Just thought I'd show you guys where Bravo LLC started. We hardly "jump the gun" (no pun intended) when we make big decisions. We have always been very careful especially when it comes to a new "building". We know that decisions done too early in a career can hurt you really bad. We stayed in this garage for as long as we could. Here is that story. Enjoy
Hey, guys. I just wanted to show you where...this isn't where Bravo first started, but this is Bravo's second home, we've had four homes. The first place was a small little...I think it was like a 6 by 10 or maybe an 8 by 10 room, it was a smaller room that we started in another house, the house that, you know, we used to live. And we were there for about two years and then we moved here to a two-car garage. And in here basically is when, you know, I just started hiring people and, you know, we brought in an actual crew that were working on a daily basis. I think it was Monday through Saturday, it was a eight-hour, you know, job type of deal and I would stick around till the wee hours of the night trying to, you know, get some orders done, fulfilled some orders so we can ship them out the next day.
So, this is where Bravo really grew to where it's at, you know, when we actually acquired, you know, people to run our gear such as, you know, FPSRussia was running, you know, Instructor Zero. You know, when we had those people, Cory and Eric, if you guys remember them, we were in here, we were in this garage. No joke, but we used to have...we used to have Border Patrol come in here. We used to have U.S. marshals come in here. You know, I remember giving them the addresses and they were like, "Is this a home or is this a business?" And I was like, "Guys, we're working out of a garage, man." And so, they would freak out, but they'd come in and they'd hang out here with us for a while and we had...I think we had maybe four people working in here at once. And then upstairs, we had the office. And so, we had our secretary up there, our receptionist, or basically our call center which was my wife and one of her friends which she's still with us to this day.
And then from the team that came in here initially, everyone's with us except for one person. So, this is it, man and, you know, we installed the AC because down here in South Texas, it gets very hot, but this is basically it. Now, it's pretty much like a gym, and I also have some guitar stuff here. This is where we started. You know, and it's a 20 by 22, nothing fancy. Again, we ACed it because, you know, it was getting too hot for the workers and for me as well. And, you know, I was delivering mail and it's funny because this house which is where we're at right now was actually on my route. So, as I was delivering mail on my route, I would stop by and check to see how the crew is doing. And then, again, we were here for about a year and a half, almost two years, and then we moved to another place that was a little bit bigger, maybe 4000 square feet, somewhere on there. Maybe a little bit less, I don't even remember anymore. And then now initially where we're at right now or not initially, but now we're at right there on 1012 North Alamo.
You know, it gradually took off but it was gradual, it was almost molasses like. I mean, it took a while but there's one of those things where we just we grew as our company got more popular and more popular. We never jumped the gun as far as moving into a building where we thought we didn't need it. So, then that's very important, guys. If you're starting up a company, make sure that you have customers, that you have a good customer base, make sure that you have orders, make sure that before you invest money into whether it's a building, or machines, or even hiring people, that the orders are there. Don't kid yourself and try to do as much as you can. In the beginning, it's all sweat equity.
Again, I was working till 2:00 in the morning, having to wake up at 6:00, and then go to work. And then Saturdays, it was…I mean, I would just work all day Saturday and, you know, sometimes Sunday as well. And to this day, I'm still putting in a lot of hours, maybe not in the office as much as I was here because I'll come and I'll work from home. You know, I'll work on videos or, you know, I'll check the numbers of Facebook ads and Google ads and just, you know, SEO and all that, so, I'll do that from the house. And I also take a bunch of courses online that, you know, I'll come home and I'll just study them. I'll put on my ear pods and I'll just listen to courses that will help me to scale Bravo and take it to the next level, or whatever it is that we're gonna...that we're looking into jumping in. So, you know, the hours are always gonna be there, but then it gets to a point where you just start working smart. And so, I don't build any holsters, I don't build them anymore. The guys that actually build our holsters don't run circles around me.
In the beginning, it was just me. I was on one building every single gun holster and then I brought in a couple guys, I brought in one guy that really helped, me and Zee, he's actually our tech guy, and obviously he's still with us. Zee took over the production line as far as making sure that…basically just quality control, making sure that the holsters look the way I wanted them to look. And now, these guys run circles around me. I don't build holsters. At the point we're at right now, my opportunity cost per se is just investing time and effort into Bravo in other areas. Again, in areas where we can scale it, take it to the next level. Social media, things of that nature, video, video editing, making sure that, you know, we sit down with our video crew and with our social media marketing crew. And, you know, make sure that everything is being run the way it's supposed to be run. And ultimately, just sales. You know, going out there and creating, you know, content so that we can get closer to the customer or potential customers.
So, that's basically what I do now. So, again, it's just a process, guys, but there's no way around it. It's a process that takes a lot of patience and it takes a lot of hard work. And those two things, it's almost...it's hard for them to kind of think about them coexisting because it's patience but hard work. But that's basically what it is. And so, it's the tortoise and the hare, you know, the turtle won, man. But because it was grinding every single second of the race and it never stopped, it never procrastinated, it was just grinding away, and it wasn't moving super-fast, but he was moving forward. Like that saying that I said in the other video where you don't want to be a monument, you want to be a movement. And so, that's what the turtle was, it was a movement. And so, it just kept moving, and at the end, it won. So, remember that. The turtle won, guys. And so, it takes time.
It gets to a point where it starts to scale and it's just so awesome, guys. But to get there, you're gonna have to grind it out, you're gonna have to eat dirt. I did a podcast about eating dirt, go check it out. It's pretty good where in the beginning it's all sweat equity. You're gonna eat dirt, man, and there's…sometimes you're not gonna get paid and, you know, so on and so forth. But that's the cost of starting up a company, that's the cost of branding a company or a product, and taking it to the next level. There's no way around that, guys.
You know, I know that there's people look at…you know, well, Instagram made a billion dollars in three years, and so those are anomalies, those are things that...those are once-in-a-lifetime, per se. You know, Jeff Bezos has been at it since 1999 or something like that. You know, so, it takes time, guys. Steve Jobs, man, you know, started in the mid late 70s, he didn't become Steve Jobs…the Steve Jobs that we know, he didn't become that until, you know, the iPhone in 2005, somewhere around there, or 2007 or 2008, whenever it came out. Everything takes time, guys, it just does, it really does.
Sometimes, certain things move faster than other things, but nonetheless, it takes time. So, be patient, guys. For all you guys out there that want to start a business or that already have a business and you're trying to scale it, just keep grinding it, man. Keep learning. Remain interested in anything that…whatever it is that you're doing, remain interested in it. So you can go out there and just continue to just learn and understand the market, understand who it is that you're selling to, understand social media marketing, understanding, you know, SEO, and Google AdWords, and keywords, and all that. That is super important, guys, and that stuff is changing every single day. I mean, the stuff that was relevant, you know, three years ago isn't relevant anymore. The stuff that was relevant last year, probably is not being...is not as relevant as it is today. Things in this day and age change. And if you don't stay on top of things, the market is gonna surpass you and it's just gonna leave you there.
And when I say the market, I just mean anything that your business…you know, business has to make a profit. There's no way around that, right? And so, the profit comes from the market. And so, you have to understand what's going on, you have to kind of foresee, forecast what it is that's coming, the new stuff and jump on it, man, and learn it as fast as you can, and keep moving forward. You know, a lot of people in business have these antiquated notions that used to work, you know, 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 2 years ago, that don't work anymore. Always keep that in mind, guys. Things are always changing, marketing is always changing.
You know, we talk about emails sometimes where three years ago, you didn't want to send an email, you know, more than four times a month because you don't want to spam people. There's no such thing as spamming anymore with Gmail, it just takes your emails and, you know, it'll set them aside and it'll...basically, it'll just create columns and put them in certain places where you can always go back and check them out and see if someone's having a sale. And so, it's not really spam anymore, it's just email. What email has become, it's just another place to market. That's really what it's become. The open rate on emails back in the early 2000s was...or in the 90s was about 80%. Now, you know, you're lucky if you get 12%, 13% open rate. People are sending more and more emails on a daily basis because, again, it's not a spam anymore, it's considered an area for marketing.
So, everything changes, guys. And this is…again, just two years ago, "Oh, don't spam people." Now, it's like, "Maybe you should send one every day." Things are changing all the time, go out there, do your due diligence. The cellphone is super powerful, guys. There's more technology in today's cellphone than what NASA used, you know, to land on the moon, it's amazing, guys. And so, everything's been commoditized and the cellphone's there. If you have a question, ask Google, that's basically what it is. You know, that term Google is now a verb. It's like google it. Guys, everything's out there, you just need to go out there, do your due diligence, go out there, and take some courses. Whether it's online or go to seminars, just learn and learn from the people that have done it already. You know, a lot of times, we listen to the wrong people. We listen to the wrong people. And so, make sure that if you're listening to someone, make sure if it's…you know, if you want to learn how to…you know, let's say you want to learn how to copyright, listen to somebody that's good at copywriting. Listen to the greats, man. They've been there, they've done it. But at the same time, make sure that what you're saying is relevant to today's standards, to today, to now. Just go out there and do it, guys. The other thing is you just gotta hustle, you got to work hard. There's no way around that.
I remember my youngest daughter, she was...six years ago, she was born and we were here in this place and we're fulfilling a huge order, a huge order that was going to the Special Forces. That's all I can say, I can't say who it was or anything like that. And, you know, me and my wife, for the most part, the crew helped out, but it had to ship that day and me and my wife, you know, we stayed up all night. I mean, all night. I worked Friday, we worked all night, and we didn't ship out till…it had to ship out Saturday the next day. I remember going to FedEx and shipping it out. I think it was on a Saturday, maybe it was on...I don't even remember, man. But we stayed up all night with, you know, a baby, a baby girl that we had just brought home from the hospital. I think it was like three nights before that. And so, that's what it takes, man. You just need to go out there, and you need to grind it out and, you know, you can't be afraid to set things aside, put things in priority, and put things in perspective, and understand that sometimes, you are gonna have to work and pull off all-nighters. And that was just one of many, guys.
So again, guys, go out there, do it. Thought I'd share this with you, guys. I know I kind of went…I went off there and, you know, I started talking about other stuff, but just want to show you, this is where it started. And guys, if I can do it, you can do it. If you have that in you, if you want to do it, you can do it. But you gotta want it, man. You know, and you have to understand and know the price that it takes. So, go out there and get it done, man. Go out there and get it done. Thanks for watching, man. There it is. Bravo when it first started right here in 20 by 22 2-car garage. Well, its second home, I'm sorry. But basically where it became an LLC and when we started hiring people, it was right here. It was right here. So again, just wanted to share that with you, guys. Thanks for watching. I'll talk to you guys soon.
Rene Aguirre is the founder and owner of Bravo Concealment. Rene has been carrying concealed on a daily basis for over 8 years and has been a CHL (concealed handgun license) holder for more than 20 years. Finding a high interest in firearms for many years, Rene started Bravo because of the “lack of” a good concealed carry holster on the market.
Leave a comment