POWERFUL FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS

Rebecca Heredia of Baja Ready Mix Concrete

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POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS TALK: BAJA READY MIX CONCRETE’S REBECCA HEREDIA SITS DOWN FOR A CANDID CONVERSATION WITH LOCALFI’S COO KIM COATES

We are so happy to share our interview with Rebecca Heredia, a strong and determined force behind Baja Ready Mix Concrete. She is spearheading the movement to introduce more women leaders in the construction supply industry. She shares her entrepreneurial journey and insights on working towards succeeding in a male-dominated field.

Kim: What was the event that really caused you to realize you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Rebecca: I can’t pinpoint a specific event. But, I will say it was a recollection of events. I was exposed to events and workshops at a very young age. That kind of opened up my eyes to see beyond my potential and realize that I can do more.

Once I started working in my husband’s business (Baja Ready Mix Concrete) back in 2015, I saw potential and a great need to expand. I felt that my skills and my knowledge could enhance the business. So that’s how I became an entrepreneur.

Kim: What caused you to start working in the concrete supply industry with your husband?

Rebecca: My husband needed my support. At that point I had withdrawn from my bilingual nursing program, and I had left my job as a homeowner insurance agent to care for our son.
I occasionally helped him as an administrative assistant. I never had a plan or dream of working in my husband’s business, but as I continued to be involved, I could see that I was really helping him grow the business and my own responsibilities within the company.

Kim: Thankfully he had you to help out!!

Rebecca: Yes, I was just helping him with administrative things at first. And then it just ended up being a full-time thing. I implemented softwares and systems to streamline business operations. I got involved in different departments and opened new ones.

I saw that I was able to create a more positive impact for the company and I was able to create more opportunities.

And honestly, the schedule worked out great too. At that time, we had our first son, so I was able to be more of a present parent and care for our son.

Kim: That’s great. That’s because you chose to do that too. That means you have willpower. And to have willpower as an entrepreneur is a big deal. So you deserve a pat on the back for that!

Since we’re talking about Baja, can you tell me more about your position within the company and what you and Baja are experts in?

Rebecca: We specialize in the production and delivery of Ready Mix Concrete in Arizona. We offer custom mix designs to meet the specific strength, durability, and workability requirements of different construction projects. We are certified by Arizona Rock Products Association, and approved vendor for the city of Phoenix.

As for my title I’m the Chief Operating Officer of Baja Ready Mix Concrete. I oversee departments and implement various systems within the company to help streamline operations. I conduct business analysis and develop business plans to improve efficiency and achieve goals. I also lead the bidding process, quotation and procurement.

And this is something I’m really proud of. This year, early 2024, I founded the Leadership Mentorship Program. This program enables employees to see what great leadership looks like.

Every business event that I attend, I take one of the volunteers with me and they get the chance to be part of the one-on-one conversations with business owners, leaders, and educators. They get to learn about finances, marketing, taxes, etc. It’s pretty neat because they really appreciate that inside look that they wouldn’t normally get otherwise.

They come back and you can see the excitement in their eyes. I love that!

Kim: That’s amazing! It sounds like you’re trying to disrupt the concrete supply company with more women leaders right?!

Rebecca: Yes. This industry is predominantly male-dominated so I feel like women have a lot to offer and they just need an opportunity. They just need to have that chance to get involved in the industry. We are in the construction industry and you don’t see a lot of women. I want to have more women involved in the industry and make an impact.

Kim: So what is the driving force or passion behind why you do what you do? What’s really driving you?

Rebecca: I love to help people. I wanted to be a nurse to help people. Then when I became a wife, I wanted to help my husband. And when I became a mother, I wanted to set my kids up for success.

It’s always been my drive to help people. I love educating, teaching, and creating opportunities especially those who are close to me.

Kim: I love that your root core value of helping people has brought you to where you are now, making an even bigger impact beyond yourself.

Okay, so next question: if you could teach just one lesson to female entrepreneurs out there, what would that lesson be and why?

Rebecca:

In my own experience, when women know how to leverage their femininity, especially in business, they can achieve more. We bring adaptability. We bring intuition, creativity, flow, patience, empathy, communication and inclusion.

And I think that when we work together, united, we can definitely create so much and provide resources and skills.

Kim: In your experience, what unique strengths or perspectives do you believe women bring to the world of entrepreneurship? And how have these influenced your own entrepreneurial journey?

Rebecca: Our business is a 51% woman-owned business. Which has exposed me to more opportunities and to be able to network with other like-minded women.

We have built a network of business owners that are women who can help each other.

I don’t think we realize how much we need each other.

We tend to be competitive. But I think when we put ourselves in the other person’s shoes or we open up a little bit about our story to the other person, it can definitely create more meaningful relationships in business.

People want to know that you are a trustworthy person. So, knowing that and knowing that we can work with each other and not against each other is something that we can definitely leverage on.

Kim: It’s interesting you say that too, because you’re not the first person to have mentioned that to me during these interviews. It’s weird how often it comes up and I don’t really think about it. But like, of course, we’re competitive by nature.

I feel that as well. But, I love women. I love being around women. I love complimenting women. Like, I just want to pump them up and make them feel good!

But I agree with you. It’s weird how we always want to butt heads. We can be so good and produce so many creative things and be impactful together when we do work together.

So what is one habit that you’ve personally developed in your own life that’s made a really big impact on your success?

Rebecca: Practicing being thankful. I feel like, with the stress and being busy with the business and constant multitasking, we can lose sight of being thankful for just the everyday things.

Thankful for our food. Thankful for the life that we have. Thankful for everything that we have in this country.

It definitely has helped me get through difficult times.

Kim: I’m definitely excited to ask you, what are one or two of the most impactful books you’ve either read or listened to ,or podcasts that you’d recommend to any entrepreneur?

Rebecca: Well, nowadays, I do more podcasts. It’s easier to just multitask if you’re listening to podcasts. But one book that really stands out for me is Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey, which is a book of 20 years worth of practical business wisdom.

It was so impactful that I decided to provide Ramsey’s SmartDollar to our employees. The program gives employees tools to become more financially intelligent such as a budgeting app, access to financial coaches, tax software, etc.

Another very impactful book is called the 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist so a lot of his insights are pretty interesting. I have applied many of his insights because I feel like entrepreneurship is more than being smart. It’s more than just the skills that you can get from learning and educating yourself.

You have to have grit. You have to have perseverance. You have to have something more because things will happen in your life. Everyone goes through rough times; and you have to be able to get through the tough times and have your company grow to what its true potential is.

Kim: Yessss! I think the word you’re looking for is ‘willpower.’

Gosh, being an entrepreneur and not having willpower…we would get absolutely nothing done ever!

A really big thing I want to highlight that you said is thinking beyond the level of just you. When you run a business and you’re an entrepreneur, you can’t just think about yourself anymore. You have to think about your team, your husband, your children.

You’re thinking about the well-being of everyone beneath you, as well as all the people and individuals and businesses you’re impacting. We can’t just think about ourselves.

We need to have our WHY constantly be our driving factor to keep pushing on even when times are rough because honestly, right now, it’s kind of rough for all industries. I’m curious, but is your industry also facing weird economic changes with consumer habits right now?

Rebecca: We have seen some slow times But, that’s something that you, as an entrepreneur, have to innovate. You have to pivot.
After COVID hit, we had a good couple of years because we were in high demand. We were able to generate a lot of revenue. Now, we are seeing the post pandemic aftermath, high interest rate, inflation, it’s preventing homeowners from being able to afford our services.

We have to pivot and we have to innovate and create opportunities.

So, what I have done is I am leading towards corporations. I am getting the federal contracts.
We’re zooming in on a specific industry. That can help us enhance our opportunities. We have seen Arizona blooming with new developments, new corporations, foreign companies bringing their businesses. It has been great for businesses who can tap into these opportunities.

Kim: And then last question for you, if people do want to learn more about Baja Ready Mix Concrete or if they want to work with you or get a hold of you, what is the best way to contact you?

Rebecca: They can contact me via email or our phone number, which is my direct line to the office.

Email: rebecca.heredia@bajareadymix.com 

Business Phone: 602-503-9391

Website:  https://bajareadymix.com/

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