Operations

Ohio Operator Manages Limo Service And Chef Business

Posted on December 5, 2014 by

In addition to her full-time job running People Express Worldwide, Pickus also owns “The Sweet Life,” a catering company specializing in healthy meals, and sweet dessert baking.
In addition to her full-time job running People Express Worldwide, Pickus also owns “The Sweet Life,” a catering company specializing in healthy meals, and sweet dessert baking.

Biggest success: The ability to run two separate and profitable companies in lines of work she enjoys is what Pickus finds most fulfilling. The Sweet Life is her professional catering/private chef business. “Cooking was always a passion of mine, and once the limo company got off the ground, I was able to go to culinary school at night.” She earned her cooking degree 18 years ago, and completed a three-month internship under the tutelage of Wolfgang Puck at the Spago restaurant in Las Vegas.

How she got into the industry: People Express Transportation was started by Pickus’ ex-husband more than 25 years ago. Pickus assumed control of the company after the divorce, and led it to increased prosperity with affiliates in more than 450 cities worldwide. People Express is a certified woman-owned business. Pickus jokes about how she came to own the limo company. “He started it, and I’m finishing it.”

Start-up costs and methods: The company began with a 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis. “We started advertising in the local papers, but now we don’t do any type of advertising. Everything is word of mouth.”

Industry changes: Technology has been the most drastic change in her business, Pickus says. “Back 25 years ago, we were handwriting our reservations. Now with all these softwares for limo companies, it’s totally changed the business.”

Client types: People Express has a 90% corporate client rate. Through her networking in the cooking community, and from appearances on the Food Network, Pickus also will routinely arrange transportation for celebrities such as Betty White, Guy Fieri, and even former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown.

Eileen Pickus of People Express Transportation has received her woman-owned business certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Pickus is also a member of the Better Business Bureau, and helps mentor other woman business owners to help them succeed.
Eileen Pickus of People Express Transportation has received her woman-owned business certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Pickus is also a member of the Better Business Bureau, and helps mentor other woman business owners to help them succeed.

Customer service approaches: “We try to roll the red carpet out for everybody, and I don’t care if my customer has used me for one year or 100 years, they are always a VIP.” Pickus says keeping clients and affiliates happy is a priority, and that if a service incident occurs, she immediately looks to rectify the situation. “If there’s an issue and it turns out it was our mistake, I’ll really work to save the customer. I don’t dismiss their concerns.”

Learned lessons: Be patient when stressed. “It’s so important not to lose your cool, especially when things go wrong, I think you have to have a lot of patience and I’ve learned to keep a level head during stressful situations.”

Future plans: Focus more on affiliate work. Pickus has cultivated networks that extend into many cities in Europe, and she would like to reach more locations. “I’d also like to get us more involved in charitable organizations and give back to the community.”

Management techniques: Pickus thoroughly interviews and vets her affiliates, so she can be confident they handle her clients based on her standards. “They interview us too, just as we interview them. We make sure we’re on the same page. You have to have a good trust level with your affiliates. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything.”

Advice for operators: “Keep a personalized touch. Treat your affiliates and clients the way that you would like to be treated. That’s what I want and what everybody else wants.”

FASTFACTS
People Express Worldwide
Location: Solon, Ohio
Founded: 1989
Owner: Eileen Pickus
Main Service Region: Greater Cleveland
Types of Vehicles: Sedans, SUVs, stretch limos, shuttle van.
Fleet size: 10 vehicles
Employees: 20
Annual revenues: $1 million
Website: peopleexpressworldwide.com
Information: (800) 745-3007

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Tech Entrepreneur Puts Limo Company Up For Sale

The Southern California operation comes with a prestigious list of VIP, celebrity, and corporate clients.

Company Fined For Trading Discounts For Good Reviews

More than 500 people wrote nearly 700 reviews on Yelp and Google, as well as on the company's app pages.

If You Want More Affiliates, Form Relationships First

South Carolina operator Ashley Richey believes you must build a stellar reputation before asking to affiliate with another company.

Ten Tips For Marketing In The Digital Age

From understanding your target audience to retaining customers, here are some helpful online strategies. 

Company Accused Of Ditching Couples At The Altar

One client says once the deposits were collected, the Cleveland-based business stopped responding to their calls and emails.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - December 2016 $12.95 GLOBAL/INTERNATIONAL ISSUE COVER STORY: * The Coolest Operators on the Planet * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close