The Perfect Time: NOW

A lot of us have dreamt of having that perfect business. We attend expos, seminars, and other events to get information on how to start a business. We consult our family, friends and experts about the venture that we wanted to pursue. All of these we’ve been doing so when that time comes, all the planning and preparations, the business will start perfectly. Oftentimes these planning, consultation, and preparations are left untouched and stored in our drawers while we wait for the perfect timing to start the business. 

Most of the time we tell ourselves the following that hinders us to start our own business: 

“I don’t have enough money to start the business. Magiipon muna ako.”

“I don’t have the experience to run a business. Magtrabaho muna ako.”

“I am too young or too old to start a business.”

“I think it’s not a good time to start a business kasi…”

“I’ll wait for the perfect timing to start the business.”

So, when is the perfect time?

Consider this: 

Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at a young age of 18. 

Colonel Sanders founded KFC at the age of 65.

Bill Gates was a college dropout.

Henry Sy started his department store empire just before the declaration of Martial Law. 

Les Reyes started Reyes Haircutters with only 10,000 pesos capital.

The founder of National Bookstore, Soccorro Ramos, started her business during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War 2. 

And there are a lot of success stories of entrepreneurs who started their business even if the odds are against them. 

So, let me ask again. When is the perfect time to start a business? 

The perfect time for you to start your business is NOW. Why let your age, lack of capital, lack of experience, fear of failure hinder you from starting your own business.

That time is TODAY!
The longer you wait, the harder it will be. 

Start Your Business With Little or No Capital: Tips

Dollar Symbols Falling From The Sky As A Sign Of WealthEntrepreneurs will often have amazing business ideas, but they put them on hold due to lack of capital. They assume that their idea will never get far off the ground unless they have major funding behind them.

If your idea and plan of execution aren’t well thought out from the beginning, no amount of money can turn it into a winner. Have a great idea but very little money? Don’t let that stop you! Yes, there will be long days with little to no sleep. Yes, it is going to be stressful. But those that want it bad enough will make it.

Here are some tips that can help you get your idea off the ground with limited funds.

  1. Build your business around what you are good at. Instead of venturing off into unchartered territory, make sure that you build your business around your skills and knowledge, especially where you are good at. The less you have to rely on outside sources the better. Also, having that knowledge is sometimes all that is needed to successfully take the plunge in running a successful business,
  2. Avoid unnecessary expenses. You are going to have plenty of expenses, and there are some that just can’t be avoided. What you can avoid though is overspending. Being frugal in the beginning can be the difference between success and a failed business. Also, don’t get buried in credit card debt. There is a smart way and a suicidal way to use credit when starting a business. New computers, office furniture, phones and supplies can all quickly add up. Instead of purchasing everything at once and throwing it all on a credit card, use your company’s revenue to finance your expenses. Eliminating the stress and burden of debt will greatly increase the chances of creating a successful business.
  3. Build up sweet equity. When you first start your business, you will work around the clock, handling every aspect of the business as well as the marketing and growth. All of the hard work and long days that you put in isn’t for nothing. You are building a brand and your hard work is essentially increasing the value of your business. Your sweet equity will come into play if ever you decide to sell off a piece of your company or take on a partner.
  4. Tell everyone you know about what you started. Inform your family, friends, business contacts and past colleagues about your new business. Call, send emails and make your new venture known in your social media profiles. Your friends and family members can help you spread the word, and past business contacts can introduce your brand to other professional contacts as well. This type of marketing can help introduce your company to a much larger audience.
  5. Take advantage of free advertising and marketing. There are several ways to generate interest for your business without breaking the bank. Social media is a great way to gain exposure and interact with potential customers. You can also reach out to local media and offer your expertise. With your family and friends informed about your venture, their network is also vital in promoting your business.
  6. Get ready to hustle. Hard work is an absolute necessity, but when you are starting a business with little to no capital then you must be prepared to dedicate everything you have into making the business a success. This might mean cold calling, handling customer support, dealing with billing and accounting, and every other working part of your business. You will wear many hats and it will require the majority of your time and energy if you are to make it.

Don’t let limited capital prevent you from taking a great idea and running with it. Will it be difficult and will you have some stressful situations? Of course! But that is part of starting a business.

Have you started a business with sweet equity alone? If so, let us know about your experiences, you could be an inspiration to others who are still afraid in venturing into business just because of having low capital or none at all.

Passion and Opportunities: Be Patient, Persistent, and Positive

Over the years, we often read or hear about doing what you love to do and pursue it. Like, if you love building things, pursue a career in architecture, engineering, or construction. We hear that some people have been successful because they followed their passion. Some have even published their experiences to be inspiration to others which some have claimed to be effective and some are not. Yes, being passionate about something can make wonders in the chosen field of work or business. They usually say that you have to be patient, persistent, and positive about what you are passionate about and then everything will just fall into place in the form of opportunities.

But here’s another perspective on passion and opportunities:

…looked around for an opportunity, they identified the opportunity, they exploited the opportunity, they worked  at the opportunity, and they got good at the opportunity, then they figured out how to love it…

… so, do you have to have passion? Absolutely… Do you have to rely upon it to drive you? No…

… never follow your passion, but always bring it with you…

– Mike Rowe

Thinking about it, he has a point with regards to opportunities. Grab the opportunity, then be passionate about it. It is highly possible that any person can do it. If we look around us, there are a lot of opportunities, and we tend to ignore it because we are so focused on what we want or what we are passionate about. Its just that if we grabbed an opportunity and learn to love it, then we could be very successful in it. It may work the same way as focusing on passion first: When there’s an opportunity, be patient, persistent, and positive about it and eventually you’ll be passionate in it.

It may work either way. But, sometimes when you are lucky enough, an opportunity comes along wherein you are also passionate about it.

Hearing it from Mike Rowe, it may be more practical to look around for an opportunity, identify the opportunity, exploit and work on the opportunity, be good at the opportunity, and figure out how to love it.

So, which is which?

Be patient, persistent, and positive about your passion until an opportunity comes along

or

Be patient, persistent, and positive about the opportunities you grabbed until you become passionate about it?

Share us your stories…

Turning Hobbies to Business: Hitting a Flock of Birds with One Shot

Choosing Beads For A Unique NecklaceHobbies are considered to be personal pastime. It may be cross-stitching, painting, designing for clothes, etc. The fact that it interests you and you continuously do it, it can be turned into a business. With some twitching and fixing on ways how you handle your time and how you do it, you hobby might be a successful business.

In our previous posts, Starting A Business While Working Full Time and When Starting a Business… Have Fun, we have discussed about things to consider when starting a business. Now, we’re adding some insights for a person who would want to start a business. Why not start with your hobbies? It’s one of the best ideas to start with since its considered a pastime and it can be done outside your work schedule. And definitely, it won’t be a hobby if you are not enjoying it or having fun while doing it.

Here are some hobbies that we find to be profitable and can be turned into a part-time or a full-time business:

Cooking/Baking – Cooking or baking is one of the most common hobbies that are transformed into a full blown business. We must say that some hobbyists do cook or bake better than the professionals. With a little twisting and turning outside cooking and baking, add up some marketing, sales and money management, this hobby can be a great business, especially when you are good at it and do it better than those pros.

Photography – Another common hobby that is turned into a business. With the right effort, skill, connections, and guidance, this hobby can be a really profitable business. Like cooking or baking, some hobbyists are really good at it and even create quality shots which are far more better than those who say they are into the business of events photography. Some of hobbyists we know only uses point-and-shoot cameras or film cameras in their craft, and they make better prints. There’s even a saying, “Hindi porket naka DSLR ka, professional photographer ka na”. So, when you are into a photography hobbyist with a group with the same interest, why not give it a try? If photography is something you love to do and you are good at, make it as your part-time business. We believe that those who love their craft produces better results than those who do it because it is their job.

Designing – Fashion design, lay-outing, painting, concept designing, etc. Most of these hobbies are really done during free time and it can turned into a profitable business if you got also the talent for it. Freelancing during free times while working isn’t bad when you got the skills and talent, and when you love what you do and feel good about it, this artistic side of you can really be a solid business. Setting up a design firm is no joke, but when what you’ll be doing would be fun for you, it’s just a piece of cake. We know of some designers or inventors who are doing concept designs as his part-time business, while he is still working for a local government office. He loves what he does, he’s having fun, and most of all he’s cashing in a lot in his business!

There are other hobbies out there that some just take them for granted and do them a their own leisure. With some entrepreneural inspiration and a little push, you’ll turn what you love doing into a great business. If you are good at it, think of it as an opportunity to be your own business that you’ll have fun.

So, when you are a hobbyist who turned the hobby as a business, don’t just say that you are, “hitting two birds with one stone”, it would be better to say “hitting a flock of birds with one shot.” You have fun, you do what you love, you earn while you do it, have a lot of time with your family, and so many other reasons to make it a successful business.

You can never say that there are no more opportunities… You make those opportunities, it’s just a matter of starting it!

Starting a Business While Working Full Time

Balanced Pepples at the Baltic Sea of GermanyIt is quite uncommon here in the Philippines to see employees being employed by two jobs… But abroad, it is quite common to hear that someone is having a second job. Here it the Philippines, it is more common to have a side-line or part-time rather than taking on two jobs and be an employee for two companies.

A valuable lesson i have learned from the past ten or so years in doing a part-time or side-line business, is that it would be better to start a business while being employed. This would allow aspiring businessmen to provide a stable income and at the same time make money from the part-time or side-line. Having a full-time job provides you with a safety net. You can develop your plans, learn some new tricks of the trade in your new business, and test your new business concept – all while getting a steady income from your employment.

We know a lot of people have handled a part-time or side-line business while working on a job full-time. As observed, they have followed some guidelines so they have harmoniously done two things at the same time. Having read in another article, these simple rules should also be followed: treat your employer with respect, honor your commitments, and be fair. There are also other things that have to be considered in having a business while being employed:

Does your job allow you to do business?

To be sure you won’t have any problems in running your own business while being employed is that first, you have to determine if your job will allow you to do it. There are some companies that prohibit their employees engage into business while being employed in their institution. Some do allow and encourage their employees to engage into business while being employed. So, it would be better to know if your current job will allow you to do so. You have to make sure you have reviewed the company’s employee’s handbook just to be sure you are not violating any rules and policies of the company. It is also important to review the terms and conditions of the employment contract particularly in the confidentiality clause and the use of resources of the company. Mostly they are the ones taken for granted and becomes the cause of problems with your business and your status as an employee. It would be very hard to operate and business and be employed if there are complications along the way.

It is also best that you consult an professional HR practitioner or maybe even a lawyer before starting your business while being employed. It’s better to be safe than be sorry in the future. It may sound expensive for a startup, but, if there would be conflicts or complications with your current job and your new business, it would be more costly to resolve than getting professional advise at first.

Don’t compete with your employer

It is very obvious, it is unethical to compete with your employer, whether directly or indirectly with your employer. This does affect your professional reputation permanently and the cost of having being in trouble with your employer would be a serious legal consequence. Most employers would not hesitate getting rid of you or maybe even get into a legal battle with you. If the business you have in mind would be directly competing with your employer, and you are sure of being successful at it, it would be better to resign. Just make sure that you won’t be violating any terms and conditions in your quit claim or in your contract. Some clauses in contracts would bar you to be engaged in a similar business as your employer.

Run the business during your free time and outside your working hours

It is ideal that you run your business at your own time. Remember that you are being paid by your employer to be focused on the job that is given to you. The simple rules apply here: treat your employer with respect, honor your commitments, and be fair. If your work requires you to be at a specific time, place, and do specific functions, be there 100%. Keep in mind always that your employer pays for you and you wouldn’t want to put that in jeopardy, unless there is an agreement that allows you to do so.

On a regular workday for example, you are to be in your place of work by 8:00 AM and leave by 5:00 PM, you should be operating your business outside of those hours. You have to make sacrifices by getting up early or stay up late to do some tasks for your business. At times, especially when you are starting a business, it would require you to be there during your office time. This would be very challenging. If you have to attend to something for your business during your workhours, it would be better to do it during your break times. Also, it is best to handle your business matters outside your place of employment.

Don’t use your employer’s office and equipment

Your employer’s place of business is theirs and not yours. Even if it is outside business hours, it would be better to do it outside. You should remember that your employer may claim what you have developed for it was done inside the premises of his place of business. This also applies to the equipment that you use like the company’s laptop or computer, telephone or mobile phone, software, etc. Again, this is a precaution that can be valuable when the time comes. It would be better to do it at home or another place where you feel it is safe to run your ideas and your new business.

Be sensitive and know when to quit

Running a business while being employed takes a lot from our energy, time and resources. It is quite difficult to do it at the same time and may cause exhaustion if done for a long time. When the business is growing, it would be requiring more of your attention and it might affect your current employment. The attention you might be giving to your current job is declining and it would be unfair with your employer who pays for your services by what was agreed upon. By the time that the business is growing, it is advised that you have to weigh things up. Knowing when to quit your job and be focused on your business full-time takes a lot of consideration. Quitting soon may lead you to financial failure, waiting too long may lose some opportunities.

If you have the funding, leave your employment once your business is on track and making money. New businesses are unpredictable, sometimes you would hit a jackpot and sometimes you get zero, and it may be very difficult. It is best that you quit when your business  is generating an income that can replace your salary. This has to be remembered and a lot have made mistakes by leaving the job too soon.

Local Mom and Dad Business Movement will be conducting seminars and programs very soon that would help you out when starting your own business. Advising and mentoring by professionals will be some of the services to be offered to mom and dads who would wish to start up their own business. We hope to see you soon and let’s support local mom and dad businesses in your community