Growing from 1 car to 20 cars made easy
How to become a big guy
Here are the 10 steps that will take you from 1 car to 20 cars in about a year.
If you think it’s impossible, then it will be impossible. So before you put this plan in motion, I recommend you check our post about the Champion Mindset first and come back here when you’re ready.
If you’re still thinking that clients will simply call in or you’ll be able to grow thanks to Blacklane or Uber, then you better think twice. This is a failure in the making.
In order to succeed, you need to think marketing. It’s actually much easier than you think and it’s basically spending a couple weeks preparing these things:
- Your branding
- Your target
- Your funnel (website, booking widget, app etc…)
- Your social media accounts
- Your ads
We have a dedicated free online training about that, it will probably help you better understand the process: https://training.karl.limo
A manual process makes it absolutely impossible to grow. You need to create automation from marketing to dispatch in order to be able to grow. If you think otherwise, then you will fail.
Automation helps you making the whole process reliable, predictable and scaleable. Companies using manual systems (paper and pen, Limo Anywhere, call center) NEVER grow big fast.
Automation is not necessarily expensive. Using KARL, it starts as low as $59.99/mo or you could develop your own starting $50,000…
And YES, YOU NEED TO SET UP AUTOMATION FROM DAY 1.
Thinking “I’ll set up automation when I grow” is like saying “I’ll replace my prius with a mercedes when I grow”. It’s kind of chicken/egg craziness.
No automation = no growth… Or very very slow growth.
You’re the only one who knows exactly how the company has to look like. Your employees, partners, affiliate have no idea. Now that your marketing is ready and your automation are set up, you need to make sure there will be no flaw in the execution of the service.
Write your policies up to the slightest detail. How your drivers need to dress up and shave, how to address the client, how to manage customer satisfaction, how to always be on time, how to manage incidents or accidents.
If you don’t have that in place, your growth will tumble and fall faster than you know.
I know. That’s a big one. But here’s the thing: You can either be the boss or you can be the driver.
While driving you’re basically paying yourself driver wage AND you can’t focus on growing your business. If you like driving, you can always take the wheel every now and then but no big limo business owner ever drives.
If you want to grow big, do what the big guys do and do it from day 1.
Even if you only have one car, hire a driver to do the ride. If you’re not willing to do that, then you will NOT grow to 20 cars.
Hire talents in every area of your business. Don’t run your ads yourself, you’ll just waste tie and money. Don’t do accounting, it’s boring. Don’t do customer support, that’s why you created a company policy. You will find specialists to execute it.
Yes, you have the feeling of saving money when you do things yourself but the reality is that you don’t. How could you ever grow if you do everything?
Quit driving and become the boss.
That’s a question I often have: “Why should I find drivers and cars while I barely have enough bookings to fill up my own calendar?”
Well, because if you don’t have drivers and cars, you can’t grow.
Chicken/egg situation? Not really.
If you quit driving, it means all the rides you were doing so far you can give them to other drivers.
Find drivers who Uber or Blacklane a lot. These guys are just looking for rides. And if you give them a few rides, they will be happy to take them.
How do you do it? Organize a breakfast and “sell” them your big vision: “We’re a local company and we’re here to get you the rides you want. Sign up with us, become one of our drivers and comply to our policy.”
That’s how you get the cars and the drivers, but it’s not enough.
That’s when it becomes interesting. Having drivers accepting to be listed on your company is fairly easy. Time consuming but easy. Now that they are on board you will need to enforce your policy and keep them motivated.
Here’s what you don’t want: Drivers being motivated for the first ride but quickly becoming a creepy driver like when they work for Uber or Blacklane.
How to do it?
Remember that you’re not driving anymore. So you have time to gather them, organize a BBQ, have lunch with them individually, call them to keep the motivation.
Never ever keep a driver who doesn’t do a perfect job. EVER. It’s not like you have a dealership where someone can compensate for a bad employee.
If a driver fails, he’s out. DO NOT HESITATE.
On the other hand, value the good work.
A boss is somehow like a dad. He sets the rules up and reward or punish when enforcing them.
Here are a few tips to make sure they will self regulate:
- Take a deposit when they sign up with you. $100. If they miss a ride you give them, you cash it in and you fire them
- Punish them financially speaking if they’re late. 50% penalty when they’re late for a ride. If they do it again, see previous point.
- Plan for bonus for good drivers. Always on time? Good rating? Boom, bonus
There’s one thing specific to this industry: Your clients never ever see you. The only thing they know about your company is your driver.
You need to make sure your drivers won’t steal your clients (establish this in your contract and sue them if they steal from you. Sue them even if it costs you more than you make because others will know and won’t even dare.
Turn them into sales reps as well. How do you do that? Create promo codes with their name on it and every time this promo code is triggered, give them money. Guess what will happen? They’ll share it on social media, with friends and even with customers in the car. So they will have to offer a great service for the customers to use this promo code.
Saying that you’re doing it in order to make money is not enough. That might bring you $10 or $10,000. This is making money.
List the things you want to buy with this money, write down the amount you want on your bank account.
Keep that as your one and only focus at all time. Never ever forget about that because losing your focus means losing your business.
Now that you have your drivers and cars, now that you have bookings, now that you make money, be grateful.
Being grateful for every single sale, for every driver you get, for every call you make, for every penny that hits your bank account is THE ONLY guarantee of success.
If you stop being grateful for your drivers when they are here for you (even if some times they give you a hard time), if you forget to celebrate every sale, if you’re not grateful for your growth and forget to look back at where you were a year, a month or a week ago, then you might well lose it all very fast
How about sales?
That’s actually a good question. We kinda talked about it already but let me get into it.
the #1 thing to understand is that your job is to focus on the result, not on the way to get there. The way will show up when needed.
There’s still actions you need to take besides giving your drivers a promo code in their name.
Because you have automation in place, you can have someone run your facebook/instagram/linkedin ads and control your conversion. Once your conversion rate is good and your cost per acquisition is under your gross margin, then you can scale it up and get rides to all these drivers of yours.
It’s a good thing that you closely look into what you’re ads person is doing but let an expert do it. If you do it yourself, you’ll just waste precious time, money and drivers because you won’t be able to give them enough rides.
Check out our free online training on how to grow and scale a limo business here: https://training.karl.limo.