Raising four kids, fostering a healthy marriage and running a business usually are hard things to do on their own. Concepción did all three at the same time.
Seizing an opportunity for a better life
Over six years ago, Concepción was working as a paralegal and her family was still living by the paycheck. Concepción and her husband constantly would talk about how they could offer a better life for their four children, and eventually retire without burdening anyone.
Taking the leap to open a family-run business
In 2011, Concepción and her husband finally took the leap to open their business, Mr. Marce Party Rentals. This path hasn’t been an easy one, but it has allowed Concepción and her family to grow personally and professionally every day. Mr. Marce Party Rentals is a party rental equipment company based in Oceanside, California, that offers tables, chairs, jumpers and other equipment to make family and business events magical. Concepción is the only full-time employee, but it’s truly a family business. Her husband and children help her setup events during most weekends and also with some administrative duties.
Staying the course
During its first year, Concepción’s business immediately attracted new clients and was off to a good start. But her duties at home demanded more of her time. For the next three years, Concepción dedicated herself mostly to raising her kids, until the family was ready for her to go back to the business full-time. Since last year, Concepción is back in full force. She’s been very involved with her local chambers of commerce, regularly participates in workshops, and attends networking events. In less than a year, the business began growing again.
Q&A with Concepción
What would you do differently if you were to start over again?
I would have started marketing my business on social media earlier, and I would have joined a chamber of commerce at the beginning. The chambers give a lot of useful information, connect you with entrepreneurs, and organize networking events. Also, I’ve learned that there is a lot more I can do with my phone in terms of promoting and running my business.
What surprised you the most about running a business?
Every day you learn something new, especially from your customers. It’s hard to keep every customer happy, but you get better every time. My family is learning a lot as well. We wake up early on the weekend to do deliveries. At the jobs, we’ve met a lot of great people.
What advice would you give to a fellow Latino small business owner?
If you’re running a business, be very active in promoting it. If you market it on social media, post daily. Join business groups in your area. Network with entrepreneurs. Join a chamber of commerce that is very active. Hand out business cards. Be confident and don’t be shy about promoting your business. Finally, when you start your business, record everything. Create a story of the business.
What resources and tools have you used to learn how to run and grow your business?
I used Vistaprint to create my website, and Paypal to create and send invoices. I also use a lot of social media apps including Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. I’m a big Yelp user, as it’s helped me get customer reviews. Finally, I’ve created a business profile on Google+ so people can find my business address online.
What keeps you motivated to run your business?
My family and kids. Especially my husband. I don’t want to live paycheck by paycheck. When we retire, I don’t want to depend on our kids. We want to be independent.