W. Glenn Bean leveraged his years of experience in the travel industry and used them to open VIPDistinct, a luxury concierge service.
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Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
VIPDistinct specializes in lifestyle creation, luxury recreation and personalized service. It is an exclusive concierge entity that helps both individuals and corporations achieve balance in day-to-day existence via its expert concierge services that are fast, consistent and reliable.
We help the busy executive who is stressing over how to meet life's commitments and still have "down time" to enjoy life. VIPDistinct offers assistance with travel planning, event planning and home and errand services and to provide corporate support in the way of meeting planning, incentive packages and transportation arrangements, among other services.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I bring 20 years of hospitality and tourism experience to VIPDistinct. Prior to joining the company, I was the global sales and marketing director for the Bermuda Department of Tourism (BDOT). I was located in the New York office, Bermuda's global lead office for sales and marketing in the United States. I also opened the BDOT Washington, D.C. office and served as regional manager for the Los Angeles office and as assistant manager in Boston.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
We don't believe we have competitors, at least those which match our philosophy and performance.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
No different. All success is based on hard work and understanding the needs of you client.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Build a viable business matrix from strategy to structure
Effective PR campaign
Align with and join the appropriate associations
Find access to and network with city influencers that can affect and grow your business
Understand the brand and grow its equity
Engage in an effective direct marketing campaign
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Understand the hospitality industry and understand that concierge service, the discipline, relies on customer service.
Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us more about your experiences at VIPDistinct.