Fuji Avdic is the owner and president of BHF Express, a leading provider of transportation and logistics services and one of the fastest growing companies in Kentucky. Follow him @FujiBHF.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
I’ve had many heroes in my life, and honestly they have became a lot more relatable as I have matured. To me, a hero is someone who continues to inspire and motivate me to become a better individual, entrepreneur and family member. In the last five years there have been three people who have molded me into who I am today. Each person continues to motive me individually to become a better person as a whole.
My first hero would be my brother Faruk, a great father to my three nieces, community volunteer, perfectionist and family man. Faruk is a great example of someone you want to work with both on and off the field. He’s someone that has been through it all in his personal life and career. He always advises and encourages me on how to stay away from failure in life. With an 11-year age gap, Faruk is a true representation of someone I want to emulate in my work and personal life.
My second hero would be my brother-in-law, Adis Smajlovic. Adis has helped build me into the great young entrepreneur that I am today. He’s taught me how to sell both quality and quantity, without having to sacrifice one for the other. Adis is someone that all young entrepreneurs could learn from through his drive and determination, and he knows the secrets to success.
My third hero is a gentlemen known as Woody Welch, who hails from Memphis, Tenn. This man calls me son, even though he’s never met my mother. Woody is a great entrepreneur who’s been in my industry for longer than I have been alive. He seems to have everything that an entrepreneur would want: he’s the hardest working employee you will see on any of his properties at any given time. Woody is a true inspiration to me every day, and that helps keep me on track to follow in his footsteps to great success. He knows what works and what doesn’t. I credit him for helping me become one of the greatest in my industry.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
“Try to make a living every day.” Your success in business will serve as an inspiration, and co-workers, friends, family and competitors will start to look at you a different way. I think successful entrepreneurs know when they meet another successful entrepreneur, and it should stay at that. Not all people, customers and friends always want to see you doing better than them. While I like publicity, I want it for doing something good and giving back to the next generation.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Early in my business, I made the mistake of not offering great customer service consistently. To be great in your industry you have to be different. Whatever you’re doing you have to do it a little differently and better than your competition, and you have to do it consistently. Being consistent in your service and product is what sells quality and quantity.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I once was a morning person; that’s not so much the case anymore. The first hour of my business day always starts slowly. I tend to use that time to interact with my employees. Once I get going, I’m in the zone.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Business revenue is not always consistent. Supply and demand differs and so should your prices. When there is extra money to be made, make it and make something out of it.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
I think the economy is a lot better than it was three years ago or even a year or month ago. People are making more money and spending even more. Make your money while you can and use this time to grow your business.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
As a business owner I think success is when you can sleep well at night. It’s about doing it the right way, doing what you promised people, and not owing anyone money. As a business owner, knowing your customers are happy, your employees are happy and you’re making money is success in my mind.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.