By: imaubert
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Success story: COVID didn’t stop her, it strengthened her business

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Her business was thriving.

After renewing her loan with Camino Financial, Looking Good Beauty House, Milagro Cardona’s beauty salon, based in Los Angeles, reported better cash flow and had increased her income by approximately 32%.

Then, the COVID-19 crisis hit.

Her business had to close its doors for two and a half months due to the restrictions imposed by the city. She ran the risk of being fined if she opened. She couldn’t operate.

Things didn’t look good, but Milagro wasn’t going to wait with her arms crossed. Her entrepreneurial spirit was too strong to just fade away. She, like many other small business owners, is resilient and unstoppable when she is “in her zone.”

Knowing that Camino Financial has always been an ally for her business, Milagro renewed her loan for a third time on April 30. She secured an injection of $14,839K for her beauty salon in the midst of the pandemic, which meant having working capital to go through this financial crisis, protecting her patrimony, and, also, reinventing her business.

A helping hand

Her most recent loan allowed Milagro to buy more supplies, replenish her inventory, prepare her salon for reopening, and keep some working capital on her books for her operating expenses. She benefited from Camino Financial’s recently launched microloan program.

In addition to being a financial partner for its members, at Camino Financial we fulfill an educational mission by providing resources for your companies to grow.

Milagro was able to attend our PPP and EILD webinars, she also read some of the articles we offer regarding those programs. With the information gathered and learned with our resources, Milagro applied for both programs and managed to be one of the beneficiaries of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP)! 

“The loan amount was small, since I only employ three people, but I am very grateful to have it,” says Milagro. And although she has not yet received a response to her EIDL request, she is confident that she will also get it.

Time of transformation

Looking Good Beauty House reopened its doors on June 5. Of course, because of regulations she had to adapt the stations and the waiting area.

Milagro chose to see this financial crisis as an opportunity to do business in a smarter way.

She shares that now she has a long waiting list for her salon.

“Before the pandemic, it was very normal to book appts in the salon and clients cancel, that was just the way it is in this business. But now I’m even thinking of charging deposits on future appointments so I collect revenues in advance and this will also keep the value of my services up!”, she explains.

Tips to survive the COVID-19 crisis

Of course, reopening has not been easy, especially when it comes to complying with all preventive sanitary measures.

“The most difficult part is telling people to wait outside the salon before their appointment and be able to comply with social distancing,” she shares.

Despite all that, Milagro has learned to fight for what she has and to stay positive despite all the challenges ahead.

Milagro has a message for all the Latino business owners that have been affected by this terrible pandemic:

“We must not lose hope and we must keep moving forward.”

“If you trust that your business is good and that you offer something valuable, call your customers: don’t lose touch with them. Continue to promote your services for future sales. You will surely get clients that are willing to talk to you.”

She knows this well because this follow-up strategy made her discover that 75% of her clients wanted to schedule future appointments with her.

“Many of my clients thanked me for thinking of them and keeping them in mind. Many of them told me that I lifted their spirits.”

Milagro learned a business lesson, one that she will never forget:

Create a relationship and a personal connection with your customers so that the trust is there. This will help you win them over as clients.

Another lesson that this businesswoman learned is to take care of her credit.

How?

In her case, she strengthened her relationship with Camino Financial, her business lender, since she knew that in these times, maintaining good credit and payment history was essential.

“They were able to extend me more credit and even improve my terms especially right now when I really needed it. In this country, credit is very important and you have to protect it.”

Allies to grow

Milagro met Camino Financial in December 2017 while browsing Facebook. She was hooked on the success stories of other members, unaware that she would soon become one as well. 

In 2018, she got her first loan, which she has renewed three times since. She is always trying to grow her business and expand her entrepreneurial dream. In addition, she has taken advantage of the content of our blog to educate herself as a small businesswoman. 

If you also want to change the tide to your favor, detect opportunities to grow, and access financial aid, start now! Apply for one of our loans and see how your business starts thriving.

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