This month, Entrepreneur Resources turns its small business spotlight on Mr. Brady Lewis of Spanish 4 Emergencies. During his years in law enforcement, Lewis recognized the language barrier between criminal justice personnel and the Spanish speakers they served. His company, Spanish 4 Emergencies, makes products that to ease communication between these two groups and makes working together more effective. Read on to learn more.
Name: Brady Lennon Lewis
Business: Spanish 4 Emergencies
Type of Business: Spanish language training tools and products for Fire, Police and Emergency Dispatchers
Years in Business: 5 years
Contact Information: Brady Lewis
32 Linden Lane
Anderson, IN 46011
What does your company do?
We have developed unique products for police officers, firefighters, EMS personnel and emergency dispatchers to aid in communicating with Spanish-speaking individuals. We also have developed an online training center to help learn the Spanish language.
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
Since I was in high school, my friends and I have tried to come up with ideas for our own businesses. I guess it’s the dream of being your own boss, having the fancy office, having the respect and doing things the way you want to do them. It’s about freedom.
Why did you choose your business?
I was a police officer for four years. I personally started having problems communicating with Spanish-speaking individuals in my daily duties. I decided that I was going to learn Spanish for my own safety, as well as the safety of the people that I was dealing with. In my attempts to find information and products to educate myself, I found an empty market. Knowing that this was a big issue that wasn’t going away, I knew that a company like this was needed. I have a background in computers, so I decided I would start Spanish 4 Emergencies and see what I could do.
What prepared you for entrepreneurship?
I have always been fascinated with finance, business and computers. I studied computers in high school and in college. I have tried and failed many smaller-scale business attempts on my way to finally succeeding with this venture.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
So far this year (as of February) I have been featured in front page news articles on two very popular national police and fire websites. Spanish 4 Emergencies has also done close to $50,000 in sales so far this year. I am extremely proud of both of these accomplishments.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Getting the respect of people around me. Being as young as I am (25), a lot of people still tend to think that you can’t make a successful impact. I love proving them wrong. I see my youth as an asset. I still have many years in the world of business. I think I’m getting a head start on most people.
What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur?
I have faced all the same challenges that almost every new entrepreneur faces. I started out with absolutely no capital. Therefore, I had to act as the website designer, programmer, product developer, marketer, publicist, sales, bookkeeper, etc. etc. That is very hard to do. Especially since I have had to do this on the side of my full-time job.
Is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I would have learned more about publicity and online marketing in the beginning. I started working on the company in 2002, and just in the past 6 months the company has really started to take off. I learned how to do certain things, and that made all the difference in the world. Online forums can be an absolute lifesaver!
How can others get started in this business?
Educate yourself! Anyone can come up with a great idea, but most of them go nowhere. Learn how to take an idea and make a company around it. Learn how to use EVERY available marketing realm. You don’t have to have money to get started. I didn’t spend ANY money before the company started making money. You have to have tenacity and you have to believe in yourself, no matter what other people may say.
Do you have any advice for future entrepreneurs?
It’s a tough road to go down but it is more than rewarding if you stick with it. Hard work is rewarded. Don’t get down on yourself. Find people that have done what you want to do, and ask their advice. With the Internet and online forums, you can find information on how to do almost anything. Take advantages of the resources you have. They are what gives us small entrepreneurs a fighting chance!