How Uber & Lyft Have Changed Business

I bet you have both the Uber and the Lyft apps on your smartphone. And when you go out of town, you might no longer feel like you need to rent a car, because you can just take an Uber from the airport to your hotel. And from your hotel to business meetings, dinner events and more.

And when you are at home, if you are going out after work, or out for a nice dinner, and plan to drink alcoholic beverages, you might no longer worry about one person being the DD, the designated driver. You will just Uber to/from your evening venue. No more worries about getting a DUI.

A few years ago, I wrote about how my 95-year-old mother discovered Go Go Grandparent, an add-on service from Lyft, which allows those without smart phones to call and get the same ride-sharing service. You can read about it here. It’s been a game changer for my mom, because it allows her to have the same freedom to come and go, even though she no longer drives. (If you have parents, grandparents or friends who should not drive, I highly recommend you check this service out.)

And of course, we’ve all heard about Uber Eats, which you can use to get delivery of prepared food.

But this weekend, I learned of yet another new use for Uber/Lyft that is saving companies hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

My sister Jackie told me that during her travels, she has noticed that many hotels no longer have vans that offer airport pickup. Instead, if you have an overnight reservation, the hotel will call you an Uber, which will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel. Paid for by the hotel! Hotels have found that they not only save the cost of owning and maintaining an airport van, but they no longer have to tie up an employee to drive back and forth in the van. With the labor shortage that many cities experience, they can use that person at the hotel.

And in fact, the same thing is happening at car dealerships. When you drop off your car for service, many dealerships have a van which will deliver you back to your home or office, saving you the cost of renting a car. Here in SoCal, I’ve just learned that some car dealerships are offering an Uber or Lyft ride back to your work. On them!

I even met a business consultant who lives up in West Los Angeles. He proudly told me a few years ago he sold his car. And he now takes an Uber to all of his business meetings. He said, in addition to saving the cost of maintaining and fueling a vehicle, he now can use the travel time between meetings to work, make phone calls, etc. In a place like LA, where traffic comes in many shades of nightmare, the thought of being able to make your travel time productive sounds like heaven to me.

Talking about benefitting from the gig economy?! Next time you are planning an evening out, attending a meeting during peak traffic times or when you’re too exhausted to drive…think about a different way of getting to your destination.

Karen

refuse to be ordinary

Thoughts and writings from our CEO Karen Caplan