We were lucky to catch up with Yunisbel Pazos recently and have shared our conversation below.
Yunisbel, appreciate you joining us today. Alright, so you had your idea and then what happened? Can you walk us through the story of how you went from just an idea to executing on the idea
It was a typical hot and sunny day in Miami in August 2013 when I was working for Groupon (as an account manager) visiting the businesses I had on my list to help sign them up to our promotion service. My next stop was at a sushi spot in Brickell, I had previously scheduled a meeting with the manager and was asked to come by at this time. I walked in and proceeded to ask for the manager. He greeted me and asked me to sit down at a table nearby for us to talk. I presented my program the same way I would present it to any client but while finalizing our conversation and telling him the benefits of driving traffic to your website, I asked him if he had a website? Which he responds with “we do not have a website”, so I asked him, how else do you plan to show the public your menu, how can they order from you, where you are located? The manager was stunned, did not know how to reply to my questions. So I started thinking…. How can I resolve this issue for him? I began looking online to see what platforms were available to edit websites now a days and ran into the WIX platform and templates. I decided to grab an industry related template and edit it with his information for $200, which I contacted the manager about before and he agreed. This was the beginning of my first website design! After 2 months and 6 websites built, I realized there was an industry problem in my city and got the idea to start Smartners Business Services to help businesses with their essential digital needs.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
My name is Yunisbel Pazos, I was born in Santa Clara, Cuba and emigrated with my parents to Miami, Florida in 1993 over the Gulf of Mexico in a makeshift boat. Since I was young I remember always being attracted to business. Coming from a Dictatorship, I wanted a better life and future for me and my family. I began my business career working for an Immigration Attorney which I started as a receptionist answering phones and writing emails, but it was not long before I took self-responsibility of other jobs in the office and was promoted to Executive Assistant, helping the owner directly with his special projects. A few years later I was recruited by a family friend that had met me at a family event and said I had everything I needed to work for him as a sales representative for tv ad sales at Comcast. I was scared, I had no previous experience dealing with businesses and specially with sales processes, and such. I did it anyway, and accepted the job leaving my long term law office job, this kicked off my career working with businesses directly. To my own surprise, I was a natural. I quickly learned the typical sales processes and began making a name for myself in the local business world. As time passed, I went on to switch jobs to doing sales with Groupon which is where I got the idea to open Smartners Business Services to help businesses with their basic digital business needs. Over the last 6 years, we have created more than 400 websites, graphic pieces, printing pieces, and have helped many companies with their marketing solutions successfully. Our biggest focus is making our clients happy by providing them with effective solutions that will help their business grow.
Can you tell us the story behind how you met your business partner?
I met my business partner Alejo Ruiz in a game of Battlefield (a war style video game on Playstation). I used to play on my off time with another business friend which was married to Alejo’s sister. We had actually played a few times before together but we had never had business conversations before. This time it was different. As we were waiting for the game to begin and talking over the microphone Alejo begins to express to us that he had just quit his job as an airplane mechanic because of the long hours afraid he would not be able to see his soon-to-be-born son and wife. I had just started Smartners a year ago and was looking for a operations manager to assist me with the operations of the business. I offered the job to Alejo as a partner of the business. Alejo began working with me on the next day and together we have worked hard and long hours to grow Smartners to 12 employees over the last 5 years.
Any fun sales or marketing stories?
One of my favorite customer acquisition stories is when I began working with Casolas Pizzeria, in Miami, FL. Casolas has been known to be in the industry since 1982 and have a huge following of clients. They do very little marketing considering their management is a bit old-school but is definitely considered a very successful business. I had approached the managers at Casolas with business services from previous jobs I had related to business and had no sales success with them, but lucky for me the constant visits over time and professionalism began establishing myself as a reputable businessman. As I opened Smartners, I received my first YES! and opportunity + pleasure to assist this very successful and old-school mom and pop. 5 Years forward in time, Casolas still works with Smartners for all of their paper menu designs, tv menu designs, website, ordering system, and marketing.
- Website: https://www.smartnersbusiness.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smartnersbusiness
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smartners
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/smartners-business
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/smartnersbiz
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ9-PijvgwA2r9eok0Sh3jA
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/smartners-business-services-miami-2
- Other: https://www.wix.com/marketplace/wix-partner/smartners-consulting