In the family
Mario Jimenez has worked in the auto-painting industry for over 30 years. Twenty years ago, the Jimenezes started their own auto paint-and-body shop. In the last year, their daughter Sylvia and son-in-law Steve have become an integral part of Complete Paint and Body CARSTAR Collision Center.
The Jimenezes pride themselves on exceptional, quality work and customer service. Their goal is to make their clients’ experience as pleasant as possible to relieve the stress brought on by a fender bender or worse. “We take our motto seriously: ‘Relax, we’ll take it from here.’”
We managed to get Mario to take a few minutes out of a busy day to answer a few questions about Complete.
The numbers: Founded in 1990; 10 employees.
Why did you strike out on your own, Mario? Working in the auto painting industry for years, I always knew I could improve the systems that my employer used. The ability to determine the methods and craft the outcome continues to be the challenge I most enjoy.
Elements of success: In order to get and keep the loyalty and trust of your customers, you must be honest. It binds you together. Challenges in a business are the norm. The way you handle them makes you successful. Being resourceful allows you to deal with challenges in a productive way. Being an entrepreneur sounds glamorous, and it can be. More often though, it is hard work! Those of us that are successful understand the sacrifices that must be made to succeed. Being able to work hard is a must.
Inspirational book: In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters.
Best advice you have received: From my mother, Gloria Aldana. She taught me at an early age that you must believe in yourself. The world can be a hard place, but your conviction must be strong in yourself and your goal if you are to succeed.
Favorite aspect of owning a small business: I enjoy the daily challenges and problem solving. It keeps me involved in the details, which I enjoy.
Important milestone: Our recent merger with CARSTAR. It positions us with larger companies while keeping our independence.
If I could do it all over again … I would have left the corporate world earlier. Sometimes taking the first step in a different direction can be difficult, but the path you make can be amazing.
Advice to other entrepreneurs: Be as prepared as possible. Find out everything you can in the business. Be passionate about it. Always give 110-percent effort. Do not get discouraged. Not everyone will have your vision; keep your eye on your dream!
Plans for the future: Our plan is to slowly diminish our role in the business. Our daughter and son-in-law have given us the freedom to participate as we wish. With this freedom, we plan to enjoy the grandkids, play more golf and travel!