Operator Profile: Bill Buff, Park Lane Limousine (Westville, NJ)

Posted on January 1, 1996 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

In Business: 10 years

Fleet: 4 stretches, 2 sedans, and 1 bus

Number of Chauffeurs: 5 full-time and 8 part-time

Benefits Offered: Commission on all trips reserved through a chauffeur. Health insurance purchased through the South Jersey Limousine Association.

Business Breakdown: 65 percent corporate, 15 percent celebrity, 10 percent airport, and 10 percent other.

Keys for Success: “I use only trained professional chauffeurs. Daily communication with chauffeurs is very important for feedback on all completed trips as well as informing them of particular preferences that a certain scheduled client might have. I utilize a zero-tolerance maintenance program for all my equipment. My company networks extensively within a very strong and supportive association – the South Jersey Limousine Association.”

Doing Large Moves: “Communication is the critical ingredient. There must be continued communication before, during, and after the move. Being able to adjust to the client who changes his schedule is the most difficult obstacle to overcome.”

Chauffeur Management: “My company looks for chauffeurs who have intelligence and the ability to reason. It is important for them to be able to think through a difficult situation. Park Lane provides extensive chauffeur training that gives them the tools to do the job. We look for personable and intelligent men and women.”

Key Industry Issues: “Unlicensed/uninsured operators and operators who do not act professionally. It is crucial that all operators live up to each client’s expectations and that he or she is viewed as a good operator in the eyes of the livery industry.”

Buff Business: “I have found that new operators are afraid of pricing their services too high and therefore offer rates that are significantly reduce. These operators price themselves out of business. All operators must have good knowledge of their operating costs so they can price their services profitably. An excellent resource for understanding costing methods is the knowledge of fellow association members who have more experience.”

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