How does a 40-plus year-old man, married, with two kids, two car payments, and a mortgage, start a business transporting other people’s children… and keep it in operation for nearly a decade (so far). Well, it happened kind of like this…
How We Started
John Granzow launched Go Kid Go Transport & Tours, LLC in January 2001, after discovering that there was no safe, reliable, convenient way for him to get his oldest son to tae kwon do class.
He spent about six months doing research and making preparations before he made the commitment, that is, before he asked his wife to agree to a home equity loan.
His first marketing efforts included a direct mail campaign to families in Waukesha County, and promotional brochures placed in dozens of “after-school businesses,” such as dance, gymnastics, and martial arts schools. They also included face-to-face meetings with dozens of potential customers, participation on conferences and expositions, and hundreds of phone calls.
The first 18 months were slow, but encouraging. A few good customers had signed on, and the reaction of people who heard about the service was positive.
In early 2001 John had applied to the State of Wisconsin for an Early Planning Grant, and the application was approved. This enabled Go Kid Go to secure professional help for the development of its business plan. With a well-written business plan in hand, it was then possible to secure credit and start-up capital from a local bank. The company’s first significant purchase was a second vehicle.
Also, during this same time, the company landed its first major customer, a suburban Milwaukee school district. Our service to this district led to contact with other districts, which led to more opportunities, and to a growing reputation in the area’s educational community.
As word-of-mouth spread, individuals outside the educational community became aware of Go Kid Go, and churches, businesses, and organizations became customers. As they came on board, more and more individual families became aware of us as well.
Where We’re Going
Go Kid Go’s ridership has continued to grow steadily. As a result, so has our fleet and the size of our staff. As these areas of the business have grown, it’s become necessary for us to find better ways to address rider and vehicle safety, improve our performance, and manage our resources.
To do these and other important things, we created a scheduling system that helps us manage hundreds of riders and routes each day. We launched a web site that allows parents and caregivers to double check their youngsters’ schedules and make changes whenever necessary. We installed navigation devices in all our vehicles that double as two-way communication tools. We also created a software system that tells us when a driver is likely to be late, so we can give advance notice to the affected riders, parents or caregivers.
We’re proud of these accomplishments, but growth for the sake of growth isn’t our objective. Our main goal is, and has been, to help meet the transportation needs of families, and those that serve them, throughout southeastern Wisconsin. By achieving this goal, we think growth will follow.
We are grateful to all those who helped us get where we are today, and we look forward to serving Wisconsin’s families and communities in the years ahead.
We’d welcome the chance to serve you, and those who rely on you
If you or someone you know needs a service like ours, we hope you’ll give us a chance to prove ourselves.