For an entrepreneur, starting up or purchasing an existing limousine company can be a rewarding and exciting career. However, there are many things to consider before entering the transportation industry. Five basic things to consider before purchasing an existing company are:
While some limo companies target a specific service, such as wedding events or proms, some of the most successful limo companies offer services to a wide range of events. Limousines may be rented for proms, weddings, parties, social events, award ceremonies, and even simple evening dates.
While most limo companies do not allow self-service rentals, you may consider offering chauffeurs to drive a client’s personal vehicle.
Depending on your location, you may serve as an airport transportation service. You could also choose to offer services to hotels and restaurants.
Customers do not like to be surprised when they receive their bill. Be up front and go over any possible surcharges and fees after the initial per hour price. Most limo companies develop contracts to provide their customers.
You will also need to consider specials. You could consider offering lower rates for regular or repeat customers. You should also consider slower time periods. For example, most limo companies charge less for weekdays and slower months. Alternately, you will charge more for wedding and holiday seasons.
All limousine companies are required to maintain vehicle insurance and worker’s compensation. This insurance must be purchased before you can register and begin using any vehicle. For example, you would insure a standard sedan for the number of passengers it can hold.
Insurance fees are a significant part of a limousine companies expenses. Insuring multiple vehicles can get costly. Search around for an insurance company that offers discounts for insuring a certain number of limos. It is important to insure your limousines for the passengers, driver, and also other parties that could be injured in the event of an accident. If your driver is at fault, it is important that your insurance covers the other party.
As a general rule, limo companies should not overfill a vehicle. For example, don’t allow 8 passengers to squeeze into a 6 passenger sedan. Ensure that there are enough seat belts for each passenger and stand by this rule. In the event of an accident, you company could face a lot of legal trouble should there be more passengers then allowed by law.
Most limo businesses operate in a certain demographic region. Generally, pick-up and drop-off times account for 30 minutes of travel each. You will need to decide if you will serve customers outside of this radius and any additional fees you may charge.
When considering starting up a limousine business, it is important to consider the services you will offer and pricing, as well as party limits. A large part of your business expenses will go to insurance. Be sure to include insurance fees in any type of budget you are creating.
Also consider your location. If you are located in a small, rural area, chances are your demand will be low. Many limousine owners find that relocating to a larger, suburban area greatly increases their chances of success. If you are considering purchasing a limousine company, you may want to employ the assistance of an industry specific business broker. For example, the Tenney Group can provide you with an extensive listing of current limousine companies on the market. They will provide you with demographic locations in which the limousine industry is in demand.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of simply purchasing a company and attempting a start up. However, the Tenney Group will offer 37 years of extensive experience to ensure your entrance into the limousine industry is one that will increase your chances for success.