ON OCTOBER 22 last year, I wrote in this column different stories of people in their 20s who chose to be employed full-time, those who have side hustles, and those who decided to drop everything and open their own business.
While business is one attractive direction for young professionals who want to try something new, it’s not an easy decision and would require several attempts and failures before becoming successful. Even then, there will still be days of disappointments and regrets but as my friends in the small business industry have been saying, it will still be worth it especially if you go after your passion.
Reading through a number of business starter websites, they give a lot of advice on determining what you want to do and interested in before considering anything else in the business. It would be a shame to start a coffee shop business, for example, when you’re not really personally interested in coffees but just saw it as a trend among your target markets. Many business people that I had the chance to interact with also say the same. The secret to starting one’s own business is finding an opportunity of demand in your community and answering that.
For example, the people in your town, you included, slowly start to ride on the health and wellness trend and are more conscious of what they eat. As the demand is still fresh, there may be only a few related businesses opening. Testing the waters for possible healthy smoothie and breakfast bowl business may be a good thing.
So if you’re reading this and you’re in your 20s to 30s and have been toying with the idea of opening your own business, well, you’re in for a treat. We’ve interviewed local businessmen in Davao City whose respective businesses have flourished throughout the years. Not only are these businesses still present and operating in the city, the owners have also experienced decades of failures and successes. They are the best people to share their stories and give advice to young professionals who may want to open their own business sooner or later.
Hub101 Computer Systems owner
“Making your presence known in the repair business was quite challenging since there are a number of technicians and shops already on the scene. When I was able to build my brand, manpower was and is another obstacle. The more clients we took in, the more I needed good and skilled people for the business. Finding people fit for the job is hard to find nowadays.
But for the young people, open a business that you are familiar with. If you are not, then you need to study it first and learn as much as you can about the product and service you want to sell. Location is an important key to consider, especially if you have a target market.
Will leaving your day job be necessary? It depends. Personally, I left a good-paying job when I started again in 2016. It was a risk I willingly took as I wanted to grow and do something that I really love doing. It was scary at first but I had faith and I practiced a lot of patience. I just enjoyed my job and didn’t care much about the setbacks. One must have the will to do it and is also willing to accept the results. Opening a business is not always a win.”
Golda V. Divinagracia
Bloom Facial Slimming Spa
Pink & Gold Salon
“I just retired from the bank [when I decided to open a business]. I like the beauty business because I like prepping myself. I also love sharing beauty secrets so why not make money from it instead. I knew I can offer good beauty products and services that can compete with other well-known brands.
I used to work with ABS-CBN and back in 2004, people watched more TV than people do now. So, our popularity surge had a good start. And by giving good products and services, we gained patrons and referrals.
For the young people, always remember that while marketing is queen, quality product and service is king. You can’t aim for hype alone. Consistency and innovation need to be upheld.”
“I started selling during the time when mobile phones were still very new. That was 1994 to 1995 at the corner of our small restaurant in Uyanguren. I started very small, selling only the leather cases, extra battery, fast chargers and battery eliminators. Margin was good, customers were happy, and I saw the potential.
I slowly added a few products until I had enough money to open a store. Using my earnings and a small loan from my parents and the determination to succeed and grow big, I opened my first store on October 1, 1996, at Regina Commercial Complex along CM Recto Street. Now, 25 years later, Tekpone has 8 stores serving the people of Davao.
A loan from your parents means a lot. It cuts the process of going to banks and creditors for a loan. And loans from parents are interest-free. Use it wisely and be sure to pay them back.
Everybody wants to get rich, who doesn't? Everybody wants to have his/her own business. Having a full-time job and doing business on the side is challenging and rewarding. The decision to quit your job really depends on the industry. If you quit your job, then you will have more time to focus on your present task.
Every business has challenges and risks. If you fail, check your mistakes, be humble, learn from them, pick up the pieces, move on, and focus. Business conditions are sometimes not always in our favor. The factors can be the product, price, demand, location, competition, etc. These factors can be studied carefully before implementing.”