Growing a Small Business into a Community
January 9, 2018
Paul Blanco Good Car Company, in partnership with the SACC and California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce (CalAsian Chamber), invited all of Sacramento’s Who’s – Who to celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Paul Blanco KIA location on Fulton Avenue.
The red-tie, ribbon-cutting event was filled with food and drinks as attendees were offered the opportunity to take the KIA Stinger GT, KIA’s first ever rear-wheel-drive sports sedan, for a test drive (despite the rain)! Clad in formal reds and blacks, the Paul Blanco company raffled off gas cards, a new car, and offered gift bags to each and every person in the showroom! The SACC and CalAsian Chamber teams were so excited, many of us and our ambassadors stayed all night to network and congratulate the couple!
Attendees included California Treasurer and Gubernatorial Candidate, John Chiang, Assembly Member Kevin Kiley, Jonathan Glatz from the Office of Assembly Member Ken Cooley, Representatives from State Controller Betty Yee’s Office, Trustee Darrell Woo of the Sacramento City Unified School District, and more! Board Members in attendance from the SACC included Clay Merrill, Director of Advancement, The Child Abuse Prevention Center and Jake Mossawir, CEO/President, St. HOPE. Board Members in attendance from the CalAsian Chamber included Kathy McKim, Vice President External Affairs, AT&T and Stephanie Tom, Director of Customer Executive Programs, North America Technology Division, Oracle.
Paul Blanco Good Car Company has been operating in the Sacramento region for 10 years with over $45 million in gross annual sales. Today, Putu and Paul are recognized in the business community as leaders and innovators for our region. In recognition of both Paul and Putu’s leap forward into their 8th dealership, Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company KIA, here in Sacramento on Fulton Ave, we take a look back on the entrepreneurial endeavors of the couple, both together, and apart!
THE BEGINNING – OMNIICRAFT AND BALI WINE & GRILL
Both Paul and Putu have spent their entrepreneurial careers building the foundations of their businesses by themselves. For instance, having a background that enabled him to do so, Paul Blanco utilized his knowledge of aftermarket parts & the anatomy of automobiles to almost single-handedly innovate, create, and manage The Omniicraft Company, building family-size everyday cars, at the cusp of the automotive industry’s interest in SUVs. Putu, through her own charm and business acumen, developed a keen network surrounding her restaurant, Bali Wine & Grill, creating an atmosphere of influence that is still prominent in the Sacramento community today. Her presence at her restaurant was so well received that she is named in many of her reviews:
“Putu has unique and wonderful food and has shared stories about the types of vegetables and fruits as she serves them, unique to Bali and the culture. ” -Yelp Review
THE TAKEAWAY: Be as involved in every aspect of your business. Do not be afraid to be the manager and the front line. The more your clients see the management’s hard work, the easier it is to trust your brand.
THE GROWTH – PAUL BLANCO’S ACCESSIBLE GOOD CAR COMPANY
It’s no secret that Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company was not Paul’s first attempt at running a car dealership. In fact, after seeing the uprise in SUV interest, Paul sold Omniicraft in order to invest in a dealership in Texas, where his classic value proposition came to light: accessibility. Financing that is accessible is hard to find and Paul Blanco started out his dealership ventures on a mission to change that. According to an article on Cision, this model increased sales from 5 cars a month, to a whopping 160.
For those of you in the finance and sales department, that’s a 96.8% increase in sales month-to-month.
But regardless of the business aspect, the community aspect of this model is truly what inspires us here at the chamber. By making car financing more accessible at his dealerships, he’s giving low-income or low-credit bearing minorities a chance to further themselves – without risking their livelihood (but more on that later).
He made his way from Texas to California after selling this dealership beginning his new chapter here in California and with Putu building Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company in 2008.
THE BIRTH OF COMMUNITY – PUTU, PAUL, & SACRAMENTO
In addition to the incredible accessibility Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company provides, the couple opened a flea market in South Sacramento, promoting local small business. This platform allowed several local businesses to maintain a presence and continue to thrive.
Putu has been a large contributor at the CalAsian Chamber, also operating under the leadership of President and CEO Pat Fong Kushida, serving on the board. Her charisma and passion help drive the team to give back to the Asian community as much as possible. She is brilliant at motivating teams both at Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company and at the CalAsian Chamber.
Both Putu and Paul maintain a presence within minority communities and push both politically and within their own business for reform and opportunity to allow for sustainable success. It has truly been an honor for us to aid them in their business venture and we hope to do more for our community together in the future!
WHEN SMALL BUSINESS WINS, WE ALL WIN.