For a long time, a car service has been a staple of the corporate world. Executives and visiting clients have become accustomed to the feeling of elegance and influence being transported in a limo bring with it.
It's become commonplace for those at the top end of the food chain to expect having a driver and a luxury vehicle ready to take them wherever they need to go at a moment's notice.
In the modern world of recessions and lower margins, however, it's sometimes hard to rationalize spending money on what many people look at as an unnecessary perk.
A limo service is an expense that seems hard to justify when public transportation is so commonplace and paychecks are so short.
What most people don't understand is that a car service is much, much more than an opulent form of transportation.
For a corporation, it's a value-added necessity that helps keep the whole machine running. A limo isn't just a car, it's also a mobile office and boardroom.
The definition of luxury changes drastically depending on who's using it. For some, luxury evokes massive wealth and aggressive comfort. For others, buttered bread can be a luxury. For a company, it's a luxury when the boss doesn't have to stop working to drive to a meeting.
A limousine is the ultimate luxury car, which means it has all of the bells and whistles that word implies. It's common for a limo to have DVD players, computer screens, or even mobile wi-fi. There are plugs to charge phones and laptops, and car phones if a cell phone is accidentally forgotten. The luxury in a limo comes as much from the utility afforded by using one as it does the comfort enjoyed in the process.
One of the main things deterring companies from looking for or continuing to employ a car service is the way it's perceived publicly. Corporate executives shouldn't look like rock stars every time they pull up to a building if they want to be taken seriously in today's economy. Limousines are meant for celebrities and the independently wealthy, not business people.
This is a media misconception. Hiring a limo service doesn't mean hiring the longest vehicle made by man. Most limos aren't stretch limos, and most companies wouldn't need that much car if they were. A shorter limo is still an elegant way to travel without being more than a budget can bear.
Chicago is one of the world's busiest cities, with the traffic to prove it. Navigating through the streets at any time of day is nothing short of a massive headache, and it's even worse in the middle of a busy day full of meetings and clients. This is where hiring a car service stands out above all the other options.
A limo driver alleviates the stress and interruptions that come with traveling around the city. Instead of paying attention to the other cars on the road, a company executive can continue on without interruption while their driver does the stressing out for them. And if traffic is so bad that they're going to be late, they have their hands and minds free to start a conference call or send emails so it isn't as much of a loss in productivity as it might otherwise be.
Corporate parties, training events and other large functions run smoother with a car service. More comfortable and relaxing than a bus, more efficient than carpooling, and less worrisome than any other option, it's an appreciated detail when people are offered car service.
They're also convenient, because they keep everyone punctual. All too often, a gathering at a ball room or office building on the other side of the city is delayed or interrupted by people getting lost or not knowing where to park – a problem that never occurs with a professional driver. Hiring a car service guarantees that the group will arrive on time and together.
Being together can be important, especially en route to a large business meeting. Again, instead of just riding in a car, a well-prepared limo can double as a last-minute conference room for the team to go over all the finer details before their big pitch.
A lot of business is done in Chicago, and a lot of that business is brought here by people from far, far away. The best way to greet someone to the city is with a car and driver waiting for them at the airport. If they're already in town, a busy client will have a much easier day if they know a car will be waiting for them when they're ready, and will deliver them exactly where they're going with no questions.
Even doing business with other companies in the same city can be well-serviced with a private car. In the middle of the afternoon, it's much more convenient for both parties if a limo is available to pick up a client, bring them to the office, and then be there when it's all over to take them right back. Additionally, it provides that client with the same luxury and utility it offers anyone else – something that won't go unnoticed.
It might seem odd to make an argument that it's possible to both hire a limousine and call it pragmatic at the same time, but it is. When it comes to the working day, time is money, especially when it comes to executive pay. With a car service at their disposal, they won't lose any time just by being out of the office.