Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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WWW.LCTMAG.COM 28 LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION APRIL 2019 By Lexi Tucker, LCT associate editor APRIL 2019 Who: Alina Wade, managing partner, B&W Limo, Los Angeles, Calif. Customers Come First: "We don't necessarily provide the customer with a take home product; what they come back with is a feeling," Wade says. "We want them to be as comfortable as pos- sible with the whole experience, start- ing from when we say hello." e steps to keeping a healthy client base are to respond as fast as you possibly can, remain transparent, and remember to pamper clients. "Everyone wants new clients, but they forget how important it is to retain them as well. If we protect and give love to the ones we have, we get referrals, which lead to growth. When you take the time to ask them questions and find out what really mat- ters, it builds trust. ey know if they call us, we'll make it happen." Learning From Mistakes: Don't try to juggle more than you can handle. Pick one thing and focus on it. Wade also started managing a restaurant while running the luxury transportation company, and it quickly overwhelmed her. However, it taught her the need to surround yourself with a reliable team. "You learn so fast, and everybody is ex- cited to start a business, but a lot of us don't have the total knowledge needed. It's so important to take time out to come up with a solid business plan to help you become sustainable." Marketing Gets Personal: Instead of just calling clients, make time to actu- ally see them face-to-face. is is getting lost in the technology age — especially with the impersonal touch TNCs have brought — but goes a long way. "We look at Uber and Lyft as something that pushed us to be better. We are very transparent about our prices, and put them at the fingertips of our clients on our website." Advice: Do your research, talk to ev- eryone (don't listen to just one person; get multiple points of view), and find a mentor. Ask as many questions as pos- sible. Finally, take some basic courses in finance if you have to. "Success only translates to wealth if you manage your money well." Getting Started: Wade says the company was founded out of neces- sity in 2007. She was working in group sales in the hotel industry, and ended up in touch with many people who requested car service. Los Angeles doesn't have the best nor largest public transit system, and the more she encountered people complain- ing about it, the more she realized the need for this type of service in her area. Her specialty was managing entertainment and international mar- kets, and they would often ask her to refer them to someone. "Each industry is unique and has different transporta- tion needs, and I wanted to be able to service them better." Building Business: e company started with one Lincoln Town Car in December 2007, just before the recession. While some may think that was unlucky, Wade says it worked out well. She owned the car outright so she didn't have the overhead that typi- cally comes with a startup. Instead of losing any business, they grew. She applied everything she learned in sales, and ensured she was build- ing different layers of clients to avoid financial trouble if one of them didn't work out. Most importantly, they didn't build solely on farm in and out work. ey began with hotels, worked with UCLA, travel agencies, and dif- ferent corporate accounts to cover all kinds of client bases. Biggest Success: Surviving the reces- sion and growing through it. Wade says it helped her understand how to deal with it if it occurs again. "No two events are the same, but there will always be similarities." Future Plans: Wade plans on sustain- ing growth and building strong partner- ships. "We believe in slow and steady; we don't want to sacrifice our service standards. In the future, we will continue to adapt to disruption and diversify." Just For Fun: Wade is an action and adventure lover. She enjoys traveling, dancing…basically anything involving good people, good times, and making memories. FAST FACTS B&W LIMO LOCATION: Los Angeles, Calif. OWNERS: Alina and Chris Wade FOUNDED: 2007 VEHICLE TYPES: Sedans, SUVs, vans, and minibuses FLEET SIZE: 20 EMPLOYEES: 30 WEBSITE: PHONE: (818) 599-0438 Alina Wade started with one vehicle and has since grown her company slow and steady. By taking care of the clients you already have, you build more referrals. From Small To Midsize, California Operator Shows How To Get There COOLEST BIZ

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