Oscar Cherivi - CarKeysGeeks.com
Tell us about yourself
Hello everyone. My name is Oscar Cherivi, I am from Venezuela, and I have been living in Canada for 3 years. I have a Bachelor´s degree in accountant specializing in sales and Taxes with a significant experience working with car keys.
When I was working for Hatillana locksmith, I was able to apply all the knowledge that I got at the university. I was responsible for examining and analyzing the sales invoicing, registering and paying the indirect taxes (GST) properly. Also, I was responsible of the operative levels inventory and operative costs margin (brake even) in order to keep the business working.
Working at Keys and Chip company Venezuela, I started to develop one application for smart phones and tablets whose final goals were sending quotations in only 5 seconds after the customer request, design a shipping system that guarantees deliveries in 24 hours or less and manage a virtual inventory system. As a result, I reduced the administrative costs by 12% and the customer satisfaction rates increased by 30%.
In 2019, I had the great opportunity to join the program at the Small Business Centre to learn everything about how to start my own business here in Canada.
Now I can say that my dreams have come true. I have a successful business that can also gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my wife and daughters (Bianca, Sara and Mia).
Tell us about your business
Today’s modern vehicle key fobs aren’t just a convenience to open doors or pre-start the vehicle on a cold winter day, they are the wireless security key to push button starts. When an electronic key fails, or if it is lost, the vehicle is inoperable. CarKeysGeeks.com is a professional car locksmith based in London ON. Our team has 12 years of experience, specialized in car key cutting and programming for any make and model of vehicle. We offer a mobile service that is very cost competitive to dealerships, and convenient! Our high-quality car keys are set at affordable prices. I had previous experience in key programming in Venezuela before immigrating to Canada. Since launching my business I’ve been able to gradually include my family in the business.
Has your business been impacted by COVID-19?
I launched my key programming business before Covid-19, but the business really took off when people who were in desperate need and unable to visit their local auto dealership, needed my help. With a quickly growing referral base of happy customers, my business continues to grow.
What led you to start this business?
Since arriving in Canada as a refugee three years ago I’ve taken temporary jobs, but the lack of stable employment meant that I still needed to turn to social assistance to make ends meet. Driven by the desire to control my own destiny I knew I wanted to start my own business. I visited the Small Business Centre and participated in the Ontario Works supported Self Employment Program where I learned how to operate a business in Canada, and made a plan.
What advice would you give to someone starting a small business today?
To succeed you need passion and vision, a good plan, and someplace to go to for help when needed. I tell everyone, especially other newcomers, to visit the Small Business Centre with their ideas.
What's in the future for your business?
From now I am training a new locksmith who will be working in Windsor area. I also have set a new goal to expand my business into Manitoba and Calgary.