The company switched from surf tours to car repairs. Photo / Getty Images
The company switched from surf tours to car repairs. Photo / Getty Images

Founder Felipe Rebolledo said there was a wave of cancellations, then silence, with no further reservations.

“Suddenly everything was real. Then the announcement came from alert levels, and from the need to isolate ourselves instead, we realized that there would be no tourists soon.”

“We have to start thinking differently.”

The team, therefore, used the lock to reorganize their business. Rebolledo asked everyone to contribute ideas and started rewriting the business plan.

The company switched from surf tours to car repairs. Photo / Getty Images
The company switched from surf tours to car repairs. Photo / Getty Images

Passing their vans to a courier was one of the original ideas. But they soon discovered that it was a high-volume, low-margin model that was difficult to break.

“Of course, as a company, you try to use the vehicles you have. So we had a fleet of vehicles and we said,” Okay, what can we do with it? “”, He said.

“It’s part of the business world, you try different things and some don’t work, others do.

“You have to recognize those who work, follow them and develop the idea.”
Then they changed again. Elements Automotive was previously a small part of its activity, dealing with motorhomes.

So they expanded the auto store, opened it to all customers, and gave their staff a way to keep their jobs.

Now Rebolledo has said he won’t come back.

“After the end of Covid-19, we will have a stronger business. This has prompted us to new ideas, and now we will no longer trust tourists to have a successful business,” he said.

“It will be a long-term strategy. The automotive industry is an important step for our business, so that we can run our business not only by relying on international visitors.”

“It just reduces your risk. Before you are 100% dependent on tourists, [but in the future] maybe even 20% would not be dependent on tourists.”

“We can now cover most of our business expenses nationwide.”

Rebolledo said his biggest advice to other companies would be to grow the business so that it doesn’t just depend on one area.

He said it was also essential to make sure the team was energized and engaged, as this is where you will likely get new ideas.

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