Waleed Salha, a software engineer, and his two brothers Rami and Tareq Salha (both with over 5 years of experience in the mobile industry) have always had aspirations of becoming small business owners.
“I had been searching for a business opportunity for the last 10 years,” explains Waleed.
One day they came across a Public Mobile advertisement and a light bulb went on. Canada had a small (in comparison to other countries) but growing mobile market with unlimited potential thanks to then new entrants like Public Mobile.
“This is a great opportunity to get into the market early, when it’s starting to mature,” says Waleed.
The brothers opened their first store in late 2010; it was a kiosk in a Hamilton mall. In 2012, they followed-up the kiosk with a big move: in the span of 5 months, the brothers opened 5 stores and 2 Money Marts. To top it off, they opened 2 additional stores in 2013.
Their success has been the result of hard work and a few key tips that they picked up along the way.
1. Owners must take a hands-on approach to their business. The Salha brothers are very involved with the day-to-day operations of their stores. Rami and Tareq rotate between their 10 locations on a daily basis to make sure everything is running properly.
2. Automate whenever possible. There are many tasks that work better automated such as accounting and inventory. This can save you time, which you can then reallocate to other areas of your business.
3. Find the right employees. Having the right employees is crucial to running a successful business. Your employees represent your company and are in daily contact with your customers. When hiring new employees, the brothers look for potential over anything else. ”That’s the most important thing, that they have the characteristics, that they have the ability to learn, that they have the personality to be a good salesperson,” says Waleed.
Waleed has one last piece of advice for small business owners.
“Look for the right opportunity and take the risk,” he explains. “There is no opportunity that is guaranteed to work. Take the risk and put the effort into it to make it successful.”