Here is the interview I did for Entr189T.
I Interviewed David Ruiz, a friend of the Development Director at Metro. His story was great! I was impressed by how open he was to the interview. While interviewing him, he seemed quite excited to share to story of starting his own business. With his story I see that a "need" around him was an important factor to why he started doing what he do. As advice to CBOs, he stated that its important to know and understand the needs of the people you are serving. I've learned this past semester that knowing the need in the community in which you serve, is critical to the sustainability of the CBO. Meeting someone who has their own successful business is always inspirational to me. I would love to build my own CBO in the future. I told my interviewee this, and he let me know he didn't do any of it alone. His colleagues from Chambers of Commerce, and several other partners & friends helped him get where he is today!
Interviewee: David Ruiz, owner and founder of Phone Medics business store
Interviewer: Vivian Scott
What qualities do you have?
Ruiz: I is greatly dedicated to my customers and their needs. I am good at listening to what my customers need and want from me.
How did you get started?
Ruiz: I started fixing phones and Smart Phones back in January of 2009 when I first purchased my own. I had saved up to buy me and phone in '09, and just a few weeks later I dropped it at a party. The phone screen was cracked, so I went to the apple store to get it fixed. They agreed to fix it, but for $199 plus tax. That was just was much as I paid for the phone itself. So I researched companies to see where I could get it done cheaper, but the only store I found was on the East Coast in Florida. They were going to charge me $100, but I would have to pay over $40 for shipping fees to and from. The offer me to sale and send me the screen i needed if I could put it on myself. I had some computer and technology skills, so I took that offered. When it came, i fixed it and it worked. After that, my mother's iPhone broke, then it was my co-workers. Next thing you know I was ordering pieces and fixing several phones per week. I was making more cash fixing phones than I was working at the hispanic chambers of commerce. From there I decided to go into business and open up a store.
What did you fail at?
Ruiz: In the beginning it was something small just for extra money, getting the foundation set up for my company was difficult at first. I didn't have a store at first, so I would just go to the customers. With work and everything else going on I knew I couldn't have a business like that. My business wasn't as efficient as it is now.
What advice do you have for CBOs?
Ruiz: Know who it is that you’re serving. It’s important to be aware of what the need is, then you will know what it is you can do to address the need. Another thing I would say is look into the community and see who else is doing what it is that you are wanting to do. Instead of trying to meet a need that is being met, you should look into ways to collaborate with CBOs that are already sustained.
Thank You David Ruiz!