Our startups stories now bring us Locativas Express, a Colombian startup that proposes different alternatives to fix things at home. We talked to its creator, architect Juan Carlos Alvarez Molina, who shared details related to the birth of this idea, the startup’s main achievements and future plans.
When was Locativas Express founded? What was its objective?
I spent many years working as an architect in big and medium size projects, but I had never thought about small elements or modifications. The idea for Locativas Express came up in the early days of 2014, when I was just married. The apartment where I was living with my wife needed some small improvements and modifications, but I never worked on them due to the lack of time, so that was a reason for us to argue several times. And yes, she was right, it was an illogical situation because I’m an architect and I was doing nothing on that matter. That was when I thought about the importance of having a company that could deal with these things and make people’s life easier. After I got divorced, the project gained momentum and became a reality, step by step.
How does Locativas Express work?
Locativas Express basically works as a daily maintenance problem solver at home and companies. We take care of such small emergency cases as leaks or short circuits, as well as more-complex remodeling works.
Our customers generally contact us to request some emergency technical service or schedule an appointment if remodeling works are required.
We recently began to offer home assistance service so, for an annual subscription, we deal with unexpected damages or emergencies.
How do people contact this startup and how long do you take to respond?
They can contact us by phone, email and through our social network profiles (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). We immediately respond to any request and take care of emergency cases the same day we’re contacted. As for remodeling, we schedule appointments within the next 24 hours. The quotations are emailed within 24 hours after the visit. On the other hand, we’re working on a mobile app so the customers can ask for our services.
Which have been the main results of Locativas Express?
The utmost outcome has been the progressive modification of the informality culture that prevails in this sphere. Our business model offers customers tranquility, guarantee, safety and confidence; aspects that are not provided by informal companies. It’s been an arduous and constant process, but we have to work hard to make it a prevailing standard, thus shedding professionalism on this trade and making it more competitive.
Plans for this year?
We look forward to keeping on positioning the brand and setting bases for a national expansion process in 2017.
What do you make of the startup system in Colombia?
Fortunately, the enterprising environment is very positive in Colombia, so it has become a nearly viral phenomenon. Nowadays, everything is set for many entrepreneurs to materialize their projects, and those who are already on the right track can strengthen their startups with the eyes focused on a post-conflict era. With the country in peace, we’ll have the opportunity to be more competitive and grow beyond our imagination.
What would be your piece of advice for other startups?
– Innovate: Everything can be improved despite nearly everything has been already invented.
– Believe: Being described as insane for your enterprising spirit is a good symptom and even praise.
– Persevere: The road to launch a startup is not easy, but all goals can be achieved with tons of perseverance.
But the most important piece of advice is: don’t be afraid of a slow growth. That was my biggest mistake at the beginning. Trying to hit a homerun in the first pitch is a suicide move.
LOCATIVAS EXPRESS ON SOCIAL NETWORKS