Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Starting as a young entrepreneur

Stock photo

Twenty Something

OPENING and sustaining a business venture may not be for everyone. There are risks and huge decisions involved. Some of the younger generations, although looking for a bit of adventure themselves, would sometimes hesitate because of the risks and uncertainties involved.

The country has been under quarantine for over a year now. Because of the movement restrictions, some are forced to revisit hobbies and pastimes at home that they didn’t have time for before. Social media has been full of posts of people baking, gardening, cooking, designing, and so many other activities were made. It’s only common, especially this time of economic crisis, to think of turning these hobbies into business. After all, many businesses start with this.

On last Tuesday’s live episode of Twenty Something, we invited guests who are equipped with the knowledge of starting and managing your own business. We were glad to have Han Da Bae, Jibae OPC -- president and CEO and the Mindanao Banana Farmers and Exporters Association -- chairman of the Board. He was joined by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao Region Small and Medium Enterprise Division Chief Marie Anne “Mayan” How.

In an hour’s episode, they were able to answer the FAQs of those who have been playing with the idea of starting their own business.

How would I know that my hobby or pastime is ready to level up and be made into a small business?

Mayan: It really helps if you set a goal. You have to decide if this hobby is really a serious one before deciding to make it into a business. Is it a short-term business or a long-term one? One thing you can also do is to do some research. Maybe you have many competitors in the same field. You have to consider that you may not be the only one doing what you’re going to do. Research on the product, your target market, your competitive advantage, and the location where you want to put your business.

Han: I would just like to add the practicality part. The reality is we all have bills to pay. Running a business is not only a 9am to 5pm thing. It will take a big part of your time. And if you’re confident based on the market studies and business plan that you’ve come up with, that you will be able to pay your bills, then go for it. But if the proceeds from the idea are not enough yet to sustain your daily lifestyle, then maybe you can juggle your 9 to 5 p.m. with your business.

What are the advantages of securing a DTI business registration permit and what are the requirements to secure one?

Mayan: It is really necessary to register your business with DTI to provide a legal entity and claim ownership to your business name. The purpose of this is to really make sure that there is no other business or other organizations with the same name as yours. DTI business name registration is the first step for sole proprietorship to ensure that you can go on without any legal hassle as you go along the way. It is also important in creating a brand name.

If nasa barangay lang ang coverage ng business mo, you only pay P230, but then if it’s municipality, you pay P530. If your coverage is regionwide, then its P1,030. If it’s national, P2,030. If you don’t have online means of payment, you can visit the nearest DTI office near you. Access our website for registration as the requirements and the registration itself are already online. So hindi na kayo mahirapan.

What advice can you give to someone who wants to start a business but is not an expert in all corners of business management?

Han: First, it’s important to establish a personal strength and weaknesses analysis to determine which areas of running a business is comfortable for you and which areas are a bit challenging for you. Now for those areas that you might find challenging, it’s either (1) you partner up with someone who knows how to do those tasks; or (2) you outsource or you hire. Having a partner has its pros and cons. Pros could be you would find a partner you will trust. At the same time, the con could be, in business quarrels are inevitable. For outsourcing naman, a pro would be you don’t need to be emotionally attached but at the same time, it’s an expense.

What are the programs and assistance of DTI that is specifically prepared to assist starting young entrepreneurs?

Mayan: Republic Act 10679 is the Youth Entrepreneurship Act. The Youth Entrepreneurship program is actually a collaboration with different youth organizations, public, and private organizations that is directed in assisting the youth. It explores their full potentials to become successful entrepreneurs. We launched this last 2019 here in Davao City at the SMX Convention Center. We also have this business pitching competition where the youth pitch their business ideas. It is also a business opportunity for our young soon-to-be entrepreneurs.

Other programs that we have that’s not only for the young but for all interested, we have the Kapatid Mentor Me program. It is a mentoring and coaching that aims to scale up ang mga MSMEs natin. We capacitate them further. We have 10 modules that we follow. The topics that are included in those modules include marketing mindset, operational management, digitalization, product development, and good governance and ethics among others.

Opening your own business, whether that’s turning a long-time hobby into an income-generating venture or co-managing an already existing family business, has its risks involved. With what our guests have discussed, these risks should not be a reason to hesitate and entirely give up the idea. Thorough research and studying must be made. And when things get a little challenging, it’s never a bad thing to ask for help whether from friends and family or from government agencies like DTI.

You can watch the full episode via this link:


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