When Eduardo (left) from Laredo, Texas, was looking for a new job, he and his business partner, Victor, (right) discussed several ideas, such as child or adult daycare, security and party rentals, until they eventually agreed on vending. Both Eduardo and Victor are 25 years old and were looking for something that didn’t require too much work. They strive to give the best customer service, which Eduardo credits with their success. "Wolf Vending Company" is currently running on its own by word of mouth.
Since the Laredo business began January 1, 2012, it has been growing monthly. Eduardo steadily obtained his first five machines and began approaching companies by March. His company now operates nine machines. “What we offer are canned sodas or bottled drinks. We also offer healthy to salty snacks – anything that has to do with snacks that’re not hot or cold,” Eduardo says. As a matter of policy, Wolf Vending Company keeps its vending machines well stocked and always completes repairs within 30 days. They also offer liability and workmen’s compensation, meaning that if Eduardo or Victor were hurt while on the job, they are covered and their customers won’t have to pay for any medical expenses.
For now, Eduardo employs only himself and Victor. He says that when the demand for his machines eventually grows to at least three times as much as it is now, he will begin hiring others to offer more customer service to their clients.
Without a loan, Eduardo and Victor would have had to start their business with their own savings. The loan from Accion Texas Inc. was a blessing, he says. “It took a load off our shoulders. Yes, we would have been able to afford it, but it would have been tight for our personal finances.” He discovered Accion through one of his former supervisors, who recommend that he and Victor attend seminars presented by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Laredo. Coincidentally, the Accion offices were housed in the same building! So the young entrepreneurs found a great new path to realizing their dreams of business success.
Eduardo learned a lot in the beginning, such as how to properly interact and speak effectively with business owners. “We probably changed our repertoire about 15 times – I’m not exaggerating,” he says. Eduardo and Victor also had to learn how to fix their machines themselves, since they haven’t yet found a business to do so.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.