The limousine driver’s wardrobe must be suitable for a professional driver. The business owner may shop for formal attire, such as tuxedos or suits, or contract out with a vendor for uniforms. If the clothing is custom-made or requires alteration, he may spend time getting fitted at a tailor’s shop. Dry cleaning pickup and other services related to attire, such as laundering and shoe-polishing, will take up some time during the workday, as will regular haircuts or manicures to maintain an impeccably groomed appearance.
Limousine business owners who also operate an independent car service will be busy for a good portion of time serving clients, taking them to meetings, airports, parties and other destinations. They may sit in traffic or park and wait for hours for the client to return to the car after an event.
Presentation and Vehicle Maintenance
Presentation of the vehicle is important in the luxury service industry, and celebrities and other high-end clientele have high expectations and often demand special consideration. If the driver doesn’t have the time to carefully clean the vehicle himself, he must make contact with a car wash or auto detailing service to provide the client a freshly-vacuumed and litter-free ride. The exterior and trunk must also be impeccable. The limousine owner must ensure that amenities, such as Internet or phone service, are in good working condition. He may need to troubleshoot electronics or adjust the interior lights to provide a warm and inviting atmosphere. Music must be selected, prepared and changed according to the wishes of the client. Glassware must be clean and the interior temperature must be suitable for the time of year. The limousine driver or business owner may take the car in for repairs or schedule routine service, such as tire care or oil changes. He must make arrangements with towing services in the event of an accident or breakdown. And since limousines aren’t economy vehicles, the limousine owner may also spend a good bit of time at the pump, depending on the miles driven during the day.
A busy limousine service owner must spend time on Internet mapping sites or entering data into his car’s GPS to schedule his route in advance. A good limousine driver is familiar with the most-efficient routes in his service area and he must spend some time familiarizing himself with frequently requested destinations, such as hotels, airports or restaurants, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Map-making is especially important in the event of a breakdown. It’s important to know the closest tow or repair service to minimize downtime, suggests Jim Luff of LCT Magazine.
Marketing and Market Analysis
Marketing is a must for any business, and the limousine business is no exception. The business owner must spend part of his workday — although maybe not every day — defining his target audience and understanding the market segmentation. For example, does he cater to the wedding or prom crowd, or does he want to cater exclusively to the hotel industry or airport visitors? If he wants to specialize, he must undertake marketing analysis to find prospective customers, then create a marketing plan to attack those goals. Marketing efforts may require designing an ad or logo, reaching out to bridal stores or tuxedo rental establishments, or networking with affiliates, advises Luff.
If the operation has more than one car and driver in service, the business owner will have personnel duties to attend to during the day. This may include interviewing and hiring, vacation pay, dealing with benefits and services or reprimanding or discharging personnel.
Accounting and Finance Duties
A limousine business owner must deal with his assets and liabilities. Accounts receivable and accounts payable functions can take up a good chunk of time during the workday. There are vendors to pay, checks to prepare, car leases to pay, licenses and registrations to buy, and payroll to fulfill. In addition, money from fares must be deposited at the bank on a daily basis.
Shopping and Vendor Negotiation
Many limousines stock a full bar for the convenience of the customer, which calls for shopping for beverages, such as coffee, tea or champagne. Special champagne flutes or other bar ware must be kept on hand, and the driver must maintain property inventory. The limousine business owner may spend time on the phone or Internet negotiating deals with a linen service or liquor distributor, or shop around for the best price for his insurance needs.
Dispatch and Scheduling
The limousine business owner must answer calls for service. He will spend some time during the workday organizing these requests and dispatching limousines for transporting guests to their destinations.
Ongoing Education and Licensing
During a lull, a limousine business owner may wish to engage in ongoing education through the use of trade magazines, newspapers or service industry newsletters. There are future events to consider or policies and procedures that need reviewing. The limousine driver must also stay abreast of any changes to federal or state regulations and keep his driver’s license and Class E chauffeur’s license current, which may entail spending time at the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to Old Market Limousine Service.
The driver or business owner must document the mileage from the beginning to the end of each trip. This is important for tax purposes and helpful in assessing overhead costs. All vehicle incidents; for example, any damages or accidents, need to be reported, as do injuries to self or client. Time jotting down notes in a logbook can add up.