Success comes in many forms. Many define it in terms of profits, others in gained experience. As the co-owner of a San Diego based startup, I have celebrated every success. Our first dry run (thank you Rady classmates). First sale. First year in business. Even our first mistake. We’ve grown something bigger than ourselves, and that in itself is something to be proud of.
Executive Oil Services (EOS) began in Rady’s Lab to Market series as everything does, an idea. My co-founder Andrew Zorko had worked in an automobile service garage. In his first year at Rady, Andrew took his car to a garage for service and experienced the industry standard: poor customer service and rampant upselling. Nothing about the experience had changed in over a decade.
We then went to visit a number of companies on our business trip to the San Francisco area, and it became clear to us how quickly people were moving towards convenience products. After making these realizations, the rest was history: our customer surveys were very positive, financial projections were both reasonable and attainable and we were able to quickly raise capital to begin due to low startup costs. As of July 2014, we became the first mobile oil change business in the San Diego area to focus on business parks and apartment complexes as an amenity provider.
Neither Andrew nor I planned on starting a business when walking into our first classes here at Rady. The flexible class schedule and freedom to explore my choices for specialization gave me the breadth and depth necessary to be seen as an asset to any company. EOS is a direct reflection of our skillsets, and without cultivation from top tier professors and programs, we would not be the same business.
Early one morning, Ernest Rady actually came to us purely based on need. On his way to temple, his car was in need of servicing, but the nearby garages were closed. Seeing our sign in the parking lot, he came seeking help.
What I loved about this opportunity to help him was how surreal it was. You could almost feel the butterfly effect; from his donation to grow the program, to our personal growth and startup, leading to him needing us without knowing we would be there. Coming full circle, a company he had a hand in creating was there when he needed it. And we could not have been happier to help. To us, this was itself a milestone worth celebrating. Success.
The next few years for our company will be more telling than the first. We plan to expand our San Diego footprint and are on pace to double in size by early 2016. It is not all easy, the hours are long and timing is everything; however, with everything there is balance, and we plan to continue celebrating every success along the way.
Loren Chang (MBA ’14), Co-founder and COO, also has a background in science, notably as a chemist and a licensed clinical technologist. After graduating from the Rady School in 2014, he and fellow cohort member Andrew Zorko (MBA ’14), Co-founder and CEO, founded Executive Oil Services, LLC in July 2014.