Ana Lilia Zertuche was born in a family of 9; from an early age, they were inspired to be business and entrepreneurship oriented. Her parents, as well as their children, have been active in the business world, and today most of them are business people.
Beside her natural sense of entrepreneurship, negotiation and business, she also has a passion for design. The use of her creativity in business has given her the ability to detect business opportunities where few see them, as well as to innovate in the way she does business.
She tells us about her last startup, born from a desire of showing housewives how to generate an income as a way of complementing their home economics. But, above this, the focus was creating an infrastructure that would allow a parent to work from home and have more quality time with the family, thus strengthening family ties.
Her source of inspiration and knowledge in business are her forefathers, mainly. Later on in life, the challenge of being able to offer her daughter the best education possible, stirred in her enough motivation to establish higher goals for herself.
She currently leads a gift retailer business, with the exclusive distribution in her country of a construction toy.
As far as the purpose of a startup, in her perspective, it is not always exclusively economic. Besides being able to make a living of it, is having a team of collaborators that can make the business work and grow without depending directly on the entrepreneur. Another objective is being able to give back to society part of the large or small revenue of the business. There is no real success without blessing others.
Her market varies, from housewives who distribute the gifts, to retail traders and toy shops. Her ultimate dream is developing the business to the capacity of making major commercial chains her customers.
The greatest obstacle she has faced is not knowing the market, which she has had to discover on the go, by trial and error. She has also faced hurdles in importing goods, which has slowed down and increased the cost of the maturing process. Another challenge has been training her work team.
She considers the greatest setback she has faced is having selected inadequate technology platforms for managing her business. It wasn’t until they sat down with the service provider that they became real partners. Today, she can say they can access all the information in real time.
How she achieved success
Her entrepreneurial success lies in the attributes she has developed -visionary, persistent, dedicated, seeking excellence in everything. Customer service is always a priority to her.
The greatest satisfaction from her current business is having her product in large companies just 6 months after the introduction of the product in her country, and only 12 months after launching her business.
She promotes her products through tools such as social media, Facebook and Constant Contact, as well as in specialized trade fairs.
Her short term goal is to take her product to every city in Mexico. The most important challenge she will face is to continue doing what they are doing, as she considers they are on the right track.
She is currently in the process of implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, which will improve internal communication as well as getting to know their customers, everything focused on giving them a better service.
What’s her advice for you?
Her word of advice for entrepreneurs is, “Don’t give up. The beginning is always full of risk. Yet persistence and dedication are always rewarded.”
She shares that, during startups, failure and error -no matter how small- are greater teachers than the many years spent in college.
To those wanting to start a business, she would like to say that the first step is always the hardest. “You must throw your backpack to the other side of the river. The next step is going to get it. Once you have an idea, it is important to start talking about a pre-launch or partial launch, and set a date soon. This produces enough pressure to get you started. After, there is always a process of improvement.”
Go CoOpe is a very good source of support, where knowledge and practical tools are made available to help an entrepreneur, whatever the stage of his venture. She recommends taking advantage of the learning opportunities from those more experienced in business, at the Go CoOpe meetups, seminars and courses.
In her opinion, every entrepreneur should get to know the My GoCoOpe App and take advantage of the free trial week. It is a great opportunity to evaluate if this is a tool that could help the business owner, and enable them to make an informed decision.