It all started with my father 20 years ago. He was determined to become the best salesperson in the automotive industry. Knowing his self-worth and being very disciplined, he was able to turn into the top salesperson in the company he was working for within 3 months.
After a couple of years of hard work, he started his own business and soon, he became very well known as the “go to” guy for any autobody and auto repair shops in the New York area.
When I (Juan Chávez) joined my father, he was very pleased with what he had achieved, but we wanted to take the company to the next level.
We started analyzing our limitations and immediately realized that he was only able to visit up to 10 people a day, so that was going to be our next goal: increasing our clientele. Despite not knowing anything at all about marketing or programming but with a very clear vision of what we wanted to accomplish, I opened up a website and added a couple of pictures of the products my father used to sell. Three months later we got our first sale: a four-post lift that was around $5,000!.
Learning and growing.
This whole journey has been about learning. Right after launching our website, I started learning about e-commerce, digital marketing, SEO, traffic management, social media, advertising, etc. and little by little started expanding our business nationwide, not only by getting more and more clients, but by partnering up with manufacturers and collaborators that helped us position JMC Automotive Equipment as one of the strongest companies in the industry.
Positivism is the secret.
Success is all about being positive. I’m convinced that having a no quit attitude, being enthusiastic, having a positive energy, and helping others have this same mindset is the key to excel. Asking not only our clients but our partners and even our employees how they are, what’s going on in their lives and honestly caring about them, will leave an impact and will make you differentiate from many others that never want to go that extra mile.
2019 was a low moment. I lost my focus for personal reasons, and some of my collaborators lost their focus as well. Soon I realized we were losing a lot of money, our outcome was higher than our income. I was very sad, scared and nervous at that moment, I even got to the point where I was about to declare bankruptcy. I felt I had failed as an entrepreneur.
But I had worked so hard to be where I was that all I could think about was going against all odds and surviving. First, I started getting advice from many entrepreneurs and also from my father who one day asked me “how much money are you losing?”, and when I said “this much”, he said: “i’ve lost like 10 times more through the time that I’ve been in business”. That didn’t help me feel any better, but it did help me realize that I was not alone and that many others were actually going through that situation at the same time.During these months I learnt a lot. I came across this concept of Mental Resilience (being positive during hard times) and made it an essential part of this journey. Having this new positive mentality of thriving and not just surviving, helped me develop new tactics for the business to overcome these hard times. After implementing different marketing strategies such as calls, personal emails, business advice and writing blog articles to help our clients succeed, I was able to finally relax, not from work but mentally, and once that happened, I was able to look for different opportunities, motivate my team and diversify more and more until we were finally able to climb out of that business hole being a stronger company.
Joining the Inc. 5000 wasn't really one of our goals, but we do feel it has been the result of enjoying what we do. In our eyes, the mission we set to ourselves of helping as many people as possible to succeed with their own businesses took us in the direction of becoming one of America's fastest growing companies in the last 3 years