Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.
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65 o r a N r N d s 1 5 1 6 7 8 10 11 1 1 1 4 9 4 5 By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor Smooth Operations provides a broad range of information focused on new ideas and approaches in management, human resources, customer service, marketing, networking and technology. Have something to share or would like covered? You can reach LCT contributing editor and California operator JIM LUFF at Jim@LCTmag.com. SMOOTH OPERATIONS I JANUARY 2017 2017 is the best time to upgrade, overhaul, or change aspects of your operations. Whether it's a new inventory control system, an employee recognition program, or a budget, January is the best time to act on or experiment wiuth new ideas in your company. If not this year, then when? I've listed a few I've found worthwhile over my quarter century in daily limousine operations to help you get started. Implement an employee benefits program full medical, dental, and life insur - ance policy or a simple Paid-Time- Off (PTO) program can help you remain competitive as an employer to retain top talent. Begin planning a grand holiday party for your employees and begin monthly deposits. This is not an area where you want to go the cheapest route. Be generous. Implement employee reviews and start with an evaluation of 2016. You'll find your employees crave constructive feed - back, praise, criticism, and communication . Set goals and make visual charts for everyone to see progress From "Da ccident" charts y," having goals and placing them on visual charts encour - ages everyone to contribute to the goal and allows visual reinforcement of the goals daily. Start a monthly or quarterly newsletter You can do a simple news - letter to send internally, externally, or both. Many free templates are available in Word, Constant Contact, and other sources you can use as a guide. You don't need to have artistic skills to create a great communica - tions tool. Clean out your client database and purge old data W e all have clients in our data - base who have died, closed their businesses, retired, or defected to other companies. Now is a great time to save some hard drive space, make reports easier to read, and save paper and ink when you do a print out. Purge those people! Delegate duties to others who have sufficient knowledge to lead You didn't start a business to live and die in it. You should enjoy your suc - cess. Give out new duties to employees at the start of the year and let them take over. Start a company-wide weight loss program erweight. That's a fact. It's not healthy. Your program can be as elaborate has having a periodic "weigh-in" for those who want to compete and share to self-reporting how many pounds each person lost in a week. The idea is to get employees (and yourself) to eat better and take care of themselves. Make a chart to see how the company collectively lost "X" pounds in a week. Have fun with it. Start an employee recognition program eryone likes to be recognized. It doesn't have to be a fancy program. ployee of the Month could get something as sim 0 Starbucks gift card. It's the thought that counts. You could hang a plaque on the wall and add to it each month. The cost is minimal compared to the mileage received. Verify who has keys to what and change locks if it's been a while We hand out keys to those who need them at the time they need them. Sometimes, we ask employees to hang on to a key "just in case." Now is a good time to ask all key carrying employ - ees what they have keys to and change locks if needed. Implement a mobile app. You need to do this if you haven't already. Society demands all businesses have mobile apps. Don't get left behind. Mobile apps can be developed for less Make some videos for your social media sites and your website uipment (a smartphone) and access make it possible for any novice to shoot a video. It does not have to be production-level perfect. Review every page of your website and update as needed This is the time of year to make sure your site is accurate. Did you add vehicles or sell vehicles, and your fleet list is no long your prices on your website but don't reflect your 2017 rates? Check review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google+, etc. If you have negative reviews, "claim" your site and respond to them. Do NOT ignore them. It looks like you just don't care. Create a social media calendar to remind you to post regularly. 1 5