Limousine Charter & Tour

June/FactBook 2017

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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32 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JUNE 2017 WWW.LCTMAG.COM PEOPLE Julie Hatter "With only two years of business under my belt, my biggest issue is staying hopeful in spite of all the negative comments from larg- er operators. I trust this industry and believe in the importance of professional chauffeurs and safe equipment. Our industry provides unlimited benefits and services to both corporate and retail clients. I hope we can be more flexible embracing technology to easily connect with our clients and to each other. I also hope we will continue to be flexible with the services we provide, because variety can be profitable. We have to trust the future, because we can't change the past. — Julie Hatter, owner, La Bella Chauffeurs, Inglewood, Calif. Mike & Marlo Denning "What we believe is the biggest problem in the industry is too many companies are worried about what others are doing or not doing. For example: We do not care if the operator down the street has a two-hour minimum and is the cheapest in town, or that Uber has put a dent in our airport transportation. What we care about most is what WE are doing to stand out above the rest. We offer our clients the consistency they expect from a professional service. It is easy to get tunnel vision by worrying about what your competition is doing, when in reality you should be focusing on what YOU are doing!" — Mike and Marlo Denning, owners, Elegant Limousines & Wedding Services, Daytona Beach, Fla. Briana Candeub "The biggest issue we are facing is finding quality chauffeurs. I like to call my mentors in the industry to see if they are facing the same problem. If they aren't encounter- ing what we are, I like to see how they are doing things differently. On this particular topic, it seems many are in the same position. At this point, getting the interview- ees to even show up and walk through the door is the first prob- lem. As frustrating as it can get, continue to use different online outlets, word of mouth, join local groups, ask your current chauffeurs for recommenda- tions, post at local high schools or community areas, and just continue knocking on doors. Don't give up!" — Briana Candeub, sales, Park Avenue Limousine, Trevose, Pa. Sam Emam In this day and age, operators are struggling to find technol- ogy to bring us together, help us create bigger networks locally and globally, and exchange jobs faster than manually entering information. As an industry, small and large operators should come to an agreement and choose a platform we can all work on so we can cover any ride in any vehicle. This would help us rival the TNCs on-demand service, and also strengthen our industry as a whole. I believe with the TNCs having such low prices, opera- tors are slashing their rates to compete which could result in hurting their business and competitors; so much so that some limo operators are unable to cover their expenses and are going out of business. If all operators communi- cate and find a range on how much to charge for different types of services, it will help consumers understand the value of luxury ground transportation service. — Sam Emam, vice president, Chauffeurs Limo, Kenilworth, N.J. Ivan Colon "One of the biggest chal- lenges our industry faces is the choice to go contractor, keep it in house, or mix it up when it comes to chauffeurs. So many of my peers are facing this deci- sion, and are frankly ashamed to share or ask questions about how to best proceed because of the stigma associated with using contractors versus in- house drivers among the industry establishment. The truth is, the gig economy has given those chauf- feurs who have left us for TNCs the entrepreneurial bug. Now those same drivers who have been burned by the lies sold to them by those same companies (the TNCs) are returning to operators with a new mindset. However, they simply don't want to punch in and out but want the freedom being a contractor/self-employed has given them, while still working for a reputable company with corporate clientele ridership. With a rise in overhead and demand for more avail- ability from customers, those same operators who would have snubbed their noses at the thought of contractors are slowly coming around. Frankly, I don't blame them. Sometimes affiliates aren't an option for one reason or another, and to turn a client away is the best way to lose them to your competitor who has more than likely shifted to a hybrid business model using con- tractors who play by their rules. Like everything that was once taboo, I see this issue as one the industry must wrestle with and inevitably come to embrace. — Ivan Colon, business development director, Leg- ends Limousine, Brooklyn, N.Y.

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