Friendly Transfers

How it Started vs. How it’s Going: Why I started A Sydney Chauffeur Service in the Middle of a Pandemic

If 2021 taught me anything, it’s that things rarely go according to plan! 

Starting a Sydney chauffeur service in the middle of a pandemic was not what I initially had in mind. Especially as 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, and those statistics don’t include having to survive a pandemic or economic uncertainty. 

It has been a challenge, having to navigate new variants, constantly changing guidelines, and ensuring our clients are safe and comfortable in an uncertain time. And this is on top of all of the usual stress and logistics of starting the business itself. 

But, despite this, and the still current challenges surrounding Omicron, 2021 was the year I was able to help more people, start a business I’m incredibly excited about, and do what I love. I definitely didn’t manage to hit all of my goals this year, but I’m proud of what we managed to achieve together. 

In this post, I wanted to reflect on 2021, the good, the bad, and what’s in store for Friendly Transfers in the future. Because I’ve never been as excited about a new year as this one.

How it Started…

I started Friendly Transfers at the beginning of 2021, about a year into the pandemic, offering a handful of services with only myself, to begin with. 

Even though I had 8 years of extensive experience in NDIS, medical transportation, aged care transport, and personalised tours and airport transfers, I had always driven as part of different teams. 

I realised as people had appointments and wanted a safer way to travel to avoid public transport during lockdowns and get the reliability they needed. This was something I felt was missing in the Sydney community. The current outbreak has had severe consequences for many people, but I knew I had the skills, experience, and passion to help. 

So, you could say, the pandemic was the push I needed to branch out on my own and establish Friendly Transfers as a business. I wanted to make sure people always have a friendly face, and a safe, comfortable, and trustworthy chauffeur service to get them where they need to be. 

Knowing it was the right decision, I could not let my business fail, and so I had to find new ways to keep the business going throughout lockdowns and this outbreak. That meant getting creative…

Creating a Community in 2021

One of the key things that have helped Friendly Transfers weather the storm of 2021, was community. Not just the increasing support on social media, which I’m beyond grateful for, but also other businesses. 

I’ve managed to collaborate with local hotels and businesses throughout Sydney, Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains, and South Coast. It’s allowed us to establish great opportunities and meet some amazing people along the way. I also like to think we’ve given as much to the business community as we’ve gained. 

Some businesses like Jervis Bay Wild were kind enough to offer free cruises for Friendly Transfers Christmas giveaway, and local travel company, I Do Fiji Holidays have joined us to offer specialty services and airport transfers. This way we can add value to the day-to-day needs of clients, as well as life’s scariest, and more special moments. 

We have also collaborated with Cruising with Honey, earned the loyalty of several new clients, and now we’re part of the local transport team for the Sydney ATP Cup. 

2021 also saw us expand to a selection of other experienced drivers in Sydney which is one of my long-term goals for the business. So that as a team, we can focus on the driving so you can focus on what is important to you right now.

Looking To The Future

I’m really excited to see what 2022 brings. Friendly Transfers will be launching brand new day tours to showcase our local knowledge and expertise, as well as collaborating further with local businesses. I’m also looking forward to expanding the team further and helping as many Sydney people as possible. 

But, most importantly, I think what I’m most excited about is not only serving the people of Sydney but making their lives a tiny bit easier. Especially after the year we have all had. 

None of this felt possible when I started the business at the beginning of 2021, but it really shows how ready we are as a community to overcome adversity. And the way I see it is if we can achieve this in one of the worse years in recent history, then I can’t wait to see what happens for 2022.

From myself, and all of us here at Friendly Transfers. Happy New Year! 

Leiland Friend

Friendly Transfers