It is well-known that New Orleans is a hub for vibrant culture and year-round celebrations. The city is not only a go-to destination for Jazz aficionados and food lovers, but also for family reunions, weddings and bachelor parties. “When people visit here, they fall in love with the city. It’s a playground for adults,“ says Luxe Limousine owner Will Lizardo. Will started Luxe Limousines in 2011, and after operating for 5 years, he has built a top-notch transportation service that caters to the multi-faceted culture of New Orleans.
New Orleans: Where demand meets opportunity
Luxe Limousines caters to everyone, from sports fans, to attorneys, business people and partygoers with a fleet of 12 vehicles, including four party buses. “I felt the need for another transportation company in New Orleans. We have so many things we do out here and I thought we were limited on transportation,” says Will. Despite competitive transportation services such as Uber or Lyft, Luxe has established itself as a unique limousine service that provides customers with a superior experience. In addition to being chauffeured by a professional driver in a black suit and a black tie, Luxe customers can request to have drinks on board.
Luxe’s key to success: Customer service
Unlike other limousine companies, Will started out big with an entire fleet. “In anything I do, I think big,” he says. In the beginning Luxe Limousines handled the overflow work of another limousine company until Will was ready to launch his own brand and invest in online advertising. Going strong for five years now, he has built a successful business with his number one priority in mind: making customers happy. According to Will, spending a fortune on online advertising is often less effective than positive word-of-mouth. After all, getting repeat customer is the key to success in any business. The company’s biggest accomplishment so far was servicing cars.com during the 2012 Super Bowl in New Orleans.
Lessons learned as a serial entrepreneur
Starting out as a bar owner, Will has been a serial entrepreneur since he was 21 years old. A lesson he has learned along the way is to avoid borrowing money from the bank. Instead, he recommends asking family members or relatives for help. “Another thing I’ve learned is that you should always seek advice because as an individual you don’t know everything. There is always someone who knows more than you, whether it’s in your business or in life, who can help you with decision-making,” he says. Will also believes that investing in talented and hard-working people helps him start and grow successful businesses. He has a unique talent to see people’s hunger in wanting to excel in life, and often contributes the opportunities and resources they need to do that. “I’ve been very blessed for the amount of businesses that I’ve opened up and run successfully because of seeing value in people,” Will says.
About being a visionary
As a serial entrepreneur, Will has invested in various businesses. Most recently, he has partnered with a friend in launching a fitness app in January 2017. The app, Forca, has recently been accepted to Eureka Park, the flagship startup destination at CES (Consumer Electronics Show), which provides a unique opportunity to launch their new product. Will’s vision for Luxe Limousines is to further expand and add two more busses to the fleet in the coming months.
Why New Orleans is a great place for entrepreneurs
According to Will, New Orleans has everything: restaurants, hotels, Bourbon Street, the Garden District, the convention center and so many other amenities. New Orleans is like a pie that has a slice for every industry in the city. “I think wherever you put a business, if you have good customer service and a good brand, you’ll last long. A small business can provide enough income for your family and a home,” he says.
Favorite thing to do in New Orleans
Will’s favorite thing to do in the city is participating in the annual Red Dress Run, a fundraiser that benefits local charities. Will says, the fun part about the Red Dress Run is that everyone, including men, wear dresses. This is just another reason why people love to come to New Orleans and have fun and ignore the societal standards that are usually put on us.