Fabian Rajo is good at fixing electronics. From transistor radios to computers, he knows his stuff.
Last year, while working for a local computer company, he got an idea: he wanted to open a small electronics repair business in Cortez. He realized that many people need their gadgets repaired . . . from cell phones to tablets to apple watches to game consoles . . . and he knew that he had the skills to do it.
But, he didn’t have the background knowledge to launch his own business.
Then, he heard about the SBDC. He immediately signed up for the Starting Your Business Workshop. But, the morning of the class, he came down with COVID and couldn’t attend. He reached out to Allison, and she introduced him to the Leading Edge Workshop series.
Fabian applied for a scholarship and was thrilled to be approved. He attended the first classes, and after that, he hardly slept for three months. “I spent every free minute creating a business plan, researching how to manage and start my business, and more. It was a big step!” Fabian says.
At first, he didn’t think there was any way he could get the funding to launch. His personal finances were tight, but he persisted. “I spent my last $50 registering with the State of Colorado, so I could send Region 9 my Certificate of Good Standing.”
When he found out that his business proposal had been accepted, he was ecstatic.
Fabian and his wife were able to remodel a portion of their home to serve as the business storefront. They chose a 50s theme. The shop has a vinyl player, records from the 50s and 60s, and an assortment of arcade machines that customers can play while they are waiting.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I love the 50s. I just think it was a great time in our history. It was an honest time.” Back then, people didn’t just throw things away. They fixed them, which goes hand-in-hand with Fabian’s business.
Fabian is thrilled to offer his services to the residents of Cortez. And, he does so without any pushy sales tactics. “I wanted to veer away from those sales tactics that I don’t believe are honest or an honest way of living,” he says. So, when people come in for cell phone repair, that is what they get. Fabian is also bilingual, and he looks forward to serving customers who speak both English and Spanish.
Fabian’s long-term goal is to open stores all over Colorado. He loves supporting local economies and teaching repair skills to others. But, for now, he is focused on getting the first store up and running.
Repair Doctor officially opened their doors on May 23. Right now, all of their work is by appointment only. As the business grows, they will start taking walk-ins.
Throughout the process, Fabian has persisted in the face of all sorts of challenges. From activating—then having to reactivate—his account on Google My Business to facing zoning issues, he refused to give up.
For other entrepreneurs, he offers this advice: “The only obstacle you will run into is your own thoughts in your head. Continue to push forward and don’t stop at the first no you receive.
I wasn’t a great candidate, but I had a great idea. Without persistence and all of the support I received, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”