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Meet Marquis Webb of Kola Kruze Transportation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marquis Webb.

Hi Marquis, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
Hi, my name is Marquis Webb; I am the owner of a small and fast-growing business called “Kola Kruze transportation” here in Columbia, S.C.

After graduating from the University of South Carolina, during the midst of Covid, not only did two of my jobs in Human Resources get taken from me, but I couldn’t go to graduate school at Villanova University.

About a year after graduating undergrad I started having dreams about starting my own transportation company, and I went full force with my marketing, promoting, and word-of-mouth advertising.

In eleven days I had over two hundred patrons. It was GODS calling, I just trusted in his plans and accepted the change of direction for my life. I knew I would be the perfect person to be suited for this industry and to serve the community.

I started my own local ride-share business for college students mostly. What started as a way to make my peers feel safe getting around town, has now grown into a trusted business among students, their parents, and the local community of downtown Columbia, SC.

I began driving my classmates following the death of USC student Samantha Josephson. Two and a half years ago, the USC community was rocked by the kidnapping and murder of Josephson. “around that time, a lot of people were really scared, mostly women, were really hesitant to take Ubers, so once they found out that I was a driver and I went to school with them, there was a level of comfort that I provided.” I decided to fill in the gap and continue making an immediate impact.

According to police, Josephson thought she was getting into the car she ordered from a rideshare app, but instead got in a stranger’s car and was later murdered. “It really hurt the community and the bars, and it just frightened a lot of the students because it could’ve been anybody,” “So, I just wanted to place my print and try to prevent this from happening again.”

I drove for a rideshare app and started giving out my number to make my peers feel safe with a recognizable face they could ride with and build continuous relationships with me and my drivers as I started to develop my team. I built a trustworthy reputation with clients and got so busy with driving, that my patrons encouraged me to start my own business.

“With building a relationship with our clients, they trust this company and they’re gonna share that with other people, and both safety and trust is such a big thing when you’re getting in a car with someone you don’t know.”

It wasn’t easy to let go of my dreams because of covid, but there was a shift that I think we all felt in some way, and mine happened to be this great calling in which I stepped in with great honor and excitement.

I thought about the occurrence of bad events that happen with Lyft and Uber and it made this decision much more worth it when I knew I could be a safe haven for my community at hand, both financially and physically.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There are many struggles when starting your own business. How to manage your income, know tax laws, run systems correctly, and much more. You must learn to utilize the resources available to you. When it comes to business, I don’t think there is ever a smooth road.

There will always be rough patches and bumps in the road but as time goes on, you learn to adapt and avoid making the same mistakes again. Although for me, things took off pretty quickly I would say my biggest challenge is learning to scale my business without having access to an app.

With a growing company on the rise, I’m in need of an app which I’m having a hard time getting but the search is still on, and currently looking for investors and grants to be able to scale this business and have a well-organized system in place for our clients. Right now, customers order through my website, which is amazing but an app would be more suitable for the number of clients I have and drivers as well.

My mission is that my patrons have a superb experience from the moment they inquire about rides, until the time they step foot out of any vehicle under our company. As a CEO, I’m still learning and growing in so many ways, and have so many opportunities coming to me monthly.

Learning which opportunities to turn down and accept have been the biggest learning lesson because not all deals are great deals! Just like all employees are not great employees. Finding the right people to connect with and do business with us very vital because it may propel or hinder your company’s growth.

We’ve been impressed with Kola Kruze Transportation, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Kola Kruze Transportation is a local owner transportation business similar to uber and Lyft.

I’m the CEO and started this company mostly for college students to keep it safer. currently working on getting government contracts to branch out and expand my business. I also hire college students to drive around other college students. My goal is to get an app developed and franchise my company to different colleges in the southeast region like Georgia, SC, and North Carolina.

What sets this company apart, what sets us apart from other ride-sharing services is the relationships we develop with our customers.

We’re all like family and I believe that’s how we have continued to grow. Also, our ability to not be so focused on overpricing others for rides but truly providing a safe place where locals and tourists can really enjoy the comfort of a great ride, without worrying about being overcharged, concerned for safety, or rides being canceled during desperate times.

We are reliable, fast, efficient, consistent, and adjust to the needs of both our company and customers.

I’m most proud of how I stepped out and took a leap of faith, during the most uncomfortable time of my life. Most proud of my news interview with WLTX news station back on September 30th, 2021, and also gaining the trust of the parents of each student and our mayor Daniel Rickenmann.

I’m the face of this company and I’m excited that I get to stick around no matter how much my company has grown, I won’t hide behind doors but continue to put myself out there and show face but also build relationships and connections with the community.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out.
Just got for it. Don’t think about it too much when it comes to fear. If the dream scares you, then it’s probably exactly what you should do.

Map out a business plan, make connections, utilize resources, don’t take shortcuts, and learn when to take breaks. Your mental health is everything and it can take a toll on you at times but breaks are essential. You don’t have to have everything figured out but you have to start in order to give yourself a chance at growing and learning.

Unfortunately, you don’t succeed in business just by completing a list of tasks. Nor will your business be a success just because you think it’s a good idea. Find a need and fill the gap. Research your competitors, how the operational needs are, start on a small scale and know the difference between working for yourself and building an ongoing business.

What will make or break your business? What determines if it will be a success? Know what are you willing to give up to reach that goal! How many hours a week will you work on an ongoing basis? How far out of your comfort zone are you willing to stretch? How far will your family stretch with you?

Don’t fixate on mistakes or get demoralized by them. The difference between successful people and everyone else is that successful people learn from their mistakes and move on. They don’t dwell on failure, blame the economy, curse their bad luck, or blame other people for their fate. If the path to their goal is blocked, they look for an alternate path or sometimes choose a different, more attainable goal.

Learn from others. Find mentors, join groups with like-minded people, and learn everything you can about your industry and what it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be.

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