Airport Taxi Business Plan
Premier Airport Transportation Service (PATS) is a Cleveland-based airport transportation service. PATS provides limousine like service without the typical high limousine price. Although PATS’ cars are not true stretch limousines, they are late model high-end luxury vehicles. Premier Airport Transportation is lead by Sam Brougham, a transportation industry veteran. PATS has forecasted healthy sales by year three.
The Market and Services Offered
Cleveland currently has four limousine service providers and four taxi services. In addition to these transportation options, Cleveland also has short and long-term airport parking and a rapid transit public train system providing airport service. Premier Airport Transportation Service will span the gap between the mediocre taxi service and the high-priced limousine service. By having a middle price point, PATS will be especially attractive to both families and business travelers. The service will appeal to families as a reasonable and convenient alternative to them driving and parking at the airport. Business travelers who require a more deluxe solution relative to taxis but do not have such a debilitating effect on the company’s travel budget will embrace Premier Airport Transportation. These two market segments are growing on average at 8.5% per year and there are over a million potential customers.
The Competitive Edge
PATS recognizes that their key to success will be providing unmatched customer service. Premier has infused the importance of customer service into the drivers’ jobs by offering financial incentives to the drivers for superior service. This will ensure that the best customer service will be offered at every level and interaction with the company.
Premier Airport Transportation Service was founded and is run by Sam Brougham. Sam began his transportation career as a taxi driver, a source of income to put Sam through school. After school, Sam worked at the Yellow Freight Company, initially in the logistics department. Sam then moved on to Yellow’s customer service department, ultimately having managerial responsibility over Yellow’s customer care call center. Sam’s logistics and customer service experience will be essential to the success of PATS. The logistics experience will provide Premier with hyper-efficient operations and the customer service experience will support their competitive edge.
The objectives for the first three years of operation include:
- To create a service-based company whose primary goal is to exceed customer’s expectations.
- To increase customers by 20% per year through superior performance and word-of-mouth referrals.
- To develop a sustainable transportation company serving the Cleveland Metropolitan Area
The Mission of Premier Airport Transportation Service is to provide the customer the finest airport transportation service available. We exist to attract and maintain customers. When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall in to place. Our services will exceed the expectations of our customers.
Premier Airport Transportation Service, located in Bedford Hts, OH offers an airport transportation service for the greater Cleveland metropolitan area. PATS will offer their service 24 hours a day to most neighborhoods in Cleveland. PATS will be priced less than a limousine service but more than a group shuttle service. Sam Brougham will be working full time as the dispatcher and back office person. Sam will have four employees.
2.1 Company Ownership
PATS is an Ohio corporation founded and owned by Sam Brougham.
2.2 Start-up Summary
PATS’ start-up costs will include all the equipment needed for the home-based office, legal fees, website creation, and start-up advertising.
The office equipment will be the largest chunk of the start-up expenses. This equipment includes a computer system, fax machine, office supplies. The computer should have at least a 500 megahertz Celeron/ Pentium processor, 64 megabytes of RAM (preferably 128), 6 gigabyte hard drive, and a rewritable CD- ROM for backing up the system. A DSL line will need to be set up as well. PATS will also need some Nextel phones. The advantage of the Nextel phones is it allows two way communication from the base to the cars over cellular frequencies but at a drastically reduced rate.
PATS provides an airport transportation solution for the Cleveland metropolitan area. PATS can provide airport travel on short notice if cars are available, but they generally work with a reservation system. A customer would call up in advance and provide PATS with flight information. PATS would schedule the pick up time and then call and send an email to confirm the pickup. For pick up at the airport, PATS would meet the customer outside of baggage claim after the customer has picked up their luggage and would drive them home.
Market Analysis Summary
PATS will be focusing on families as well as business travelers. Both groups will likely demand PATS services. The families will utilize our service because it is convenient and less expensive than if they drove themselves and paid for long-term parking of their car. Business travelers will use our service because it offers a limousine-like service (other than the fact that PATS does not use limousines) where the traveler has a ride waiting for them when their planes comes in, but the service is less expensive than normal limousine services. Since the service is fairly comparable to a louisine service, companies will encourage their workers to utilize PATS as a cost saving measure, particularly in this economic downturn. Currently there are four limousine services in Cleveland and four taxi-type service providers.
4.1 Market Segmentation
Our customers can be divided into two groups: families/individuals on pleasure trips, and business travelers.
The first group is taking a trip for pleasure and will either be an individual or a family. Their choices are to either drive and park in long term parking, take a taxi, or use a limousine service. This group does not typically mind paying a bit more for a solution that takes care of their transportation to and from the airport. Since they are are on vacation, they appreciate having a service that gets them to the airport in a seamless way so they do not have to worry about anything. All they have to do is make the reservation and show up at the arranged pickup point.
The second group is the business traveler. In the past a company would typically hire a limousine service to pick up their worker. The company would always pay for the service. With PATS as an alternative, there is a transportation service that functions like a limousine (you can preschedule pickup dates and be taken directly home or to the airport) but without the overly fancy car and the associated high price. As companies are always looking at ways to cut costs, PATS offers a very reasonable solution in terms of comfort and cost. The business traveler will not notice anything different with PATS versus a limo service other than the vehicle they are traveling won’t be a limo, but will still be a sufficiently large and comfortable car.
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
PATS will be targeting these two groups because they consistently travel, and PATS solution makes traveling easy for them. While a slow economy has some effect on travel. In general Americans tend to travel more each year, this trend beginning in the early 1980s. These groups are particularly attractive to PATS because they will always need to get to the airport and they are willing to pay a bit extra for the luxury of having someone take them there instead of being required to get themselves there. Please note, however, PATS is only slightly more expensive for trips under four days; over four days it is more cost effective to use PATS. Compared to driving a personal vehicle and paying for long-term parking.
In regard to the business customers, it is generally accepted practice for the company to provide the transportation for their employees. For trips over four days, there is no question that PATS is more cost effective. Under four days PATS service is slightly more expensive than driving oneself and parking, however, companies are more than willing to pay a bit extra as their employee is giving up a decent amount of their free time to go on the trip for work and the business recognizes and appreciates this. Of course for the companies already willing to pay limousine prices, PATS will appear as a way of reducing travel costs with no appreciable loss in service quality.
4.3 Competition and Buying Patterns
Currently in Cleveland there are several competing airport transportation systems:
- Public transportation: RTA provides rapid transit service to the airport. While this is an inexpensive alternative there are several disadvantages. The service does not run all hours of the night. RTA also forces travelers to change trains downtown to pick up the airport line. The rapid transit also requires travelers to manage all of their luggage which can be quite chore from some that are not skilled in the art of packing or are traveling for a real long time.
- Taxi service: Taxis do provide service to and from the airport, however, travelers cannot book the trip in advance, forcing them to call right before they want to travel. The level of service is inconsistent from taxi service to taxi service as well as from occasion to occasion. Taxis can also be quite expensive if city dwellers are going out to the suburbs.
- Airport parking: Airport parking can be cost effective if it is for fewer than four days. Driving oneself has the advantage of not having to deal with anyone else, the flip side to this however is they must do everything for themselves. Lastly, there is always the risk of damage to their car when it is parked and all airport parking facilities have drivers sign a waiver absolving the lot from responsibility if anything happens to the car.
- Shuttle service: This option packs a few different people into a van and takes them to the airport. This is a less expensive option, however, it takes longer to make the commute due to the other customers that are traveling Additionally, travelers lose out on the personalized service relative to PATS or a limousine service.
The buying patterns of these services vary based on the length of the trip, who is paying for it, and if it is a last minute or planned in advance trip. The longer the trip, the more economical a transportation option is relative to airport parking. A large percentage of business travelers use an upscale airport transportation solution like PATS or a limousine service for their employees. People who are just scraping by to go on vacation are likely to choose the least costly option, public transportation. Lastly, if the trip is planned at the last minute, taxi service might be the only option however, PATS will offer last minute rides if cars are available.