Transforming Your Online Presence featuring American Factory Wheel (DH 012)


welcome to digital hospitality. I'm your host Sean Walsh Up. This is a Cowley tally. BBQ Media Production. Today we are onsite at American factory. We'll with the owner founder hosts way casillas was also a friend and somebody that I have nothing but respect for someone that took an idea almost twenty years ago from a garage and built it into what he's built into today which is American factory. We'll we just did a behind the scenes episode which is available on Youtube We always do a behind the scenes episode with our podcast guests. But we got to learn more about your business which we appreciate a- and Thank you for for hosting US here at your new location in Santee welcomed a digital hospitality. Thank you appreciate it. Thanks for coming absolutely I think One of the most most important things if this is the first time you're tuned into the show digital hospitality is. It's a thesis. It's something that were trying to find. Every single week. Businesses leaders brands personalities people that are approaching life and business in a way. That's focused on the Internet. That's focused on the phone but focused on making an impact and changing not just their business but their industry. And that's why I'm so excited to have a conversation with you today. You you have not just moved your business. But you've transformed your business in what you do on Yelp what you do on instagram. What you do on twitter what you do on on facebook and you're always trying to push the envelope and more specifically your website? I know that you've invested heavily on getting all of the the inventory that you have as a shop a small business on line so that people can find it. Why was that so important? Well we we need a presence. Obviously I mean That's why you're here today. This is my first podcast and Kinda saw what you were doing with the Kelly comfort and I was very impressed with The amount of followers receive gained over the last You know months and just having media presence is Is a big deal so with that you know. The website is important. Switching our our business into e commerce business It's to future so I mean I couldn't I mean obviously I couldn't agree with you more at something that as a small business owner we all know and we all see every single day our wives the people in our lives of people. We Love our children. Everyone's on their phone right and we know that no matter what business were in. We need to be discoverable on the phone and whether that's on facebook whether that's on instagram whether that's on Yelp elp whether that's through Google search whether that's through Alexa no matter what it is if we don't show up where people are then it's going to be very difficult to do business in the next five years in the next ten years for sure so again. Having that media is huge and something. I'm very much committed to do You know starting now. So I'm excited man I'm so excited pumped up just to be here with you and Your team and It starting on this. New Journey of social media marketing is media marketing. And I think that's that's important too. Is You know it's crazy because we opened our business in two thousand and eight restaurant and that was at a time where I thought facebook was a joke. You know I always tell people I make fun of my my business partner. At the time Corey Robinson one of my friends knows in my wedding and a love him dearly his real estate business but I made fun of him for being on facebook like he was already being made fun of him. Like I would poke fun of him. Like oh like you just trying to pick up chicks. Yeah like that's what I saw facebook share. We're trying to run a restaurant. Like what are you doing screwing around on the yeah. That'll yeah but then when we were struggling and trying to get people to come into our restaurant we opened in spring valley which is a part of town that most people told us do not it opened up a desire and I realized that marketing was something I had to do. Whatever was possible to get people to come into the restaurant yet whether that was showing? NFL Sunday ticket with other was showing fight night whether that was showing you know mlb package no matter what happened. We had to get people to come in. How do I tell people that we have those rice? I had to start learning about the Internet in ways that I I didn't go to school for the I didn't learn how to do any of that facebook was it's one of the first platforms and I'm like well okay. You can create a business page. Maybe we should create a business page. Maybe I should post that. Were hosting the fight on facebook and to think for the last eleven years we've created something where social media all these different platforms. Every day is business. Owners were hopefully hopefully posting content to those platforms right but we don't own those platforms right. We don't so what can we do now in two thousand nineteen and moving forward go to continue to obviously publish on those platforms but also publish on our own website right so that that content so that when people are coming they're coming to find us and they're coming to buy directly from you right. Yeah no I think that's something which I'm so impressed if you've taken the investment to build your website the way that you have because because it's mobile friendly right was important Again I mean just. It's funny because what you said about The facebook thing I've always seen facebook can Instagram and and you know I see people like you know. They're constantly posting on there and stuff and to be quite honest with you. It's kind kind of annoying right. You almost WANNA start deleting people you know what I'm saying and But then you know and then it just clicked in me not too long ago. I'm like wait. This is what we need to be doing right now. It's it's important for us to have this presence and be consistent with this presence On social the media And you know with content like you said so The website is a big part of that It's not completely done yet but we're well on our away and I definitely see the You know the big picture on what we need to do with media and you know e commerce website and being on Ebay and just trying to tap into everything you can possibly try to get into every platform Everything I mean we. We need to get in everywhere so important. Yeah I think you know it's one of those things when you start to realize okay. Well I want to have a website where just just process a restaurant. I WanNa make sure that we have photos for every single menu item. That were offered. Yeah I can't tell you how many restaurant websites you go to and you go there in the menus not updated Brian or the hours are incorrect or the contact is yeah you know. It's a broken link. That stuff is very frustrating as a customer customer and I know for you. It becomes a daunting task when you have as many inventory items. Do you have that needed to get onto their website. Well the the thing is is like you know wheels have been around. Oem Wheels has been around since the early one thousand nine hundred when the card got invented pretty much spleen Oso Amit am is original equipment manufactured. It's what comes on your car when you buy from the dealership Now you have the option of going to tire shops and changing them out and get the spinners and you're talking apparently aren't a thing but for rapid yeah is stock is just stock stuff and trying to put as much Imon Tori into the website. It's very challenging and It's an everyday job So it's been difficult quote. I mean it's been eighteen years in the makings And so we're here. We're website the website is up and running now. How many websites domains do you have? I probably Ali have seven to ten different seven to ten different domain because our confused son of honest to God truth And we have two parts to our business and it's one of the things that I struggle with is. How do you market both of them when they're actually There's really two businesses. You know How do you how do you market that into one where the repair business is more of a local thing? And then the distribution of wheels. It's more of a nationwide nationwide thing. It's it's just it's a hard thing to do. What's the percentage between those two the actually fifty fifty degrees? Yeah it's crazy so again. The repairs is that we can control the local scene And so that's where it becomes challenging trying to mix both businesses in marketed. Get it so. That's the hard part marketing this business as one so yeah I think you know that's something that's so important and you know what I appreciate any small business owners. It's like when we understand that we don't have all the answers you know it's like I. I'm so lucky that I have people that recommend books to me. And you know story brand by Donald Miller which we've talked about on this podcast highly recommend the bright. But it's about clarifying your message right and even if you have two different businesses. How do you clarify? You're you're the third the person that's actually brought up the name of that book you have to And so cast. I just haven't read it but I need to her. Yeah and back to the story bandits. It's about clarifying your message especially online because attention spans are short. We all have short attention spans. But back to what you're saying is it is easy to fall into the trap where you see people that are posting a lot and you go exactly that like why like that's annoying. Why are you posting? But once you realize that when you're your top of mind to a customer you don't know where potential customer might come now for sure. Yeah you know and I think that's the real shift in dynamics of what's happening with small all businesses. We don't know if somebody's GonNa find us at the local hockey game you know we don't know if someone's GonNa find us because somebody has to cater. Are there yet holiday party. We have to always be figuring out ways to produce content for the Internet right but do it in a way that it is true to who we are right. You know if somebody chooses not to follow us. That's that's totally up to them. But if we're not where people want to be then that becomes our a problem right. Yeah and I think that's something that you know for you. You're in a business. That's typically seen as a business business right right where you're typically making gene relationships with auto repair shops. CF relationships built your business which was relationships that they referred you. Yes so somebody would get into an accident. They go to their autobahn. Their insurance sends them to a specific auto body shop. That auto body shop says. Hey I need this wheel right. Let's call American factory. Yeah that's exactly how it is. Yeah when did you find out that you also had instead of just a business to business you had a business business to consumer Because of Yelp I mean honestly. It's we've always been set up to be a wholesale business you know like you said relationships Asian ships and with you know the the retailers But because of Yelp I guess it's just something that just kind of fell in my lap happen really forced me to consider that stream of revenue more. And you almost one hundred reviews that are a five star reprise. Yeah which means you took that platform seriously. Yeah I yelp is something that typically has business owners you go. Oh well I mean I know. There's a significant amount of restaurant owners that ignore you because they don't like what's being written about the crazy it's crazy it's crazy because it's a platform platform for people that are looking for food but not only looking for food. Now yelp is expanded to all different types of rice so if you own a gardening business you can request a quote if you want if you own any type of business and you don't yell there's a problem correct. You know you're kind of you're taking yourself herself out out the picture here. I mean it's just ridiculous when you don't have subtype of social media or you know presence and you can do it for free you can claim your business back and we're free and other causes formation minutes it takes you and that's the crazy thing thing is not only does it take you a few minutes to set up at once. You set that up. You realize oh I already have the information that I need to set up my google business page right so now I can go when transfer that information so all these different plots so once we do one thing you know it kind of leads you to do others and Social Media and it's just an ongoing join thing but yeah and I think you know for me watching people own their business on Yelp. It's such an empowering thing because that's just it's one on platform but it's like you said it it triggers you to know. Hey I need to update this like. Hey maybe I should update my instagram account and like you started posting more on Instagram Graham. And now you're AB testing targeted out. Another thing you get from those yelp reviews a battery review can actually be a good review. Yes I mean because constructive criticism right so you grab that and you know you you fix what needs to be fixed that at Your Business S.. And so yeah it's important to Chewy. I love that you have doug friendly business. We're always down with dog friendly family businesses. What's up Julie? I saw that he doesn't like the male hates them. So I've had George Rico Rico creative he was on behind the smoke back in the day and something. We always talk about their tours. All Abe always is be brandon. I know that you use George for graphic design so much. Why do you make that decision? I mean George just knowing him on a personal personal level but also he's got mad skills what he's able to what he's been able to do with Sandiego bowl complex Out of his garage really in his back back of his car and businesses. Yeah I love it bootstrap. Yeah it's a great story in Georgia's GonNa do well if he keeps doing what he's doing. But I've learned so much so so much from George on branding right so He's the one that ran done. Everything for us. Really are graphic designs and flyers postcards you know the smallest envelopes and postcards and social media. Now he's doing our social media ads and stuff and So yeah I I I love Jordan's from I think it's important you know for business owners to new you have. If you don't care about the brand you don't care about the logo. Oh how can you expect your employees to buy into right like how can you expect the culture to be proud of where you were. You know one of the things. When Korean I started called- comfort was like we cared so much about taking the time for the name of the business but also the logo behind it because that was going to be in our gear? That's what we're GONNA wear. That's what we're going to represent represent as and when someone is out. We have a server that goes out to Costco on the other side of the county and they see somebody else wearing a CALICO shirt like they automatically have a connection. Yeah that's pretty marketing. It's free marketing connection. And then they're part of the store you know and I think that's something that George has done an incredible the job not just helping us because he's done multiple projects helping us with behind the smoke logo but also Kelly BBQ media and obviously what he's done with American factory. We'll I need when I came. I've never today's the first day I've been to your new location literally. You have signs every year almost a marquee Out in the front. Yeah but that gives you that sense of then you know that this business takes their brand seriously right because brand is the only thing right. That is going to separate you from somebody else. It's all about branding and it's about branding but it's also about you right because you as a business owner are the man behind the man Ryo and you started this in your garage. I did why how I just said. We're going into that story. Oh Yeah I want it. So people people need people need to know that whatever their dreams are in their hopes are that entrepreneurs every single day struggle but it started somewhere right it did did so af w started in two thousand and one And it was just you know I was struggling. I had just left a job And then went to another job and then another job and Kinda was just bouncing around And my friends Scott who worked for One of the big tire shops here in San Diego. And you know he's he's a real good friend of mine You know he called me one day and said come over the house. I want out of This tire company company I have a plan for us. I wasn't working at the time I had just moved out of my parent's house at Twenty eight years old. Well Yeah I mean you know I. I was at home helping out. The family really stepped up. His steps does and so now I'm unemployed and You know living in this house with four or other roommates and stuff and So I go over to Scott's house and he he comes up with the idea of Buying use RIMS And he asked me that day days that how much money do you have right. And so I said I don't have any money and So he said he was going to pull some of his. 401K Out and if I can just kind of grab some money you know whatever I can get and I. I told him I think I can get about five grand. I'll have to ask my mom right so that's kind of how it started and So from there I went out and started buying us. Rams and stuff and Had them in my garage. Where were you buying from Just tire shops you. You know just because I was in the tire industry so I knew people in the game and stuff and so just going to these tire shops and saying hey I'm going to You know I I need to buy your use use ramps and so they were selling them to me and you knew there was a market for it or were you doing it. In hopes that there was a market for well. There was another guy that was doing it and he was doing really really well with it. I kind of felt that we can tap into that market since there was nobody else doing it. One guy was doing it locally. So what happened. Is You know next to you. Know I have You know a hundred rooms in my garage. My my roommates are all pissed off because to them. It's junk it is it is you got all these goals. Business and Scott never went through You never. He never left the tire company when he was working with. And I kind of just kept going with it and So yeah next to you know I had you know two hundred thousand rooms inside of a house and now they're making making their way out to the backyard and the side of the house in the living room and by that time. My roommates want out of the house. They don't want to be part of this. They can bring girls over or any more. It's not cool anymore. So that's kind of where started. Yeah when did the next. So when does it go from a home business to actual I getting a lease so during that reading all the fun all the all the nitty nitty gritty. funston right. So during that time We were going. I was going through some personal stuff at home and stuff and I told you this story I shared with you before for My Dad had just checked himself into a A wreath at home. He was struggling with With drug addictions and stuff and so it was a it was a tough time for us. And you know the business had just started and stuff and so during that same the time My sister had an aneurysm So we were going to some serious. Life's life things right I like my older persist or my younger sister. Only have one sister but yeah solemn and you know she almost lost her life from it and So the business with just something I needed to do For for the family you know for the family. Just something I I had to Make Work and I had no doubt that You know There's something going to come of it. I just didn't realize to what extent you know. Yeah when your sister had that tough experience how how are you there to help her. Well I mean I was like they're just being there for her at the hospital and Just helping her go through the whole recovery process and Her having learned how to walk again how to talk again how to ride again. And all these basic life things that you you know that we take for granted everyday and she had to learn all that stuff and So it was tough but at the same time while I had my dad rehab. I had my sister going through this. I was growing the business out of the house My roommates bounced out on me right so they took off literally like overnight. And so I'm stuck out At home home with a bunch of rams and I couldn't just get up and leave like they did so what I did is I asked my mom if I can bring the rims over to the house right and she said absolutely not she said I Here's so then I started driving around you know mission valley and and whatnot and came across Our first warehouse which which was Eight hundred square feet and I remember signing the least for that thing Just counting how many rooms I had to sell to make you know that payment For for the warehouse and stuff and so that's how we ended up in Mission Valley And it was just you just me at the time. My brother was just out of high school so so then he came You know why asked him to help me out a little bit but he ended up and now he's been here for close to nineteen years yes he asked me out for a couple hundred years later years. Yep Yep so that's kind of how it happened. It's incredible and then I mean that's part of the thing that I've always loved about doing. The podcast is that people get to understand that no matter what they're doing the path breath is never. It's never an easy path now. There's so many different things that happen. Not just in the business but outside of the business you know you had family emily yet your father you had your sister. You had all this the way to the world on your strider but you knew your heart that you had to keep pushing through. I did you know. Keep pushing through. I mean how many different times did you feel like. Maybe I should just close doors. Never cracks never never. You wouldn't have been open. I think about it now. Only think of all this weight on my shoulders and just kind of feeling like McKay. Sometimes maybe it's time for me to walk away but then I have my family. I mean I still take care of my mom. I Still Take Care of my dad. My you know have all my employees that Half families and it's just it's hard to walk away from it. Well it's hard to walk away but it's also I think one of the most exciting parts to what you and I have discussed and that's were there's never been a time ever in history where a small business owner can have as much impact as we can have right now right 'cause of digital because of the phone as of the things that we can do not just for our business but for industry in ways that have never been done before. Yep You know literally people no matter what industry what business you're in you have an opportunity to share things things and give information and tips and secrets away that before you'd have to go to school to do or you'd have to have a mentor to do you. Now you can do it in a podcast. You can do it over Youtube. You can do it in so many different ways but you can do it in ways that a rising tide lifts all ships so it's is not just oh you competing against another business. That does the same business that you do. It's how do we all as business owners do something different. Yeah you you know and make an impact because I mean you talked about industry events right things that happen in your industry where I mean we on behind the smoke we talked about when we go to podcast movement were National Barbecue Association. The things that compel us things things that make us want to improve our business are always people that are pushing the envelope and people that are doing things differently. And Steve Jobs ops think different right apple. Yeah what are what kind of things do you WanNa do differently for your business and your industry. It's such a competitive additive market. You know the automotive industry is so competitive And like I was telling you not too long ago. I was one of the things that I'm so impressed with Kelly. Only Comfort is the way you've been able to embrace other barbecue businesses and and share their stories or share their businesses or refer their business even to others right and so. I think that's something that I really love on how you did that with your business. And it's something definitely that I'm about as well so kind of sharing and referring and I mean there's enough money out there for everyone So yeah just just you know embracing competition embracing our competitors And and just being part of the industry as one sure yeah and I think I I mean that's a great discussion point. Is that you. You are a member of pro football fan associated and I think that's something that their ideals which are our fellowship. Sportsmanship and charity are things that I've always admired about you. and which is why. I'm so privileged that I was nominated by a you and Alvarez and Johnny Bull Pride and soup and D to become part of that organization but it's thirty two. NFL Fan bases that are all support. Each Other and the thing thing that we love we shouldn't have slide business sportsmen and charity and that's giving back and you know you never meet people like the leaders leaders in that organization that cares much as they do about their community in ways that it's for the owner. You know Steve Tape from the packers. It's not about the packers. Being the best he cares about every single race. You know until you go to Green Bay Lambofield and you feel the love that every every single one of those fans has for the visiting team I mean I remember going there with Scott. My cousin we went I think as far as last year and I had never been more impressed with the fan base of people that just wanted to talk about football right. It wasn't about talking about how bad the chargers were or how they were gonNA kick harass it was about talking about. Let's talk about fellowship. And why don't you come here and have a brought worst. Why don't you come here and you know? Just enjoy in robbery and Joyce for sure for sure so the whole like you said just being around all those people and the PF UFA has really elite taught me a lot of things as well and had a had a fellowship that goes on and These you know meet ups and gatherings and stuff often through social media just seeing Other fans from other teams and what they do with their communities and How they embrace you know a a team? That's coming in their fans and everything else and you grab that and and just apply to your business. I mean it's it's pretty awesome. It's it's so I'm very thankful for for PFA for sure on to me. A few things. without them even knowing about my business and how I should maybe apply some of those things to Af w. and you got elected to pro football fan association but then you became the NFL road warrior right. How Tell me about Alvarez Alvarez somebody that whole check check check check hold a special place in both of our hearts Kind of as the leader Godfather a bolt pride. The reason that he's one of the reasons why you and I have become so so such close friends. Yes so Alvarez is the glue to all of us I mean he's the reason why you know and Why we all met in the first place And so- Alvarez has Just he's just just a great. I look great dude man. He's The way he brings everyone together as one. It's pretty amazing. On how consistent he is with at the two phone calls after phone calls. Yeah it was just like Oh salvaged again. It's two o'clock and But yeah I mean I think one of the one of the most important things about PFA but also just about people that tailgate and we talked about this this before the podcast started recording. Is that like when you have tailgating in your blood you know vet that person no matter what will be there and if you say five. Am I am. That person will be there at four forty five. That's out those. Are The people that no matter what you know. We talked about. Scott Kaplan we've had on the PODCAST and back from the chargers. Were we're here and when mighty ten ninety would do remote location during the playoffs and Scott would ask. Who would he call? He would call Alvarez Alvarez Alvarez people he says I need some people over here five in the morning and sure enough Alvarez would call you and we're call Johnny Bolt Pride but those are the types types of call to action no matter what being there and being on time and being part of that fellowship being part of that Camaraderie. That is so important. And I found that you know the more than I've incorporated that into our business and what I've seen you do as well is that it's not. Oh Oh this is my personal life and this is my business life like this is my life and this is who I and this is your colleague and I'm fortunate that my wife my wife and my son and my daughter they're going to be a part of it as well right you know. They are a part of it. They let me do crazy. Shit that I do. Yeah go off the festivals. Lucky and life is amazing. As well you know she supports your dreams and your passions Russian's. Yeah what what do you see for the next stage for American factory wheels. What do you what do you want to accomplish in two thousand twenty so our next step yep is again just going back to the website is Being able to actually turn the website in two cells and And moving the whole business over or or you know. A A percentage of the business over to An ECOMMERCE Y- And so that's kind of my focus right now is just getting the website to actually work. Mark sure yeah to generate the sailing as you want to generate thousands. That's great and I think you know one of the things that were so excited to see his just wind win. Somebody like yourself a business. Owner business leader makes a commitment to create content. Right the possibilities these are endless right because storytelling and sharing what you do how you do it. I mean the fact that you know you let our team blew vision in behind the scenes stover. WHO's up in Portland is going to be able to write a blog post about your business and how you're making an impact? The possibilities are uh-huh I just wanted to be part of what you're doing. I respect you my brother at nine I respect for anyone that starts business in their garage. That list list lifts the story. And I mean what you've done for your family which we didn't get into you shared with me personally. I have so much respect for you as a mayor. Thank you and I know as somebody. That's also sober years and I congratulate you on your one year so so you've done a much better job in sharing that on facebook and instagram. Better than I have. Yeah I've shared it on this. PODCAST obviously alcoholics. Sports bar owner are. That's a recovery. That also goes to meetings in my bar. I've got two meetings a week in my car but Why spread even porter through just clarity? You know just clear is full hearts. Yeah every evening I mean to sobriety has really Changed my life is crazy to say but it really has just You know having a clear vision of what I WANNA do with the shop in my life in my marriage with my family And all my relationships you know It's just gave me that and it. It cleared everything all Josh. I can't thank you enough brother. It's been It's been so awesome. Just watching from Afar Arbat. Now you know letting us in sharing your story and I'm so excited to watch you. Change Change into so many people are going to be reaching out to you. This is the beginning. This is just to be the beginning. I know we haven't even started yet. which is the most exciting part Working People you they can find us at eighty seven forty forty five North Magnolia in the city of San Jose California or on all US Ramsey dot com and then instagram instagram instagram or handle is a FW underscore oem wheels and on twitter. Same handles w underscore AF wheels. That's perfect and and More on facebook as well facebook American factory wheel. We're GONNA put all those links and the show notes. Stover does an incredible job. Make sure to check out the show notes but also subscribe subscribe. Tell tell your friends about the podcast. And subtracted the Youtube Channel. We appreciate you brother thank. You can't wait twenty twenty my man breath

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