I recently had the opportunity to talk with Bobby Lau of Quality Appliance Services about his appliance repair business. Bobby focuses on repairing and servicing appliances for property management companies. Bobby got a loan from Lendio to help grow his small business. Here’s what he had to say about his experience with Lendio.
Tell me a little bit about your business.
Quality Appliance Services is a mobile appliance repair business that serves primarily property management companies with appliance repairs in the San Francisco area. With six years experience in coordinating repairs between property managers and tenants, we deliver a streamlined appliance repair process in which most repairs are successfully completed within the same day.
Why and when did you start it?
Having graduated from business school during the most recent recession, all my resume applications were denied as companies were trimming the fat by holding off on increasing the labor force. With nowhere to turn, I had to develop my own company in 2010, in a niche market that has proven to be recession-proof.
How did you get the initial capital to start your business?
With a bank account that was almost completely empty, I apprenticed under a friend that loaned me $2,000 to pay for start-up expenses such as; business licenses, business card printing, and money for gas and initial purchasing of tools and basic parts for repairs. Due to an initial lack of income, I could not secure any significant amount of loan from any business lender, especially in a difficult economy.
What keeps you going? What’s your passion that drives your business?
As a husband and father, the responsibility of providing for loved ones is the motivation to ensure that they are financially taken care of. The pain of lessons learned from the recession has branded within, a continual reminder that no one is looking after you, except yourself. Therefore, if you do not ensure the success of your business in tirelessly delivering what you have agreed to do, you are ensuring failure for yourself, and for your family.
What did you need funding for?
Funding was needed to secure additional capital for a growing business. Current debts were needed to be addressed in a timely manner as well so that my company reflects a commitment to doing business with clients and lenders in good faith.
Have you seen anything positive from the funding yet?
Current debts have been addressed in a timely manner as a result of the funding. The collar has also been loosened in which additional parts and supplies can be purchased to address the growing demand for repairs.
How did you find Lendio?
Lendio was advertised on my Gmail page as I was searching for a lender who was willing to take on someone who had a high debt to income ratio, making me a high-risk borrower.
How was your experience with Lendio?
Lendio is a solid company committed to serving the prospects it takes on, even when the prospect is considered high risk. Gouging high-risk borrowers appear to be a common practice in the lending industry, and Lendio ensures that the borrower receives funding in affordable payback terms.
How was your experience with your Lendio rep?
Sandro Femia was very friendly and respectful, with a good sense of humor. However his persistence in working with a high-risk borrower to obtain funding even though it took six weeks is a strong indicator that he is not working just for a paycheck, but to genuinely help prospects in potential distress.
Would you recommend Lendio to a friend?
Lendio would be recommended to any friend looking for a business loan, in a heartbeat.
What general business advice do you have for other small business owners?
The main lesson learned from business school is the importance of ethics. Studies have shown that generally, the longest lasting companies are the companies that promote stellar ethical business practices such as; transparent pricing which includes fair market value considerations, following through on commitments, acknowledging mistakes, honoring warranties and guarantees without unnecessary red tape, and always treating your business contacts with respect via written or verbal communication. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Take on only enough business that you can handle, and take on only enough debt that you can honor in good faith. In conclusion, understand your own and your company’s; strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Know Thyself.