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Thread: Starting a Limousine Business in Georgia what should I know?

  1. #1

    Post Starting a Limousine Business in Georgia what should I know?

    Starting a Limousine Business in Georgia what should I know?

    I am starting a limousine business just outside of Atlanta, Ga (SW). What should I know when starting in this area, I am looking for the legal stuff, " Licenses, Permits, DOT, Local Laws, Taxes, Ect" the basic stuff for startup in GA, also what reservation software/companie would you recommend? and good marketing companies "driect mailing/tv-radio/newspaper/other marking idears?" any advise will be appricated.

  2. #2

    Default

    It sounds like you have no experience in the industry so I'm curious, what's your motivation?

    I'll be the first to say, don't do it.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  3. #3
    Senior Member Limo Padawan Cliff Robinson's Avatar
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    Default

    I was going to open up a Atlanta wing to my company till I discovered that there are over 200 plus companies working out of the Metro Atlanta and General Vacinity thats a Huge NUmber. I realise that many are single car operations yet it is still a huge number to compete with.

    Ga Laws are different as well. While it is still possiable to get an Airport permit there you must do many things to qualify yourself.

    You need to look up the regulations as I did to see what they are and to decide if it is worth the effort.

    You could not be starting a business at a worse time with the economy as it is even in Atlanta. i own Property in Downtown a Condo and the Market took a Nose dive several years ago and has not seen daylight sense. I have builder friends who are struggling.

    You need to do Homework before making such a decision. I have an established company and still felt it unwise at this time to Open an Atlanta Office with 3 to 5 cars.

    No One is going to do the Home work for you on Regulations they are easy to find online state of Georgia Licensing department transportation division and lImousines and Taxi regulations.... Start reading it is a nice read I know I did it several Months back.

    I Incorporated in Ga last year just in case i decided to bring my company there, but have put it off just not the right time..
    Last edited by Cliff Robinson; September 28th, 2008 at 07:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Default

    I would disagree that a bad economy is a bad time to start a business. While the other companies are dying off you can grab some good loyal customers. It is about being smart, safe, and doing your research. Have a business plan, do a lot of market analysis, and make sure you do not have to pay your normal bills with your company (have another job that will pay you enough to live while you get this company off the ground).

    The most important step is research! You have the right idea of coming here-but instead of blasting out one post hoping that you'll get all the answers to your questions is a little ambiguous. Spend about 6 months going through each category one at a time and just read, you'll learn so much! Also, work for another company for about 2-3 years-again, you'll learn so much!

    Good luck on your new venture! Check with your State's Department of Revenue, Motor Carrier-they will probably be able to answer a lot of your questions.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Limo Padawan InTheLeftLane's Avatar
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    Wow - first off, welcome to the forums PARGarrett and the guy have some great tips for you; interesting to me that one of the them was "don't do it"...

    Starting a biz in good times is precarious at best, small business survival stats are not good. Starting one in tough economic times is even harder - but not impossible and I'd be the very last to suggest you should not try it.

    That being said, the next thing is to research your business and get all the details you can - working for another company is a great idea so you can get a sense of the ebb and flow of the business environment you are going to work in.

    I'll also encourage you to develop not only as a limo driver and limo company owner, but also as an entrepreneur, which I see as a very different skill set. My favorite book on this is "The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It" by Michael Gerber.

    As you read the book, you'll see what I mean about how an entrepreneur is different than the usual business owner.

    Lastly, and this is the drum you hear me beat most often, is to carefully develop your online presence and make it an integral part of your marketing. I think too many limo companies see themselves as too small for a serious effort in this area. It's the best exposure you can get for the lowest possible marketing expenditure.

    Good luck and get to know the guys here - they're pretty awesome actually.
    Steven Groves
    Vice President / Silent Dispatch, Inc.

    Sponsors of InTheLeftLane - Slow Traffic Keep Right!

    SilentDispatch / LE has launched! - "Invitation Only Phase" now in place. Current users have invites - Make your request at www.SilentDispatch.com!

  6. #6

    Default

    Steve, my "Don't do it" was a simple statement meant to make him stop and think about it. Before it, I asked what his expeience was and what his motivation was. The last thing I would ever do is be pessimistic and try and talk someone out of pursuing their dream. But, if I can save someone from diving in head first and losing a lot of money and hurting their family, I'll tell them not to do it. Hopefully I will scare him into taking things slowly and taking advice like yours(research the business, develop online web presence, make relationships with other companies, etc...). If I sounded a little harsh, I'm glad. I'm trying to do the guy a favor.

    Pargarrett, welcome to the forum. Be very carefull before you pull the trigger. There are a lot of companies downsizing or going under right now. There's a big and obvious reason why. The good news is that means you can buy limos at discounted prices(new or used). But, hopefully you are already savvy with a game plan and have some good connections to build clientelle.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  7. #7
    Senior Member Limo Padawan InTheLeftLane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Levine View Post
    Steve, my "Don't do it" was a simple statement meant to make him stop and think about it.

    No problems Geoff - but a heck of a way to greet a new operator eh?!
    Steven Groves
    Vice President / Silent Dispatch, Inc.

    Sponsors of InTheLeftLane - Slow Traffic Keep Right!

    SilentDispatch / LE has launched! - "Invitation Only Phase" now in place. Current users have invites - Make your request at www.SilentDispatch.com!

  8. #8

    Default

    I understand what you're saying. But the key word is "new" operator. If he was a new motorcycle rider and wanted to ride with my friends, I would tell him to be carefull and not try and keep up until he felt comfortable.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  9. #9

    Default

    I am not new to the limo inderstry, our family has a good business in back home, and I have been a big part in the sucess of the business, however our state has all their rules and regulations on the limo's, as with every state, I am looking for the laws that mainley pretain to GA, cause I am expanding to accomidate the worlds most traveled airport,

  10. #10

    Default

    That was my biggest concern for you. As long as you know what you're getting into, good luck.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  11. #11
    Senior Member Limo Padawan InTheLeftLane's Avatar
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    Default Tell us more about the families biz...

    Where are you expanding / moving from to GA?
    Steven Groves
    Vice President / Silent Dispatch, Inc.

    Sponsors of InTheLeftLane - Slow Traffic Keep Right!

    SilentDispatch / LE has launched! - "Invitation Only Phase" now in place. Current users have invites - Make your request at www.SilentDispatch.com!

  12. #12

    Smile Operations

    The truth of the matter is this: services go as far as their operational knowledge takes them. Most never go very far down the path.. Truth #2 is that contract business is the key to success in livery IF YOU HAVE GREAT OPERATIONS. The internet is wonderful for attracting retail and some elements of corporate but you still will go nowhere UNLESS YOU HAVE GREAT OPERATIONS. You can advertise all you want but if you don't know how to run a program you will go nowhere. How you dispatch and perform the service delivery quotient is still the most important variable out there. The people that matter don't care about your internet ads. They call most operators " Fluff Merchants ". If this isn't clear then call WADE for a full explanation of the ways and means of livery.




    Quote Originally Posted by InTheLeftLane View Post
    Wow - first off, welcome to the forums PARGarrett and the guy have some great tips for you; interesting to me that one of the them was "don't do it"...

    Starting a biz in good times is precarious at best, small business survival stats are not good. Starting one in tough economic times is even harder - but not impossible and I'd be the very last to suggest you should not try it.

    That being said, the next thing is to research your business and get all the details you can - working for another company is a great idea so you can get a sense of the ebb and flow of the business environment you are going to work in.

    I'll also encourage you to develop not only as a limo driver and limo company owner, but also as an entrepreneur, which I see as a very different skill set. My favorite book on this is "The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It" by Michael Gerber.

    As you read the book, you'll see what I mean about how an entrepreneur is different than the usual business owner.

    Lastly, and this is the drum you hear me beat most often, is to carefully develop your online presence and make it an integral part of your marketing. I think too many limo companies see themselves as too small for a serious effort in this area. It's the best exposure you can get for the lowest possible marketing expenditure.

    Good luck and get to know the guys here - they're pretty awesome actually.
    Dean Schuler

  13. #13
    Senior Member Limo Padawan InTheLeftLane's Avatar
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    Default Agreed...

    I think your spot on there Dean - a solid operational model to assure consistency is the way to pull it off. How early in an organizations life should a company consider tools to support that efficiency? How big before they're too big for paper-based dispatching systems?
    Steven Groves
    Vice President / Silent Dispatch, Inc.

    Sponsors of InTheLeftLane - Slow Traffic Keep Right!

    SilentDispatch / LE has launched! - "Invitation Only Phase" now in place. Current users have invites - Make your request at www.SilentDispatch.com!

  14. #14

    Smile Modern Times

    From day one and car # 1, the focus should be on superb service-that is the only credible way to grow a company. You have to think of the little things that make clients happy. I had one client whose wealthy Europeans prepaid for their transportation but were never to be found on the departure days. And no one ever complained ! So we devised a form in several languages that was hand delivered to the hotel the afternoon before departure. This resulted in 100% successful departures and the local Destination Management Company that booked my firm got major points from their client in New York for this incentive. Paper-based companies are limited as to what they can achieve. All the tech tools from the beginning shoudl be in place to faciltate smooth operations.



    Quote Originally Posted by InTheLeftLane View Post
    I think your spot on there Dean - a solid operational model to assure consistency is the way to pull it off. How early in an organizations life should a company consider tools to support that efficiency? How big before they're too big for paper-based dispatching systems?
    Dean Schuler

  15. #15
    Senior Member PhillyLimoGuy's Avatar
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    Default Atlanta is a dense livery market

    To answer your original question, "do your homeowrk!" Atlanta is a great business hub, and has a world class airport as well. If you are going to get into this market, start with 2-3 vehicles (SUV, Black Stretch Limo, & Luxury Van). Then market two or three mid-level convention hotels right near one another, and set up camp. You might want to go as far as to see if you can keep vehicles onsite by paying a monthly fee for parking for those vehicles, or maybe swapping space for trade with the property. Work from one of your cars, and get entrenched into the properties. Be scene, and make yourself available at a moments notice. You will be the first, the best, and the only sales person that can sell your buiness and service the way you want it, so put yourself out there. Convention hotels can lead to allot of repeat business from both those who run and manage the property, as well as those who stay at the property. Remember a key component, greasing the front of the house can be your best sales pitch to get in with these properties. Once you are in, don't screw up because you are a dime a dozen in a big city and everyone elses grease is green too!

    As far as software, get yourself a good reliable laptop with an wireless aircard. Go with Fastrak Software single user, and make sure you get the my biz trips module for your software. This will help you close deals on the clients that like to book online. The product is cheap, effective, and user friendly. You don't need to make a huge web presence right away, but make sure you at least have a informative front page with important contact info. You can build your web presence gradualy.

    In a closing note, big city business requires big balls, and allot of hussle. Gotta make sacrafices to get ahead and make your service shine brighter then your many other competitors.

    Keep the wheels on the Limo rollin baby!!!
    Philadelphia Limousine Guy

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