Limousine industry statistics show that the chauffeur business is largely comprised of small, independent operators with between one and five vehicles. In order to earn a living, most new business owners assume every role within their company, from office manager to primary chauffeur. But while multitasking can help get a fledgling business off the ground, it can also keep a growing transportation business from moving forward. How do you tell when it’s time to hand over the keys? Here are some signs.
Communication is taking a backseat
In order to keep income flowing, owner-operators must spend time on the phone arranging transportation for existing clients and building relationships with new clients. But talking on the phone and chauffeuring a customer aren’t exactly compatible tasks. As a result, many owners let phone calls go to their voicemail while driving. However, being difficult to reach doesn’t send a great message. If your phone is always ringing, it’s time to make a decision. You can continue driving and hire an employee to manage customer accounts, or you can add a second driver to your fleet so you can better take care of customers.
Opportunities are passing you by
In the limo industry, it’s not just what you know but who you know. When you’re in a service-based business, you can’t expect clients to come knocking on your door. Growing a company takes networking, marketing, and research. When you’re always on the road, however, you may not have time to attend important association meetings, learn about new vehicles and technologies, or identify opportunities like the possibility to purchase another limo business. Of course, if you’re satisfied with your current income level, there’s no rule that says you have to grow your business. But if you’re ready to take it to the next level, bringing another driver on board can provide the time you need to plot your next move.
You’re running yourself ragged
Taking on every role within your company may save money in the short run. In the long run, though, it’s a recipe for owner burnout. If much of your time is spent on the road, there’s a good chance that even more hours are spent handling paperwork, making phone calls, and running errands. The more time you put in at work, the less time there is for friends, family, and yourself. When owners get burned out, their business and personal lives both suffer.
Every owner balances their responsibilities differently. Is driving your favorite part of running a limousine business? Hiring an assistant to field phone calls will allow you to keep doing what you love. Is dealing with customers your specialty? Another driver can free up time for you to work on client relationships. When you’re ready to grow your chauffeur business, acquiring another limousine business – along with experienced drivers and managers – may help make it possible.