You’ve invested in motorcoaches – but what now?
Have you carefully considered how they will fit with your existing business model and service offering? Or have you added them to your fleet simply to keep up with your competitors who are doing the same thing?
It is understandable that many chauffeured transportation companies want a slice of the action, with the bus and motorcoach transportation market continuing to thrive. Bookings were worth an estimated $1.7 trillion in 2017 and show no signs of slowing for 2019 and beyond. But while it is helpful to have good variety in your fleet, you need to be focused in your approach. There’s no point in having a motorcoach just because your competitors do. How are you going to use it, and how do you make it fit effectively with the services you currently offer?
Diversifying your business with new vehicle types can be risky if you don’t have a robust plan in place for how you intend to use them. In the case of motorcoaches, you want to tap into this booming market by targeting more group transportation opportunities. But ask yourself: have you given enough thought to the specifics?
If you go chasing just any kind of group transportation you may be in for a shock. Trying to be all things to all customers is not going to deliver results and grow your business effectively. It may seem counterintuitive, but in order to be truly successful you need to have a focused plan in place to exploit your own specific ‘niche’.
The vast majority of potential customers are not looking for a company that does everything. They are looking for one that can provide the exact service they need – and do it well. Spreading yourself too thinly over many different transportation services that aren’t your specialty can result in poor service delivery and potential damage to your reputation in the long run.
So, when you decide to make the investment to add a motorcoach to your fleet, you need to ensure you have a strategy to exploit your existing strengths and nullify any weaker spots in your service offering. First, identify your area of expertise. This could be luxury sedan transportation or airport shuttles for busy executives, or perhaps specialist security services, organized winery tours, or weddings and special event transportation.
Once you’ve settled on your niche area, it’s time to put a clear plan in place. Carefully work out what service you are going to target, and how you expect this to evolve over time. How long
before you see a return on your investment, and how long before you turn a profit? How are you going to maintain a stable cash flow in the short- and long-term? Making a plan and having these projections in place will allow you to remain focused in your approach. Don’t be tempted to chase work that is really not your specialty just because it appears to offer good returns for other motorcoach service providers – chances are you may end up paying for it further down the line.
So, let’s say you are already well-known for providing luxury limos or classic cars for wedding and special event transportation in your area. Use this hard-earned reputation to your advantage. Your motorcoach could be used to offer shuttle services for guests between hotels and reception venues, or transportation to and from a nearby airport if there are a lot of guests flying in for the big day. Or perhaps your specialty currently involves providing chauffeured car services for top executives, in which case focus on that. Perhaps their company has a big conference or road show coming up? Use your existing contacts to market your motorcoach transportation directly to these same customers already using your services and showcase your group transportation capabilities. Loyal clients who already love what you do will be thrilled that you are offering motorcoach services, so they don’t have to go looking for it elsewhere next time they need large group transportation.
Whatever your niche, don’t pass up the opportunity to market your motorcoach services specifically to those customers who already know and trust your company. Whether that’s brides and grooms to be, event planners, or corporate executives, emphasize your knowledge and experience in this area and show them why choosing to book a motorcoach service with your company offers so many benefits.
The emphasis here should be on service. When you’re known for a particular type of chauffeured transportation, this is what will help set your motorcoach services apart. You aren’t just any company that has a fleet of buses and motorcoaches. You understand the market and the needs of your clientele with expert detail. You can adapt and provide more value for money to the customer with an outstanding level of knowledge around this particular service specialty. Highlight the superior level of customer care they will receive, too – your motorcoach offers chauffeured group transportation, not just a bus to get people from A to B.
Once you get the word out amongst existing customers you can also start to diversify your marketing to other groups that may not have used your services before. Utilize positive reviews from current clients and word-of-mouth within the industry to help showcase your experience. They will value the trust and loyalty you’ve already built with your existing customers as well as your notable industry expertise.
Don’t be tempted to go chasing any and all motorcoach work, as hard as it may be to resist. Diversifying your fleet with motorcoaches is undoubtedly a positive step towards further business growth, but be sure to stick with the specialty areas you know well. You should be
discerning about the bookings you take on and have a clear plan for making a success of your investment from the outset.
It is an obvious point, but one that is worth repeating here: providing consistently great service will lead to more business in the long-term. Be patient and keep focused on doing what you do best, and you’ll find your motorcoach services prove to be an outstanding addition to your business.
Posted on Nov 15 2019
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