Luxury Coach & Transportation

August 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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WWW.LCTMAG.COM 36 LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION AUGUST 2019 By Lexi Tucker, LCT senior editor | lexi@lctmag.com AUGUST 2019 you aren't sure of something, Jennifer adds. "We are all here to help each other. It's all a lot of hard work, and you have to be dedicated and hands-on as an owner." Getting Started: e company began with one stretch limousine out of Tony's garage. He was the only chauffeur, but business grew steadily and he added a second stretch two-and-a-half years into it. e retail market helped them expand to seven stretches, but in 2006 they won a contract at the Kalamazoo/ Battle Creek International Airport that enabled them to move into the corporate sector. ey are on their third contract with the airport where they keep a desk, making it easy for clients to get rides as soon as they disembark. "We just keep on expanding further, but we mainly serve all of west Michigan, including Grand Rapids. However, we travel anywhere and everywhere our clients need us. We've had people go all the way to Florida, some fly in private jets down to the Kentucky Derby, and we also take clients to New York, Pennsylvania, and Chicago ourselves," Jennifer says. Building Business: eir first stretch was bought from a limo company Tony used to chauffeur for part time and cost him $25,000. From there, he purchased a URL and built a website… which gave him an upper hand in the mid-'90s. "Not many companies had one at the time, and there were only four other limo companies in town back then. We also used old school methods like knocking on doors and sending out mailers." Big Wins: When they started getting into the corporate market, they got an account with Stryker, a medical devices and equipment manufacturing company headquartered in Kalamazoo. e couple found the admin to the president, held a meeting, did a presentation, and brought some of their vehicles for the executives to check out. ey won their favor, and business spread from there as other companies learned of their service levels. "is was really the account that allowed us to expand the fleet beyond retail," Tony says. More recently, they've been doing business for Amazon, which has a large distribution center near them. Future Plans: ey hope to expand their farm-out affiliate work network and would also like to gain a larger presence in Grand Rapids. Just For Fun: Tony and Jennifer love to travel, and have been to Maui many times. ey also enjoy camping in the states in various locations. Who: Tony and Jennifer Correll, Leisure Limousine, Kalamazoo, Mich. Words To Work By: Jennifer says the company motto is "make it happen." No matter what comes their way, they are ready to take it on. ey require drivers to be ahead of schedule, and stress communication with clients and employees. Providing excellent customer service goes without saying, but she says it has to come across in every aspect of how you run your business. "Even the way your voice sounds over the phone is important. It's the little things that go a long way." Although they market on social media, money can't buy the business that comes from word of mouth. "Building and emphasizing your reputation plays a large part in gaining business through recommendations. We are known for our vehicles being immaculate; a client once said they felt they could literally eat off the floors," she jokes. Tony also says no company can be 100% perfect 100% of the time, and that's why when mistakes happen, it's vital to do what it takes to make it right with the customer. Marketing Like A Master: Tony monitors social media daily, and says every limo company should keep up with these platforms. ey do promos and giveaways, which helps raise awareness of their business page. "When even one person sees and shares one of those posts, it helps us get our brand out there." Southwest Michigan is their equivalent of wine country, and winery and brewery tours have become a big draw for the area they service. Advice For New Operators: Besides attending tradeshows, be sure to take it slow, Tony says. "It'll all come, but it doesn't happen overnight. I've seen people come in thinking they'll be millionaires within a few months, but a limo business takes years to establish and get the word of mouth momentum you need. e best piece of advice I have is answer your phone. Do not let it go to voicemail, because you can miss huge opportunities." He actually scored LeAnn Rimes as a client because he answered an early morning phone call from — unbeknownst to him — two of her friends. You should reach out to other operators for advice if FAST FACTS LEISURE LIMOUSINE LOCATION: Kalamazoo, Mich. | OWNERS: Tony and Jennifer Correll | FOUNDED: 1994 VEHICLE TYPE: Sedans, SUVs, vans, stretch limos, mini-coaches | FLEET SIZE: 21 EMPLOYEES: 28 | WEBSITE: leisurelimos.com | PHONE: (866) 925-4667 Tony and Jennifer Correll work hard to ensure their company masters customer service. Michigan Operators Take On Any Challenge COOLEST BIZ (L to R) Tony and Jennifer Correll work together to run an impressive operation.

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