This year, chauffeur services took an incredible ascent, creating excitement among seasoned and new entrepreneurs alike to venture in this thriving industry.
If you're a neophyte businessmen looking to get your fair share of success from this trade, put on your business hat and start your own chauffeur service with these tips.
To rise from among the rest, come up with unusual schemes. You may consider building your business around a central theme or a current trend - like as EnviroCar, which uses only fuel-efficient hybrid luxury cars, in line with the current hype on environment-friendly lifestyle.
Consider, too, providing additional services such as entertainment, food service, telephone service and personal assistance.
1. Study the chauffeur business
It would be of great help to seek mentoring from the chauffeur service veterans. Acquire information on the ins and outs of the business. Learn effective strategies and suitable promotional tactics from those who have been long in the industry and are willing to give help to neophytes.
Do not, however, expect potential competition to offer assistance. Turn only to the seasoned old-timers or expert businessmen from outside your vicinity.
2. Design a business plan
Once you decide to engage in the transporting industry, the first thing you have to come up with is a definite business plan.
Writing a business plan may look like a daunting task for a beginner, but it's not that hard, really. There are plenty of templates or instructional materials you can get online to help you write your business plan.
The problem is knowing the content of your business plan. What do you really want from your business. Where do you plan to bring it? How can you bring it there?
It's best not to write a business plan all by yourself. Have a friend or partner brainstorm with you, to serve as devil's advocate or even just as a sounding board.
3. Obtain necessary licenses
You can't start business operations without a license. It's illegal to do so.
Before you start operations, contact the Department of Transportation to define the compulsory licenses your state requires to allow a chauffeur service business to operate. You may be asked to have a chauffeur's license for sanction. If you are to use a vehicle that seats at least 16 customers, you will have to acquire a commercial driver's license (CDL).
By the way, this is also a good time to start looking for insurance companies that offer the best possible liability coverage for chauffeur business vehicles for the most practical prices.
4. Secure a safe place for your vehicles
Look for a garage to accommodate your fleet of cars. It would be ideal if it were near a quality auto repair shop, in a safe location, and near key places such as the airport, city or town center, business district and high-class hotels, restaurants and commons.
5. Hire quality chauffeurs
It is important to hire chauffeurs that will project a positive image for your company. Look for chauffeurs that are personable, professional-looking, and physically fit. The ability to effectively converse in more than one language is a plus. And, of course, they must be skilled, defensive drivers.
It is highly advisable to give your chauffeurs special training on how to commendably deal with important clients. The ideal training will include programs on proper chauffeur etiquette, security awareness, limousine training, communication and customer service.
6. Publicize your chauffeur business
The first thing to do to promote your chauffeur service business is to get it listed in local chauffeur directories. This way, searching and canvassing clients can easily find you.
It is also good to create a Web site detailing your company's offered services, vehicles for use, and standard rates.