As anyone who has owned a business through the covid years will tell you, the future is hard to predict. And while we can do our best to forecast certain pitfalls and trends, we’re always vulnerable to those events that catch us by surprise.
Nobody knows that more than those in the limo rental industry, who were impacted by covid even more than most. Whether you’re an existing business that survived the storm or you’re thinking of getting started in the industry, you’re sure to be thinking about longevity. So how can you ensure that your business survives when the worst happens — even if it’s something that nobody saw coming?
While — sadly — we can’t predict the future, we can share some tips on how to future-proof your limo rental business. Here are our top five:
Even though we can’t foresee everything that’s going to happen, we can still do our best to be prepared. In every industry, it’s important to research future trends, and the limo rental business is no exception. Spend time studying the history of automobile rentals and listen to expert opinions on where the industry is headed next. If you know what people are going to be looking for in the years to come, you can make sure that you’re ready to take advantage.
Stay on top of legislation
In England, rental companies were rocked by the introduction of the ULEZ in 2019 — along with a congestion charge which rendered older vehicles far more expensive to run. And similar legislation looks set to begin in New York later this year. Are there any new schemes on the horizon that might affect your business? The sooner you learn about any changes to legislation, the more prepared you can be.
The limo rental industry is always changing, and one of the best ways to future-proof your business is to ensure you can adapt to any eventuality. During the pandemic, for example, most of the companies that survived were the ones which could easily adjust to the drop in bookings for weddings and bachelor parties and find alternative markets elsewhere. So even if your current business model is successful, you should always be prepared to change it at a moment’s notice.
Build customer relations
If you want your business to survive in an uncertain future, you won’t be able to do it without the support of a loyal customer base. And sometimes, the most important part of future-proofing can be building positive relationships with your clients. On a basic level, this could be as simple as asking them where they’d like to see your business go in the coming years — what vehicles would they like to see on your roster, perhaps, or what special packages might entice them? But this approach should also include a comprehensive customer service policy to ensure that any issues or complaints are dealt with swiftly.
Keep a rainy day fund
Of course, one of the most obvious ways to future-proof your business is to keep a rainy day fund. If your business is in a good place financially, it’s worth considering using your position to secure additional funding — even if you don’t need it straight away. In the limo industry, things can change quickly, and you won’t always be able to afford the latest model or piece of tech. By building up a cache of savings, you can keep your business ticking over even if things take a downward turn.
Team up with a broker
While there are some advantages to going it alone, teaming up with a broker is a great way to guarantee yourself bookings in the future — no matter which way the tide turns. Essentially, brokers act as middle men, doing all the hard work on your behalf. They’ll take care of all the advertising and initial enquiries, leaving you to deliver the end result. And even though they take a small percentage of the fee, it’s often a fair trade in return for regular business.