The travel industry is in turmoil. Many tour operators are making the tough decisions to let their employees go. As this drags on, redundancies are inevitable. However, rather than laying off employees and cutting resources, Visit London Taxi Tours, a tour operation in the heart of London, has instead found new ways to use their resources, protecting the jobs of their employees. “Our overall aim here is to help our guides as well as the business tick over financially. This way, when it’s all over and the market starts to recover, we should be good to go!”
Here’s what they had to work with:
Because the taxis were all equipped with wheel-chair ramps and the guides were all police checked, Visit London Taxi Tours managed to repurpose itself into an emergency transport solution.
By reaching out to local authorities, they were also able to work with General Practitioners and health teams, finding the homeless in London, assessing them and then getting them to the right accommodation.
Building on this service further, Visit London Taxi Tours also created a team to collect prepared meals from local markets and deliver them to those who are quarantined in hotels.
Cheryl from Visit London Taxi Tours is hoping to generate enough work to keep all her tour guides and taxi drivers employed and continues to look for more services she can provide in this changing market.
They’ve now been invited to submit a proposal for more work in another area of London and if successful, would be enough to keep another 12 of her guides busy.
Observe everything that’s going on around you. Find the pockets of in-demand services that have sprouted up. Now look at the resources you have, can you provide that service?
If you can, don’t hesitate to reach out to local authorities or those in need of the services. Maybe you can’t, maybe you can only partially provide the services, in which case, consider reaching out to other local businesses, see if you can work together to provide those services. Now is the time to act fast and in the current climate, asking is the most powerful tool there is.
This is what Cheryl from Visit London Taxi Tours had to say: “We are not working for tour rates but we certainly have not undersold or underpriced ourselves.”
We can all see it, the market is not in it’s best position. People aren’t willing to pay as much. However, that doesn’t mean you should undercut yourself. Consider your costs, what margins do you need to stay afloat and keep your people employed. Quote that, and negotiate from there.
Thank you Visit London Taxi Tours for the work you’re doing for the community during these trying times and for the amazing story that’ll surely get us thinking differently.