Saturday, August 22, 2009

Limousine Company Information

The latest issue of one our industry publications has some interesting facts about limousine companies. The Limousine Digest reports that as of the first of the year, there were 11,866 limousine companies in the United States. Of these, 1,602 were in California, 1,388 in New York and 1,011 were Florida. The states with the fewest? No real surprise - South Dakota had 15, Montana had 12 and Wyoming had only 10 (wonder how many of those were pickups that had been converted to limousines?!).

Other stats of interest were that only 7.5% of the limousine company owners had a Masters or Professional Degree (not to toot my own horn, but I have both), 41% of the companies have between 4 to 10 vehicles (we currently have 8), and only 54.1% of customers report that they are very satisfied with the service they received from their limo company (this is exactly the reason why I got into the business - I was unsatisfied with the service that I received as a customer).

Speaking of customer satisfaction, only 39.6% of limousine operators report that they treat their chauffeurs as employees. I believe that if chauffeur is not an employee, it is much more difficult to control his or her behavior - that is why we treat all of our chauffeurs as employees, not independent contractors. In addition, as a CPA, I know all to well how the IRS makes distinctions between employees and contractors, and believe me, the other 60.4% of limousine companies would have a hard time justifying their tax treatment of their chauffeurs.

Finally, only 68.6% of the companies report that they utilize a chauffeur training system. Interestingly, the system we use (The Smith System) is used by only a little over 8% of these companies. This is despite the fact that the Smith System is the mostly widely used system by Fortune 500 Companies.

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