BY BILL FAETH
There has never been a more critical time in our entrepreneurial lives to do more with less than right now. Many of you still have fewer vehicles in your fleet than you did when you attended the 2020 Chauffeur Driven/NLA Show in Las Vegas, and you have fewer chauffeurs driving those vehicles.
Even though you may be short-staffed and low on vehicles, you can implement things that are readily available within your business to increase your profit and decrease workload. This business is hard enough as it is, so let’s discuss a few ways you can save some time, adopt some new automation, and increase your profit margin without having to hire new staff or spend more money on sales and marketing.
❱ Dynamic Pricing (Also Known as Yield Management)
Whoa. I know what you’re thinking—isn’t surge pricing like Uber? Can you do this if you live in the corporate side of the industry? The answer is, in effect, yes.
However, there are many ways to implement dynamic pricing, like increasing pricing when your demand is high and inventory is low. Still, you can also decrease pricing when demand is low, and inventory is high.
Many software providers like Limo Anywhere, AddOns, and the Hudson Group all have yield management capabilities that you can implement and customize.
One of the best features I like is time-based dynamic pricing. For instance, if I operate in a market like New York or Los Angeles where I am sold out of sedans and SUVs every weekday from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, I could set my pricing to increase during these times.
This same concept applies to retail vehicles that are sold out every weekend. If you have three stretches, you can increase pricing based on days or times and raise your pricing each time the vehicle is booked. The options are almost infinite. We as an industry just need to have an open mind, conduct a little research, learn the benefits, and then implement the plan.
Depending on when you are reading this, there is a great educational session happening at the at the 2021 CD/NLA Show on Tuesday, October 12 at 10:00 a.m. that will go deep into this topic.
Zapier is a program that allows you to connect two pieces of software like Limo Anywhere and Mailchimp and automate the information flow from one platform to the other.
Example: I book my first ride with your company. If you have Limo Anywhere set up to “Zap” (via Zapier) my contact information into your Mailchimp or Constant Contact account, then you could send me an automated email. That email could be from you and sent an hour, a day, or a week after my first booking introducing yourself as the owner and reminding me to book my return flight. Or you could even introduce me to another service offering.
This can be 100 percent automated using Zapier’s integration with Limo Anywhere. Unfortunately, I believe Limo Anywhere is the only software company in our industry that integrates with Zapier. Hopefully, the rest will get on board soon.
Zapier allows you to connect almost all major software platforms to automate the flow of information. Want to send all new quote requests and email sequence and add their contact info to your Facebook Custom Audience for retargeting ads to increase conversions? LA + Zapier has you covered. QuickBooks, Google, Microsoft Office, and more than 1,500 applications are waiting for you to set up automation.
My recommendation is to take a quick look at the Zapier website and spend five minutes checking out what you can automate. Note, it doesn’t have to be with Limo Anywhere; it can be with almost any online platform.
Pick one task you do daily or weekly and see if you can automate it using Zapier. Suppose it saves you 10 minutes per day; you have just saved five hours a month to spend with your kids or out selling.
It’s funny, because both dynamic pricing and Zapier will help you automate and save time. Fewer than 1 percent of the industry has either implemented, so when you hit the ground running, you will have a competitive advantage. [CD0921]
Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.