Starting a Small Business (Real Case)

One of the things that excites me the most about managing this blog is receiving amazing stories of entrepreneurs in many places that have found here a word of encouragement to start a small business or when they seek to make it grow.

Discovering the tenacity, effort and courage of many men and women who resist being employed for their entire lives is something that truly rewards our efforts.

And as a sample, today I share with you the inspiring story of José Ríos that will surely motivate you to keep going:


Let me tell you that I am Venezuelan living in Mexico City, and blessed be God that I come to a country with infinite opportunities, where you just have to find a niche to exploit, contrary to my country where the possibilities of carrying out ventures are closing every time more.

The fact is that in Mexico, commercial establishments can no longer continue to deliver any type of plastic bag to their customers due to all the known damage it causes to the environment.

As a result of this government decision, the large supermarket chains have already begun to sell in their establishments a bag of biodegradable material made of polypropylene or Non Woven, which until now would be one of the options that would replace plastic bags. These bags that are being sold by the aforementioned supermarket chains are manufactured in China, however, here in Mexico and that type of fabric is beginning to be manufactured, I deduce that entrepreneurs in the textile sector see here a great potential for medium and long-term business term.

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As for me, I tell you that I was curious to detail the Chinese product and came to the conclusion that I could make that bag trying to achieve the chinese product quality and even overcome it. The first thing I did was place some ads on 3 free portals offering the bags, I was doing it to all of these without having a machine, or a seamstress, or the minimum capital to make them, but I threw the challenge.

Wanted to probe the market out of curiosity. I tell you that the receptivity of people and companies looking for these exchanges has been very great, taking as a reference the e-mails I have received requesting quotes. After 1 month of publishing the announcements and having sent many quotes, the first client appeared, interested in 100 modest bags, even printed. In the same week, another interested in making 200 bags appeared and the requests for quotes did not stop arriving.

I tell you that today there are already several companies or people manufacturing these bags but they do not accept orders of less than 3000 bags. I humbly thought of serve that market niche that you need 100, 200, 500, 1000 bags and that is not served by these companies. At the same time I tell you that I still don’t have a sewing machine, but by virtue of the situation and the lack of resources I thought about the type of manufacturing known as maquila.

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Although it is true perhaps in my case it would not be a maquila in every sense of the word, what I am doing is that once the client accepts the price and the conditions that I have offered, I request an advance of 50% and I go to a store (for now) and buy the meters of fabric I need, I cut it myself on the table in my house using a pattern previously made in cardboard and once I have all the parts of the bags cut out, I deliver it to A seamstress to do the sewing work and if the client wants them printed, then I take them to a screen printer to do their printing work.

This is the mechanic that I have used with the first few clients that I have had, however, by virtue of the potential that I see in this business I am already thinking about how to handle larger volume orders, because I reiterate I do not have a great capital to invest. I tell you that the net profit margin of each bag is in the order of 30% and as you well know it will look very interesting when it comes to large volume orders.

I tell you all this story so that you have an idea of ​​what my business is about and the potential that I see in the short, medium and long term of businesses that have to do with protecting the environment.

Receive my cordial greetings and my thanks to you, because it was from reading your blog that the concern of undertake a project and that it was viable. Everything seems to indicate that this is it.

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Published with permission of José Ríos.

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