Limo Operator Stretches Service From L.A. To Hawaii

Posted on August 2, 2011 by

John Jacoby turned a dream into two operations, one in Los Angeles and the other in Hawaii.
John Jacoby turned a dream into two operations, one in Los Angeles and the other in Hawaii.

WHAT HE DID BEFORE: John Jacoby worked in the medical insurance exam business for 10 years, drove for UPS and FedEx, and worked at Honda Motorcycles of North Hollywood. “Prior to [working these jobs], I was a bad boy and heavily involved in cocaine use, destroying my life and doing nothing but being negative,” Jacoby says. “I finally got sober on Oct. 15, 1999, and what a blessing it has been. I’m still sober today.”

WHY HE GOT INTO THE BUSINESS: As an extrovert who loves fancy cars, a friend of Jacoby matched him with the right job by introducing him to a limousine company in 1998. “I realized this is where I belonged. Helping people and paying it forward.”

START-UP COSTS AND METHODS: The startup cost was around $25,000, and involved a lot of “footwork and asking questions to those that believed in me,” he says. Jacoby bought a 10-passenger limousine from Jay Real at Carson, Calif.-based Coachwest. “I have a lot of quality friends in the corporate world who guided me,” Jacoby says. “I kept my business small and slowly grew by getting a sedan and then an SUV (GMC Denali) a few years later. I was home-based for eight years and now have an office at Van Nuys Airport (Jacoby Limousine Service) and an office in Kauai (Keoni Limo). I went to Kauai in 2003 for the first time and fell in love with the people and island. I saw a void for a cool, outgoing limo service there and decided to make a dream come true, again. I started the [Keoni Limo] branch a few years ago and it’s my baby.”

BEST MARKETING STRATEGY: Honesty, integrity, and word-of-mouth. “I keep my prices fair but negotiable,” he says.

BIGGEST MISTAKE: “Not having faith in myself and trusting people too easily, especially drivers,” he says.

BIGGEST SUCCESS: Staying sober no matter what, never giving up when it got tough, and seeing a client family smile when he shows up at 5 a.m. to take them to the airport, realizing they didn’t know him at all but trusted him completely.

UNIQUE APPROACHES TO CUSTOMER SERVICE: Look sharp, be yourself, be honest, smile, admit and apologize when you make a mistake. Most of all, act as if every minute is another opportunity.

: “Remember, we’re in a luxury business in a tough economy, so feel blessed and honored that someone trusts you enough to use your services,” he says. “Treat your drivers and staff as a team, give positive guidance, and be open to change and criticism.“

FUTURE PLANS: To move to Kauai and run Keoni Limo with office manager Aquarius Kalama, a native Hawaiian who tells stories and legends when driving clients in Hawaii. “My L.A. office is growing nicely and we moved into a bigger office at Van Nuys Airport in June,” Jacoby says. “I plan to have a 24-passenger limo/shuttle bus, a few more sedans, and SUVs. I still drive and have a great team of drivers and office staff. The sky’s the limit. Whatever God has in store for me and the team, we’re ready.”




Fast Facts about Jacoby Limousine Service and Keoni Limo

Locations: Van Nuys, Calif; Kapaa, Hawaii
Owner: John Jacoby
Year founded: 2003
Main service regions: Los Angeles metro and island of Kauai
Types of vehicles: sedans, SUVs, stretch limousines
Fleet sizes: 3; 1
Employees: 8
Annual revenues: $600,000
Information: Kauai, (818) 763-2031; Los Angeles, (808) 343-4610; (866) 900-2031

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

More News

Reston Limousine Hires New Marketing Manager

Anna Wilkinson will spearhead several new projects to grow the Washington, D.C.-area company's outreach and public profile.

BusCon 2017 Has Plenty To Offer Limo And Bus Operators

If you're running a chauffeured transportation or motorcoach service, then you'll find more helpful resources at this year's expo.

Nominate Now (Yourself?) For People's Choice Awards

The awards at LCT East is your chance to be recognized by the industry for being an innovator, entrepreneur, or humanitarian.

Operators Air Out A List Of Leading Concerns

The Greater California Livery Association deployed a new format that got members talking about challenges and problems.

Lindsey Limousine Wins “Best Limousine Company”

The growing Hartford, Conn. operation scores No. 1 on two noteworthy local business lists.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - July 2017 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Why These Titans Work So Hard to Give it Away * *


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


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