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Your Money, Your Business: Instant Copy & Printing

June 10, 2010 at 1:10 a.m.
Updated June 12, 2010 at 1:12 a.m.

Instant Copy & Printing sits at 1810 N. Navarro St. The copycat on the sign is one of the company's distinguishing characteristics, co-owner Debbie Rodriguez said.

Editor's note: Your Money, Your Business showcases small businesses. If you have a small business or know of an interesting one, please let us know. See the end of this feature for submission information.

Business name:

Instant Copy & Printing

Address and phone number:

1810 N. Navarro St., 361-578-1091

Business owner:

Debbie Rodriguez and Augie Aguirre

Date opened:

We purchased the business in December 1999

Number of employees:

Five

Services offered:

Fast copies of all sizes, printing, color copies, laminating, binding, stationery, invitations, programs, faxing and anything else that has to do with printing

1: Why did you choose the industry?

Debbie fell into it. She was looking for a job in 1982 and was hired on. She began part-time, but moved up to full-time and, later, owned the business. Debbie eventually got Augie into the industry, as well.

2: Describe your first day in business.

There really wasn't much of a change. Debbie had already managed the business for 15 or 16 years but, after buying it, it just meant more responsibility. We had to care for and maintain the business ourselves.

3: Describe a typical workday.

Sometimes it can get pretty busy. It usually includes making a lot of copies, laminating and doing color copies. We can do pretty much anything customers request. We satisfy about 99 percent of customers.

4: Why open up shop in the Crossroads region?

This is where the business was already. Our old boss used to have his shop in what is now the DeTar parking lot. Later, he moved to this building, which is an old 7-Eleven.

5: Is it difficult to find employees in our workforce? How do you find workers?

Most of the people who work here are family. And, if they aren't related, they're very close to us.

6: What advice would you give others starting a new business?

Be prepared. It's a lot of hard work and isn't a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job. You have to be ready to take the good with the bad. Not every day is good and you'll get discouraged sometimes. But you just have to start over again the next day.

7: What is the biggest challenge your industry faces?

Technology. That's what's hurt us more than anything. Everyone has a computer and, if they don't, they know someone who does. Anyone can go out and buy a color copier or laminator. But we just have to come up with something else the others can't do. That's what we've done in purchasing our large format machine.

8: What is something most people don't realize about running a small business?

It's not a get-rich-quick job because you have to put a lot into it. Also, the taxes will get you. Uncle Sam will eat you alive.

9: In your time running your business, what is your best story?

A man who was running a scam once came in for copies. He gave us a flyer to set up and we did it because we didn't realize what was happening. He eventually went on to get $1 million out of a bank and, since we had helped him with the flyers, we were subpoenaed to go identify him. Augie was there and back within 24 hours and got him convicted.

10: Where do you see yourself and your business in five years?

Right here. We don't plan to move. We own the building and the property around it and don't want to get so big we can't make people happy. You have to be able to please the people.

- Allison Miles, Victoria Advocate

To be considered for the Your Money, Your Business feature, call 361-580-6511 or e-mail Business Reporter Allison Miles at amiles@vicad.com. The form is also available electronically.

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