Lexani Limousines Rides Out A Bad 2009
We interviewed Billy Jinks some time back (read interview here), and almost a year down the road the 20-year old CEO of Lexani Limousines continues to maintain his Midas touch despite the recent economic challenges.
The travel industry has been hit hard in 2009 by the global economic malaise, and chauffeured transportation – the industry that Lexani Limousines operates in – was similarly affected. Travelers everywhere eschewed limousines and luxury sedan rides for cab rides or shuttle services, or avoided travel altogether, so Jinks knew he had to develop creative and strategic solutions to deal with a potential declining client pool. “The recession hit everyone in our industry hard, but that just meant that we were forced to really examine what aspects of our business needed to be refined in order to keep turning a profit,” Jinks says.
Thinking Out Of The Box
In 2009, Lexani relooked its business, selling off its under-utilized vehicles and tried to maintain its pool of experienced drivers. “By selling some of our less popular vehicles, we were able to strike a balance of staying busy while making a decent profit.”
Instead of looking purely at cost-cutting measures, Jinks also looked at ways to bolster Lexani‘s revenue. It offering weekday specials during their slow months, partnered with night-time hotspots to transport clients too inebriated to drive home, as well as using the services of a barter exchange, which allowed Lexani Limousines to trade limo rides for services needed for day-to-day business, like regular car washes. Thankfully, its profitable corporate business proved to be unaffected during the economic downturn, mostly because of its strong relationship with its accounts.
These efforts were not in vain – not only did the luxury chauffeur company escaped unscathed from the crisis, Lexani actually took in US$1.8 million in 2009, nearly US$500,000 more in revenue compared to 2008.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.