Work Smarter not Harder
You’ve probably heard that a zillion times: Work smarter, not harder. And you’re probably still wondering how the F you can make it work. Well, this is not one more post on the subject, it’s rather a step by step guide to make it happen in your specific industry: the limo industry.
I know as much as you do that running a limo business can be overwhelmingly demanding. It’s like you have to be on the main deck 24/7 and any one who tells you to work smarter and not harder has no idea what being in your shoes actually means. Well, I do. So let’s get to work… smarter.
Change your perspective
While I’m writing this article, I’m getting ready for a 4 day vacation in Tulum, Mexico. That’s what I mean with “change your perspective”. Nothing can change if you are in your daily routine, so just start with taking a break. It doesn’t need to be a 2 week vacations in China or in New Zealand, you don’t even need to disconnect from your business. I won’t. I’ll keep working from the beach.
The thing, when you change your perspective is that you need to re-organize your way of working. In order to work smarter instead of harder, you need to be smart about it and acknowledge that you won’t change your way of working by remaining stuck in your office or in your car.
That’s the #1 thing: as long as you drive, you’re a driver. Nothing wrong with it except for the fact that you can’t scale your business. So take these few days off and hire a driver to replace you if you’re still a driver.
Here’s the virtue of taking this “break”: You’ll have to take some distance with your business and will allow you to see what you’re doing wrong as well as what you’re doing right. Your business shouldn’t depend on your presence and this is true whatever the stage of development you’re in. Clients make bookings, drivers drive, it’s as easy as that.
Taking this break will make you see the flaws. Clients need to call you to make a booking? That’s bad. What happens if you’re sick? Drivers need you to be behind their back to do their job? There definitely is some training to be organized and automations to be setup.
Get inspired by dropshipping
A dropshipping business is an online store where the owner does not have any inventory. All he does is sell things and then get the suppliers to ship them to his clients. Directly. This is very much a “work smarter” situation. The owner creates a website, sets up automation for marketing, and he can even setup automation to get the order from his website to the supplier. Once this is all setup, all he has to do is supervise his business. Most people who have this type of business work on it a couple hours a day and still make thousands every day.
OK OK, I know what you’re thinking. How does it relate to your limo business???
Well, your job can be pretty similar. There is no complex process involved right? A client books a ride, a driver does the ride, that’s it. You find the client, your driver is like your supplier. All you need to do is to automate the process. Instead of having to wait for the client’s call and then call drivers to find one who’s available and then call back the client to confirm the ride, then call the driver again to confirm and then call him again to make sure he’s taking care of your client…. You know the hamster wheel as much as I do.
Do what drop shippers do: Add automation to your business. It’s cheap, it saves you countless hours of work and it has an unexpected outcome: it increases the number of booking per client. This is precisely working smarter, not harder.
Make your business more predictable
During the 11 years and change of coaching limo business owners, there’s one constant that I’ve seen stressing most of them out. Predictability. And they all tell me, just like you’re probably thinking now: Mike, you don’t know this business, it’s not predictable.
I’m sorry to disagree. It is not predictable when you’re waiting for calls but it becomes predictable when you work smarter.
Business is a numbers game. So make the numbers work for you. I’ll let Joy go in deep with Social Media ads and Jake with SEO and Google ads campaigns, I’ll just summarize it here.
Basically these numbers are How much do I spend in ads for how many bookings with how much profit. It’s just an equation and goes down to the cost per customer acquisition as well as the cost per ride sale. If you sell a ride for $100 with a cost of $50 (including the amortization of the car, gas, driver wage, insurance) it means your profit is $50. If you spend $20 to get this ride going, then your profit is $30. Some of you may say, “I don’t want to spend $20 in ads for a ride”… That’s working harder. If you look at it from your vacation, you’ll think “Hey, if I have a $30 profit with my ads, Why don’t I spend $2,000 and generate $3,000 in profit?”… That’s working smarter
1. Find out what your numbers are
Before pouring money in ads, you need to get your numbers straight and this take some time and a little budget to discover what works. Run ads with a low budget to see how people react to it, split test your ads to see which one converts the most etc…, Look up our post called (Where to spend money in your limo business” for more info.
2. Optimize your numbers
Once you find out what your numbers are, you need to optimize them. It means If your profit after ad is $10 or if you’re actually losing money, you need to work on your numbers. This can be by increasing your price (and your quality of service) or it can be by optimizing your sales funnel (website, booking widget, app) in order to make the cost per acquisition drop.
This might give you headache right now because it’s new and sounds complicated. It’s actually pretty simple and this is your very job: Set up your business so it makes you money.
3. Scale it up
Once you’re happy with your numbers and they bring you profits with little work on your side, you can start scaling it up. It’s just numbers. If $2000 generate $3,000, then $20,000 will generate $30,000 and so on.
Of course there’s a seasonality to your business and you’ll have to test your numbers year round, they will be different, ads will be different in June or in November. Don’t run your July campaign in November because you may well have different numbers and you could end up losing money.
In order to make your business predictable you need to setup automations. Automated softwares are cheap and will do the job just fine. With KARL, it starts at $59.99 per month. How many hours do you spend managing everything manually every month? How much money are these hours worth? Work smarter not harder.
How do you feel on that beach?
Now that you setup your business to work smarter instead of working harder, you’re probably sitting on a beach just like I am.
Picture this, you’re drinking a tequila, looking at the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, your smart phone is next to you and, every now and then, you take a glance at it. Your clients are making bookings using your app, your ads are running to bring you new business, your email automation is making your clients book more often and your driver app is telling your drivers what to do. Your dashboard shows you where your drivers are and tells you if one of them is late.
You’re doing your job, you’re managing your business. You’re not running in the hamster wheel anymore. And your looking at the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Enjoy.