Into the World of Small Business;
The dos and don'ts ,Interview of Alcon Construction by Juan Manuel Guajardo
Small Businesses, they make the economy go round. Some will say that to own one is the American Dream, but what is it really like to own and operate one? The following is based on an a personal interview of different aspects of owning your own business. The interview is of Mr. Alfred Guajardo of Alcon Construction; Alcon Construction was a general contractor’s business based in Sacramento, CA around the 1970’s. With just his tools, a contractor’s license, and his knowledge of construction, Alfred was ready to make his contributions to his hometown.
What was the inspiration for Alcon Construction?
Alfred comes from a family of construction workers, it was what his grandfather, father, and brothers did for a living. Therefore feeling as if he should follow the Guajardo legacy, he started by becoming a Journeyman Carpenter. He explained that a Journeyman Carpenter was one who worked as an apprentice for about four years in order to gain experience out in the field of construction. After doing his time as an apprentice, he decided he wanted to get his license, and that he did. “And that’s how it really started, it’s nothing that I had planned” stated Alfred.
The average day at Alcon
The average day for Alfred was, “Getting up early in the morning, trying to have a good breakfast because you know you’re going to have a long day, then just going out and getting to the job at hand, whatever that may be.” Some days when he did not have aconstruction project at the time he would be out in the city or the county looking at bid sheets in order to find out where the work was or maybe catch up on some paperwork. Then if he did have a construction project to work on, they would be the long days because he knew he would have to be hands on and then later work on paperwork.
Why start a small business?
There are a number of reasons to start a small business, but Alfred’s main reason was because he could do things the way he felt that they should be done. “You’re not going to have a boss over your shoulder telling you to do it this way or that way...the boss might have you do it a different way, and he’ll come up with the same product, it’s just that you’re doing it your way” said Alfred. When it comes to construction there are some different ways to do the same job and still produce the same quality, therefore being your own boss allows you to do it the way you prefer. At the same time, this does not just apply to construction, being your own boss is probably the best part of owning any small business.
The downside of a small business
The disadvantage of owning your own business, according to Alfred, is that even after you put in your eight hours, you still have to work. He says, “It might be paperwork, or it might be going out into the field doing some work that you have to catch up on.” Either way, your work is never really done, and sometimes you tend to bring it home with you, which might not always be a good thing. When you become to entangled in the work world you tend to put aside some things that may not affect you now, but could change things in the long run; this goes for any small business owner.
What was the dream for Alcon?
To Alfred, Alcon Construction was like building a large nest egg for his future along with being a part of building Sacramento. “That says a lot to a particular person, that you helped get it to where it’s going and you are a constructive person of the city as it gets bigger and better, and you know that you’re a part of it” His dream was to leave his mark on the city, knowing that his hands were one of many that helped bring it to life. He had actually achieved his goal by later being part of a construction team that restored Old Sacramento. Their job was difficult, but he was up for the challenge; the team had to restore the town in order to look as it did back in the 1800’s.
Alfred’s words of wisdom
Some advice that Alfred would give to someone who is considering becoming an owner of a small business would be to have a plan. “You should definitely have plan B, if plan A doesn’t work that's something to fall back to; now if you feel like you’ve got to have plan C, D, E, and F etc. you’re better off not having a business… If you’ve got to have more than just two plans, you better double or triple think about what you’re doing” explains Alfred. You want to put all of your time and planning into something that you feel confident doing so you can focus all of your attention on that. Another bit of advice from him would be to find and interview someone who has , or had a business. “Find out why this business is successful, find out why this business faltered and didn’t make it, there’s obviously a reason.”Conclusion
To sum up Alfred’s experiences and journey through owning a small business, if you do start a company, you would be “above and beyond just a productive person.” At the end of the day, you are going to help the economy by putting people to work along with giving back to your community. Not only is it beneficial to society, but it also makes you feel good like you have meaning and purpose.
The above Interview was sponsored by "Al the Green Rain Train" an environmental book for children, If you would like to make purchase or read reviews please click on link, Thank You and have a Great Day, Al https://www.amazon.com/Green-Rain-Train-Alfred-Guajardo/dp/145679924X
"Al the Green Rain Train" at Sunnyside Elementary School
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