Franchisee Spotlight: Diego Rojas
Diego Rojas means business. Seriously. If you were going to write a book or make a movie about an entrepreneurial success story, Diego Rojas would be your main character. The man lives and breathes business, and he puts his skills to use on a daily basis.
It Started Only 15 Years Ago…
Diego made his way to the United States from his native Colombia in 2005. His first job in the States? A dishwasher at a Mexican restaurant. But while he was stacking dishes and slinging silverware, he was also doing something else: dreaming. To be exact, he was fantasizing about the ‘American Dream.’
Diego knew his destiny was beyond dishwashing, and so began his mission to become a successful business owner, and Diego understood that it was going to take a lot of hard work to make it a reality.
While working at the restaurant, Diego made plans to educate himself on how to run a business. He left that dishwasher job and began working as a dispatcher at a nearby airport. Why a dispatcher job? Because of the hours. Diego worked overnights at the airport, starting at 10pm. After a full shift, he’d head home for some sleep and then attended classes at Valencia Community College in the late afternoons and evenings. Two years later, he earned an associates degree in General Studies.
“I am an early bird,” says Diego. “I like to get up in the mornings, so this schedule was very hard for me. But I had to do it.”
Down to Business
After Valencia, Diego attended Keyser University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. But that didn’t translate to immediate success in the business world. For 11 years, Diego worked in a chiropractic clinic, climbing the ladder up to Marketing Director and then Vice President. He eventually parted ways with that company and set out on a new business venture.
In 2018, he decided to build a restaurant, which was finished by that December. In the meantime, Diego had been attending franchise events for his restaurant, and that’s when he met Andy Zapata’s Physical Therapy Now franchise team. Despite having his hands full with the new restaurant and a new baby born in 2019, Diego began the Physical Therapy Now franchise process in September. So, why franchise with Andy?
“I decided to buy a franchise because Andy has a system already created,” Diego says. “I know this business, but Andy had everything done. It would take me a lot of time to do it on my own. Take the system, implement it, and make it work for you. The key is to implement good systems, and Andy already had all of that in place.”
It’s important to note that Zapata doesn’t bring just anyone on his franchise team.
“It has to be a good fit,” Zapata explains. “What makes Diego a good fit is that he is relentless when it comes to marketing. He does it all. He’ll go door to door if he has to, to make sure his business gets out there.”
That strategy has proven successful. In his first month of being opened, his new patient numbers shattered records for any new Physical Therapy Now franchise.
The Keys to Success in Business
For Diego, knowledge is power. Despite having successfully run multiple businesses, he’s always looking to broaden his skill set. “If there’s a course or a seminar I can take, then I take it,” Diego notes. “No matter how successful my businesses become, there is always something for me to learn.”
“I always think that knowledge gives you power and helps you improve yourself for your business. That’s how I can make sure my businesses do well.”
As far as maintaining success as a business owner, Diego believes in a few fundamental principles:
- Hire the right people–and keep them. According to Diego, you can’t operate a successful business on your own. You need the right team to take you to the next level. “You have to find the right people by making great hires, then you’re able to do anything. But you have to have help, and you have to have support.”
“We hire only the best workers, and we take care of our employees because, without them, the business will never thrive. Plus, we pay well because we have to keep the employees happy. And if we don’t profit as much because of that, it’s ok. It’s not always about making money. It’s about making the people who work for you feel special. Remember, they have a life too.”
- Marketing is critical. One approach Diego has used is relentless marketing for his businesses. Without marketing, he says, you have no business. “I consider marketing nowadays to be super important for any business. Any way you can do marketing, I do it. Some doors may open, some may not, but you can’t stop when one doesn’t open. You just keep knocking, and a door will open. And then another one. You keep marketing.”
He says to view your business as a marketing company too. So, if you have a grocery store, it’s a grocery store/marketing company. If you have a bar, it’s a bar/marketing company. If you have a gym, it’s a gym/marketing company.
“Marketing is everything, and that’s my not-so-secret strategy that has always worked.”
- Customer service. You’ve heard the saying, ‘the customer is always right.’ Diego is certainly a big believer in that philosophy. “Always provide excellent customer service. You have to prioritize that. It’s so important to make sure you make the customers happy because they talk to other people about their experiences. If they’re happy, they’ll come back.”
In addition to his newly opened Physical Therapy Now franchise, he still owns and operates his restaurant in Orlando, owns a small business in his home country of Colombia and owns a business consulting company. Yes, he is a busy man, and that’s why he has learned to value one thing most.
“I have learned to appreciate time. Time is so important. You know, entrepreneurs go into businesses looking for more money, and that’s what I did too. But I’ve realized it isn’t only about the money. It takes so much time to build a business, that you need to value the time it takes you to get money. Time is everything. You can’t ever get it back once it’s gone. But you can always get more money.”
We all have to start somewhere, Diego says, just like he did. Those days as a dishwasher served him well.
“Every position and who is in it makes the successful or not. Work hard, work smart, and take care of the people around you. That’s what owning a business is all about, and that’s exactly what I’m doing with Physical Therapy Now.”
His primary focus is to give back to his community, especially with car accident victims who need therapy to heal from their injuries.
“It feels good to give back. I’m not only growing businesses, but I’m helping the community at the same time, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Diego’s Physical Therapy Now franchise is located at 482 E Altamonte Drive, Suite 1006 in Altamonte Springs, Florida. For more information on this PT Now location or Diego Rojas, call (407) 214-6333.