About LCT's The Great Limo Race

LCT will be comparing how five operators with less than two years in the industry build their success, including the challenges, failures, and achievements. Read more

Players

Deborah Talbott

Debbie is a former purchasing director who after 20 years found herself unemployed in a recession. She immediately launched her new business from home starting with a single 120-inch stretch limousine and has since added a Lincoln Town Car Executive L to the fleet. Read more

Ricardo Garza

Ric, as he is known to friends, is 45 years old, married, and a proud parent of two boys and one girl. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science and spent many years working in the Houston Mayor’s Office as a certified conflict mediator and business developer. Read more

Becky Laramee

Along with her brother, John, Becky bought All Points Limousine in 2008. Their mother had spent time in the motorcoach and travel industry and had retired, but wasn’t quite ready for retirement. Needless to say, mother Bonnie is the office manager. Read more

Brad Gregory

Brad bought a 25-year-old limousine service in 2009 from a retiring owner. The company is located between Nashville, Tenn. and Bowling Green, Ky. He had no previous experience in the industry, working for the past decade for an automotive company. Read more

Georgia Berg

In July 2007, at the age of 44, Georgia became a long-distance business partner with her longtime Australian friend, Peter Smith. They met by chance while vacationing in Hawaii in 1993. During a 2003 visit to the U.S., Smith saw a Ford Excursion limousine and vowed to bring the first one to Australia. Read more

Race Referee

Jim Luff

LCT Contributing Editor Jim Luff is an operator from Bakersfield, Calif. After working as a chauffeur in the early 1990s, he joined The Limousine Scene in 1993 as general manager and later became a partner in the business. Read more

GEORGIA Bids Farewell To Race

Hello Everyone!
 
Is everyone having a great summer? The weather in Perth is getting a little bit better. The rain has started to decrease and we are getting a few sunny days. Spring is still several weeks away.
 
In my last update, I think I made a comment that may have given the wrong impression to my competitors and our readers. When I stated Limousine Excursions went into the month of June with absolutely no bookings, I was speaking for the start of that month, June, not for other months going forward. (Sorry for the confusion).
 
The first of July kicked off the new fiscal year and the last five weeks since have been much better than expected. We adjusted our marketing campaign and pricing for June, July and August, and attended two more Bridal Expos in July. We focused our marketing more on our 12 passenger Ford F250. We handed out more than 1,300 brochures at the Expos and the response was amazing.
 
We ended July 53% ahead of the bookings we had for July 2010. This came as a real surprise to me. Looking back through our quoting system, I saw we had a significantly higher closing rate off of inquiries that came from leads we got from the Expos. You can spend a lot of money building your Internet profile, but sometimes old fashioned one on one interaction with the public gives you the best marketing tool of all: Visibility of your product and the opportunity to sell yourself. You should not discount the impact you can make at these events. Our numbers for July speak for themselves.
 
Last week we had a wonderful opportunity to do something really special with Deb Pether and the Sunset Coast Christian Life Centre. The church and fellow parishioners sponsored a two-week visit to Perth for a group of Japanese students whose lives were devastated by the Tsunami that hit Japan. We worked with Deb to surprise the students and had our H2 Hummer waiting outside to meet the group. You should have seen their faces when they walked out and saw the Hummer! Peter gave them a wonderful tour of the city. It was great to be part of such a special experience.
 
The Perth Limousine industry is still unsettled, and our overall hourly rates are being driven down lower every week. The six companies I mentioned in the last update that were up for sale have not sold yet. We have decided not to take the offer to merge with the company that approached us last month. With Western Australia recently voted the most expensive state in Australia to live in, this next year will be challenging enough. Taking on an additional partner and the responsibility of managing assets that may not stay viable in our turbulent market did not seem to be the wisest move to make at this time.
 
All the best to our readers and fellow contestants.
 
Georgia Berg
Perth, Australia
Print | posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 1:51 PM
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