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Meet O.P. Almaraz of Allied Restoration Services in West Covina

Today we’d like to introduce you to O.P. Almaraz.

O.P., please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It was March of 2008 when my little brother and I decided to start our own construction company. We had been planning this for over a year and now we were finally ready. We borrowed $80,000 from my mother and father, and we committed to not paying ourselves for six months. During that time, Victor paid his bills with credit cards and I emptied out my savings account to make ends meet.

At the end of 2008, we finished the year with revenue exceeding $1,000,000! This is the most money we had ever seen! Especially for two Mexican kids who grew up on government cheese and food stamps. We felt so blessed that we were compelled to give back to the community that we decided to donate holiday turkey dinners to needy families, just like we had been fed as kids.

We kept working day and night, day and night. And by the second year, our revenue exceeded $2 million dollars! And we fed even more families that year.

Success was happening so fast and I knew there were things about business that I didn’t know. I knew that we had to raise our business acumen, so off we went to a 3-day business seminar. It was a room about half this size of this one, filled with entrepreneurs. One minute I’m taking notes and the next minute – I’m rushing Victor to the hospital. Two weeks later, on February 15th…………… I watched my little brother take his last breath.

My Mother broke out in shingles all over her body because she had to bury her youngest son. Victor’s two boys were asking why God would let something like this happen to their father. His widow was going through foreclosure of their house. And our employees were shocked and numb.

Three months after Victor’s death, our Construction company was on life support. My accountant, Scott says: “Hey OP, I’m looking at your profit & loss statement. I think it’s time that you admit that you just can’t run this business without your brother. He was your operations manager and your best friend man. I think it’s time for you to shut down the business and go tell your employees to start looking for another job.

At that moment, I turned to him – Scott, I just buried my little brother, and there’s no fricken way that I’m going to bury the company too! And if Victor were here in my place, he’d tell you the fricken thing!

I refocused my energy, purpose and commitment. And since then, we have grown the company over 500% and have fed over 3000 families through Victor’s “Passionate life foundation”.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest struggle was overcoming my brother’s death. Other obstacles that I faced included:

1. Banks that didn’t want to lend money to a young company. So we had to work extra hard to make money and leave as much in the bank as possible, so they can see our financial strength.

2. Deciding to change our target audience to serving the Rich & Famous. High net worth and celebrity clients. When a leader decides to change the vision of the company, he/she must do it with confidence. The leaders must believe it first, in order to persuade the employees to follow.

3. See my TEDx talk

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Allied Restoration Services Inc. story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a Disaster Restoration company. We work with insurance companies when homeowners or managers need to file a claim for property damage. If you have ever or know someone, who’s had a pipe leak in their home, it can cause a substantial amount of water damage to walls, floors, cabinets, furniture, etc. Allied Restoration is the company that goes out to dry-out the wet materials, remove mold, and repair the drywall, cabinets, and replace the flooring. Smoke deodorization from wildfires is another specialty that we provide for commercial and residential clients.

Since COVID-19, we have created a separate vertical of business, “COVID-19 Disinfection”. So whether people want us pro-actively disinfect their property or they have a confirmed case of COVID, we are equipped to disinfect properties, based on CDC and EPA guidelines. I am most proud of my “Tribe” (employees). For the past seven years, we have been known as the Restoration company to the stars. It’s not easy to consistently deliver this level of service, but we continue to work hard to fine-tune our systems and processes. And as a result, not only do they benefit, but all of our customers do too.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’ll take luck over skill any day! However, the more that we improve our skillset, the luckier we get. 🙂

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