A Q&A with Dr. Alexandra DeCastro Arrivillaga Ph.D., MBA, Founder/CEO of LatinTouch Agency
Chestnut Hill (Boston), MA
The word consulting is used quite a bit in the business world. There are consultants for almost every industry, and those who consult must be experts in their fields. With so many in the consulting space, why would one want to become a consultant? How can he or she stand out in the fierce pool of competition? Authenticity. A person can gain knowledge and experience in their niche but knowing the nuances of the niche truly shows his or her expertise. Authenticity also reflects a person’s character. There are plenty of consultants who just want to land a client and make a commission. The person isn’t invested in helping a client achieve his or her goals. There is no personalization or customization in creating a strategic plan. When Alexandra Arrivillaga started her first business, Lock It Up, she took a different approach to consulting because she was in a field that was dominated by men. Alexandra took it upon herself to know everything about security and communications. She chose to work with smaller businesses because they would need the products and guidance that would only be available to larger corporations. She also knew how to work with her employees to guarantee the best work from them. Ms. Arrivillaga employs the same business strategies and determination with her latest endeavor, LatinTouch Agency. The consulting firm focuses on strategy and diversity consulting to ensure Latinos are positively represented in all businesses.
Here, Alexandra answers questions on her consulting process and LatinTouch Agency.
Latin Touch is a strategy and diversity business consulting firm that strives to ensure the Latino community is positively represented in all businesses. We do work that promotes inclusion and community and to reflect Latinos and women in a positive light not as a stereotype. I started Latin Touch because diversity information is needed now.
What did you learn from your first business, Lock it Up Security, that led you to start LatinTouch Agency?
I started a relationship with Fortune 500 companies in 2009 when I had my company Lock it Up Security LLC(that sold in 2015 for an undisclosed amount, making national headlines). Through Lock it Up Security LLCI single handedly, as a woman, put up all the cameras for all the Walmarts of New England. Then Pandora, Home Depot, Old Navy, Gap, Churches, Exito, CVS. The smallest job was 150 cameras on one job site. I broke through a male dominated industry. I had 50 Independent subcontractors working for me all at one time. I met the bosses of these companies when signing contracts. Then I started consulting in the Hispanic market. I worked on diversity awareness through data to see what would capture the market in Hispanic neighborhoods. I worked with middle managers to lessen turn-around which helps in productivity. I worked with other companies to solve complex issues as diversity economics through advertising and product placement to gain sales in products that were underselling in Hispanic neighborhoods.
What are some things about Hispanics and shopping habits that you tell retailers?
We are receptive to the Spanish language in advertisements, which makes us feel comfortable. The company respects our heritage and wants our business. Hispanics shop in groups and with families; the stores need to open their aisles for strollers and carry Hispanic Items (e.g. tortillas) to cater to the demographic, so it makes us feel welcomed. For example, Home Depot placed the drinks in the areas I consulted – they were moved to the front instead of the back of the store. Also, we like to see ourselves reflected in the things we buy, as in packaging and signage.
Let’s say I am a client and I am trying to understand your company. How will hiring a consulting firm help me to come up with a solution?
The job of consultants is to take an outside look at the inside of a company. We analyze the problem at hand given by the organization, observing the environment and then implementing corrective actions. We report on our findings of the problem based on our experience and study in the field of management as well as our own life experiences. You cannot give specific information if you have not experienced the issue first-hand. I specialize in the areas I consult (e.g. diverse strategic planning). I am knowledgeable in this field because I have been creating consulting strategies since 2015.
What are some of the steps in the consulting process? Do you advertise?
I go into the organization, more specifically the area where they are having problems. I analyze the area and formulate a strategy. I then present my findings in a report for implementation. I studied business with an emphasis on psychology, so I can create a solution that gets to the heart of the issue. Dealing with diversity can be an emotional experience. You cannot let your emotions cloud your business instincts. Business practices can be cold if they are not personalized. That said, I consult with an intuitive approach with a spiritual awakening added to the mix. While in the store, I speak to customers (Latinos) and ask for candid feedback. Their feedback is the foundation for my recommendations. As for advertising, most of my clients are referrals.
What can you do for my company? What is the first action you would take?
I can revive your organization. By helping your company overcome its current challenges, you will be able to increase revenue and, in the process, reshape your company’s image as being cognizant of all cultures – and welcoming them. I provide management consulting to help organizations like yours improve their performance and efficiency. I would analyze your business and create solutions as well as help achieve its goals. The first action I would take would be to get your company’s view of the issue.
What services do you offer?
Strategy and marketing consulting in innovative ways through the eyes of Latinos, particularly millennials.
Who are some of the companies you have worked with?
What geographical area and demographic do you target?
I focus on the greater Boston area and young Latinos (i.e. millennials).
How can someone get in touch with you?
Phone: 857-777-6283 (business), 1-774-285-6234 (cell)
Originally appeared in MMRNews on 3/24/20