Martin Helda is the founder of All Bay Area Floors. His journey to become a business owner started at a very young age. He was born in San Jose, CA and it is there that he started working as an apprentice at the age of 15. He realized then that his dream was to own his own business. Martin then rose through the ranks to become a supervisor and learn the ins and outs of the flooring business. By the time he was 21, Martin was ready to take the step to launch his first business. He took the California State Contractors License Exam and was one of the youngest people ever in the state to pass the exam, and from there he launched All Bay Area Floors, a commercial flooring company. He grew the business over the next 12 years to be one of the largest flooring companies in the Bay Area, with over 60 employees. Recently, Martin has launched his 2nd business, Bay Area Concrete Polishing, which he plans to be as successful has his first.
Where did the idea for All Bay Area Floors come from?
Having learned the trade and served the bay area with flooring finishes since I was 16, I decided to keep the narrative and simply name my company for what we do: All Bay Area Floors.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As cliché as it may sound, I always look to get a good sleep in, wake up early, and get a good round of gym in. I believe a clear mind keeps productivity to the maximum potential.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’ve learned to spend enough (certainly not too much) time conceptualizing but then to focus the rest of my efforts into doing.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I always like seeing an uptrend in DIY projects.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Sticking to the routine and nourishing yourself with good reads and content has always helped me better my intuition.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To stay diligent and technically driven.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Never burn a bridge, as one just never knows how the future will play out.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Always network and put yourself out there after reaching intermediate to mastery in any skill. Don’t ever be afraid to ask and constantly improve your value.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Staying competitive and always spending time on marketing then objectively reviewing performance data. It is one thing to create demand with your products and services, but if you cannot find the best zone within the demand then the odds will never be maximized.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Part of my strategy to focus on marketing comes from my earlier days in the business development where I was spending massive amounts of time to hone in and perfect my trade as opposed to clerical duties. As I was constantly trying to increase my volume, I noticed that my knowledge was based on an older sets of marketing strategies. Trying to cut corners didn’t do the trick. I had to overcome it simply by aggressively and objectively studying the deeper industry knowledge of advertisement/marketing and how it works today and it certainly increased my revenue.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There is a huge uptick in commercial real estate catering to data storage/relay between businesses. It just takes a little bit of start up cost but the demand for these services are sky rocketing and will be in hot demand.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I told my kids every time they’d finish a book I’d give them $1. They think they’re winning but to me it’s the best $100 I’ve spent. Looking forward to spending more.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Planswift, as it allows me to save tremendous amount of time and maximize revenue opportunity when it comes to analysis on flooring projects.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan. It really helps one to see what type of focus one should try and cultivate.
What is your favorite quote?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re
right,” – Henry Ford
- Grit – it will always pay off to stay in the fight and find out the best you can do in any situation.
- Creative – in anything that we do, being creative keeps us striving for innovation and good spirit.
- Consistent – very often, there is no bigger asset than maintaining reliability and trust. Being consistent definitely goes hand in hand with that intention.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.