What services do you offer?
Reseller of industrial and electrical equipment and supplies.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Finding what the needs and/or problems are and solve them surprising expectations. Hearing from the customers that we respond promptly and maintain great communication with them. I know how difficult this can be at times, since I do have to chase my suppliers for updates. We work hard to provide updates before they ask for status.
What inspired you to start your business?
I loved what I did at my job at Siemens Energy. I loved meeting the customers, finding out their issues, and finding immediate or long-term solutions. I love finding the projects and implementing those sales/solutions. When my daughter was born, I was traveling 2-3 weeks a month to see my international customers. I loved what I did, but my little one needed me, and more so when early health issues came about. My mother started having health issues as well, and 3 weeks of vacation time (although I continue being on call), was not enough. The other option was a desk job, but I loved interacting with my customers to know first-hand what they needed. Doing engineering work behind a desk was not fulfilling anymore. I founded Quest Power International, LLC to continue doing what I loved, with the flexibility of working from home if needed, and nights and weekends as needed, to be there for my family and my customers.
What gets you out of bed every morning?
Knowing that I am finally just 5 feet from gold. Everything has been aligned to the point that this business will be successful, but only if I push through these next few months. As soon as I get to the point where the business can sustain my family, my husband can reduce his workload and rely on me. Knowing that what I am doing now, has allowed me to be there for my daughter and my mother which could not had been possible while working for Corporate. And this business must work out. There is no plan b. My parents are older and live in another country. My husband and I had had our daughter at an older age, and every moment with her, my parents and husband counts. This business must succeed soon.
What is your secret to making progress each day?
A weekly and daily to-do list, and always keeping my “why” in my mind.
Tell us one thing people don’t know about you.
I am an introvert that pushes through to be an extrovert.
A typical weekend for me is…
Work on Saturday morning trying to catch up with all paperwork related items. This may take 2 hours or 6. Recently with the office relocation, there has been a lot of paperwork related to that, and many viruses at school and home, trying to be there for my little one, but catching up with work and her schoolwork on the weekends. This has been the ‘new normal’ since September last year.
Pool time with my family. Date night with my husband or movie night with the family. Spending time with our neighbors and their little ones. School birthday parties every other weekend it seems (this last 3 months has been every weekend). Church on Sundays and spend time with family when they come to town (my grown up step kids, in-laws or my family from Ecuador).
What will people get from your business that they won’t get anywhere else?
They will get me and my team. We are problem solvers and very customer oriented. When we don’t have a solution, we guide the customer to where they can find it, when possible. We always try to bring value to our customers. More than just being a transactional relationship, we work on building a trust relationship. Our goal is to make our customers (buyers) look good within their organization.
Have you won any awards or had any special recognition or acknowledgement of your business?
No we have not yet.
What are your plans for the future of your business?
To grow the company, in number of employees and sales. To have a repeated process to bring sales that can easily scale the growth. I want to continue with this business for 10 more years, and then either sell it or pass it to my family.
What’s your secret talent no one knows about?
I think it might be undiagnosed OCD or something similar to it. When I can’t find an easy solution, I obsess trying to find many ways to resolve a problem. Most of the time it works on my favor, some times it is hard to let go and know that I can not resolve the problem though.
What did you want to be when growing up?
I wanted to be an air force pilot.
What is your favorite thing to do in the wonderful area of Central Florida?
It was riding my bicycle for hours during the weekend. It has not been possible in recent years with my little being little and the workload, but I am making a point to start doing that this summer (early in the day though before it gets too hot). Doing road trips to the towns around Orlando for the day to visit for no reason or attend farmer’s markets, music festivals, strawberry picking in places like Sandford, Mount Dora, Saint Augustine, St. Pete, Cocoa Village Lake Nona, etc. I love being a forever tourist in Central Florida, since I moved here 30 years ago.
What would people never guess you do in your role?
Bookkeeping. I love numbers as an engineer… I do not like accounting numbers.
What do you love most about your industry?
The resources are endless, the market is huge enough for everyone to share a piece, and the relationships with other entrepreneurs in the Federal Contracting world. What you think would be your competitors, are always there to help. One thing I hear and say a lot too is “if I am going to lose a bid/project, I would rather go to someone I know.” I am humbled by the amount of help I received from “competitors”
How have you advanced professionally since starting your business?
Yes. I have learned to be a manager when resources are low. It is easy to contract some one when working in the corporate world, because they can in most cases afford great salaries. When being a manager for a small business and you want to retain talent with limited resources, it makes you dig deeper into what you can provide that would help them personally with the resources available. I have also learned about delegating and that I cannot do everything alone. On the same token, this whole process has made me look really deep into what my weaknesses are, so that I can delegate those tasks. Trying to do them myself (i.e. bookkeeping is one at the moment), can only hold me back from bringing business with the skills that are my strengths. It is a continuous work in progress though.