Post a new topic
    25 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2008 1:50 PM by MDF2008

    I want advice and feedback?

    beach cities Newbie
      I'm owner of a Concierge service and limousine. I've been in business for two years..06-07, starting year three on 08. The business in incorporated..LLC, I have to business bank account, EIN number and all state and local licenses. I started company with my own money(made nothing in 06), did better in 07 and now planning for 08. The bigger part of the business is TRANSPORTATION. Although we offer different services, 90% of business calls are for Sedans / Limos.

      Because we only have one vehicle on your "fleet", we are limited in the number of "runs" we can except and for that reason we "farm out" a lot of business to other limo companies, but do make a small referral fee. Business has increased 60% with the resent UPGRADE of website...www.beachcitiesconcierge.com, WORD OF MOUTH as been crazy and our greatest asset been the level of service we offer.

      Now is time to increase fleet size! I want to lease a limo, but don't know to much about the world of leasing. I spoke with one company, but felt "lost" with the process. The guy I talked to seemed only concerned about "getting paid", not helping me grow. I've been careful to get to know some of the bank employees where I bank. I recently had one of the loan officers run my personal and business credit( personal- FAIR/ business VERY GOOD..as told to me by them). I asked about getting a loan for new equipment, but was told I had to wait til FEB 08, I opened account in JAN 06. Basically, "wait two years" before you ask for a unsecured loan.

      I've done my homework and run the numbers, not hard! I'm getting enough calls and requests to more then pay for a monthly lease of a limo and clear a very nice profile.

      I need money and new equipment. Can anyone advise.
        • Re: I want advice and feedback?
          CorpCons08 Ranger
          beachcities,

          Let me first start out by commending you on making it past the 18mos period. Based on the information you provided, you have two options.

          1. Purchase the Limo: You can take out a loan to purchase a limo out right. This does not allow for you to turn the vehicle back in at the end of the loan period but would give you full ownership of the vehicle. Loan rates are often lower than most lease rates through banks. The downside is, usually more documentation is needed on a loan than a lease, and underwriting may be stricter.

          2. Lease the Limo: You can take out a lease on the vehicle, and choose to turn the vehicle back in at the end of the lease or purchase it by paying a balloon payment at the end of the lease. Interest rates can typically be on the higher side when leasing a vehicle through a bank. Underwriting is typically less strict and can be completed within' a 24hr period.

          What are your plans for the vehicle? Do you plan on keeping it at the end of the note?

          I would be more than happy to help you get the financing you are looking for. Our firm specializes in lending options and we have a list of preferred lenders. You can contact me at mailto:d.skolnick@skolnick-associates.com if you are interested.

          Regards,

          CorpCons08
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: I want advice and feedback?
            LUCKIEST Guide
            It is great that you have been in business for two years and doing well enough to expand.
            Do you have an Accountant?? Is he involved with the "numbers"??
            I am a SCORE Counselor, and we talk to business people all the time. SCORE is FREE.
            We usually start by developing a Business and Marketing Plan.
            It also helps that you have a banker. SCORE counselors and bankers talk the same language
            and that sometimes helps with loans.
            It sounds like a loan and the right limo will more then pay for the lease and clear a very nice profile.
            Good luck, LUCKIEST
            • Re: I want advice and feedback?
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              I asked a limo company owner this question -- he said almost every major company that manufacturers, sells, or leases new or used limousines has a partnership with a company that specializes in lease financing for commercial vehicles, and that many even have their own financing subsidiary. He suggested you pursue this financing option first -- by narrowing down the list of possible places you could lease your limo from, contacting them, and making your business conditional on them finding you financing for the lease. According to him, it's not much different than the way a consumer can buy a new car through the dealer's financing with no money down and bad credit (and the way a consumer with a good credit can usually get better financing that way than through a bank or credit union). Hope this helps. Good Luck.
              • Re: I want advice and feedback?
                slavaret Adventurer
                Have you considered a different direction?

                The hardest part of any business is getting the phone ring with orders. Sounds like you've got that. Why not build on that and expand/improve the order taking? No fleet, no loans - just a good order/referral system? Get other providers rely on you and focus on generating more orders?

                Just thinking out loud...
                • Re: I want advice and feedback?
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  Slavaret and Luckiest advocate an interesting idea above. I'd suggest that the sustainable part of a concierge business would be dedicated clientele. In your business, it would seem that the manner in which the service is performed (with courtesy, reliability, and professionalism) is everything. Farming out the business that you book already places your client in someone else's hands -- very risky. Those same risks are magnified if you simply become an "order-taker," i.e., every customer is in the hands of someone else. If that someone else provides bad service, you take the heat (since you booked the deal). If that someone else provides great service, why would the client go through you the next time or recommend you to anyone else? They'd just call that provider directly. I don't think you can build this type of business on that type of model.
                  • Re: I want advice and feedback?
                    LUCKIEST Guide
                    With 19 posts so far, Bank of America is saying that this question is NOT answered.
                    WOW, LUCKIEST
                    • Re: I want advice and feedback?
                      MDF2008 Wayfarer
                      Hello,

                      I have a good friend of mine in the Limo business located in Las Vegas, NV.
                      I have a real good understanding of what the key factors are in the
                      Limo industry and options to grow a limo business.

                      In the last 6 weeks I have consulted with two other Limo companys seeking
                      investment monies to grow their Limo business:adding new limos.

                      Do you have a business plan?
                      (If not; you need to have a business plan (road map) to grow business.)

                      Leasing a Limo our buying a Limo is just one part of the overall business.

                      My suggestion is to have a business plan in place and then look at the scaled
                      growth plan;directing what is the best fit in meeting your business goals. It is
                      great to have all the selling opportunties but it is more important that you control
                      your business with scaled growth. (ROI)

                      Due to the market conditions there are many great deals leasing or buying.
                      Based on your email I would suggest leasing vs buying at this point.

                      All the Best. MDF2008