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When asked by one of The Philippine Star owners Kevin Belmonte to do a column on GoNegosyo, I thought of how it would be best done. GoNegosyo was born as the key advocacy of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, a foundation established when I was joined by the country’s finest entrepreneurs such as Harley Sy (SM Investments), Rolando Hortaleza (Splash Corp.), Tony Tan Caktiong (Jollibee), Vivienne Tan (Entrepreneur School of Asia), Butch Campos (Southeast Asian Foods International), Myla Villanueva (MDI), Nanay Coring Ramos (National Bookstore), and Atty. Felipe Gozon (GMA7).
While convincing this esteem group of entrepreneurs to join this cause, I remember Tony Tan saying that for this idea to work, it will require a lot of effort. He was totally right. We all knew it’s the passion that drives us entrepreneurs to pursue our vision. To some, it’s a hobby – their game where you see them working long hours while they find fulfillment in doing what they do best which is to build exciting and viable business models.
This has become my driving force all these years. Like the very idea of selling a business like Cosmos for close to 15B and the idea of challenging the giants like Coca Cola and Magnolia, I guess this initiative somehow led me to continue the same risk-taking journey in a different yet fascinatingly unique form – wanting to help many Filipinos to pursue their dreams.
We launched GoNegosyo the time when former Department Secretaries formed a group they called Hyatt 10, went against the government and tried to oust PGMA. Obviously, it was impossible for us to have the President as a guest. Knowing the enormous danger brought by the coup attempt, the Presidential Security Group even advised the President not to come. Despite the political instability at that time, PGMA believed that entrepreneurship will help the country move forward and so she still graced the first GoNegosyo event in Fort Bonifacio. Special thanks to Sec. Arthur Yap for his extra effort.
The President likewise came back for a visit during the GoNegosyo expo last Feb. 25 at Market Market, at the height of the coup attempt. Precisely our passion to drive home the point that we need to develop a mindset of optimism, focusing our energies to more productive endeavors and to what will only do good for the country to help move our one and only country forward. We were pleased to see the huge crowd that still filled the expo, manifesting that a lot of our kababayans are just wanting to get into business and discover new business opportunities. The coup ended and we believe the entrepreneurship revolution has begun. History had made its mark.
Considering the response from an overwhelming number of people supporting our cause, it is the passion of pursuing our new battlecry, or in a way a new brand of advocacy called GoNegosyo that has inspired me to just continue what I do best. I know it’s not a brand that will give me billions. But sure enough, it’s going to be a brand that will inspire others to get into business and make their first million and eventually their first billion.
This column Ask GoNegosyo will hopefully encourage more successful entrepreneurs out there to come out and help us give advice to those countless Filipinos here and in abroad who want to start something. This column is also for those who are thinking twice about bringing their business to the next level.
I believe that mentoring these people is the best way to help them achieve their aspired business success.
This column will feature entrepreneurs responding to questions taken from the rich business wisdom archive of GoNegosyo.org, a website engineered as a venue to reach millions of people in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world. Perhaps their responses will be able to answer many people out there who may have the same questions.
The time has come for us to see optimism at work. Hopefully the Filipino people would realize that a very pessimistic attitude will only take us nowhere. The results from last year’s concerted efforts were proof of how optimism affects positive change so quickly. For us to encourage more entrepreneurs or negosyantes in this country, optimism must prevail over pessimism.
This column hopefully will achieve just that. Let’s Go Negosyo!
Dear Mr. Concepcion,
Hi! I have been looking for a mentor who has experience in the food industry. We have been operating our small food business for four months now and have been doing a lot of trial and errors. We have a vague business plan. We just hope we could find ways to minimize costly errors. Hope that joining this group will elevate our business and someday, we will be mentors like you. Thanks.
Hi Leo, thank you for your email. There are always better ways to do your business and bring it to its higher level. Trial and error could be one but if you could spend some time to learn the lessons from those who already made same mistakes in your industry, then you don’t have to experience the same fate.
One of the keys is research. Identify what works and what doesn’t work. You also need to pay attention to details. Details are very important to succeed. Business planning is an important part also, but the greater challenge is the implementation of it. So it should be two: you plan well and you do the plan well.
Your choice, passion, determination and vision will elevate your business. Success in any endeavor is always personal. And I can only give you inspiration and some knowledge and information.
Thanks a lot,
(Joey Concepcion is the President and CEO of RFM Corp. He is also the Presidential Consultant for Entrepreneurship and the Founding Trustee of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, the institution behind the successful Go Negosyo forums and expos since its launching last February.
Dear Mr. Aldeguer,
I am Benson Gapuz, 34 years old of Proj. 8, Quezon City. I would like to go into a business supplying pigeon (fryers) for hotels and restaurants (mainly chinese) here in Metro Manila. I have the supplies but the market aspect and pricing is still dark.
My problem is I don’t know the prevailing market price of pigeon. Where could I ask for their purchase price and dressing standard for pigeons and their weekly requirements? Any help towards this direction will be highly appreciated.
Doing some research is always necessary and useful so that you don’t go into the business blindly. Try to make some phone calls to existing restaurants and even suppliers and then inquire. Getting them to talk lengthily to get as much information will be challenging. Also, try to visit them personally and get information. If there is a restaurant association, they can also be very helpful.
Let me know if you have some developments.
(Jonathan Jay P. Aldeguer is the President of Island Souvenirs, a retail phenomena that captures the essence of tourist destinations through T-shirts and other items of the highest quality and creative designs.)
How can i improve my financial IQ to manage my resources better?
Financial IQ, unlike Mental IQ, is not inborn but learned. Start by understanding how business works and how financial resources are used to produce goods and services. Go to a bookstore and pick up some books on accounting. Read the first chapter. If that proves confusing, then pick up a marketing book and read the first chapter. Understand how finance empowers an organization to produce goods and services, extend credit, etc.
Write me back after you’ve read it. Read thru it and perhaps make some notes.
(Former Business Administration professor, Johnlu Koa is the Founder and CEO of The French Baker, Inc. He was named one of The Outstanding Young Filipinos in 1996 for his commitment to the baking industry and was also named one of the 500 Great Asians of the 21st century by the Bibliotheque Worldwide Organization in the US. He is also a 2005 Ernst and Young Emerging Master Entrepreneur Awardee.)
[For free business advice and inspiration from the country’s finest business leaders and entrepreneurs, please visit www.gonegosyo.org or text us NEGOSYO <space> YOUR MESSAGE and send to 2299]