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Thread: limousine business plan.

  1. #16
    Senior Member Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt@LimoLive24.com View Post
    Again, my posts state that it depends on what you want to use your Limousine Business Plan for... that is the first question you have to ask yourself. An internal operational plan is much different from an external plan used to set the groundwork for a loan or investment.

    However, ask yourself one key question BEFORE you invest your own money in your own company... If you are not able to layout a plan in enough detail to provide a convincing argument that your idea has a better than 50/50 chance of succeeding, that you know where you are going, how you are going to get there and when, and what the business model and profit is going to look like when you do, then why are you investing in this business?

    Don't get me wrong... I am sure that there are a lot of successful limo companies that were started with no plan and a car. But I would bet that there are far more that started that way and are no longer around. In today's unusually competitive and difficult market, having a plan and making sure you have thought things through is essential, if you want to keep your money. After all, why are you starting a limo business? Is it because you just love the idea and the flashy cars? Or is it to make money? To improve your lifestyle? To provide an above-average income for you and your family? To send your kids to college? If latter more identifies you then you are a businessman first, and your choice of a limousine business is merely the road to get you where you want to be. So making sure you plan for success is paramount, the same way as you should thoroughly review any potential investment.

    Business people are a bit different. Their focus is certainly on trying to be the best operator they can be, to expand the business and improve it, but it also means that the recognize that they run the business.... the business does not run them. They know that a plan means they understand where they are going and have contingency plans and reserves in case things are not perfect. They understand that working 24/7 is not a solution, it is a death sentence. That knowing how the business is structured and makes money and what staffing levels are needed and cash flow required is just as important as which vehicles are used, how they are outfitted and how they will market their company. In the end after all, it will come down to whether this investment will pay off as intended, both in lifestyle and in money returned. Just investing so you can have a job which works you to death, gives you nightmares due to the responsibility, requires you to give up your life and pays you what you would make as a VP somewhere else, is probably not going to indicate a truly successful business for the business-focused operator.

    How long does it take to write a plan? Well that is a good question and depends a lot on the experience of the person writing it. That is why I recommend a program that helps you along, forces you to answer key questions and gets you thinking. Some things will require outside counsel too. There are also companies that will help you to write a plan. They ask a lot of key questions and then get it all down in the proper and complete format. In the end though, it is never done. We usually dust them off every six months and see what has changed and how we have to revise it, at least for internal purposes.

    If you work on it every day, you can get it done in a few weeks I would say. If you use a service to write it, plan on 30 days or more as you will have back and forth question and answer sessions. If you do it part time, it may take months. Some of this will depend on how complete it is and a lot will depend on what kind of operation you are building. A plan for a one car operator and a sedan is probably very simple, but don't count on any investor to put up money to buy you a job. A set up for a three year plan to build a 20 car operation is going to be more appealing and take more planning and time.

    As to raising capital... yes you can raise debt and equity... but both are much harder today after the economy fell off a cliff. Raising capital from people you know or referrals is probably a better bet for a small limousine operation, but capital from banks is still available if you have the right relationships and mix of key components. Raising capital from friends, family and referrals still means you are going to need to show them the care you took to come up with a viable plan, and how that will benefit them. So a good business plan would, in my mind, be important to you and to them. There are still some very active groups that are full of professional investors that typically place $50,000 - $500,000 (or more as syndicates or groups) in private companies and start ups. There are ways to reach these types and many prefer this kind of investment to investing in the stock market, where they cannot get the same level of comfort and continuous feedback from their investments. If you want more on this subject, let me know. Our venture firm operates specifically in this niche.

    Would you hand your wallet over to someone that just walked up to you on the street today, in this market, and said "I have a great idea for a limo company and I know it is going to work... How much cash will you give me?"
    OK I can't take it anymore. I have to say something. ( DAM YOU ARE WINDED ) I mean no disrespect but every time you post it's a novel.

  2. #17

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    If you don't make large post you may lose your sig.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast View Post
    OK I can't take it anymore. I have to say something. ( DAM YOU ARE WINDED ) I mean no disrespect but every time you post it's a novel.

    Who forces you to read it? Scroll down. LOL.
    Cheers,
    Kurt von Strasser
    kurt@LimoLive24.com
    http://www.LimoLive24.com
    LimoLive24.com
    Phone: 800.676.9095
    Limousine Business Process Outsourcing
    Reservations Center, Web Chat,Text/SMS
    Customer Care & Marketing Services


  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast View Post
    OK I can't take it anymore. I have to say something. ( DAM YOU ARE WINDED ) I mean no disrespect but every time you post it's a novel.
    LOL,
    Kurt did you copy and paste that? If you typed all that off the top you must have been composing that letter for like 4 hours

    Good info though :-) Next question I have I'm asking you

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt@LimoLive24.com View Post
    Who forces you to read it? Scroll down. LOL.
    LOL,
    Kurt I know you did NOT sit at your keyboard and compose that whole reply. You had to cut and paste it. If not how long did it take you to compose that? That was a very well thought out reply. Good information about businesses in general too I might add. And speaking of business plans, has anyone had any experience with any Open Spurce (FREE) business plan software? I feel another post.

  6. #21

    Default The Reason for a Limo Business Plan

    No cut and paste. Although I have cut and pasted some of this into our blog on our web site... as I thought our members could benefit from it - LOL. Just submitted what I know. There is far more about the subject than I could possibly explain here. I have been doing start ups and acquisitions since the 80's and this stuff is second nature. The limousine business has a very low barrier to entry... and if you choose to you can get started with a very minimal investment. These are some of the reasons why I believe so many start without a plan and then get into trouble as they grow from an owner-driver into a business with overhead, marketing, staff and chauffeurs, etc. The owner usually responds by working more and more because the limo business model was not set up from the beginning to deal with the needs caused by growth. As far as attracting any investment, this industry and recent track record with the economy will put enough odds against you. I think any sane investor is going to want to know what makes you a different story and how you will make money! Honestly, I don't write many business plans anymore. I read and invest in them. But that is how I started. Best of luck!
    Cheers,
    Kurt von Strasser
    kurt@LimoLive24.com
    http://www.LimoLive24.com
    LimoLive24.com
    Phone: 800.676.9095
    Limousine Business Process Outsourcing
    Reservations Center, Web Chat,Text/SMS
    Customer Care & Marketing Services


  7. #22
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    Thank you.

  8. #23

    Exclamation Planning

    Kurt, This is good stuff. I didn't go on my own until I had enough accounts to make it viable across a number of markets. I sure could have used a service such as yours twenty five years ago !! Low overhead saved my ____ in hard times and I am one of those operators who worked all the time coming up. Thanks again for posting here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt@LimoLive24.com View Post
    No cut and paste. Although I have cut and pasted some of this into our blog on our web site... as I thought our members could benefit from it - LOL. Just submitted what I know. There is far more about the subject than I could possibly explain here. I have been doing start ups and acquisitions since the 80's and this stuff is second nature. The limousine business has a very low barrier to entry... and if you choose to you can get started with a very minimal investment. These are some of the reasons why I believe so many start without a plan and then get into trouble as they grow from an owner-driver into a business with overhead, marketing, staff and chauffeurs, etc. The owner usually responds by working more and more because the limo business model was not set up from the beginning to deal with the needs caused by growth. As far as attracting any investment, this industry and recent track record with the economy will put enough odds against you. I think any sane investor is going to want to know what makes you a different story and how you will make money! Honestly, I don't write many business plans anymore. I read and invest in them. But that is how I started. Best of luck!
    Dean Schuler

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by smart driver View Post
    I'm looking to start a limo business soon. I know every business needs to have a great business plan. Is there a certain way to write a limousines busniess plan, or is it the same as writing any business plan? Does any one know were I can see an example of one?
    Things to address in your business plan. Marketing Opportunity, Vision, Mission, Goals, Objectives, Company Overview, Management, Market Analysis, Business Strategy, Demand/ Revenue model, Service Strategy, Competition, Internet Strategy, Risk, Operations, Present Sitution, Financial Plan, Exit / payback strategy, Capitol requirements
    Last edited by Limo-Service; September 24th, 2010 at 05:46 AM.

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