Nelson and Brittany Lieder started their one-car limo operation with a Chrysler 300 stretch limousine after Nelson saw success with a commercial grounds management business. They are excited about entering the industry. “Every day we continue to learn more about every aspect of this business,” Nelson says.
Biggest success: Since the company is still new, co-owner Nelson Lieder says his biggest success comes from the creative ways Superior Limousines uses its stretch. “Richmond, Va., has so much to offer and one of our most popular things right now is six- to eight-hour tours to see some of the amazing vineyards and breweries in our area.”
Operational practices: Attention to details, drive for perfection, avoidance of shortcuts, cultivation of relationships with all customers, and constant contact with them.
Customer service approach: “Always be positive, helpful and motivated to help customers even if that is helping them find the exact car they are looking for with another business,” Lieder says.
Start-up costs and methods: Startup costs were kept as low as possible because although owner Nelson Lieder had experience running a business, he was humble about his limited exposure to the transportation industry. “I wanted to leave financial room for me to learn and even make mistakes,” Lieder says. “I bought a pre-owned Chrysler 300, 140-inch 10-passenger limousine. My wife built our website SuperiorLimousinesRVA.com and designed all of our promotional materials. The business is completely run by my wife and me.”
Business origins: Lieder’s family traveled a lot when he was young and he was homeschooled. After graduating high school at 16, he started going to a local college. Two years later he started his first company, a commercial grounds management business, which he has run for eight years. “I used the success of my grounds management company to start this new limousine company,” he says.
Why he got into the industry: “Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated with luxury transportation, specifically stretch limousines,” Lieder says. “I guess it’s because I grew up in a lower income bracket and that world seemed so far away to me as a child.” Lieder says he always wanted to start a limousine company but hesitated jumping in. “But after getting a lot of support and push from my wife, I decided to start it this year. She has been invaluable in launching this company.”
Marketing strategies: “This is one area [where] I think our age has really been a great advantage to my wife and me,” Lieder says. “We grew up with technology and social media, and have used Google AdWords and Facebook as our primary methods of marketing. Both have been working out great.” Superior Limousines' Facebook page has 797 local people who “like” it.
Future plans: The Lieders are working hard to make Superior Limousines a well-known company in the Greater Richmond and surrounding area. He hopes to soon expand the fleet with an SUV and a party bus.
Business likes: “Customers are generally happy and excited when you pick them up, plus being self-employed and doing what you love is a great way to go through life, as long as you’re not afraid of hard work and long hours,” Lieder says.
Advice for operators: New limo companies should look into their state’s requirements for operational authority to open a business. “Plan ahead and allow more time than you think it will take, Lieder says. “It took me seven months to go through the mountain of paperwork required by the Virginia DMV.”
Location: Richmond, Va.
Owners: Nelson and Brittany Lieder
Main service region: Central Virginia
Vehicle types: Chrysler 300 stretch limousine with Rolls Royce Phantom Package
Fleet size: 1
Contact: (804) 445-4040