Operations

Operator Proves Small Fleets Bring Big Results

Lexi Tucker
Posted on March 4, 2019
Mark Tourgeman’s company is growing and proving to affiliates they can handle anything that comes their way.

Mark Tourgeman’s company is growing and proving to affiliates they can handle anything that comes their way.

Who: Mark Tourgeman, president, Royal Knights Limousines, San Diego, Calif.

Wise Words: Going to the International LCT Show in Las Vegas opened a new world for him. Becoming a member of the NLA and joining your local associations can help bring great success. “The first year I attended the Vegas show, I felt lost. I didn’t take advantage of everything because I didn’t know where to start. The second year I met Dave Uziel, president of UrbanBCN Worldwide in San Francisco, who needed a San Diego affiliate and gave me a try,” he says. After proving himself, he was recommended to other affiliates as well. “Networking has helped me make friends I can call if I ever have questions.”

Success Story: He’s happy he has built a strong reputation with customers and affiliates. “If I have an affiliate job, I understand it’s another company’s customer. That client could be tied to a huge account for them, and I want to make the best possible impression for their company and mine.” This is one reason he wants to remain fairly small — it’s easier for him to assure quality service that others will recommend.

Customer Service: Being on time with a clean car is all well and good, but Tourgeman believes constant communication with your clients matters even more. “We try to implement tech as best we can, and with the help of Limo Anywhere we are able to keep clients in the know and give them peace of mind we are on the way. Being a smaller company, clients tend to worry if people will actually show up. I like to ease their fears by giving them 24-hour confirmations, as well as letting them know when the chauffeur is on the way and on location.”

Fast Facts

Location: San Diego, Calif.

Owner: Mark Tourgeman

Founded: 2015

Vehicle Type: Sedans and SUVs

Fleet Size: 4

Employees: 3, including one partner and one part-timer

Website: www.royalknightslimo.com/

Phone: (619) 374-5466

Getting Started: After living in Mexico working in commercial real estate, Tourgeman returned to his home country. He grew up in San Diego, but didn’t know what he would do next. Real estate was an option, but he needed something else until he could rack up a client base. Ridehail was another possible path, but after looking into it, he noticed the lack of regulation and didn’t want to go about it the wrong way. Instead, he got the necessary licenses, permits, and a TCP number to do it right. With encouragement from his mother, he bought a Chevrolet Suburban to provide a higher level of service. In the beginning, he worked for the higher tier of TNC service, but noticed others did not look as professional as he did in his suit and tie.

Making Moves: His initial startup costs included his first Suburban SUV. He sold his personal car and took out a loan from his family to buy it. He quickly discovered insurance would be a hurdle due to the price of coverage for an operator with no experience. After finding something that fit his budget, he got proper permits and soon started meeting other operators waiting for rides at the airport. An operator approached him who saw he was dressed well and had a clean car, and asked if he’d be interested in extra work. Eventually, this turned into his first affiliate. As he met new people, business grew.

Lessons Learned: In other businesses he tried, he learned you want to avoid growing too quickly. “It’s important to keep it slow and steady without sacrificing the quality of the service you are providing,” he says.

Marketing Education: Tourgeman recently joined Limo University to help him gain a better understanding of business marketing methods. Most of his clients came to him through word of mouth referrals and affiliate work. One of his goals for next year is to concentrate more on building his own clientele.

Future Plans: He’d like to hire more chauffeurs, as well as a dispatch and reservationist team. “I want to do less driving and concentrate more on running the business. I’ve advanced comfortably, but now is the time to take it to the next level.”

Just For Fun: He loves to travel for his own personal enjoyment. He’s been to Europe and South America, and wants to see even more of the world. 

Related Topics: California operators, customer service, San Diego operators, small business, small-fleet operators

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
Comments ( 2 )
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  • Holly Price

     | about 7 months ago

    This is awesome! My partner and I are a small company in Utah. We love our affiliates. Hope to meet you in Vegas. Holly Www.affinity.limo

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