321-RIDE Founder and CEO, Jon Amster explains how his personal chauffeur service enables responsible socializing by driving clients home in their own car.
Q.What service does 321-RIDE provide?
A. 321-RIDE drives clients home in their own car.
Our customers can go out and have a good time, and not have to worry about drinking and driving. They experience the convenience of driving their own car, and the comfort of knowing it will be waiting for them in their driveway the next morning.
We send one car with two drivers to the client pick up location. One driver gets in the client’s car and drives the client home. Our second driver rides behind in the client’s car in a separate vehicle as an added security feature.
We have chauffeurs on call seven nights a week, ready to assist clients when they call, no scheduling needed. We also provide an hourly personal chauffeur service. Hourly chauffeurs are dedicated solely to the client for the night. We use the client’s vehicle, and make as many stops as the desired.
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Q. Who is your ideal target customer?
A. We found that people who have a lot to loose and like to socialize on occasion make our ideal target. Our customers want to drive their cars to work or social events, but they also want to have a good time. They know even after a couple of drinks they run a big risk driving themselves home, and this can potentially damage their career, reputation, etc. Our clientele includes business executives, sales people, medical professionals, and corporations. Our clients want to be assured that we will get them and their cars home safely, and that our drivers are professional and discreet.
Q. What were your biggest challenges, and how have you overcome them?
A. When we started in 2007, this was a totally new concept and a disruptive model to taxi services so it took a while to get people to understand it, and adopt it. Eventually, we found the right customer niche and developed the right pitch. Clients really saw the value of this service and started to use us regularly.
Additionally, we tried several marketing programs to generate awareness and acquire customers. We tried cold calling and sales programs, and finally found that setting up meetings to educate corporations and client referrals worked well.
Q.What are your key accomplishments?
A. We have good processes and dispatch systems in place that we have tested and perfected since we started. We spend a lot of time on qualifying our drivers to hire the best and our clients are happy with them. We have more than 1,100 clients including MLB and NFL teams, and corporations. We have been profitable for several years, and have kept our overhead costs quite low.
Q. How did you get the idea?
A. I got the idea through my personal experiences. On occasion when I would have a few too many drinks I never liked leaving my car at a remote location at the end of the night. I would have to get up early to go to work, and it was just a hassle to get my car. I thought there had a be a way to avoid the risk of drinking and driving and the inconvenience of not having my car in my driveway when I woke up.
Q. What are your next key milestones?
A. I am looking for an investment of $250,000 to fund our mobile app, digital advertising, SEO and SEM, and hire a director of operations. Our clients have been asking for a mobile app, and this is a priority for us, with plans to launch later this year. In addition to the app, we will be launching a new membership program that will appeal to a wider demographic.
We plan to capitalize upon our new technology and expand throughout Ohio and the Midwest. The new business model and technology will allow for us to grow our Cincinnati revenue by 3-5x in the coming year.
About Jon Amster
Jon is a Cleveland, OH native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in History. He worked in real estate sales after school until he founded 321-Ride in 2007. Partnering with his brother, Brad who is the company’s chief technology officer, they have built the profitable business up to include a local customer base of more than 1,100 clients.
Contact Jon at: 513.307.3937 firstname.lastname@example.org 321-RIDE