BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES
American Phoenix Transportation
Penny Sorensen, owner of American Phoenix Transportation, led a full career in the driving industry before making the decision to start her own business. Her previous experience includes twenty years driving for Advanced Disposal, as well as experience driving for various taxi and trucking services. Understanding she wouldn’t be able to improve her position at Advanced, she knew it was time for a change. Sorensen had always wanted to start her own business, and could feel it was the right time to foster her own endeavor.
American Phoenix Transportation is a full-service taxi company that prides itself on reliability, and Sorensen’s goal for the business is to raise the bar on taxi service. The vans are kept clean, include the safety of cameras in the vehicles, and also maintain more extensive emergency kits and more insurance than other taxi vehicles, as they are equipped for non-emergency medical transportation. Additionally, she designs to have all of her drivers in uniform in the future.
One highlight of American Phoenix Transportation is the full service that customers receive with the company. Drivers load any wheelchairs, walkers, and packages into the vehicles, and are out of the vehicle helping customers if they need assistance walking. The goal is to ensure that the customer is genuinely taken care of, and thus far they’ve received good responses to their level of service.
Having never run a business of this scale before, Sorensen appreciated how the Business Development Specialists at Western Dairyland walked her through every step. Specifically in terms of finances, they assisted her in getting set-up with QuickBooks, which she notes has been a great help. As well, she emphasized that they have been able to address her concerns by helping her work through challenges progressively, in a chronological way. She mentions, “The Business Development Specialists have been absolutely wonderful to work with and have been helpful in pointing me in the right directions.”
American Phoenix Transportation has gotten off to an impressive start, and Sorensen remarks that it’s building faster than she ever thought it would. They have regular customers including Motel 6, Mayo hospital, The Elbow Room bar, The Alibi bar, and Mikkelson Towing and Recovery. Businesses rely on American Phoenix Transportation because they are assured that their customers will be given close attention.
Looking ahead, Sorensen hopes to hire more drivers so that she will be able dedicate more of her time to focusing on outreach for the business. Moreover, her hope is that with increased business, supported by more drivers, she will be able to grow her business through the purchase of additional taxis. Alongside future growth, she also hopes to streamline the business by designating drivers and vehicles to specific customer groups such as majority taxi, medical taxi, and more. Ultimately, while Sorensen would like to see American Phoenix Transportation grow into more remote areas, where there is a demand for taxi service, for now her primary focus is on solidifying and reinforcing her home base.