Garza serves a mix of clients, about 60% corporate and 40% retail. He says about one fifth of the business comes from tourism. "Usually travelers want to go out whitewater rafting at McCall or different areas throughout Idaho."

He says when clients call to place reservations, they often ask what they can do in the area. Garza makes recommendations for them and helps them plan. "We recognize ourselves as a concierge on wheels, so we recommend places; the do's and don'ts of our area."

LCT related small-fleet profile: Diamond Limousine Provides Next Level Hospitality

Standing Out

A winner of the LCT Operator of the Year award in the 1-10 vehicle category, he's made himself a household name in the Boise area. Garza says he owes it to two things: Charisma and integrity.

The company is also known for its marketing. "One of the biggest things we do is attend trade shows for networking and implement the 'Miracle Brownie Marketing' strategy. I take photos with people and after I meet them, they get to know me a little better. When they get home, within the week they get a little package with a card with a photo we took together and brownies."

A friend of his who represents the card company he uses  turned him onto the idea. The Garzas met with him, and he sent them brownies and a card. "When I saw that, and listened to his pitch, we just took off with it and it's been our signature mark throughout trade shows. People want to take selfies with me just to get those brownies. It's just become a cool phenomenon."

Divide and Conquer

He and Maria find they accomplish the most at trade shows when they split up to cover ground. "These shows have a lot to offer. We come here to absorb everything. We can't do it being together. She'll go to one seminar and I'll go to another one. We just split up and at the end of that, we convene and go over what we learned, what was said, the key points, and how we can grow from that."

Looking For Trends

In Idaho, Garza says he's seeing more conventions coming into the area. "It's more than doubled in the city of Boise. In the last year, 40 hotels have gone up."

He's been working on courting hotels in the area by sending -- you guessed it -- brownies and joining relevant groups.

Click here to watch the full video interview

Click here to see the other entries in this video series

Related Topics: 2019 LCT video education series, customer service, How To, Idaho operators, ILCT 2019, Jim Luff, small business, small-fleet operators

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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