What makes Zarchi's all-terrain vehicle business thrive? "The key to everything is employees."
Name: Ram Zarchi
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona employees: 15
Total employees: 40
Eighteen years ago, Ram Zarchi started the U.S. headquarters of Tomcar. Originally founded by Zarchi’s father in Israel, Tomcar manufactures high-end, versatile all-terrain vehicles, and distributes both national and internationally.
Zarchi shares the most rewarding part of being a successful entrepreneur and what it’s like to do business in Arizona.
Tell me about your business.
It started as lightweight, high-end vehicles for special forces in Israel, and in the last 15 years we’ve converted to a variety of commercial operations vehicles that are nearly indestructible for government use, mining, tourism, and so on. We design and manufacture the vehicles.
What’s most rewarding about owning your own business?
Controlling your own destiny. I didn’t know I wanted to own my own business until I worked for others for a very short amount of time and I realized it wasn’t for me.
How is it doing business in Arizona?
I chose Arizona completely by random; originally it was intended for the headquarters to move out to California.
In many ways, Arizona is very good for us because of what we do. It’s a right-to-work state, so it really doesn’t put as many obstacles in the path of a business as complicated as ours.
Like any place, it has advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is the talent pool—especially for management—is more limited.
We’ve been asked to move to several other states with very nice incentive packages, but I like living here and raising a family here. We’ve been welcomed very warmly by the small businesses, and we employ many subcontractors. The business environment here has been very positive.
How has NFIB made a difference in your business?
So far, the main event was a few weeks ago when NFIB brought over Sen. [John] McCain to do his endorsement in our facility.
Overall, there are indirect advantages. You’re part of a network of small businesses, and you have more exposure to same size businesses. It’s another layer of communication and networking.
What advice would you give new small business owners?
The key to everything is employees. Your first one or two hires are your right hand, and that is probably the most important business decision you can make—if you make the right one, your business will succeed.