Luxury Coach & Transportation

June/FactBook 2017

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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30 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JUNE 2017 WWW.LCTMAG.COM PEOPLE Newbies And Veterans Share Top Concerns In A Changing Industry Facts go hand-in-hand with feedback. As the saying goes, "Who's set of facts?" While LCT can provide valid survey facts, everyone has their own views on what they mean. Each year, we ask operators about top concerns and then follow up one-on-one for details. LCT editors reached out to operators to discover what they find to be the most pressing issues of their business in 2017 and beyond. By Lexi Tucker and Tom Halligan, LCT editors Brent Abruzese "I think one of my biggest con- cerns for the livelihood of the in- dustry is a lack of youthful interest in the luxury ground transportation business. I've recently joined a group called the Young Entrepre- neurs Council comprised of busi- ness owners across the country under age 40. I wasn't surprised to see I was the only car service company owner. In fact, it appears to me there is also a lack of young business owners in all traditional business, as most members of this council are involved in some form of start- up technology company. I think the members of my generation tend to lean towards these avenues because they see opportunities for huge pay- outs (see Mark Zuckerburg and Evan Spiegel), and also for the simple fact tech just resonates with them. It's something many of us grew up with and have watched explode into every aspect of our lives, for better or worse. My fear here is a lack of overall interest in starting a traditional business like ours will cause problems for our industry as a whole. While I believe many of the industry veterans have plenty of miles left in the tank to carry forward, and many have children in- volved in the business, I think it's important more young faces come aboard. This is why I think there is great importance in groups like the Fast 40. There needs to be encouragement in getting young people into this traditional business." — Brent Abruzese, owner, Black Rock Limousine Com- pany and Red Bank Limo, Red Bank and Jamesburg, N.J. Jevonne Pollard "I see many companies having trouble with affiliates while trusting them to take care of their clients. It seems one way to cut down on being disappointed by an affiliate is to take the time to actually vet them. Cold call the business as if you were a regular retail client. Look them up online, through the BBB, and their local Chamber of Commerce. Actually investigate your po- tential affiliate. Those affiliates that actually do good work and run great operations will be the ones left standing in the end. The "deadbeat" affiliate, as it were, will become extinct. — Jevonne Pollard, president, Carte Blanche Concierge, LLC, Beaumont, Texas Kristie Carter "I think one of the main topics for businesses is cash flow. True cash flow is the heart of keeping the doors open for any company. As an operator in a very asset heavy business, coupled with ever-changing technology investments, it is vital to have a grasp on the money coming in and out of the organization. Cash flow is top of mind as more affiliates are requesting big discounts, and then to also be direct billed 30, 60, 90 days out. For many this is a struggle, and can even be seen as unfair for the smaller operators. It is also a very dangerous line to walk as we see an increase of mergers, fraud, and fail- ing companies. Be careful out there!" — Kristie Carter, President, Aadvanced Limousines, Indianapolis, Ind. 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. Sam Emam 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

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