Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Is Good For The Business!

Christmas is a fun season. Christmas is a busy season. And Christmas is a good season for the business as well. That’s why many establishments really look forward for this season.

If there’s one thing about the Christmas season is that there are gatherings everywhere. Families get together. Classmates see each other. Friends reunite as well. And when there’s a gathering, there’s always eating. And so restaurants are always a full house during Christmas.

Resorts and hotels are a boom as well. Many families love to go on vacation during the holidays. They take advantage of their days off from work to spend time with their family. In fact, they want to take off from home to be with each other more and be free from chores at home.

And lastly, the transportation industry is quite busy too. People need to ride in airplanes, boats and buses to go to places. Others need to rent a car for long and short rides. With the many people going on vacation, it can really be hard to get a booking during these days.

If you are into any of these businesses, you should prepare well for this season to take full advantage of the demand. The more season highlights you offer, the more clients will come to you. And the more additional services you offer the better price you can demand. If you want to get into any of these industries, the Christmas season would be a very ideal opening date. But make sure to market your business well. Make sure it gets noticed. There’s no better start than to start well and prepared.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Without Delay, Without Opportunity Cost

In starting up a business or in running a business for that matter, delays are almost always expected. It doesn’t necessarily mean though that you should make it an excuse. When we have to wait on other people’s approval or delivery, we can only do so much. Other than our constant follow up, we cannot do anything more.

But sometimes the delay comes from us also. If this is the case, we should do something right away. We should remember that time is money. As we delay the opening of our business we postpone earning so much for this time. That is what we call opportunity cost. Even though we may not be incurring additional cash outlay, we lose the income we should be earning should we have opened sooner.

We should always keep this in mind. We should cut off delays. And we should start with ourselves. We should do and accomplish all that we can do fast and efficiently. As for our orders and other delays caused by others, we should patiently follow up on them and if necessary, threaten to cancel our orders to make them move and deliver sooner.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Commercialism

This entry may be a bit late. But anyway, here’s the tip for the season. Well, had you started planning earlier it would have been profitable to sell Christmas decors. Many people like to upgrade and improve or provide a different flavor to their decorations year after year. Christmas decors are truly a hit during Christmas.

Then as Christmas Day nears, people are getting busy finding gifts for their loved ones. There are many things to sell for this purpose. You just choose which income bracket you want to cater and there’s definitely a bunch of ideas out there. Electronic stores are even offering 0% interest on expensive gadgets these days. Expensive gifts are available and payable in 12 installments. It entices people to buy because these electronic items are certainly made affordable to them. They become good gifts for their husbands and for their kids. Appliance stores follow the same gimmick. Not only are customers buying appliances as gifts, many also get new ones to beautify their homes for this coming Christmas.

There are also affordable novelty items you can sell to everyone. During this season, everyone is buying gifts. So it is also good to provide the lower income level the goods they will enjoy and they can afford. Many go for cheaper items to stretch their budget and make sure every one of the relatives and friends get gifts from them. Some companies and people need give away items too.

For some people who want to earn a little with their small capital, you can even stick to making wrapping materials. Some simply sell gift wrappers and cards. Others make bags made of wrappers so they become ready to use. Others sell boxes as well. There are many other small items one can sell during this season. You don’t have to have a large capital. If you want to earn, just squeeze in whatever goods your capital can get. If you are selling what people need and want, you’d be surprised at how much you’ll earn this season.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Think Small, Think Retail

Retailing is one good line of business. Many people shy away from this because the income per unit sales is usually not much. However, many prosper in this though. The secret of their success is volume. If you want to earn so much, you have to sell large volumes.

With the economic crunch going on all over many countries, there is a consciousness for the value of money. To sell quite so a large volume, selling commodity items is a good idea. People need and use it every day. And they are likely to keep of buying such items.

But it doesn’t stop there. You have to be able to offer your products at a competitive price. People buy where they can get it at a lower price. They would want to stretch their budget to the fullest. But accessibility is also important. If you are nearer to your customers, a slight price difference may be overlooked. Convenience also accounts for the price. Of course, a good customer service would be a good come on. Customers definitely appreciate getting good service. They would like to shop where there is an aura of friendliness and perhaps community.

To succeed in retail, you have to choose the right products to sell. You have to offer competitive prices. You have to accessible to your customers. And you should provide good service. This list may not be comprehensive. But they are a few tips for people who would like to go into retailing.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hobbies: Good Or Bad?

Don’t let your hobby be a distraction. It’s fine to take a break sometimes. It’s certainly fine to have hobby. But don’t let it be a distraction to your business. There are times when one can get so caught up with his hobby. After all, hobbies are quite fun to do. But it should not take away time from your business more than it should. Always keep your priorities straight. Before you taking off to do anything else, always make sure that everything is in place. Make sure that even in your absence things will go smoothly and well.

You can also make your hobby be more than just a hobby. You can actually make your hobby a business opportunity. Since it is your hobby, you must already have enough knowledge about it. If not, you are at least interested to learn more about it.

Let’s say that you are interested in cross stitching. You can start selling cross stitching materials. You would know what fellow cross stitch hobbyist would need. You would know what types of designs are in demand.

If you are into sports, you can have your own sports complex. Instead of renting, you and your playmates will now have your own place. Instead of paying for it, they will pay you instead. You can invite other people to use your facilities and earn on it. You can also sell some sports equipment.

So instead of your hobby being a distraction, it can be a business opportunity. It should be easier for you. You will be enjoying your hobby and you will be earning at the same time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Are You Ready To Take A Chance?

Starting up a business is really a gamble. One should not do it if he’s not ready to risk anything. You’re taking a chance with your money and your time.

Well, if you are not doing anything at the moment, time isn’t really a big deal. But let’s say you are working at an office or in fact, you have a very promising career. It would be so hard to give it up just like that. You are not sure that you will earn more or if your business will succeed. But you will be foregoing a hefty salary for your business. So you ask yourself. Would your business be worth giving up your high paying job?

Money is another important matter. Not everyone has massive amount of savings. Most budding entrepreneurs in fact have to borrow funds first in order to raise enough capital for their business. You could be putting your life time savings on the business. This is quite a risk since it is all you have financially. Are you willing to take a leap of faith?

You don’t have to go blindly with your decision. Although much of doing business also has got to do with luck, much of it can also be examined and studied. You should do all the analysis there is and decide better. Or, perhaps we could call your decision an intelligent guess. It’s not really a guess. But since we have recognized the element of chance here, let’s just call it that too.

But like in any line of business, the bigger the risk the greater is your return. If you want to achieve a greater success you must be ready to risk more. Do you assignment to lessen taking chances. But acknowledge that much of it still depends on how your target market reacts, on your business itself and even on some externals factors out there.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

You Are Your Own Advertisement

You are your business’ first and foremost advertisement. You should always remember that. As the proprietor of a business, people who know you would always associate your business to you. Your customers will also judge the quality of your product or your ability to perform a service by looking at you.

Let’s say for example you have a bakeshop. It is important that you always look clean and tidy. You should never look so dirty in public or else they would also think that the bread, pastries and cakes you are selling are dirty.

If you own a beauty salon, you should always look well groomed and polished all the time. In short, you must always look good. Your market would think you will not be capable of making them beautiful if you cannot even take care of yourself and cannot make yourself look good.

You should always project an image you want for your company. And always remember to have good PR because there’s nothing better than being a credible advertisement and endorser of your product or service.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Knowledge Is Power

Although you may have the talent and basic know how on the line of business you want to and are engaged in, getting additional knowledge would truly be helpful. The more knowledge you have the better. You should not stop arming yourself with more weapons to unleash for the operations and the improvement of your business.

I have a friend whose family had been into hog and chicken raising and farming for three generations now. He somehow knew how their business ran already. But he was sent to a workshop by his family specifically to learn more about their trade. When asked why he needed to go, he said this is important so that they would be updated with the latest best practices and the latest technology. This will help them remain competitive and even gain competitive advantage to their competitors.

I also know someone who loves photography. And as business minded that he is, he decided to make his hobby a living. But before he embarked into the business, he attended the best workshops around the country and tried to learn everything he could first. Although he knew that he could take great pictures, he found it necessarily to enrich his talent and knowledge so that he could offer better photography services to his clients. He even decided to learn the latest digital multimedia technology.

If you have got the talent and know how, that’s great. But you should not stop there. From the start try taking a step further by learning more about your business. And even when or if you are already established you should upgrade your business and yourself from time to time to maintain competitiveness in the market.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Now You See Me, Now YOu Don't!

It's important for your business to be there when your clients need you. You must be most accessible to your target market than any of your competitors. If you are not, then you will eventually lose your customers no matter how long you've had them.

If you have a physical store or office it's important that you are open when you're supposed to. You should maintain regular store hours and always announce your store holidays way beforehand. If your customers come and you are closed, they will go to other establishments and might continue to do so even when your store is open.

The same is true with online stores. Your website should always be up 24/7. If you have to do maintenance or if you have to update it, it is suggested that you inform everyone days before your site will temporarily be down. If you do not, customers may come when your site is not available and get frustrated that they will just patronize other sites instead.

The important thing is you do not confuse your customers. They must also feel that they are important to you. They only want to be served when they come. And if they are not, they will look for service elsewhere. But if you tell them you are willing to serve them, not all but many would wait especially if it's your service they really are looking for. But you should not also abuse this hold on them. Because if you do, they will be fed up on waiting for you to be available and go to the next option they have. Still, the best thing to do is to limit scheduled and unscheduled holidays and website downtimes and be there when your customers need you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Building Up Your Business Takes Patience and Hard Work

Starting up a business needs patience. You can’t just open a business with just a snap of you fingers. Don’t expect your new business to be an instant hit either. Before you can truly say that it is a success, it must go through several stages first.

The very first stage of starting up your business is the planning stage. It is when you think about what business to put up and you think about how you will operate your business in order to make it a success. As a part of your planning you have to do marketing. You have to examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks that you have in your business. You also have to start introducing the concept of your business to people. In doing so, try to be observant of their reactions and take in all their comments. This will be helpful in tailoring your products and services to your potential customers’ needs and wants. This is very important. After all, they are the ones who our going to be buying and using your products and services.

During the first days of opening, don’t expect that you will mobbed with customers. It will take a little while or maybe more time to get your business known to your target customers. A few promotions would help to get their attention. This will entice them to try what you are offering and hopefully, they will like what they will be getting. In the long run, what’s important is that you are giving them what they need and what they wish for because that’s what will make them keep coming back for more.

When you have gained a steady flow of customers for some time, only then will you be able to say that business is a success. It is also important that you maintain the quality of your products and your services. This is a very important component of what your customers like about your brand so you should never compromise it.

Maintaining the success of your business is a much bigger challenge. You should always try to innovate and update every now and then. This will keep the excitement on your brand and this will help you keep up with your competitors. If you enjoy what you are doing it would easier on you. And whenever you get tired of doing the day’s work, just remember how hard you have worked to get to where you are. I’m sure would not want to throw it all away just like that. This will keep you motivated and keep you striving hard to maintain your business all the time.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Being A Freelancer

Aside from selling your products, you can also sell services. It is easier but at the same it is also harder to do this. Having products to sell is easier because if your clients know the product and they have the need for it, they will surely buy them. But when you are selling your services, it is harder to convince them that what you are offering them are the best or that they will get their money’s worth at the price you are giving them.

If you think you have a talent or an ability to do something worth sharing with others, then you can set up your business. One thing about this business though is that it takes longer to get noticed or to even get your first customer. Hence, it takes a lot of patience and perhaps even capital to market your work.

Today most of these hurdles are somehow solved and you can start selling your work sooner. You don’t have to set up your own place. You only have to Google your line of work and start yourself a freelance career. You can go online and bid on the jobs you want to do. Or you can hook up with established companies and work for them as a freelancer too.

It’s fun to work as a freelancer. You own your time and you can choose your work. You will have a flexible time schedule so you can still do other things and attend to the other aspects of your life. The downside though is that there would be times when work is not available. There will also be a time when you would be swamped with work that you can hardly choose which ones to take.

But again, it is up to you. You either take as little as you want or you can choose to strike while the iron is hot and take as much. One word of caution though, only commit to tasks which you will be able to accomplish on time. Never grab on to everything that is offered to you when you can only do so much. In the end, it will only be a mark against you if you submit late and haphazardly done work. But if you take only enough, you will be able to give it your best and more future assignments will keep coming.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Transitioning to Being an Employee

Making the transition from being an owner to being an employee can really be hard. First there’s your pride. Then it takes getting used to taking orders from someone when you didn’t used to have to answer to someone but yourself. A friend of mine used to own a small cafeteria. He’s a great cook and his customers loved his cooking. But when popular fast foods and hipper restaurants came to the city, he just couldn’t keep up with competition. Slowly his customers dwindled until finally he decided to close shop.

His cousin heard about this and offered to buy his business out instead on the condition that he would remain on the establishment to do the cooking. He readily and happily agreed. At first it was fine. But after some time, he was getting tired of getting orders from his cousin and having to explain the expenses and everything.

He started thinking about resigning from his post. On the other hand, he told himself that he gave his cousin his word so he better keep it. As professional that he was, he did stay in the business.

That was six years ago. The business flourished and his cousin was so happy with him that he made him partner. But that is beside the point, being professional means keeping your word. Even if it was so hard for him, he stayed and did his work. In addition to that, my friend said he learned a lot from the experience. He learned more about the business side of things rather than just concentrating on cooking. Also, doing hard work could really have its rewards. Look at my friend now. Instead of losing a business and being jobless altogether, he’s got the job that loves most and he was able to keep the business as well.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Capitalizing on An Opportunity

In business, one should always have the eye for opportunity. For instance, there’s this popular shoe store down at our place. Ever since I was a kid I always went there to buy shoes. But in the recent years the store couldn’t keep up with the newer and more modern looking stores that kept on popping up around the city. A popular brand of shoes saw this opportunity and rented their space instead. The location already had customers. In fact, at first many people thought that they were going to the same store and the store was still owned by the same person. Now the new store still has the customers of the previous store and they are taking advantage of what the previous store have started and built all through the years.

I also know a photographer who covered special occasions like weddings and birthdays. In almost every contract he got, his clients asked him if he also did video. So what he did was he partnered with several people who did video and subcontracted their services whenever he needed to. He understood that there was a demand for his business to have video services offered so he made it available to his clients. He also did it to retain some customers because there were instances that his potential clients wanted to have the same people do both photography and video.

A friend of mine lived in an area where apartments and boarding houses were abounded. He noticed that that there were many people knocking at their door asking if he knew other apartments that were available in the area. And all the places where he usually pointed them to were already occupied. This led him to the idea of renovating their one-story home into a two-story house. And then he rented out the second floor.

These are but simple examples. But the point is if you want to start your own business and succeed in it, you should be able to know when an opportunity is presented to you. You should learn how to recognize it and take advantage of it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Friendship And Business Don't Mix!?!

Friendship and business don’t go together. For some people this is actually true. Trusting a friend is fine but there are friends who abuse the friendship. That’s where the problem begins. My aunt had a friend who also became a customer. This friend bought some livestock from her for a 30-day term. But this friend of hers did not pay on time. She asked for an extension. Then when the extension was up this friend did not even bother to answer her calls at first. One day, my aunt got fed up. When she finally got a hold of her friend, she told her that she would sue her if she did not pay her. Her friend asked for a last extension. And this time this customer paid up. But because of this, their friendship of more than two decades was ruined.

The friendship and business arrangement could also work though. I have read stories about friends who became successful in their joint venture. One thing I have noted is that in their businesses, no matter how small or how grand in scale it was, they formalized their agreements and put them into writing. This is quite important so that both partners will know what exactly it is that is expected of them and so that there is something that they can always go back to whenever there is a disagreement.

The other thing lies on the persons entering into partnership. If each is a man of his word, then he will always honor what they have agreed upon. If each is responsible, then he will not hear complaints from his partner that he is not doing his part. Both partners will each his part and work in harmony.

Of course, it is but imperative that personalities of both partners don’t clash. Before becoming partners each one of them should check if their personalities and their business styles are well suited to each other. They have to know if they can work smoothly together. They don’t have to be the same; they just have to be a good match.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Don't Get Too Excited!

Once your business starts getting more and more customers it’s so easy to get excited and to get carried away. Many businessmen would jump into branching out and expanding their businesses right away.

Expansion is a good way to go. However, one must not go this path without careful study. Again you have to examine where you are financially and where you are with your other resources. Even if you have sufficient capital for the expansion expenses, would you be able to give your whole business enough attention to make it run as smoothly the way you are doing it today?

There are also other considerations like do you have enough demand for your product to get the sales with the same or even higher rate of income you are getting today? If you are getting financing, how much risk are you willing to take in order to pursue your expansion? You have to remember that a loan would mean collateral. And if you are not able to pay your amortization, you could lose not only your business but also your property which was held as collateral.

There have been businesses which folded up because of too much and too fast expansion. The list of questions to consider before expanding mentioned here are not comprehensive. Nevertheless, it is important to stress again the importance of careful study and serious thinking before expanding your business. Do not just jump into something without knowing what it is you’re going to land on.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sales Are Not Everything

Determining how much one earns can be a tedious work. This is especially so to people who are very new to business. This fact may be one of the major reasons why bookkeepers and accountants have jobs available for them almost anywhere.

It is imperative to know how much you earn in each period. Even if your business is only small or just starting you need to keep track of your finances. It has been a fact that there is a tendency especially of non-formal businesses to run out of capital because business owners usually tend to spend the business funds on personal use. This is not to say that one cannot get funds from the business but only to an extent where the business would still be able to continue to run smoothly. The funds he should get from the business should be limited to his salary and to cleared income only. He cannot just get funds when he feels like it.

To determine your income, always take note of your expenses and then record all sales. Now to arrive to your income figure, it’s simply a matter of finding the difference between the sales and the expenses. If your sales are larger then it means you have a profit. And then if your expenses are bigger, then you are at a loss. But remember that in computing these figures, you only include items that you have spent and sold on the same time period.

Sure it is not as easy as it sounds but if you want your to keep your business in continuous operations, always keep track of your income and your cash flow. Budding entrepreneurs should always bear in mind that this is very important even in small and very simple business ventures.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Read to Succeed!

Someone once asked me why I kept on reading the stories of these successful businesses or why I kept reading these business magazines which only sell franchises and gives business ideas whose market is far different than what we have down our city. Well, it’s always good to read these stories for personal and business reasons.

When you read the success of others, it could inspire you to go into business yourself. If others can do it, why can’t you? One word of caution though. You also have to consider what advantages the business or the business owner already had to start with. Meaning, did he have sufficient capital when he started the business or did he have to seek financing? Did he have easy access to his suppliers? And then you have to examine yourself too and look into those things before you start your own business.

These articles and the business ideas magazines may not be directly applicable to you and your target market. But it is from these readings that innovative ideas spring up from. You always have to keep an open mind when it comes to business. You also have to learn to adapt others’ practices to your business. Just pick up and follow what you can and add your own stuff.

Reading is also for information and information is important in every business. It is not a waste of your time. Knowing what is on the market keeps you updated of the trends and what the market wants and needs. This again is very important so you can suit your business according to your own target market’s needs and wants. If you are providing what they need and what they want, then they will surely come to you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Can a Good Employee Be a Good Boss?

Can a good employee be a good boss? I guess the answer to this question is it depends. Certainly there are good employees who can be good bosses and there are some who cannot. Likewise, there are good bosses who could never have been good lowly employees.

To be a good employee or a good staff, one must be a good follower. I think that is the first thing. When the boss says to do this and to do that, a good employee would do it right away and finish the job fast and accurately. But it does not end there, however. A good employee should also have the initiative. He must do beyond what he’s been told and do things which would make his work look better and even make his or her boss look good.

The transition then starts when a lowly employee gets promoted or when he starts a business of his own. How will then he cope up with his new role? If he was only a good follower, it would not be enough to make him successful in the new shoes he has to fill. But if he or she has the initiative, there’s a greater chance for him or for her to be a great boss. Because if he or she has the initiative, he or she would know how to steer his team or her own staff to the direction he or she wants to take them. He would know how to direct the efforts of everyone.

Some are born leaders while others have to learn how to lead. But if he or she can do this effectively, then goals will always be met and the company or the business will surely proper.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Make Your Staff Happy

As an entrepreneur, it is highly likely that you would have your own employees. You would need staff to help you run your business smoothly and successfully. Depending on your line on business, you could either be more dependent or less dependent to them in running you day to day transactions.

I think that many would agree that employees are quite an important part of the business. Even if you own the business, you have the money and you have innovative ideas that would surely sell well in the market, all of these would be useless if you don’t have employees or staff to help your ideas and plans come to fruition.

It is therefore important that as the boss you know how to manage your team. You cannot be too strict or else your employees will bolt out from the company. You cannot be too lenient either or else they would abuse the kindness you are showing them. In short, there should be balance between the two. You should know when you should be strict and you should know when you can give a bit of a leeway to them. Reprimand them but praise them when you need to. A happy staff would equate to a happy working environment, which would then somehow equate to happy customers. And happy customers would mean more business for you and more success for you as well.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pricing and Promoting for Success

Pricing is another way of promotion. As I’ve mentioned before, offering 50% discount is a good way to get your customers coming. But what do you do about pricing? Or, how do you want your pricing to be when you are just starting out your business?

One way is to offer your products or services at low prices in order to penetrate the market you want to enter in. This strategy is commonly used in mass products since customers in this market are usually price sensitive. We are talking of products that people use daily like sugar, milk, coffee, soap and the like. A slight different in price can make them change from one brand to another or buy an item from another store rather their usual outlet.

But if you want to recover your cost quickly, you can price your products as high as possible. Costs are rapidly recouped after selling only a few items. This is usually done when selling luxury goods like cars and jewelry.

Another strategy is when you price your goods high at the start and then slash it down later. This way you also recover your cost almost instantly. Then you get more clients as your price goes down. This strategy is utilized in technology items like computers and cell phones.

Again, you have to suit your strategy with your target market and with the type of products or services you are providing. These two should always match your strategy to be effective and to be successful.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Promotions Raise Your Sales

What comes to most people’s minds when they say marketing is promotions. The truth is promotions are just a part of marketing. However, it is also important that businessmen know how to do promotions properly.

The first thing to remember is that although it is a must that you have to invest in promotions and money would be spent on it, it is also important to balance it with the additional sales the company or the business is going to get because of this initiative.

The most common way of doing promotions is offering 50% discounts. It is actually usually an effective way of attracting customers. Most customers cannot resist big discounts. But you also have to be conscious of the signals that you want to give out. Another important thing to bear in mind also is your target market.

If you are selling goods that draw sales based on the brand, you have to invest more on PR so much so that your brand remains top of mind on the brand conscious people. You can accomplish this through media ads on the radio, magazines, television and now also the internet. Another good way to do that is to give out promotional items to your customers and even retailers.

If you are just about to introduce your product, joining trade fairs is a good option. Through these events, you will meet potential clients and even suppliers from whom you can get your raw materials from. You can also learn from other providers in your industry and be updated on the industry trends.

There is no one answer to your needs, you just have to adapt to your market, budget and purpose. You don’t have to follow traditional ways of promoting your product and it need not be so expensive. You can be a creative as you can be as long as you achieve your goals for doing your promotions.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Find a Good Partner

As a businessman or as an entrepreneur, you can not stand alone. There’s no such thing as that. You would always need someone, a partner in your business. I am not talking about a partner like someone who will share the start up expenses, the work and the income. What I am about is also someone you would need to start your business but not a partner per se.

If you are selling a product, you will need materials to make them. That is where the supplier comes in. You may think that they are insignificant but they are in fact very vital to your business. Without them you wouldn’t have your products.

It is very imperative that you choose a very good supplier. A very good supplier isn’t necessarily the one that sells the cheapest supplies. You also have to consider the quality of materials he is going to be providing you. Even if he gives you the cheapest price if his materials won’t last long and your finished product wouldn’t be of quality, you shouldn’t use him. You have to set a standard for quality and find the cheapest supplier who can provide you with that.

When you find the one that satisfies your criteria, it is important that you develop a great relationship with him. Aside from the price, another important element to look at is the term of payment the supplier is willing to give you. The longer time he gives you the better. It is because the longer time he gives the longer time your capital will be free for your other expenses in the business. You can even use that money earning on other things.

I don’t think a supplier would be willing to extend a loan to you on the first transaction though. You will have to pay cash first until you earn his trust. When he finally begins to trust you, you can then ask for a term. He probably would be willing to give it to you especially if you become a big customer.

It is not easy to look for a supplier who can work well with you. At times you have to work on building a good relationship with him. But when you find a good supplier, you find a good partner.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Perseverance Or Giving It a Chance

Aside from having confidence in your talent, your ideas and your product, it is important that a budding entrepreneur has perseverance. It is known that in every business, problems and obstacles are surely to occur. Some of them are minor while others are big enough for you to be discouraged. You shouldn’t just give up so easily.

From the planning stage itself, you would already see some hurdles to your business. My friend was planning to sell simple snacks just outside their home. It was actually quite a nice idea since their house located by a street where many people pass by in. Students and other young people living in the nearby boarding house and apartments were sure to buy in his store rather than go somewhere farther.

He thought it couldn’t have been easier since he was going to put up a small and simple business only. But the first problem came when he started computing the expenses he would have to incur in fixing up the place, putting some furniture and fixtures, purchasing the utensils and buying his inventory. It turned out that the amount he had and was willing to spend in starting up the business was not even half the amount he was supposed to spend. Right then and there he just decided not to pursue his plan. But when his mom learned about this she convinced him that he shouldn’t give up on it on the first hurdle he meets. She lent him the money and she gave him ideas where he can save some capital for starting up his business.

Fortunately for him, he listened to his mom. It has been three years ago now and his snack bar is now located in the property next to their house. His business clicked. It was also a nice coincidence that when he thought of moving to a bigger place his neighbor was also about to go abroad and was renting his place out. Now his place is bigger and his customers are no longer limited to just the neighborhood. People all around the city now comes in to grab a bite there. Had he just given up totally, he wouldn’t have come this far. There have been many other problems here and there but he now learned to deal with each of them. He now knows that should he just surrender to them he will not move forward and achieve success the way he is doing now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Be Confident to Succeed!

Succeeding in business is quite a big question. It is perhaps best if we try to hear what successful people have to say about their own success. It’s inspiring to hear the stories of the most successful entrepreneurs. Most of them like to talk about it so it would not be a problem picking a few lessons from them.

Of all the stories I have hear and read, there is one very common thing I have noticed. Successful people have confidence. They have the confidence in their talent. They have the confidence in their business ideas. They believe that they’ve got what it takes. They believe that their product offers the best quality. They believed!

Before you can convince other people to hire you or to buy what you are selling, you have to believe on it first. If it’s a product you must be the first customer to use it and you must have high regard for your product. But you also have to be objective. You can’t just say it’s good because it’s yours. You have to set the criteria for judging good quality. If you fail in one area then you must admit it and do the necessary actions to correct it. You also have to constantly be on the look out for improvement. If your product satisfies all your criteria for quality then you will have all the confidence on it and start talking about it with confidence because you know it is good. Then hopefully your enthusiasm on your product will rub off on your potential clients. They will try your product and find out that it is truly good. Then they will continue patronizing your product or your brand and soon the word will spread out that your product is good. Other clients will follow suit until you have sufficient slice of the market. As they say, quality speaks for itself. And there’s nothing else better than quality to speak for your product, your brand and your company.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Are You Professional?

Being professional doesn’t just mean working in the corporate arena or working in the academe. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if you have a degree or if you did graduates studies that you are automatically a professional. For me being a professional is what is within the person.

You may just be a small vendor or a mere salesperson in a small boutique and be professional. Even janitors and waitresses can be called professionals. Again, it is not on the work that you do but it is what each person is and how the person handles his or her job.

Let’s say that you are a writer. You would have projects and assignments and you have a deadline for each of them. You usually produce good work and everybody says that you have the talent. However, you are almost always late in submitting the assignments given to you. You never meet your deadlines. That is being unprofessional on your part.

On the other hand, let’s say that this person is a bagger at the local grocery. He never entered a semester of college but he’s always cheerful and polite to the customers. He gladly assists customers who need his assistance. And he is very efficient on his job.

Another example is this taxi driver who was on his way home one night to the north end of city when a passenger hailed him. This passenger was going to the opposite side of the city but he still drove the guy down to his destination without complaining. It so happened that this passenger was perhaps tired and was in a hurry to step out of the taxi that he left his clutch bag full of money. The taxi driver upon he reaching home found this bag and the money in it. There were also several identifications cards inside it so he immediately called the guy up and arranged that they meet the following day. When they met, the passenger offered him a reward but he refused to take. He said it is just part of his job to drive the guy down to his destination and to return anything that is left inside his taxi.

You see, this taxi driver could have refused and made an alibi that he was on his way home, or he could have merely just not stopped when he was hailed by the customer. But instead he stopped and did service for the passenger. He also did not take advantage of the situation to extort money from the guy. He just did his duty as a taxi driver even at the most inconvenient time.

This could only mean one thing. Being professional does not really depend on one’s educational attainment or one’s job but it depends on how a person is on his or her job and on whether a person does his or her duty properly and even goes an extra mile to be of service to others.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Do You Have Enough?

Capitalization has always been one of the biggest hindrances to most budding entrepreneurs. In my opinion it is much easier to think of what business to put up. But when you think and list all the expenses you have to incur in starting up your business, that’s where you suddenly slow down a bit and check if you have enough personal funds for it and if not, where you can get financial assistance.

In a way, I think you suddenly go through a reality check. You would think twice before deciding if that specific business is the best one for you. Realizing the risk that you have to take makes you a bit cautious. You then become more careful and examine possible strengths and weaknesses of your business plan, whether it is written on paper or just in your head.

In securing a financial loan, it is important that you apply for the loan at a financial institution that offers the least interest rate. That’s one way of reducing your cost and earning better.

Again, capitalization is difficult. You would always have to check all the possible ways to save on expenses so you can make all of it fit to your available capital and so you can recover you startup expenses sooner. Raising sufficient capital is also difficult especially when you don’t have equity to back you up. Most banks and financial institutions would ask for collaterals. Of course, there are also other channels but their rates would be higher than the usual or higher than the market rate.

Whatever course you take, just remember to pursue it only if you are positive that you will be able to recover your capital, be able to pay up your loan on time and earn well enough to make the risk you will take and to make the efforts you put on your business well worth it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Starting Up a Business

Aside from seeking employment you can also opt to start your own business. But doing so isn’t at all that easy. The first question you have to ask yourself is what line of business you would like to get involved in. Then you have to ask yourself, does it have a demand? Where is the ideal location for your business? And last but certainly one of the hardest questions is, do you have enough capital for the said business?

These are all just general questions though. You should be as detailed as possible in planning for your business. It would be ideal to write up a business plan to get everything on paper because the longer your business operates, the more that things can become more complicated. It is best that you don’t lose sight of your goals and your policies as well.

So what line of business do you want to be involved in? It should be something you’re interested in or something you are passionate about. Doing business can be demanding to you financially, physically and emotionally. But if you like and enjoy what you are doing your burden would be lighter. It would also be good if you have a vast knowledge about the product or the service that you want to provide. There’s not a better asset than personal knowledge. It is difficult if you are very dependent on other people for your business to run. Like for example if you have a bakery, what happens when your baker suddenly resigns and bulks out? Your operations would have to abruptly stop if that happens. Even if you find another baker, the quality of your bread and your other products will not be maintained.

Now let’s say that you want to put up a high end boutique but about 90% of the population belongs to the middle class. That wouldn’t be appropriate. You should choose something which your potential customers need. Maybe a convenience store would be a good idea. Basic commodities are certainly something your neighborhood would make use of everyday. And these are the things that are certainly included in their shopping lists.

Where should you position your store? It should be somewhere near your targeted market. You should always be nearer to your customer than your competitor so you will be there when your customers need the products or the services you provide. Notice how pharmacies are situated new hospitals or how McDonalds is located almost in every other corner. If you are wondering why that is so, that is the reason for that.

Now, do you have enough capital for the business? Starting up a new business can cost so much. That is why you should always consider something less expensive if you have limited capital. You can also find out about the financing available to you. You should make that loan plus your personal funds enough for your start up expenses and your operating expenses for the first few months.

After these first general questions are answered, you are off to making your detailed business plan. And then comes the implementation. Remember that no plan, no matter how detailed and how well written it is, is enough for you to succeed. Proper implementation of these plans during operations is also vital. Hopefully, your customers will like your ideas and offerings. With a little luck, your business will be off to a good start and it will pick up very soon so you will realize success.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A Fan and More

Today’s top Filipino boxer, Manny Pacquiao, had a boxing match today with Mexico's Marco Antonio Barrera. I’m not really a boxing fan really but my husband is. The fight was shown at about noon time here and our TV was tuned in to the local station here covering the match as early as 9:00 am. I guess other boxing fans here and abroad did the same thing as well.

What really amazed me was when I heard that some people were betting on the match. Some Filipinos even placed bets against Manny Pacquiao. And the amount of the bet was pretty big. Well, for me it was big but maybe for them it was nothing. One of my neighbors lost P50,000 when the judges gave a unanimous decision in favor of the Filipino boxer. That’s more than a thousand bucks in the US currency! I also even heard of others going beyond that.

Maybe that’s just their way of entertainment or having fun. Sure, they can afford it and I don’t mean to be preachy but I just think that maybe it would have been better if the money was used to help the poor instead. Anyway, it’s their money so I guess it’s their choice. I just wish more people would think of helping others rather than gambling and losing large sums of money just like that.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My Page

As I've said joining social networks is fun but it is really time consuming at times. Well, it all starts with personalizing your page in each site. You have to do the layout. Then you have to choose pictures to upload. Then you also have to post a few blogs to get people to notice you. You need to do all these in order to make your page attractive and in order to make new friends on the site.

For me the most difficult part was putting some links on "My Page". You see I'm not really very knowledgeable with HTML and the sort. I had to do it through trial and error. My patience was really tested. I even sent instant messages to people whom I thought could help me with the codes but to my disappointment no one responded to my questions.

After spending, I think, about thirty minutes trying to get one code right, I finally got it. Then I had to move on to the next code and then the next site. It was really a test for me I guess. But after I was able to put the links up, I was really very proud of myself. I have accomplished something today and I have learned new things as well.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Being Sociable on the Web

I have recently joined a couple of social networking communities. Well, I got a couple of invites and I didn't want to disappoint them. The other thing that pushed me to join was the prospect of earn some extra bucks too. I personally don't know any one who has received some earnings from sites like these but I thought I should just try them.

It's really quite fun joining them. You get to meet new people. You can also get creative in building your page so that it would look nice for your viewers. It's quite time consuming though. That is why I decided to limit it to three new sites at this time.

The three sites I joined were GIZter, Yuwie and Rotatrix Friends Network. Among the three my GIZter page has the most content so far. It's actually a very new site so there aren't that many members yet. In fact, they are still tweaking on some of the functionalities on the site.

Of course, I think many of you have heard of Yuwie already. I've been invited a couple of times to join the site but it's only now that I had the time to. It's also nice but I have yet to invite my friends to join me there. My page is almost empty at this time but I hope to populate it with pictures and blogs soon.

The third one is the Rotatrix Friends Network. I'm so amazed with this site the most. Folks are just popping in to say hi and to make friends with me. I haven't even put a profile picture yet and I have lots of comments and messages already. It's really has a community feel.

I thought joining these social networks are more enjoyable to the young. But I see older people there too though. So I guess this is for everyone young and old as long as you have the desire to make new friends, connect with old friends and also earn some extra bucks.

If any of you are interested being a part of the community, feel free to join and earn. Just follow any or all of these links and be my friend.

For Yuwie:

For GIZter:

For Rotatrix:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Is It Luck?

Job hunting isn't really that easy. First you have to find job openings out there. Then you have to prepare a resume for each company to make it look like you are what they are looking for? Then comes submitting you application. If you pass the first screening, you will be called to take the exam or maybe for the first interview and so on. It's quite a long and tedious process.

There are some people though who can find jobs quite easily. Of course, a good education behind you is a major advantage. But it isn't always true that you will get better jobs and you can get it more easily than people with lesser education than you or than people who came from lesser known schools.

So my question is, "Is it luck?" Each of us may have different answers I guess. The way I see it is that there are just people who seem to be at the right place at the right time. Like when I applied for a job, it just so happened that the company I applied at had so much projects at that time that they needed to hire me right away. But then, I had to pass the test first. So you see, we also need some qualifications to get hired.

In conclusion, I think it is better if we equip ourselves with good education and a well rounded knowledge. But I must admit that there is an element of luck involved as well. The two have to come hand in hand when it comes to securing the job we aspire for.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Going Back to Work

My kid was just a toddler when I decided to work again. But I thought that I should try working through the internet. This way I would still be at home and be able to supervise what he's doing. I would also be able to attend to his needs any time he needs them.

I did my research and found many sites that offered online jobs. But then I found out that many of them asked for membership fees. So it took me some time to sort out which ones were free and which ones were not. I wanted to try the free sites at first since it was my first time to look for a job over the net. I also wanted to avoid getting scammed. What added to the difficulty was that I didn't have a broadband at that time. All I had was a dial up connection which got disconnected quite so often.

After some time and after going through the research and the application, my patience paid off and I finally found my first job as a transcriptionist. I didn't have any experience yet at that time but I actually past the test and got the job. That stint didn't last long though because my employer then went short of clients and projects. But shortly then after I found another job, this time I posted on forums. This the most fun job I had. I enjoyed it because I got to talk to many people around the world and got to share ideas and knowledge with them. I learned many things from that job too. I also got a job as a ghostwriter for someone who published tips on various topics. This was also something I liked doing. All I had to do was write tips on some things I already knew about and that was it.

There are all kinds of jobs or ways of earning through the internet. If you are patient enough you will surely find them. There are sites like,, and many others to help. If you are just starting out job hunting through the net, just research which sites will be more useful to you. Then start applying for the jobs you find interesting and like doing. You may not get the first job you applied for but keep trying and you will also find the job that is for you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Being a Parent

Being a parent is a tough job. When I got married, I decided to have my career take a back seat. For some it would have been very difficult but for me it was an easy decision. More than anything, I wanted to prioritize my husband and to be there for my children as well. I have seen families of people I know that rarely see each other and I have seen the effects of that especially on the children. That is why I vowed to myself that I will do everything I can not to follow their mistakes.

Well, who am I to criticize them? I may not know the whole story of their lives and there could have been reasons behind why bad things happened or why that is the way they handle their family life. I guess what I'm just saying is I have seen things which I felt I should be careful about. I have seen many couples whose son or daughter barely goes near a parent because they aren't there with him or her most of the time. The parents may work in a different city or abroad or the parents may be busy in their business. So the child is left mostly with the nanny. Since the kid spends his time mostly with the nanny, he ends up being even much closer to her than his mom or dad.

As a mom, that would really break my heart if it happened to me. That's why I really make sure that I have enough time for my kid. As a parent, I should be there to guide his growing up years, be there to correct him when he's doing something wrong and to encourage him to do well in everything he does. Play time is also important for kids. Parents should be able to do that as well because it is a perfect way to bond with the kids.

Parenting does not end there though. Parents should also be able to discipline their kids. There are different ways of doing that. But I think it would always be best if you try to explain things to them and make them understand why some things are not allowed.

There should be a balance between discipling your and kids and playing buddy to them. You cannot overdo one over the other. You cannot spoil your child, nor can you be overly strict to them. But more than anything, whether you are scolding him or just spending time with him always make your child feel that he is loved and make him feel the security and stability of your family.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Having a Nice Boss

With the rigors of everyday work, it would be nice if you had a boss whom you could get along very well with. It would be really great if you had someone who was a joy to work for. I was blessed with a very nice boss on my very first job. By nice I didn't mean that she did not let me do anything at the office. In fact, she demanded that I do everything well. I was the customer associate so she wanted me to be very courteous, polite and very attentive to my client's needs. Besides that I had to handle the documents and other paper work so she wanted everything in order. I have no complaints about that because it was my job. When something was new to me or when I had some questions, she would patiently explain things to me and would gladly answer my questions. She was always fair in giving evaluation as well.

On my part, I wanted her to look good in front of the senior officials of the company. From time to time she would go out with the president who market potentials clients so I provided her with all the numbers she needed to know. And the president was known to ask questions about the branch's performance during outings and meetings. My boss never failed to give him the answers. She always knew how we were doing and gave the answers without even looking at her notes.

Giving her the notes wasn't really part of the job but she needed someone to do it, and I was just glad to do that for her. I guess what I'm really trying to say is it is not always that we would get a very nice boss. So when we get one, it would be nice if we give something back to make his or her job easier and make them perform better as well.

Being an Employee

Being an employee is such a responsibility. From the very first day of your employment, you have to show up at work ready to do what your job demands of you. Your time is being paid by the company so you have make them see the value of the salary they are paying you. It could be that you were hired for your talent. You have show them what you've got. You have to show your employers that they were right in hiring you. It would even be better if they would feel that they are making profits from your services.

It can also be a joy. If you choose a job that you truly want to do, the burden of work would feel light. In fact, you may not even feel that it is a responsibility. It would just be like having fun. You would always look forward to start a new day.

No matter what it is to you, it is important that give your best effort. Even when you feel demoralized because you are not being noticed or you are being bypassed during promotion or it has been ages since you got a raise, you cannot let your employers down. Doing that is tantamount to letting yourself down. Your work will reflect on you. Always give the best output and you will always have a reputation for your great work and your nice work attitude. Employers would love you and your bosses will do, too.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Choosing Your Job

It is very important to choose your job and employers well, not just for the sake of being choosy but being reasonably choosy as well. I can still remember what one of my professors had told us. He said if you were to commit mistakes in choosing your job or your employer, do it in the first two years after graduation. He said do it at that time because if you keep on changing jobs, it wouldn't look good on your resume later on. And if you can, at least work for your company at a minimum of one year before changing jobs.

I, being so young and I guess naive at that time, thought, "Well, I'm not going to make mistakes. I'm going to get a job that I love." But things aren't that simple. You can send hundreds of applications, but companies don't reply immediately. You would have to endure the waiting period until the first company contacts you. By the time that happens, you would think that it's the only company interested in you. Then you would be so eager to maybe accept whatever they offer you.

My advice is don't be so in a hurry to grab unto that first job offer unless of course it's the job you really wanted and the offer is really good. Wait for the next job offer, compare the two and choose the better offer. If you really need a job immediately, another thing you can do is you can accept the job, but be open for other offers. Always check out other offers before you reject them. Again, as I've said do not this too often. Make calculated moves. Always think twice before you decide to take any job offer.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Be Flexible

Things don't always go as planned. No matter how well you have planned your day or your life, there are just things which are beyond your control. So you have to be flexible. You need to be able to adjust to your current situation and be able to steer yourself back on track again. Sometimes you even need to change your whole plan depending on the circumstances presented before you.

I have always wanted to be an accountant. Boring!!! Anyway, for me it was something I really wanted to do. I've always been mathematically inclined. I enjoyed numbers and wanted to go into business as well. But I also wanted to study in a specific university, not only because it was one of the best, if not the best, in the country because I could go there almost entirely free of charge. We weren't financial very well off so this was a very important consideration. I also didn't want to impose on parents so much.

As it turned out I passed the entrance exam to go to that university but not to the course I wanted. So I still opted to go to that school and quickly chose another course. I was a little disappointed but I was also excited to enter college at that time. Not everyone could go there because only a small percentage passes the entrance exams every year. So I still felt very fortunate.

When I got there I did very well in my first year. But it was not enough to get accepted to the accounting course which was my original plan. Again, that was another mishap in my plans. But this time I told myself I should maybe choose something else which is closely related to that course. So I ended up finishing business economics instead.

Some people may have been discouraged or may have felt hopeless. Others may have just spent so many years in college shifting from one course to another or transferring universities. That was not the case for me. I quickly realigned my plan and stood by it. I graduated on time and got a job two months after graduation.

This is but only one example. Maybe it's even just a very simple one. Life's trials come in small and large packages. You don't know what life is going to throw at you. You just need to accept them as they are. Do not dwell on the problems. Instead, concentrate on how you can go around them and be on the smooth road again.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Planning Your Day Ahead

No matter what you do, it helps when you've got a plan. I've always been a strong believer in that. But first you have to know what you want or what you have to accomplish. The same is true with planning your day.

Every night before going to sleep, I would think of the things I have to do the following day. Then I add the things which I had planned to do that day but for some reason wasn't able to. Then I would schedule them. You have to schedule even the little things because time flies so fast. You feel that you've just woken up but before you know it, it's already noon time and then night time.

The next thing you have to do is to follow your schedule. You have to be conscious of the time and do things as scheduled. You may lag on some chores or tasks but try to speed up so you can make up for the delay.

Of course, the degree of urgency would be different when you're at the office than when you're just at home. It would also be different depending on your line of work. But mind you, it's more difficult to stay with the schedule when you're your own boss and when you're just trying to do the chores at home. You don't have a boss to remind you or to demand from you that you do your work. So the more that you have to plan your day ahead. And the more that you have to discipline yourself to stick with it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Taking a Break

Part of balancing your life is having a diversion from time to time. You can't just be pouring all your time and energy on "serious" matters such as work and taking care of your family. No matter how much you love what you do it will also be draining when you do it routinely all the time. So it would also help to take a time off and free your mind from any worries.

It doesn't necessarily mean that you should take a vacation on some island or just take off to some place and leave everything behind. In fact, you don't have to leave your home to refresh and rejuvenate yourself. It need not cost you a single cent but your time.

It's easy. Stop what you're doing for a minute. Get a glass water or juice or whatever your favorite drink is and drink it leisurely while watching TV or reading the paper. Or, just spend a minute or two talking to your husband or your wife about even the most mundane things. Maybe you can take off your hat as a parent and play with your daughter or your son. It could also be fun. If not, pick up the phone and call a friend. It will surely take your mind off from some of those wrinkle causing matters.

There are many ways you can take a break from the rigors of daily life. And the costs can go from zero to so much than you can afford or imagine. Be creative or take it simple. But take a break and you will surely come back refreshed and rejuvenated having more energy to do the things you do, be it as a CEO or VP of your company, managing your own business or just taking care family.

Balancing Your Life

One's life can never be perfect. There would always be something missing. And I have always believed that in order to obtain that thing you find missing, you have to let go of some things even just to some degree. And so we have to know which things we value more than the others.

We could be making big bucks but we would rarely see our husband or our wife. We wouldn't have time for our children. We wouldn't even have time for ourselves. Is that the life you want for yourself?

On the other hand, we could have all the time in the world taking care of taking care of the house, children and spouse. But we wouldn't have enough money to pay the bills. That wouldn't be so good either.

That is why we need to balance our lives. We need to prioritize things and we need to know which comes first. For me, my first priority in this material world would be my family. It is for them that I want to earn a good living. This would lead to my second priority which would be my work. I have to make a living to help my husband provide for my family. That is why I would always put my heart and my commitment to my work. I would do everything I can to produce the best output in whichever work I am doing. And last but certainly not the least, I also give priority to myself because what good will my intentions be if I will not be able fulfill them. And I also need to feel good about myself to have the energy to be able to be there my family and continue live life as it comes.