North County 2019 Challenge Alumni & 2nd Prize Winner
Company Website: https://www.onsightsafetyoptics.com/
Company Bio: On-Sight Safety Optics LLC provides prescription safety eyewear products and services to businesses and consumers in need through a unique mobile, onsite service model. Centered on convenience, improving safety compliance, and building lasting relationships. By partnering with industry leading optical manufacturers, we are able to offer our clients the latest technologies in prescription lens options as well as fashionable, comfortable, and functional frames. Our onsite service model allows our clients to focus their valuable time on staying safe and productive in the workplace. Additionally, by employing seasoned opticians, our clients can trust that every experience is backed with over 12 years of knowledge and expertise. Whether it’s a personal pair of safety glasses for your favorite hobby or managing a 50 employee manufacturing operation, On-Sight Safety Optics LLC is your #1 choice for protecting your vision.
Ginno Carreon is the CEO and founder of On-Sight Safety Optics. He started his optical career working at LensCrafters in Reno, Nevada, and while simultaneously going to school for business. As he progressed with LensCrafters, he transferred to San Diego in 2011. He became an optician for a private optometry practice where he learned more about the optical business and the overall industry. Owning a business was always in the cards for Ginno, since he’s a 3rd generation entrepreneur, after his grandmother and mother. Their experience motivated Ginno to start up a business in order to live life on his own terms. Initially he went into business with his partner from a past optical practice. They had an idea to sell glasses through a mobile service model, which eventually led to the company named Mobileyes. In 2015, prescription glasses were getting cheaper and more accessible due to online retailers selling direct to consumers. This was a big blow to their company, however their safety glasses sector was still a big hit. After stepping away from the business for a year, Ginno went back to working for LensCrafters. With the safety glasses business on the rise, Ginno approached his partner to see if there was a possibility for him to carry on with the company with a new focus. This pivotal moment led to him transitioning fully into prescription safety glasses, and in 2019 he purchased all of his partner’s shares of the company to be the sole owner.
His partner was very supportive of his decision and was going to root for the company on the sidelines. Ginno’s vision is to grow nationally by building an efficient and effective service model that can be easily expanded. Some of the main benefits customers gain from using On-Sight Safety Optics glasses are compliance. When more people can wear glasses that are comfortable then subsequently there is much more compliance and safer work behaviors. This company aims to make this a very simple service. Ginno wants people to understand that accessing prescriptions safety glasses doesn’t have to be a struggle. Assisting with comfort at work is the brand promise. Focusing on personal protection while maintaining comfort is a brand mission. Some of the firm’s biggest achievements is that they were able to pivot from one business model and thrive. Another proud milestone are the prestigious clients that choose the company over others. A personal milestone for Ginno is going from working in his kitchen to now getting a new office with its own showroom and employing his brothers and friends. These victories are a reason to celebrate for the company. In a few short years they have seen enormous growth.
Every business has its fair share of challenges that emerge. Some daily issues that impacted the company were the hard financial decisions to be made. Without resources of funding, the company had to rely on its bootstrapped efforts and creativity. Weighing important decisions down to their pros and cons was necessary to make the wisest choice. Overall, Ginno was able to stick to their goals and vision by learning from some of his mentors. There were times when Ginno would have to stop important projects to make the most out of his funds. On-Sight Safety Optics has now been able to acquire outside funding like taking in loans from Accion, however Ginno aims to stay lean and maintain his company with low debt. Due to COVID-19, Ginno applied for both the EIDL grant and the PPP loan. The process was long and difficult, but Ginno was determined. He was lucky to discover that some of the online banks had become lenders. They were designed to take a large volume of clients online. Ginno spent the whole day looking for online banks he could apply through when he came across Cross River Financial. He got approved for both government programs. The application process for the PPP was difficult; he submitted the application 18 times but never got the confirmation that it went through. He contacted support, but they said the application didn’t go through. Ginno submitted over 50 times and it never went through. He went to bed defeated, but he woke up early and tried again, and it went through!
Joining the North County 2019 Challenge helped Ginno with getting the most out of his loan from Accion. He took the opportunity to learn tactics and strategies to help grow and scale. The biggest impact gained was to work on your business rather than in your business. Ginno realized he needed to step back and not micro-manage. He relinquished control to some key players on his staff so they can feel motivated to lead the company as well. Thinking bigger was crucial. By helping grow leaders in the company, his employees have a greater sense of fulfillment and purpose. Ginno also realized fostering relationships is important for the company to grow their name and brand. Ginno added new products beyond the proof of concept. Now they are looking into an optical online experience. There are plans in the future to brainstorm a model that supports the retention of their business clients. Almost all of their clients reach out to renew contracts. The customer loyalty is quite high and it is a testament to the company’s brand and values.
When Ginno took the Challenge he only had one person on payroll. Fast forward he has added many new jobs, while elevating some to management positions. With the New Year Ginno’s new office has a social distance optimized showroom to have safe fitting appointments for clients that can’t be served at their job site. From Q1 of 2019 to Q1 of 2020 Ginno has seen a 53% increase in revenues. Moving forward Ginno wants to make sure the company can create some stability before they decide to launch in other cities. Right now he can’t service nationally, but it is a goal that will take Ginno 3 to 4 years of planning. In order to make this vision a reality is to do things in phases. By analyzing systems and improving efficiency within the company the growth will follow.
The advice Ginno wants to give other small business owners is you have to stay resilient through the struggles. If it doesn’t work then that doesn’t mean it’s over, you just need a different perspective with a new set of eyes to carry on your vision. Ginno has found his passion again through his victories. You have to take time to recognize your accomplishments. We are excited to say that even amidst a global pandemic, our alumni are still able to thrive as Ginno had his best quarter in company history. Please stop by his website to learn more.