Negosyo Fever

It seems the negosyo fever is still rising. Our Go Negosyo books are hitting all time high sales. The calls for Negosyo seminars (Negosems), which our foundation have been receiving, have been unprecedentedly strong that we have invited more Angelpreneurs – mentors to help out more in program development and mentoring. They will also be leading the lectures and forums in our forthcoming Youth Summit on September 27.

Since we started the negosyo campaign, a lot of companies from the private sector have joined in as they also see the potential of tapping this fast-growing market segment. Not only do you help people, but eventually as these people do well, they will help hire more people and increase consumer spending. Thus, overall economy improves.

But, I also warn people that negosyo is not a sure pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Many are not able to find it because they are not prepared mentally and just copy others. What is important is that we inspire people to have a change first in attitude towards being positive and diligent to succeed in life. And for those who will then decide to pursue a negosyo, we empower them in our Negosems with the right values, concepts and tools, to be creative, and to always differentiate.

We also witnessed the negosyo fever last weekend when Go Negosyo participated in the Grand Kapamilya Negosyo Fair in SMX Complex. We offered free negosyo mentoring sessions in our booth. It was amazing to encounter many people who had so many questions about the businesses they want to put up.

Our Go Negosyo Angelpreneurs are always more than willing to share their knowledge and expertise to those who are determined to succeed. This is our pledge through our advocacy – to give back and help people move forward.

I would like to share some of the inquiries and negosyo topics that were consulted, with the respective advice that was offered by our Angelpreneurs. These are just a few of the many queries we received. Those who are in similar situations might also find these answers useful.

Q: Is it really possible to start a business with no capital?

You need some capital, but this capital is not necessarily in the form of cash. You may borrow or lease necessary equipment first instead of buying it right away. If possible, pre-sell your goods and collect cash then use proceeds from your pre-selling as a means of financing the purchase of goods. You should not be afraid of borrowing money for as long as the cash flow you’re your operations are sufficient to cover interests and principal payments on schedule. As long as the opportunity is valid, there are many creative ways of starting the enterprise and growing it over time.

Q: My husband developed a board game and we have started to work on manufacturing them. The problem is that we are not familiar with the suppliers and the actual manufacturing of board games. We were able to talk to some carton and board suppliers but they don’t supply small quantities.

A: First, it would be ideal to test if the board game concept is “sellable”. This means you have to ask if it is a good game that has a good market before you try to manufacture them yourselves or have it manufactured. Assuming that it is good, you may consider the following: Your expertise is perhaps in developing board games and not manufacturing them. Thus, you need to tie up with a manufacturer who can do it for you on a toll manufacturing basis, so you just pay per piece of the finished goods produced. However, this means you will allot a working capital to invest in having inventory of finished products. The other option is tie up and franchise the game concept to a manufacturer and charge royalty on sales made. You can also just sell the concept to a board game producer and get a lump sum payment so you don’t have to monitor their sales and just get a good value to your idea. Because your expertise is in developing games, so you may derive cash value and develop new concepts as you move forward.

Q: I am from Iloilo and I am an OFW working in the health services industry in the United States. I am looking for a retirement negosyo to set-up. What business would be good to go into? I find it appealing to run a small bed and breakfast since I think it would be suitable for me when I retire.

A: The ultimate choice of what business to go into would be a personal one. There are many opportunities but you have to find one that matches your personality. While it would be nice to set up the business simultaneous with your work abroad, enterprises rarely succeed if managed by remote control or at a distance, especially in the start up phase. The chances of success for a negosyo are higher with the passion of the owner present as a driving force. Iloilo also has strong potentials, especially in tourism. Consider your Bed & Breakfast idea and see how you can strengthen it to fit in your locality.

Q: I am a simple fruit vendor and I would like to expand my business. How do I do this?

A: You could consider developing value adding products like processed fruits or fruit shakes or beverages. Your expertise is on being able to select good quality fruits that are right for processing. You probably also have by now the best suppliers, but you must continue to search for better ones. But you may have the advantage right now. You need to develop right branding that reflects positioning of the products to your target market, with right logos, designs of retail store, etc. All of these will be based on your clear positioning after identifying the target market. Find a location where the products have high potential for demand.

Our community values the experience each time we are exposed to different types of people. We always have different experts to address your various inquiries about entrepreneurship. In fact, we would like to encourage people to seek for mentors. There are many organizations, institutions and even private companies that are advocates of entrepreneurship education. It is always an advantage to have a “big brother”, especially when you are still learning the ropes.

To all Filipinos who would like to beat poverty and achieve success through entrepreneurship, we encourage you to Ask Go Negosyo