A Small Advise

We often have grand plans when we want to start a business. Usually we get excited with our plans, and then, POOF!

We get distracted and sometimes we get discouraged by people around us. This leads to the loss of motivation in doing your plans. When we lose our motivation, we often set aside our our plans, and sometimes we get lazy in pursuing it. Then, we abandon the plan.

We believe that what you have in mind as your dream business is a great plan! Whenever you feel discouraged and lazy in pursuing your grand plan, here’s our small advise for you:

You Can Do It!

You Can Do It!

If you believe in what you have started, we believe in that too! Kaya mo yan! Tinatamad ka lang! (You can do it! You are just feeling lazy.)

Share your thoughts. Maybe we can help.

The Mom and Dad Store

In the past few weeks, we have been brainstorming about how the Support Local Mom and Dad Businesses Movement can help fellow micro and small enterprises. Aside from promoting others via blogs, facebook, and other social media platforms, offline and actual promotion of products and services were suggested to help out fellow mom and dad enterprises.

There are a lot of online platforms that cater to promoting mom and dad entreprises like facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. Even mom and dad businesses are also using the said platforms in promoting their own businesses. But, are they really effective? For some, these platforms have been very effective and have grown some businesses already. Some even started up as an online store in facebook, and instagram. To some, online promotion of their enterprises have not been very much effective in growing their businesses.

Being a small, or a micro business, it is quite difficult to compete with well established businesses that can afford to lease a space in a mall, or meet the consignment requirement by big department stores. It is good that there are some event organizers do let small spaces to be leased for a short time, like bazaars or events, but, these comes at a huge cost also and could range at 2,000 – 8,000 per day. By participating in such events, offline and online visibility of a product or service can be maximized by mom and dad businesses, There are some event organizers also that help out mom and dad enterprises by not charging a fixed amount for rentals on space, instead, they get a percentage from the gross sales in the duration of the display of the products.

The Store Space

What we have envisioned is to have a physical store that would cater to mom and dad enterprises to promote their products and services for free or maybe for a minimal fee, for a limited time to micro and small businesses. Being online at the same time offline would give opportunities to local mom and dads to grow their businesses. In exchange, the participants would also promote other mom and dad businesses and the Support Local Mom and Dad Businesses Movement in their own respective online stores.

For a start, we might showcase first local clothing startups and services that can be accommodated in the mom and dad store. Some have signified their intention to showcase their products in the store. We’ll start small, but, little by little, we can grow and expand the mom and dad store.

Is it possible? YES!

Share your thoughts about it. Or, maybe you could help us out in making it possible in helping fellow mom and dad businesses grow.

Mom and Dad Businesses Vision and Mission

In the coming weeks, Support Local Mom and Dad Businesses will be registered as a Non-Stock, Non-Profit Organization with the SEC.

As of the moment, the team has finished with some of the details in making the movement a legitimate organization regitered in the Philippines.

In the near future, Support Local Mom and Dad Businesses would be launching its official website, programs, events, trainings and fund raising projects aiming to help fellow mom and dads promote their small businesses, and other mom and dads who want to start their own business.

mom and dad vision

mom and dad mission

In our next posts, we will be sharing with you our goals and proposed programs.

Stay tuned!

Business Friendly Cities: Muntinlupa City, Efficiency and Prompt Delivery of Service

As we have been helping a lot of fellow mom and dads start up their own business, The Support Local Mom and Dad Businesses Movement encourages the would be entrepreneurs to do it right by not only setting up the business, but to also secure the necessary permits and licenses to operate the business. We have already helped several mom and dads register their business and secure the necessary permits for them to operate.

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Every city where we have helped our fellow mom and dad businesses, we have encountered and seen a lot of good points and some areas to improve on. But, focusing on the efficiency and prompt delivery of service, Muntinlupa City bests the other cities where we have transacted in securing a business permit for a small mom and dad business.

As we have experienced, we have helped one mompreneur register her online retailing business which is home based. We have assisted her in securing the necessary permits and licenses to operate her business in Muntinlupa City. The documents needed were already prepared such as the DTI Registration, Cedula, Baranggay Permit, etc and have proceeded to the city hall for the Business License and the Mayor’s permit. Without informing the Business Permit and Licensing Office of Muntinlupa City, we proceeded and helped the mompreneur to secure her permits. We were greeted by a very accommodating lady who mans the entrance of the BPLO Office and assisted us in the transactions to be done. As all the documents are complete and in order, a queue number was given and we waited for the number to be called. Once the number was called, the documents were submitted to the officer in charge of assessing the documents and we were interviewed regarding the business that is to be registered. After the interview, we waited anxiously in the comfortable gang chairs in the waiting area, as in our previous experience in securing a business permit in Muntinlupa City and experience in other cities where we have to wait for a long time and sometimes be asked to come back another day.Surprisingly, we were called again and was shown the assessment for the payment of the fees. We then paid the fees and within a few minutes, we were called again and the Business License and Mayor’s permit was given to us. The total time consumed in securing a local government permit, less than half a day (Including travel time to the City Hall). Thus, the fastest and most efficient local government unit to process the permit for a mom and dad business.

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The City Government of Muntinlupa City is employing the BOSS or the Business One-Stop-Shop system which provides a more efficient and prompt processing of business permits and licenses. Currently, they are also using the SWiT Single-Window Transaction system which makes it more convenient for applicants for necessary permits. And eliminating the hassle of moving to one office to another office just to get assessments.

assessment payment releasing

Truly the improvement, efficiency and prompt service made Muntinlupa City one of the Most Business Friendly cities in the Philippines.

Watch out for the other business friendly cities for mom and dad businesses to be posted soon! Do you have good experiences in transacting with your local government’s permit and licensing office? Share them with us and let’s help other mom and dads do businesses right! By securing the necessary permits and licenses to operate a business.

Sapatology: One Step at A Time

This photo of Mang Ruben was taken February 2008 along Buencamino St., in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

We had our shoes shined and I remember that while having our shoes shined, he shared to us some of his dreams and what they have been dealing with everyday just to survive. Shoe shine and repair was their source of income and they are proud of it. Mang Ruben also mentioned that they are going to upgrade their craft very soon and he is saving some of his income to achieve it. After a few months without seeing him, we saw him again with an upgraded version of his craft. When we first saw him, he was just using a bicycle with a self-made box to hold on to his tools, we saw him next with a second-hand motorcycle and an improved box to hold his tools. He was really proud to tell us that he was able to save up for the motorcycle at the same time feed his family.

Mom and dads can learn a lot of things from Mang Ruben. By being witty with his craft, he was able to attract a lot of customers to patronize him. With his hard work and perseverance, he was able to achieve his dream of upgrading his business and be a provider for his family. Comparing Mang Ruben to some of the more established shoe shine and repair shops, he might not be as popular and as promoted like the ones we see in every mall. But with his wits and efficiency in his craft, he succeeded and reached his ambition to upgrade his business. One step at a time, when we persevere on what we really want, we can achieve it and be better, or maybe even great.

We just wonder now where Mang ruben is. Maybe he has a permanent shop now or maybe he has a fleet of mobile shoe shine and repair motorcycles. We hope to see Mang Ruben soon and be featured here with a deeper look into his life as a small businessman and be an inspiration to a lot of mom and dads who plan to start up a business. If Mang Ruben can, Yes we can!

Original post of the author about Mang Ruben

Food Cart Business: Things to Consider

We have asked a number of employed mom and dads what business they would like to start while they are employed. A number of them have said that stating a food cart is easy and fast to setup. The cost isn’t that much and the income potential is good. In the Philippines, a lot of food cart businesses have sprung up and excelled in their craft.

We’d like to share some things to consider so that starting up your food cart business before starting one:

  1. Good Concept – Most food carts are designed to give quick service. It is advisable to stick to a concept for a quick recall from the customers. A unique concept gathers curiosity among customers to give your food cart a try. This would also include your “catchy” name and your theme for your food cart. Be consistent with your concept and stick to it and better not mix and match just to be at par with the others.
  2. Focus on the Product – You have to match or exceed the expectations of your concept. Your product would be the life blood of your food cart business. Good product = People will come back for more. This would involve consistency, affordability and the quality of your product. Make sure that what you started or improved would stay the same as time goes by. Some food cart businesses have failed on this part especially when they have operated for quite some time already, they do short cuts and decrease the quality.
  3. Good Location – This is very important! You have to make sure that the site of your food cart is visible to the public. It is advisable to hang-out for hours in a prospect location and see for yourself the amount of foot traffic in the area.
  4. Good Stall Design – For promotion purposes, a catchy and desirable design would attract customers to your food cart. The design of your food cart should be unique and be distinguishable from the others. A good friend of the Support Local Mom and Dad Business Movement, LogoMoto PH, can help out with your design needs for your food cart. Also, online promotion would be a great help in promoting your business, a good and simple website would also boost the visibility of your food cart business.
  5. Operating Systems – Being new and a startup, operating your foodcart should follow certain standards. This would make your business be consistent from the day you started and up to the present. Prepare a manual on how to do things for you and your staff to follow. You wouldn’t want complaints of having your products or services inconsistent when customers have availed a week or month ago. If its better, adapt it. If its not, scrap it. Better document everything and make it as a habit for you and your staff.
  6. Funding – Having the needed funds or capital to start your food cart business is a necessity. There may be financing institutions that can help you out in funding your business, we suggest that having your own would be a better option. Maybe for expansion of your food cart business, considering financial institutions may be a better idea.
  7. Good Service – In the food industry, reputation is a major factor in making a business successful. Maintaining a good service level, efficient systems, and clean products and workstations will go a long way and help you achieve longevity and further build credibility.
  8. Do it Right – Get the necessary permits and licenses. If you operate your business without the proper permits and licenses, its good to say that what you are operating is a monkey business.

One good example of this is one of our friends, and a fellow mom and dad businessman. Bagwings have started out as a small stall in a weekend market in Muntinlupa City. Now they have expanded to two other locations and a food truck is on its way. Maybe we can follow his footsteps in starting a successful food cart business.

There may be other things to consider in running a food cart business. But, the basics, we have tackled already. Another alternative in the food cart business is Franchising. Franchising an existing food cart business is a good idea and there are a lot of reasons to franchise a business. The only question that we pose is: “Do they really help local mom and dad businessmen?” or they just take advantage of the franchisees?

For us, it would be better to be unique and original. Make a name for yourself and supporting other mom and dad businesses would be very helpful in making the local business scene be more engaged in nation building.

How about a Turon and BananaQue Food Cart? Who’s up to it?

Turon Wars (Part 3): Where Will You Buy Your Turon?

Where will you buy our beloved turon?

Turon Wars (Part 1)

Turon Wars (Part 2)

From the home-made turon and bananaque vendor where the sales and income directly affects their daily monetary needs.

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Turon from our local mom and dad businessmen

or

From the mall giants who ventured into the micro and small business interests of local mom and dads in the community.

Turon from the mall giants

Turon from the mall giants

So, which turon will it be?

Turon Wars (Part 2): How Big Business Is Swallowing Up Our Beloved Tindahans

http://bloggingmama.com/turon/

The first thing anyone notices when they check out the turon on display in SM, Waltermart or any other bigger commercial establishment is the consistency of what’s being offered for sale: from the size to the color to the taste of each turon, the ones you buy from their in-store grocery are always the same. It’s not like the ones you buy outside from the average street vendor—everything is uniformly done.

Turon, on the other hand, varies from one tindero or tindera to another—perhaps one is more generous with the caramel, or the other fries theirs a little bit longer, making the turon darker and crisper. The bananas could be sweeter or smaller one day, or cut a little bit bigger the next. But each turon was made in their homes, as part of a plan to provide for their families—perhaps to pay for day to day expenses or offset tuition costs.

The average price of turon in SM and other malls ranges from 15 to 20 pesos, while the turon you buy from a street vendor will be 10 pesos from the walking tinderas, or 12 pesos if they have a fixed stand somewhere. A couple of extra pesos will get you a larger turon or turon with cheese or langka (jackfruit) if you feel like giving your taste buds a break from your usual snack. Nowadays, many people who are more stringent about food preparation and hygiene, or who prefer to eat inside an air-conditioned food court, buy from these malls. But these small comforts which you think are only bought with a few extra pesos in your wallet have been making it harder for these street vendors to make a living.

Think about it: it’s true that it’s very convenient to just go to the mall and buy yourself a piece, but isn’t it just as convenient anyway to buy one from someone just around the corner of your village? Furthermore, these big malls are selling these turons to increase their profit margins—profit margins that don’t necessarily guarantee better salaries or working conditions for their contractual workers. Meanwhile, buying from the nearest manang fanning her bananacue pile will help her substantially—you could be helping fund her child’s education, or perhaps their groceries for next week. Your patronage of their homegrown businesses—which, let’s face it, are done in environments not really that much more or less sterile as that used to source your big mall’s turon—will have a big impact on their lives.

These larger businesses have been crowding out smaller family-owned establishments over the span of decades, and street vendors. What you gain from them in terms of flavor consistency and comfort, is lost by the individual sellers, who end up scrimping on basic necessities just to pay for the goods which keep their livelihood going. Just think of the street vendors along the roads of universities or near public transportation hubs—those who take the time to chat them up find out that their turon and bananacue business provides for many family members, perhaps even as the only means of income for that group of people. Surely it is better to try turon even from the nearest vendor and help both your tummy and their budgets.

We should be ethical consumers and think about what we do with the things we buy. What is the essence of turon, if not as a homemade, beloved and familiar treat that we first learned to savor with our family and friends? Turon is a Filipino food meant to be shared and to bring comfort. When you next think of where to get your sugar fix, have a peek at what’s in manang’s bilao instead of enduring a trip to the mall. You may find yourself coming back for that perfect rush of carbs and caramel.

MLM Business: Is It The Right One For You?

Multi Level Marketing or MLM for short has been around for so many years already. According to some sources, as early as the 1920’s there’s been a business model that uses this kind of strategy in promoting or selling products. Over the years, here in the Philippines, some MLM companies have sprouted and a lot have vanished into thin air. Some have claimed that they have earned a lot in this kind of business and some say that they only just lost their money in joining this kind of investment.

So, is MLM or Multi Level Marketing for you?

First of all let us understand what is Multi Level Marketing. It is a marketing strategy in which the members or the sales force is compensated with the products that they sell, and earn whenever their recruits also sell the products. These recruits are commonly called the down-lines. Selling of the products are done with the use of word of mouth, but, with the age of social media, it is also done using the social networks by members of the MLM business. Members also gets compensated when they recruit new members to join the business of selling a particular product. Common products that are being sold are health drinks, soaps, whitening solutions, prepaid load, etc. How do you earn from this? What we usually hear is you get discounts on the products that are exclusively available from the business. These MLM companies offer up to 70% discounts on the products that you would purchase and eventually sell to others at retail prices. The MLM companies also give premiums of compensates you whenever you recruit someone to join the company. And depending on the level of recruits, you get a certain percentage from the sales they have generated. Some MLM companies also have a scheme of building your network by placing your down-lines on a left and right group and get a bonus whenever you have paired one from your left and right group. And there are a lot of other means of earning when you join the company and purchase an initial package from them. A lot have criticized MLM companies for being a bogus business and sometimes labeled as a form of a scam. Some would even say that only the first ones to join are the ones who profit from the business just like in this diagram:

Some say it is just a trap!

It may be true that these accusations have been proven, but, sometimes it is also true that there are people even not the first one to join have profited from this kind of business and they have been doing it for years already. A lot have offered this kind of business and some of them are nowhere to be found now, or some have just quit doing it. There are still some who are doing it consistently and live up to what they have been doing: selling the products and recruiting. The way we see it, there are Multi Level Marketing companies that are legitimate and true to what they are selling and there are others who are just after the recruits and the signup fees to get revolving funds to compensate the recruiters. You could easily see which one is true and legitimate and the ones who just want you to recruit and recruit again for profit. Those who are legitimate and true to how MLM works usually have the following elements in their scheme:

  • There is little or no enrollment fee.
  • The company completely explains itself, its products, and its services before you sign-up.
  • A member’s main source of income will come from selling or offering the company’s products and/or services.
  • A member can make money at ANY level of the model without recruiting new members.

Also, we also believe that for an individual to prosper,you should be doing something for you to earn. So, if the MLM company promises that you will earn by doing nothing or letting your down-line do the work for you, the company is doing something fishy. Aside from the elements, here are some questions you might want to ask yourself before engaging in a MLM company:

  • Are the products being offered sale-able and see myself using the products? – For example, the MLM company that offers prepaid load for mobile use or gaming. If you are a post-paid subscriber, definitely the products will be useless to you and you won’t have credibility in selling the product for you are not using it. So, if you see yourself using the products and services, and you can be confident that you can sell it, then you may want to consider joining the MLM company.
  • Can I afford the joining fees or the initial product package? If the joining fees are too high, then forget about it! If it is a struggle for you to produce the joining fee, then what do you think others would also feel when they join you? As stated in the elements of a legitimate MLM, the enrollment or joining fee should be free or minimal. If the fees are that high, most probably the money you pay for would just be for the benefit of those up above.
  • Am I ready to risk being labeled as a scammer? Sad but true…  If you truly believe in the product or the company that you represent, being labeled doesn’t really matter to you now. With all the scams that involved MLM companies, you can never erase the stigma they have brought upon the MLM Businesses. This burden you will have to carry and prove others wrong.
  • Do I have the right personality in this kind of business? Assess yourself. If you think, your personality doesn’t fit being in this kind of business wherein you have to be sociable and active, you better think twice or thrice.
  • Am I ready to be turned down by my friends? The first ones to whom you will offer your products would be family members and friends. Because of the stigma produced by the shady MLM businesses, most people would initially reject you once they knew what you are offering is a Multi Level Marketing business.

If you have assessed yourself to be fit for this kind of business and you believe in the products to be useful and beneficial, go ahead, join and get involved in the Multi Level Marketing Business. But, if you feel that this business model is not suited for you, follow what you feel. Starting a business with doubts is not a good sign that you will succeed in this kind of venture.

So, is Multi Level Marketing Business really for you? Share your thoughts and if you have questions, we’ll be here to share our experiences… Successful ones and the not so profitable ones… Let’s learn from one another. And, a final thought about MLM… Not all Multi Level Marketing Businesses are scams. There are also success stories in this kind of business. You just have to be careful and very analytical on this kind of business, and do not rush things out by being fooled by the pictures of bundles of cash, expensive cars, cheques with huge amounts, etc.

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!