Nick Boccio, fleet manager for Buffalo Limousine, was never pressured by his mother and father to join the team, but he’s taken on his role in the business with excitement and a desire to constantly improve.
When first starting at Buffalo Limousine, it didn’t take long for Boccio to learn the success of limousine operations is extremely reliant on the people involved.
“I would advise a young operator to find a mentor; mine is my mother, Carla,” Boccio says. “She has great business acumen and always sets me in the right direction. If I started my own company, she would be my consultant.”
“Our staff is excellent top to bottom. My dad Frank handles all aspects of the chauffeurs, my mother handles all office matters, I deal with the fleet, and my Aunt Julie does our billing. Our chauffeurs are top notch, our reservationists are excellent, and our detailers are outstanding. It’s a team effort and that is what we excel at.”
The business started in 1960 when Boccio’s grandmother received a call from a local concert promoter. A musician requested some limousines, and Boccio’s grandfather rented out some of his funeral limousines to him, and Buffalo Limousine began chauffeured services. “We are unique because we are in our third generation. I feel that’s outstanding for any business,” Boccio says.
The company’s fleet is Boccio’s pride and joy, since he started off in the garage washing cars for a couple of summers and really enjoyed it. They have 19 vehicles, including Lincoln Continentals, S550s, and MKTs.
“We’ll begin phasing out our MKTs for Continentals at the end of this year and/or early next year,” he explains.
Their SUVs include Yukon XLs and Suburbans. A few years ago, they switched from traditional stretch limousines to limo buses. They have three Turtle Top buses (another long standing family business, he adds), one Sprinter from First Class Customs, and a Grech Motors executive bus.
“The emphasis on sedans and SUVs keeps us busy even in the slower part of the year, and the mix of executive buses and limousine style buses also allow for versatility,” Boccio says. “These vehicles represent the type of company we are and the clientele we serve.”
His advises other operators to find a good mechanic to keep a fleet ready to roll. “Maintenance has to be the most dependable part of an operation,” he says. “If my uncle wasn't the best mechanic around, we would have given up a lot of trips over the years due to maintenance issues.”
Attracting Young Talent
Boccio believes the chauffeured transportation industry could attract Millennial employees by attending job fairs at universities. “There are plenty of Millennials who’d likely be interested in working for the bigger firms in our industry, but perhaps have never thought of it because they don’t know anything about it.”
As for what the future holds for himself and Buffalo Limousine, he says he has many ideas to advance the company. When asked about his biggest success, graduating from John Carroll University in Cleveland with his bachelor’s degree in accountancy tops the list. “I’m only 23, so it’s likely this answer will change if you asked me in 10 years,” he says.
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