It sometimes seems as if hardly a day goes by without reading another stinging attack on big business in the media.
In many of those, throw away comments are made relating to things such as “expensive business suits” and “executive luxury limousines”. There is the clear implication that, somehow, such things are by definition ‘bad’.
Strangely though, celebrities are never criticised in the media for wearing expensive suits or designer gowns nor for using limousines to get them from ‘A’ to ‘B’. That’s perhaps something of a case of double standards!
However, in the context of luxury limousines, let’s look at some of the issues.
Is the limousine owned or hired?
The fact that business people may be seen using luxury vehicles to get around occasionally does not necessarily imply that they or their companies actually own them.
By contrast, many organizations will use luxury limousine hire only on special occasions or when circumstances make it cost-effective to do so. Few if any businesses today have fleets of Mercedes, Jaguars, and Bentleys parked up in their basement doing nothing until such time as they are required!
Some people may question whether it can ever be more cost-effective to use a luxury limousine than say a small family saloon.
Well, if rather depends on what you plan to do when you are inside it.
It is a surprising truth that many business people are so busy that when they are traveling by road they just do not have time to sit there and watch the outside world go past. They are, in fact, trying to work and are often engaged in activities such as using their laptops or making phone calls etc.
To do so, they need space and a vehicle that is well equipped with the latest technology.
People working at senior levels in business are inevitably an expensive resource. Their time is precious and must be fully utilized. Trying to save money, by using small cars which do not provide the facilities and space to work in when traveling, might be a false economy.
Making an impact
Whether we like it or not, making the right impression on your potential customers is a huge part of modern business.
If you are trying to secure an important overseas contract and a visitor is flying in, asking them to stand in lengthy airport queues for buses or taxis is just not going to get things off to the best of starts.
You could, of course, argue that they could be met and collected in a small compact family vehicle and you might even hope that it will be able to accommodate all of their luggage in the boot. Maybe if everyone breathes in, there will be enough space to ‘sort of’ look at some laptop material and papers as you travel.
However, once again, you might ask whether or not that is the sort of impression you’d want to create? Perhaps your potential customer will find it quaint and amusing rather than downright insulting.