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Two Show First-Timers Make Most Of Business Opportunities

Jim Luff
Posted on May 16, 2018

This month LCT Magazine is featuring May issue coverage of the International LCT Show throughout www.lctmag.com. Each year, the Show attracts first-time attendees who often bring the refreshing approaches of newcomers to their businesses, and offer the industry hope of an industry future with a new generation. The two operators spotlighted below are both smartening up to the ways of luxury transportation service while always seeking ways to embrace and adapt change.

 

 

Dino Javas, owner, Odyssey Limousine, Agoura Hills, Calif. Javas regrets the decision to rely solely on farm-in work. He corrected course and today the company has a solid marketing plan to drum up its own business. (LCT photo)
Dino Javas, owner, Odyssey Limousine, Agoura Hills, Calif. Javas regrets the decision to rely solely on farm-in work. He corrected course and today the company has a solid marketing plan to drum up its own business. (LCT photo)
Dino Javas, owner, Odyssey Limousine, Agoura Hills, Calif.


 

Seeing Success From A Course Correction

Javas started out in the industry working as a chauffeur in New York City. He claims to have earned a master’s degree in chauffeuring there. Rightfully so since it is a tough city for driving. Javas left the big city for the big city on the West Coast, Los Angeles. After working for other limo companies, Javas and his wife, Maria launched Odyssey Limousine.

The first investment of $35,000 covered a used Lincoln Town Car, permits and insurance and they were off and running with several local limousine companies supplying ample work. However, Javas regrets the decision to rely solely on farm-in work. He corrected course and today the company has a solid marketing plan to drum up its own business.  

Delivering Maximum Value To Customers

A primary mission of Odyssey Limousine is to deliver exemplary customer service. “I think it's paramount in building and maintaining a strong customer base.” Javas took note of what he calls “complacency in the industry.” This includes chauffeurs not dressing professionally, not always on time, cars not clean, etc. “We go above and beyond what's expected of us. My job is to make sure every client has a first class experience with us.”

Javas strives to deliver a value comparable to the cost of the service. “If a client is going to pay me a decent price for service I want to make sure he or she receives the best we have to offer each and every time”.

As a relatively new business, Javas is committed to learning everything he can about the industry and relies heavily on great mentors through the NLA mentorship program and attended the International LCT Show for his first time to learn even more about the industry.

FAST FACTS

Company: Odyssey Limousine
Location: Agoura Hills Ca
Owner: Dino Javas
Founded: 2014
Vehicle type: sedans, SUVs
Fleet Size: 6
Employees: 7
Website: odysseylimo.com
Phone: (818) 401-2999

 

Matt McHugh, owner, Acre Bridge Transportation, Southborough, Mass. His company has grown from a single XTS to a fleet of six vehicles in a mere two-year period. (LCT photo)
Matt McHugh, owner, Acre Bridge Transportation, Southborough, Mass. His company has grown from a single XTS to a fleet of six vehicles in a mere two-year period. (LCT photo)
Matt McHugh, owner, Acre Bridge Transportation, Southborough, Mass.


 

Finding Ways To Pursue His Dream

In his senior year of high school, Matt McHugh landed a job as a chauffeur.  Like many industry icons, McHugh continued driving through his college years while studying business and hospitality.  After college, McHugh pursued work in equestrian sports before being drawn back into the industry. His new company, Acre Bridge Transportation, was set to take over the limo service that originally employed him as a young teen. However, the deal fell apart but McHugh’s dream did not.

To keep the dream alive, McHugh traded in his pickup truck as a down payment on a Cadillac XTS. He spent everything he had to make a down payment on insurance, buy an airport permit, and other operating permits. He relied on inbound affiliate work to keep the wheels rolling and marketed his new company to anyone who would listen. Slowly, the phone calls began to increase and the company began to grow.  

Growing By Getting To Know Clients

His company has grown from a single XTS to a fleet of six vehicles in a mere two-year period. McHugh attributes the growth to learning his clients likes and dislikes.  Chauffeurs keep meticulous notes about clients such as how they take their coffee, names of pets, and cabin temperature preferences. “In today's world it’s all about customization”, McHugh says.

McHugh recently attended an industry boot camp and felt he received an excellent marketing education. The company launched its first website in October 2017, exactly two years after starting the business.

“Attending boot camp gave me many tools I never knew existed, connected me with a peer support group and gave me access to a super knowledgeable team,” McHugh says. This gave him a solid platform for streamlining processes, better using his website, implementing video media, and social media engagement. He attended his first International LCT Show to further boost that knowledge.

FAST FACTS
Company: Acre Bridge Transportation
Location: Southborough, Mass
Owner: Matt McHugh
Slogan: Connecting Destinations
Founded: October 2015
Vehicle Types: Sedans, SUVs, Limos, Sprinter
Fleet Size: 6
Employees: 6
Website: acrebridge.com
Phone: 508-481-3765

RELATED: INTERNATIONAL LCT SHOW PHOTO GALLERY HERE

Related Topics: California operators, entrepreneurship, ILCT 2018, limo tradeshows, Massachusetts operators, New Operator, small business, small-fleet operators, startup

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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