Cesar, who is originally from Mexico City, is targeting the Hispanic community via Community Auto Insurance, an independent company that works with unlicensed and international-licensed drivers with not-so-perfect credit and/or driving records. Community Auto Insurance also provides notary public services, Spanish translations and income tax preparation. “I’m here to service my community and help them in any way I can,” he says.
Though Cesar currently works alone at his office in Garland, Texas, he plans to hire a staff to meet higher demand during the tax and insurance season. He says once people receive their income tax refunds, many tend to purchase cars, which leads to an increase in the purchase of auto insurance policies.
Before he entered the insurance industry five years ago, Cesar had a lot of friends who were already insurance agents, and from their stories, he found there is a large profit margin as an independent insurance broker, or a third-party insurance agent, who works with multiple insurance companies to offer the best policy and price for his customers.
“I always knew there was money to be made,” he says. “I just had to wait for the right time.”
Before going on his own, Cesar was laid off from a full-time job when his employer decided to downsize the company and invest in a management system. He says he was “almost forced” into becoming an entrepreneur. Cesar says losing his job coincided with his discovery of Accion Texas Inc. during a Google search. This ultimately led to making a decision to pursue his dream of self-employment as an insurance broker.
He applied for a loan and was approved. “The dream of opening my own industry has been one for three years,” he says. “I submitted my goals to banks for the last three years. No one but Accion would help.”
The loan provided immediate funds to start the business. Without a loan, Cesar says, “I’m not going to say I couldn’t start it, but it would have been slow.”
The Accion loan went to start-up costs, Cesar says. Those included renovating a store front, advertising, office furniture, insurance, purchasing a printer and computer equipped with software for tax, policy management and competitive insurance rating, notary public applications, and store signs. He has five clients and is positioned for substantial growth in the near future.
To learn more about Cesar’s business, visit his website at: www.communityautoinsurance.org.
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.