Spotlight: Alan Belin with Apex Limo Services
What happens when one dream inspires another? Meet Alan Belin, owner of Apex Limo Services, Inc., who started his small business in 2013 and is well on his way to starting a non-profit organization called The Chicago Food Project. From learning a new industry to mastering his networking skills, Alan is just getting started.
Q. When and why did you start your business?
Alan: I started my business in 2013, after completing a career in another field. I always had an interest in the transportation industry, having had two entrepreneurs in the limo business as personal friends. I admired how they mastered the art of treating their clients as if they were very special. The service industry just seemed to be a natural fit, based on my upbringing and the examples that were before me.
Q. How did you address or adapt to challenges that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Alan: My business unfortunately came to a screeching halt, due to the pandemic. I was grateful that I budgeted appropriately and was able to stay afloat while things continued to get back to normal. I took advantage of the downtime to streamline my way of doing business (thanks SumUp!), and plan for the future.
Q. What's been your proudest moment as a small business owner?
Alan: This is tough because there have been so many proud moments! However, I must admit that owning my own business has placed me in position to create, develop and organize my own non-profit organization called The Chicago Food Project. Through some of the contacts that I’ve made from driving, I learned the requirements to bring this dream to fruition! We will soon be able to help families and individuals cope with food-related issues. (Stay tuned for more info!)
Q. What's the next milestone you're looking forward to for your business?
Alan: I’m looking forward to adding more vehicles to our fleet, and more employees to our company. Growth is what we’re seeking!
Q. What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring small business owner?
Alan: Talk to as many business owners as possible; read and do research in your field of interest. Be prepared to work like never before–be motivated, creative, flexible and determined to win.