After a long, drawn-out battle between the Las Vegas taxicab cartel and the general public, plus a few legislative battles, it looks like Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies will finally be able to roll out, hire and operate in Las Vegas starting in October. And I know a few people who are eager to get started in their new career as a professional, independent driver for the new transportation companies.
So here is my answer to the most popular questions I have been asked. The main one being “How Can I Make More Money Driving for Uber or Lyft?” The answer is actually valid for anyone who wants to be a professional driver. Taxicab driver to luxury limousine chauffeur. There are a few easy things to do to make more money driving.
As always, take it like a business you own or manage. How would you like to be a passenger in your car? What would you look for in a driver and the car itself?
You Are The Business
Yes. You and the vehicle are the team, the building, the business and the marketing tools for your business. Keep the car clean, keep yourself clean and always be polite. Always give the client information on how to get ahold of you for future business. You want to build a referral business where the client uses you again and tells other to use you as well.
Smoking in front of view of clients or potential clients kills your business. Smelling of smoke kills your tips. I never allowed any of my drivers to smoke anywhere near the car or while wearing the suit/uniform. Some grumbled at first, but saw what it meant in their tips, they enjoyed being smoke-free versus smelling like an ashtray.
I have had business cards and word of mouth referrals from all over North America when I was a chauffeur. Just because someone uses you one time, doesn’t mean they are done with you. They know friends and business associates that travel and will want a personal, dependable ride they can call on and not guess who is meeting them at the airport or hotel.
Meeter and Greeter
Guests like to be informed. Know what’s happening in your town and where they are going. Also, they may need or want additional reading material to know what they missed on their flight or during the meeting. I always kept that’s day’s edition of The USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and the Las Vegas Review-Journal available for my clients. Plus, since I dealt with a lot of business people, they liked to see that I was well read on what’s making the world move and they knew I could talk with them about the headlines. All this meant a larger tip.
Be aware of or have several favorite liquor stores and convenience stores you patronize. Guests always are looking for that last minute detail they forgot at home and need to pick up. Most have no problem tipping extra if you can make a quick stop for a carton of milk or a 12 pack of Bed Lite..
Note: I knew what newspapers were offered in business class on what airlines and kept the opposite one in view of my guest. Some like one and not the other.
Some call it fun money or “side money. The money you make from referrals and commissions for recommending a venue or restaurant you have used before. I always thought of my paycheck was the fun money because I made a majority of my income from tips, gratuities and the kick-backs from Las Vegas Clubs and entertainers that my guests had requested. NEVER push it on them, but when asked for a referral, be honest with who you deal with.
Here in Las Vegas, that also means dealing with adult entertainment. It’s just part of the Vegas entertainment scene and people want it so you need to know where to find it. I had cards from a couple of agencies and had them close by me in the front seat of the car. Never advertised it, but had them when asked. This does not include drugs.
As an independent business owner/driver, a lot of the things you need to make your business successful and to build a client base can be tax deductible. Either as a straight business expense or as a marketing expense. From washing your car to buying the newspaper to printing business cards. (this is not tax advice!, just an observation)
Have a tablet or iPad with you at all times. For you to check flights, reservations or whatever. Also for your clients to check their emails, take a photo and make tour reservations. Here is an Amazon link for some good deals on tablets .
I use camscanner to keep track of my receipts. No more paper receipts to keep track of. It’s all right there in my smartphone
On tours, I would load up a folder of professional photos of the places we tour to and sell them. They can be shipped to them and arrive when they get home! See: Debbie D Anthony Photography 😉
For selling tours and travel, I use Viator, here is how I set mine up: MollyMark Tours
Amazon is the best known and easiest to use Affiliate Marketing opportunity
I also use Linkshare as an affiliate for things like tickets to sold out shows, etc..
Want to try Uber? here is my affiliate link for a free ride
** If you want help or need more info on what is here, I am always available. Just hit the contact button and send me your questions. Private consultations are available **
What To Pack
Las Vegas Entertainment magazine
Referral cards/promo material
Make Sure what you offer the guest has your contact information attached
For the business cards for the “in-room entertainers” in Las Vegas, each agency will give you a referral code you write on the cards. When the guest calls the number to order, the operator will ask for that number first.
This works the same for other non-sexual businesses and services that use drivers as marketing agents
Las vegas review Journal
Wall Street Journal
(let guest know they are available)
No smoking in or near the car or the client
Dress professional. Collared shirt & pressed pants
- The Best Tax Guide (imho) for independent business owners is the EY Tax Guide
- Cool App to track your Uber money and expenses – Hurdlr
- I use camscanner to keep track of my receipts.
- Sell shows and tours with Viator