One of the most essential pieces of information given me for every single job is the full postal address including post code, of where I am to collect my clients.
Many years ago, in the days when I used to travel with my father on long journeys (see one of my earliest blogs), we used such objects as a compass and a road map as large as the Financial Times, which seemed at first equally as complicated.
These times with my father teaching me how to use them were invaluable to me throughout my earlier years travelling in my previous jobs when I was travelling on my own or on family holidays with my wife and children.
Nowadays, technology is so useful in that all we do, is plug the post code into the car satnav and off we go. How rarely do we actually look at the map now?
As most of the weddings we do are fairly local to us, we make sure that within the week before every wedding, we do a test run of the complete route we will be doing on the actual day itself. We do this to make sure we have the correct timings, especially where we do relays in the same car back and forth to pick up more people, but also, to check out the route and to know for certain that we can locate each of the places where we are picking people up.
One of our key focusses on the day is to make the journeys completely stress free for the bridal party.
This has proved to be so important on many occasion.
But, there is always one, whether for a wedding or an executive travel job, sometimes the post code does not exist in the sat nav, or indeed the actual road.
This means that the software needs to be updated, but to be fair even if I purchased the updated software (DVD) every year, it would not be enough. To do this would make the expense too much which would have to passed onto our clients - this is not necessary, although we do renew the DVD software after a few years.
So, when the post code is not recognised, we revert to our backup. This is google maps on the phone, as long as the phone is not touch while driving the car . This has helped us out sometimes.
But, yes there is another one! What happens when we are en route to pick up the client and we have no 4G signal?
When this has happened in the past, I make the phone call (handsfree, using the car system) to our office and I speak to my daughter Hannah, who as she was growing up, would read maps on our family journeys and the compass and follow the journey. Before long she would actually guide me on the route to take.
Hannah is now very technically able, and uses the computer and magic, she tells me. Using google maps and something else to locate the pick up location, along with my phone signal to locate my phone!
With this information, she skilfully guides me to the pick up location, street by street, until I am close enough and then I arrive in good time once again to proceed with the client job. This is especially useful when the location is on a very new housing estate when my car satnav has been located in a field. Thankfully, Hannah sees something quite different.
I mention this because I am mostly the only face our clients see, and also our backup wedding chauffeurs of course. Like most other businesses, I have a supporting team at my office, who are play such a key role to the success of the business and ensuring clients have the service they require.
There are many other tasks not only Hannah does but also my wife Sonie, to whom I am very grateful.