By: Karishhma Ashwin By: Karishhma Ashwin | December 9, 2021 |
A common characteristic among entrepreneurs is they get started at a young age. Kendall Fontenot had his first business when he was 7, selling pencils to his fellow second-grade classmates. As he got older, Kendall developed not only a love for automobiles but a clear understanding of how critical they are for upward mobility. After encountering setbacks from financial institutions, Kendall founded the largest minority-owned buy and pay dealership in the state of Louisiana. Today, as a CEO, he is catering to a significant demand for reliable vehicles at a reasonable price.
In his new book, Kendall Fontenot shares the valuable lessons he learned during his professional journey. According to him, the most significant and the most difficult step in overcoming an obstacle is the first one that you take. He has also learned how to think out of the box, which has made taking that first step a little easier. When met with opposition from banks to begin his car business, Kendall realized that in order to be successful, he would need to raise his own capital instead of relying on someone else to lend it. Not only did this free him up from debt, it also reduced his overheads and led him directly to the next lesson.
Many entrepreneurs feel they have to move at a fast pace in order to succeed. Kendall took the opposite approach by growing at his own pace. This reduced a lot of pressure and allowed him to learn the business, a critical component of success in any area. It also allowed him to build a valuable network of customers and colleagues. Such self-paced approach can help people to believe in themselves and develop the confidence needed to bring a business venture to life.
Kendall based his business on a hybrid model of product and service for something almost everyone needs: a reliable vehicle. In addition to providing the product, Kendall offered a service that let people obtain vehicles which they might not have been able to afford otherwise. While many businesses saw revenues drop during the pandemic, Kendall saw his earnings go up. People who lost their jobs needed a way to find another one, which frequently meant buying a car. This lesson was simple: offer a product/service that majority customers need, and you are reaching out to a giant target market where demographic lines are blurred.
By espousing time-tested business strategies and combining them with his own unique approach, Kendall Fontenot has created a successful company that delivers possibilities for those who need them the most. He has clearly demonstrated that a low-key approach can deliver high-end results.