BUSINESS Q & A: BLACKLIGHT Taxi
February 10, 2012
Q: What type of business do you operate – what do you sell, or what service do you provide?
We are a taxi establishment – seven vehicles servicing the South Shore, making us the second largest in Tahoe behind Yellow Cab. Our motto, “Service with Gratitude,” is a direct testament to our feelings regarding the taxi market as a whole and the need for a higher level of service.
Q: Where are you from, and why did you decide to open your business here?
I (Josh) graduated from Washington State University in 1998 and moved to Tahoe shortly after. I had the opportunity to play tennis professionally, but simply lost all desire for the game and moved here. Jonathan and I met through a mutual friend in the first few months of me settling down. He eventually moved down to North Hollywood where he was for more than 10 years. I knew of his ambitions to return to the lake if he could find a viable business opportunity. I presented him my business plan and sold him on how the town needs this to happen and why my plan was worth the effort and capital investment. He moved up and we officially were permitted by the city Nov. 23. I have a very optimistic viewpoint of the South Shore and truly see capital investment over the next 20 years the community has never seen.
Q: What experience do you have in this field?
I had a very successful run selling real estate before I fell into driving for Yellow Cab. I drove for over a year with them and found a need for higher service with higher quality vehicles. Within the first month, I was using much of my free time formulating my business plan and set a goal to have it operational Dec. 1. In the end, I was five days late seeing our first vehicles hit the road Dec. 6.
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Q: What sets your business apart from other similar businesses?
Higher quality vehicles and higher quality service. Most important though is our philosophy which is 100 percent behind the local residents. They’re the backbone of this small town and we realize if we take care of them with unrelenting passion and regard, everything else naturally falls into place.
Q: What types ofcustomers do you hope to reach?
Anyone really. If you and your dog need a ride, we encourage it. I don’t have people working for me who don’t love animals. And anyone who has a dog will attest to why I may be including such a statement. Everyone is welcome in our vehicles, no matter how long or short the fare may be. We are here to service all walks of life.
Q: What are your plans for your company’s future?
Fortune 500 within 10 years. Who knows? We see a need for much of what I have put forward, not only here but across the country, when it pertains to taxi establishments. I just don’t see visionary thinking of any size and I’ll hold my reasoning for that to myself. We are here to expand not only in size, but to truly put a new look on transportation.
Q: Is there anything else we should know?
Our DUI prevention program is a smashing success so far. It’s wonderful to see locals taking advantage of what will be an ongoing program. A 25 percent locals discount is always in effect. I have always felt obligated and this is no different with any of my employees or drivers.