Maria Guadamuz is a successful business owner and businesswoman in a field still dominated by men. When this 5’-1”, self-proclaimed, ‘chick that rocks the locks’ walks into a room, both her competition in the locksmith industry and future clients notice. Guadamuz is the owner of AAA Miami Locksmith in Miami, a full service locksmith company specializing in commercial, residential and automotive locksmith needs and installation. With a fleet of vehicles and more than a dozen employees, Guadamuz is a leader in her industry. A decade ago, it was a different story.
Maria Guadamuz’s success is the result of a lot of hard work and marketing know how. That’s because she started with nothing and turned an idea into a profitable business. It wasn’t always easy. In 2002, with her then boyfriend, Diego Castro, the two incorporated AAA Miami Locksmith and started doing business from a truck. While Castro serviced residential, commercial and automotive calls, Guadamuz pounded the pavement at networking events and business meetings in search of new clients. Their business slowly started expanding.
“People don’t expect to see a young businesswoman when they’re looking for a locksmith,” said Guadamuz. “But I learned a long time ago, not to let that get in the way and to focus on growing the business through innovation and excellent customer service,” she added.
Proven customer service, expertise and unique marketing and networking capabilities have been the secret to success at AAA Miami Locksmith. To combat the lack of trust and dishonesty in the locksmith business, AAA Miami Locksmith opened a storefront at 3501 Northeast 2nd Avenue in Midtown Miami. The company also expanded its service fleet from one truck to nine vehicles.
Guadamuz’s ideas don’t stop there. The company even revolutionized the locksmith industry, when it started using fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly Smart Cars two years ago. Smart Cars consume six times less fuel than a full-size sedan or cargo van traditionally used by locksmiths. AAA Miami Locksmith did this because it wanted to leave less of a carbon footprint on the environment.
AAA Miami Locksmith now has more than 300 customers. Twenty-five percent of their business is residential, five percent is automotive and the rest is commercial. The numbers are intentional. See, Guadamuz has focused her business development and marketing efforts on the commercial market. Her clients include both national and small retail establishments, banks, hotels and property management companies in Miami- Dade County. Round the clock and prompt service are among the reasons for the company’s success.
“Our business has come a long way because of Maria’s business savvy and networking abilities,” said Diego Castro, AAA Miami Locksmith co-owner and Guadamuz’s husband. Guadamuz has grown the business over the past ten years by knocking on doors and building relationships. AAA Miami Locksmith is part of the marketing group, BNI Miami Beach or Business Networking International. The company has also been part of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce for the last three years. In 2011, Guadamuz was honored by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and awarded as a rising star for her hard work, leadership and acute business sense.
Guadamuz has become a standout in the locksmith industry. In fact, she has gained recognition and is affectionately known as “the chick that rocks the locks”. Clients especially recognize the company’s honesty and integrity.
Guadamuz attended Florida International University’s College of Business Administration and received her AA degree from Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida. Besides running a successful business, Maria is a wife and mother of two children.
AAA Miami Locksmith is a full service locksmith company, but also offers door installations, installs, repairs, Closed Circuit or CCTV’s, Camera-Accessed Control Doors, re-key frames, key cuts, Lock-Out Safes and installation and opening of safes.
“I wouldn’t say my dream as a little girl was to be a security expert and own a locksmith company, but I am so thankful for AAA Miami Locksmith,” said Guadamuz. “Our first ten years in business has seen many changes and extensive growth, and I will work to make our coming decades even more successful.”