Luxury Coach & Transportation

December 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Seasonal Bookings: How To Keep Your Fleet Busy During The Slow Times If you look hard enough beyond the typical client sources, you can make your bus business a year-round revenue generator. By Tom Holden, LCT contributing writer I t's bound to happen: You bought that bus you've been contemplat- ing for a long time, andit'sbeen great since the rst day. But you know it's coming. . .the slow time. You ask yourself, "How am I going to pay for this vehicle? Where are the rides coming from? Where is the money coming from?" Let's think outside the box. First, you should already have worked the num- bers and know your ROI. (Refer to my article, "A Walk ‡rough Coach Prof- its," on pp. 28-29 in the November issue or check it out at www.lctmag.com). And you should remember the other article written by me, "‡e True Cost Of Owning A Bus," in the July issue and available at https://bit.ly/2y0192i. Since you have done your home- work, then you already know you MUST send that bus out even if it meansyou'reNOT making your normal prots. What have you determined to be your bottom line? Is it 10%, 5%, or are you still stuck on higher prots? Remember if the bus is being used that day and you have a chance to book it again on the same day, then give the customer what they need. Meet their budget. ‡ere are other ways to make money during YOUR slow season. I'm sure you have listened to longtime operator George Jacobs of Windy City Limousine say, "Send me your bus. I will pay your loan amount for that month." ‡at's one option that solves the problem. Be sure you have worked outallthe details, insurance, damage, etc. Look For Busy Spots You can also consider sending your bus and driver out to other busy locations, such as Orlando in the winter. Arrange to ažliate with a local provider in the Orlando area ahead of time. You may not make as much per hour or day, but you now have an income and your driver also has vital income. He can pay his bills! Washington D.C., for example, has the Cherry Blossom Festival in the Spring, which is also the season for PGA golf tournaments. From what I've seen, the tournaments use at least 100 motorcoaches to move the public into the event. Need some other ideas? Super Bowls,PresidentialInaugurations, pro- test rallies, and marches.‡e last major march in DC required several hundred motorcoaches.Who's doing political/ election season bus charters in your state? Who's running them nationally? In 2015,there was a large eventcalled "WeFight Inequality"at Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn, NY. More than 300 motorcoaches moved people to and from that event. Ifyou'regetting in- volved in that type of work, you not only need buses and drivers, but plenty of on-the-road dispatchers. ‡e buses have to get in, drop o¦, and get out. 3 6 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION DECEMBER 2018 MOTORCOACHES: FINANCE

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