Operations

These Brothers Succeed By Following The Rules

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Lexi Tucker - Also by this author - About the author

(l to r) Selim and Umut Aslan, owners of MIB Worldwide Chauffeured Services
(l to r) Selim and Umut Aslan, owners of MIB Worldwide Chauffeured Services
SAN DIEGO, CA — Anyone who lives and runs a business in California knows it’s painfully difficult to stay on top of all of the regulations one must follow to operate legally. From workers comp to proper licensing and inspection fees, it seems like the list never ends and rules are constantly changing.

Selim and Umut Aslan, owners of MIB Worldwide Chauffeured Services, work tirelessly to ensure their company does things the right way — and their clients certainly notice.

Do What’s Right

The state’s notorious reputation often has fellow operators asking many questions. “When we go to other states and we tell others how we run our company, the initial reaction is often pity. They say, ‘how do you make money?’ But the answer is you just get used to it,” Selim says.

A lesson he and his brother have learned over the years is no matter how right you do things in California, you’ll get in trouble somehow. “We comply as best we can, but there’s no black and white. The only way you can be prepared for anything is by doing your due diligence in ensuring the safety of your clients to the absolute best of your ability.”

This tactic has certainly worked for them, as they now operate 15 vehicles, including Chrysler 300s, Lincoln MKTs (which they like because they can upsell for the luggage space), SUVs, a Sprinter, and a minibus. They serve many corporate clients who also use them on their own personal trips. “I can proudly say the vast majority of our clients are our own. Farm-in work is only about 10% of our gross profit,” Selim says.

Learn From Other’s Mistakes

Selim came to the U.S. in 2004 as a college student from Turkey, and started working for a transportation company that allegedly skirted regulations in 2007. According to him, they didn’t pay their staff overtime. He had an argument with the owner over this in 2009, and quit the company knowing he and his brother could start their own business doing things the right way.

(Click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)
“We wanted to take good care of the people who worked for us,” Selim says. They pooled their money and started MIB with one Town Car in July 2009.

The lessons the brothers have learned over the years have helped their business grow. For example, if something goes wrong, don’t deny it — own up to it. Even if you know nothing was done wrong on your part, try to make it up to the client.

“If you go to our Yelp page, we don’t distribute any coupons or pay anyone for reviews. We don’t do that and never will. They are genuine and not influenced by anything other than the level of service we provide. We don’t fight with clients; we just take care of it,” Selim says.

(l to r) Jackie Viera, client relationships director; Umut Aslan; Inci Ware, operations manager and Umut and Selim's sister; Selim Aslan
(l to r) Jackie Viera, client relationships director; Umut Aslan; Inci Ware, operations manager and Umut and Selim's sister; Selim Aslan
Keep An Open Mind

Although the company still has a long way to go, having a loyal client base is something he and his brother are proud of, Selim says. “We’ve been hurt by Uber like every other company out there, but we still survive and are busy. We also try to give back to our community as best we can.” You’ll often see them at Greater California Livery Association (GCLA) meetings supporting their fellow operators and keeping up to date on the latest legislative issues. 

In the future, they plan on pushing more into the event planning business because it’s the facet of ground transportation least affected by Uber and because they are seeing an increased demand for it. They don’t want to rush into it too quickly, but hope to add more minibuses and coaches to their ever expanding fleet.

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