My name is Santiago Arbeláez. I am Colombian. I migrated to Miami in 2006, April 2006.
I am an economist and I came with the intention of creating a career here, to look for new opportunities. And fortunately, we have achieved it. It has been a process; first working in private banking, worked for American and European institutions learning the investment business, and in 2014 I decided to open my own investment firm.
Looking at several opportunities for my clients to invest in the United States in a safe and profitable way, I came across The Spot Barbershop. I started doing an analysis of what my clients’ investment would be like, what would be the possible income flows and returns and it was quite tempting.
So much so that I got directly involved with the corporation. We started to see business opportunities together and in the end I decided to become a partner of the company. We have been together since the beginning of 2015. It has been two significant years in my career as an investor and as a business developer.
We currently have five locations open. We are employing about 50 people which has been very important for me from the point of view of entrepreneurship. I have always wanted to generate business opportunities that benefit many people and little by little it has been achieved.
The Spot Barbershop is a partnership of six people. Two Hondurans, who are the Perdomo brothers who started the business in 2001. We are two people from Colombia; the girl named Diane Hernández, she is our designer and I am the corporate part. It has been a very interesting job to change this business from a point of view of an urban concept, to something much more corporate.
The Spot Barbershop I think is a great investment opportunity for international individuals because it is a very easy business to manage. It does not require any specialization of service or technology.
This has been a service that has been in humanity for over 100 years and we believe it will continue for another 100 years easily. The barbershop industry is a very friendly business. People come here to have a nice time, to have an experience. It does not come with stressful situations and overall are very easy to handle situations.
Each day you close, nothing remains pending for the other day. We do not have inventory. It is an easy to manage business. Our team of barbers do not require hourly payment. We pay for service which keeps them motivated to always be attentive to any opportunity with new clients and, at the same time, it facilitates our administration.
None of our stores have a large inventory. We simply have products for hair, some shampoo and some T-shirts or souvenirs that the store has. But honestly it is a very easy to manage business which attracts great opportunity or much attention by people who have known other businesses in the United States.
The restaurant industry can be complex, as well as hotels and tourism but barbershops very easy to manage. It has no science behind it. It has been supremely gratifying to see the reception that people have had towards our industry because at the beginning it was difficult to break certain paradigms that existed.
But the acceptance has been complete. We have been opening new locations for over a year and a half now. And every time we open, people welcome us with a lot of love wherever we go. We have a location in Doral, we have locations in Brickell, in Coral Gables.
Soon we want to open on the beach in South Beach and we also want to open in the southern part of Miami that is the area of Kendall and South Kendall side. We are very happy. The growth of the company has been very interesting.
We have had the support of several companies including Visa Franchise. They have treated us very, very well. The Findaro brothers have done an incredible job in supporting how to present our business to international investors. We have already closed our first business in Brickell, which is the place where we are now, and as you can see, it always maintains a healthy flow of clients.
It’s going to be one of our best stores I think in about four months. It recently opened in June 2017 and fortunately it is breaking all the opening records we have had in the past.
I met the Findaro brothers in 2016. Visa Franchise, we saw it as an opportunity to expand our business. We began to work to present the project at the beginning of 2016 and by the summer of 2016, we already had a Brazilian prospect that we were able to concrete for the month of September. It was a very easy process to work with them.
The information they ask of you as a corporation is very complete, which they can easily transmit to potential investors. We believe that in Miami, or in the United States in general, there are many people that want to come live here want to invest as well. They want to do interesting things, but lack of knowledge leads them to make very risky decisions or investments.
For me, Visa Franchise makes the process much easier. The information is presented in great detail and they communicate the message of why a business has potential or not. They saw that our business was very easy to manage, that it had a very cool or very relaxed work environment for the owners and for the people who work here. We are also in the process of completing other acquisitions with investors they have presented to us, new locations will be coming up.