Different generations of entrepreneurs have different ways of running a business. In Chinoy family-owned businesses, traditions and family values are highly regarded. This type of culture is likely to have benefits to the business but can also make it difficult for rookie family members to lead.
Take it from Chinese entrepreneurs Gerik Chua of Eng Bee Tin and Marvin Uy of Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant who are now leading the Chinese deli shop and eatery, respectively.
Gerik and Marvin shared their business journey in the online show “At your SerBIZ!” hosted by award-winning author and speaker Francis Kong, where they shared how they work with their elders, the challenges that come with it, and their roles in their success.
Gerik shared that one of the hardest parts of owning a family business is literally bringing work home with him because he lives in the same house with his parents. He said that “it’s basically a 24- hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week job” because they still discuss work at the dinner table.
Despite the challenge, putting in extra hours proved to be beneficial for the business in the long run. Gerik learned from his father and mentor Gerry Chua, also fondly called “Mr. Ube” by customers, some of the best practices of running a business.
For one, Gerik is always reminded that ups and downs in businesses are normal. In managing Eng Bee Tin, his father reached a point where he could not afford to pay suppliers because of low sales. His father persevered and later tried introducing a new product—the ube hopia that clicked with the masses.
Among the lessons that Marvin, for his part, learned from his parents is to keep failure in proper perspective and never give up. Sincerity Café & Restaurant started after his family members failed in their initial business ventures in merchandising and importation. Sincerity started as a small “mami house” with P600 capital before expanding to a restaurant with more items in the menu.
In family business, it’s common for parents to be resistant to having their children or the next generation to make changes in how things are done.
“We came from a traditional family so they [elders] are not open when younger generations suggest something new because they think that we lack experience,” Marvin said, adding that his age is a factor that prevents elders from easily accepting new ideas that he pitched.
For one, the idea of partnering with third party delivery applications was initially dismissed by elders.
Practicing active listening allows the next generation of business owners to know where their elders are coming from. In doing so, they can properly respond and explain to them why changes are necessary.
Through time, Marvin’s elders agreed to partner with third party delivery applications which helped their business survive at the height of the pandemic.
Gerik adds that proper communication is key because it helps in getting the inputs of all family members before coming up with any decision, especially during disagreements. When conflicts arise, Gerik said, “We just talk it over. Subukan lang mag-usap, wala namang mawawala.”
Some beliefs and superstitions can be perceived to hold businesses from thriving. In China, there is a belief that black can bring bad luck, so Gerik initially had difficulty convincing his father to let him use a black-colored packaging for Eng Bee Tin’s then-new product, the Triple Chocolate Lava Mooncake product.
Refusal to innovate and introduce something new will make it hard for business owners to stay relevant, and this is what Gerik made his father, who later agreed to his proposal, understand.
“Innovation is important para hindi mawala yung ‘sawa’ factor. There should always be something new that we can offer to the customer so they would keep coming back,” shared Gerik.
He also convinced his elders to innovate by incorporating the use of social media regularly to promote their products. Through TikTok and Facebook, Eng Bee Tin manages to gain new customers and keep the old ones. Marvin, meanwhile, shares how he innovated by improving the interior design of their restaurant to make the customer’s dining experience even better.
Mixing family and business may pose a lot of challenges, but sustaining it across multiple generations is possible with all family members on board and sharing the same goals and commitment.
According to Francis, “Digitalization doesn’t necessarily mean breaking tradition, but rather elevating it.” He also emphasized that innovation, mentoring, and learning go both ways: the older generation may have the knowledge, network, and resources to share, but they can also learn from the younger generation about technology, connectivity, and business as a community.
Learn more negosyantips from the country’s most successful entrepreneurs by tuning in to Globe Business’ YouTube channel to watch all the episodes of “At your SerBIZ!”.
The advantage of being part of the Baby Boomer Generation is we’ve experienced different historical moments that have paved the way for the world and life we have today. “The young today may have read history but would never understand it the way the older ones have lived through it.”
I remember those significant moments in my student days when women were marching down the streets, burning their bras, and fighting for their equal rights to work and careers. Women then were expected to be stay-home moms raising kids and cooking meals. The conventional belief is that they do not belong in the workplace. The few employed worked as telephone operators, stenographers, receptionists, or secretaries, and you could hardly hear women engaging in business.
Today, women are climbing the corporate ladder, being members of boards, leading teams, and engaging in businesses as they carve out their path to success. Women today possess the skills and abilities and are positive, confident, and have a healthy mindset crucial for them to achieve their goals.
The Globe Business team and I have just done the final episode of “At Your Serbiz – Season 1” in front of a live audience, many of whom were women and entrepreneurs. Gracing the show were four women leaders covering different endeavors: Minette Navarette, Founder of Kickstart Ventures; Carla Sy-Su, Entrepreneur-in-residence; Capitan PH, viral content creator Mona Magno-Veluz a.k.a. @mightymagulang; and Bela Gupta D’Souza, Founder of Edamama. It is incredible to see, hear and learn from their experiences as to how they rose to the top. You should watch the episode and learn from these exceptional women leaders with superpowers.
Drawing from their experiences and adding a few more commentaries of my own, the following ideas helped them cut through the clutter, defy odds and opposition and reach and achieve success.
Women are natural when it comes to networking. Their empathetic nature makes them easy to relate to people, understand another person’s point of view, and build communities. We have a saying in business that goes this way: “Today, if you are NOT networking, then you are NOT working.”
They build relationships with people in their industry, attend events and conferences, and connect with like-minded individuals. This can open up new opportunities, provide mentorship and help them stay up-to-date with industry trends.
Setting goals and achieving them requires having a clear vision. They know how to cut through the clutter. They have short-term and long-term goals and are willing to adjust them as the circumstances change. They are determined and focused.
Most women leaders are unafraid to ask questions when they are not in the know. They instinctively know that asking questions is not a sign of weakness but a sign of honesty and authenticity, so they are unafraid to ask for advice to satisfy their curiosity.
One of the women leaders guests said, “From somebody who has absolutely no understanding of technology, I asked and learned, discovered and researched…” And now, technology is the central nucleus of her business. But all four agree that they continue to learn and explore how they can use technology to maximize and optimize what they do for their craft and business.
Technology allows women to build their brands. Their brands reflect a consistent image and message representing their values and strengths. The program’s influential women leaders showcase their expertise and accomplishments as they build a robust online presence through social media and other digital channels.
What often holds women back is the fear of failure, but successful women leaders have recognized that failure is part of the journey to success and that each setback is an opportunity to learn and grow. They embrace the mindset of learning from mistakes or failures as stepping stones that enable them to achieve their ultimate goals.
The journey to success and achievement is no easy path, as women wear different hats to achieve their goals. They are leaders in their chosen fields, and in between juggling these responsibilities, they still fulfill their roles as wives and mothers taking care of their families. This is why having a supportive network of family, friends, and colleagues enables a woman to achieve great tasks. They understand the importance of having healthy work-life harmony. They take good care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally and still manage to make time for their hobbies, interests, and relationships outside of work. This makes them more productive, creative, and engaged. It also equips them to handle the demands of business or career.
It has been said that “The strength of a man is his charm, but the charm of a woman is her strength.” Today we see them operating their strengths because when the woman is armed with opportunity, support, and technology tools, she transforms into a woman with superpowers ready to conquer the world of business and achieve career success.
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel the stress and savor the success that comes with the festive Christmas rush. During the most profitable time of the year for most businesses, the holiday season doesn’t have to be something you dread when you have the relevant promotions, the right tools on the right platform, and the best business solutions.
In the latest episode of the online show, “At Your SerBIZ!,” representatives of aesthetic soy candle shop, Lumi Candles and ecommerce giant, Lazada, sit down for a chat with one of the country’s respected business speakers, Francis Kong, to unbox their negosyantips on how to find the right solutions to deal with the holiday rush and manage their operations to stay on top of customer orders.
Lumi Candles’ Business Development Manager, Karre De Leon, demonstrates how a business that started as a hobby stays on top of demanding orders. Lazada’s Head of Business Development and Platform Governance, Sheryll Nito, shares how the leading ecommerce enterprise today plays its massive advantage. Together, they demonstrate that “tuloy-tuloy na success” is the best present you can unwrap when you follow these tips to beat the holiday rush for your business operations and enjoy the festivities.
“Alamin mo ‘yung needs and wants ng customers mo para iyon ang maibigay mo sa kanila,” says Karre when asked about how Lumi Candles lights up its products and services for their customers.
They keep consumer loyalty by ensuring the quality of their products and providing the highest level of service. Lumi Candles offers free shipping and the option to customize bulk orders. They also simplify the return process in order to address their clients’ return-and-replacement concerns in the event that fragile soy candles become damaged during shipment. In addition to Christmas deals, the website also offers Lumi Rewards, which converts each purchase into points redeemable for future discounts.
Lazada strongly encourages merchants to make promotions with a diverse selection of high-quality products to attract customers. With product variety, upgrades, and complete product descriptions, it is always simpler for buyers to browse the store and discover the right product that they are seeking.
Sheryll described how an online store owner must think, “Dapat laging iniisip ng sellers na ‘paano kung bumalik ‘yung customer, ano ang bago sa store ko na pwede nila makita o bilhin?’”
Karre formulates their tried-and-tested approach to online marketing: consistency.
Much like how Santa’s elves work in sync, Lumi Candles team works remotely with digitalized solutions, using a digital planner to keep the team in sync. In terms of marketing, they use a little help from AI websites to deal with consistent copywriting, proofreading, and daily content creation. They also use automated shipping and payment for each online selling platform to keep the quality standards of their services.
Sheryll shares advice about knowing what tools work and upgrading solutions can be a smart investment for growing your business. Using their own logistics and high-tech sorting centers, Lazada vendors and couriers can now deliver packages to buyers more efficiently.
Last 11.11, about 500,000 orders were fulfilled in less than 24 hours, attesting to Lazada’s reliability during the Christmas rush!
Karre believes in hard work and discipline. In every business, a shortage of stock can hinder sales. At Lumi Candles, they work hard to organize their inventories and use information from the previous year’s sales to gauge demand and replenish their stock before the holiday season. They don’t just sell volumes they cannot manage—Lumi Candles allow pre-orders starting from November and give discounts to manage bulk orders ahead of the holiday gift-giving season.
Customer service doesn’t end after payment. Aside from swift responses to inquiries, building trust and loyalty must be the heart of any business. Sheryll shared that Lazada’s vision by 2030 is to embrace 300 million customers, create millions of job opportunities, and empower MSMEs across Southeast Asia.
Their small step starts by encouraging sellers to step up their customer experience. To foster loyalty, expressing your sincerity to customers with quality products, honesty, small freebies, and personalized or customized thank you cards can make a difference.
Open the gift of giving the best customer service for your patrons and the most efficient tools for your business operations. Because it’s the season to learn from successful entrepreneurs, find the best business solutions that work for you, and binge-watch more episodes of “At Your SerBiz!” here!
When your business starts to grow, it is the perfect opportunity to revisit your business plan, adjust, and plan for changes with the proper digital solutions to help you operate and prosper. But how do you select the one that will work for you?
In the fourth episode of the online show, “At Your SerBIZ!” two “en-tech-preneurs” upgraded their businesses and sat down with renowned author and speaker Francis Kong to share their top negosyantips on how the right digital solutions helped them manage and exponentially grow their startup tech businesses.
Ginger Arboleda, co-founder of Taxumo, and Oskie King, co-founder of Cleaning Lady PH, solved the challenges in their tech businesses to prove that “tuloy-tuloy na success” is possible with these top tips.
Ginger believes that you must focus your valuable time and energy on the areas that matter most to you and your business to get the best return on your investment. “Conserve it so that you can recharge,” the Taxumo co-founder added.
When Ginger started Taxumo, she had the realization that she wanted to live the life she wanted. After getting pregnant and watching her kids grow, she knows that she wants to be present at every milestone. She made sure to give herself time to re-energize and keep her priorities in mind.
Instead of wasting time filing for taxes, processing payments, and dealing with penalties, Taxumo assists thousands of freelancers, self-employed professionals, small business owners, and corporations to file and pay their taxes from wherever and whenever. As an accredited online tax compliance tool in the Philippines, it allowed Filipino taxpayers to focus on being their best selves by simply diverting their time and energy to more productive things while her business handled their taxes.
“You must continue to understand your business processes better and, at the same time, maging open ka sa improvements,” Oskie said.
Oskie previously worked in an IT company on a graveyard shift, with no time to pursue his hobbies, passions, or spend time with his family. At that point, he wanted to change this situation not just for himself but for others who have no time to deal with time-consuming cleaning. Oskie co-founded Cleaning Lady, a social enterprise that provides Filipino-quality cleaning services that are professional, caring, and warm to condominium dwellers in Metro Manila. He understood the pain that comes when you don’t have the time for yourself to clean your condo unit. And so, Oskie made their digital solutions smooth and easy to book for their clients.
As business changes and consumer expectations rise, entrepreneurs must also be adaptive with digital tools that both their employees and customers can understand and use. Some of the online tools that Oskie recommends are Zoom and Facebook Messenger for work-from-home collaboration, Meta Business for customer inquiries for different businesses, and GCash for receiving and sending payments.
For someone starting a tech business, it might be overwhelming to discover, explore, and try to use digital tools covering various processes, system management, or a specialized function. But as a learner, you should remember that the experts were once novices in these situations.
“When you want to automate your business, it’s very important to research and look at the things around you that can help support your business,” says Ginger, an advocate of continuous learning.
Technology quickly changes. What was convenient yesterday may not be so useful or relevant to your business operations tomorrow. So, an entechpreneur must stay up-to-date and keep track of the latest trends, events, and tools.
Oskie feels strongly about his business and the people he wants to support.
“At the end of the day, it’s not just about earning income or growing the company, but more so, the social impact na tina-try natin to create,” stressed the Cleaning Lady co-founder.
At Cleaning Lady, they empower mothers from underprivileged communities to give their customers time for more productive tasks, all while creating a meaningful difference and positive impact on each other.
“Kailangang mas maraming kababaihan ‘yung ma-upskill pa natin,” Oskie added as he constantly remembers his objectives that will keep him aligned as he grows his business.
Change the way you conduct your business and join the ranks of these successful CEOs and find the best digital solutions that work for you with Globe Business. Catch more episodes of “At Your SerBiz!” here.
Starting and growing your own beauty business is both challenging and rewarding when you are faced with the unique opportunity to give confidence, empowerment, and positivity to your customers, on top of providing an effective beauty product.
In the third episode of the online show, “At your SerBIZ!”, two successful entrepreneurs faced award-winning author and speaker Francis Kong, to reveal their top negosyantips on how to effectively manage and successfully grow their beauty businesses.
Both Anna Magkawas and Rizza Lana braved the challenges of the beauty business to confidently claim that “atin ang tuloy-tuloy na success” with these beauty business secrets.
Both Anna and Rizza used their strengths to build the foundations of their operations. They prioritized their abilities and skills acquired from experience in pursuing business goals.
Before Anna started Luxe Beauty, she earned a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering while operating a “sari-sari store” inside her boarding house. Back then, she knew that she wanted to pursue a business path in Manila instead of taking the board exam. Anna’s determination led her to sell car accessories, photocopier machines, medicines, and eventually, as a call center agent and an online seller of luxury bags. As a salesperson who knows how to market her products, she got the edge to become a persuasive online seller when she dove into live selling.
Rizza was a former hotelier climbing the corporate ladder when her husband encouraged her to make her long-kept business ideas into reality. Rizza’s innate creativity sparked original business ideas which developed into her first shop: a print-on-demand phone case store. From making digital layouts, she further utilized her technical skills, resourcefulness, and advocacy to work on the Lana PH website, its promo materials, and its position to introduce local products that care for the environment and for the Filipina skin.
Anna and Rizza made their presence felt on live selling, the platforms that their customers use. Anna first used a distribution business model where authorized distributors and resellers sell Luxe Skin products. But to expand its reach, she strengthened Luxe Skin’s online presence by maintaining its social media pages, turning live-selling viewers into buyers. Rizza utilized Facebook ads to generate leads, then transitioned to live selling where she advocates Lana’s brand story and purpose to a younger digital-first audience. During online selling on social media, they “flex” and showcase their products through Facebook Live and e-commerce live selling, allowing busy customers to comment “mine” and buy their products in real time.
As they started earning more, they tapped beauty influencers and brand endorsers and cultivated a community to widen their target markets. Rizza pointed out, “Love your community. You have to make sure na sila ‘yung pina-prioritize mo… and always give value to people.”
“Sa dami ng tanong (online), minsan nai-stress tayo pero sagutin lang natin,” Anna explained as she talked about how she maintains exemplary customer service for Luxe Skin. She makes sure that her customers are heard and concerns are immediately dealt with in order to foster strong interactions with customers.
Consistency is the key. “We have to make continuous promotion kasi napakaraming tao sa mundo. Hindi ‘yan makukuha ng isang post lang,” Anna added. By having a consistent posting schedule, Anna’s target market will know when and what to expect from her brand, which is another way to foster brand trust and recognition.
Anna and Rizza let their customers be their biggest promoters with the quality and value their products provide.
“Tayo mismo, brand owners, ang una dapat tumangkilik at gumamit ng sarili nating produkto para makita ng potential buyers na effective ang products,” explained Anna. The businesswoman and vlogger creates rippling effects on viewers becoming customers. Eventually, some customers turn into resellers who strongly believe in her products. On Luxe Skin’s first anniversary, the boss babe marked the occasion by granting awards to outstanding distributors who not only made a huge sale but also helped others to start their own Luxe Skin distribution.
When Rizza started finding out the needs and wants of her customers, she opened up an intimate skincare store called Mink.ph, along with a jewelry and clothing store, while planning for other businesses with foresight on what her customers look for. Later on, her customer base grew exponentially, focusing on a market supporting local products that highlight a zero-waste lifestyle and skin-positive outlook. Today, Lana PH, Mink.ph, and other products are being reviewed and talked about on TikTok and other social media platforms for their quality and advocacy.
Both Anna and Rizza bounced back from their setbacks by hiring wiser people to support them in every big decision. Rizza was scammed out of a total of P5 million three times by different people, while Anna had to deal with the challenges of theft by a former employee amounting to P14 million. From there on, they kept on seeking people who have business knowledge and operations experience that are better than theirs. They listen to them and trust these team players to delegate work over time.
“Kasama talaga sa negosyo ‘yung failure… when we fail, it doesn’t mean that we’ll start from scratch. You start from the lesson that you learn,” Rizza said. She emphasized that an entrepreneur must be humble enough to accept the need to hire people who are wiser than you, “When you start hiring wiser people, matutututo ka rin [from their knowledge] at mapapalago nila ang negosyo.”
Today, they continue to listen to the best people in the industry and work with partners that understand what their MSMEs need. In return, they share the learnings and experiences they get from experience in running their beauty businesses. Join the ranks of these inspiring CEOs and get more negosyantips on how to grow your own customer base with the help of digital solutions from Globe Business. Watch more episodes of At Your SerBiz.
Amid the challenges faced by MSMEs in the past years, there were inspiring stories of businesses that evolved by revamping their strategies and finding ways to bring in new revenue.
One of these is Angrydobo, owned by actress-chef-entrepreneur Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo and her husband Ryan Agoncillo. Angrydobo is a three-year-old restaurant whose main recipe is the product of an LQ (love quarrel) between the two. They opened their second branch in Westgate Alabang in 2020.
Judy Ann recently shared her journey in “At your SerBIZ!,” an online show hosted by award-winning author and speaker Francis Kong. “At your SerBIZ!” provides valuable business tips and inspiration to MSMEs by discussing different challenges and how to address them.
In this candid interview, Judy Ann talked about the different challenges their business faced through the years and how these paved the way for bigger and better opportunities. She also talked about the strategies they adopted to survive so that they could say, “atin ang tuloy-tuloy na success.”
The fear of failure haunts many aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. If left unaddressed, it can hold anyone back from starting a business, or it can stall a company’s progress.
Judy Ann, who initially had doubts about venturing into the food business, highlighted the importance for aspiring and present business owners to have a strong support system. She found hers in Ryan, who not only supported her emotionally but also boosted her confidence to keep going.
“Kayang-kaya mo ‘yan!” was the simple yet powerful phrase Ryan uttered that helped convince the actress to start Angrydobo.
Like any close relationships, conflicts and disagreements are expected to arise in any business partnership. As someone working closely with her husband in running Angrydobo, Judy Ann had her fair share of issues.
“Kailangan may tiwala ka sa business partners mo,” Judy Ann advised.
Among the problems that she and Ryan encountered was deciding whether they should let go of an original ingredient from their menu. They managed to settle the problem after having a serious discussion wherein they actively listened to each other’s points.
A single bad review from a customer can make small business owners feel that their sales will plummet, but it’s not uncommon to receive negative feedback from time to time. After all, even the most famous restaurants and popular items receive several negative reviews.
The good thing is, strategic response to negative feedback can help customers better understand the products or services, as well as improve company-customer relationship, Judy Ann said.
On her personal experience managing Angrydobo, Judy Ann shared: “Sabi ng iba maalat, sabi naman ng iba maasim, sabi naman ng iba, matamis. So, okay, ano ba talaga, maalat, maasim o matamis? Ano ba talaga, besh?”
In response, the actress explained the menu to their customers to help them understand the reason for its taste.
Because of the pandemic, business owners like Judy Ann ran into manpower problems because some employees either got sick or had to permanently leave. As a business owner, she noted the importance of being considerate to employees and understanding where they are coming from.
To help the staff who were left to work in the restaurant, Judy Ann would personally show up and report to the kitchen. Citing the famous saying, Judy Ann said: “Sa iksi ng kumot, matutong bumaluktot.”
Since the pandemic, many businesses struggled to survive with reduced revenue and changing customer buying patterns. Judy Ann’s business was among those heavily affected in many ways, from slow-moving supplies to lack of repeat orders.
To keep up with the changing times, Judy Ann shared that it is important to innovate and maximize the use of digital trends, such as selling online. Judy Ann created new recipes for Angrydobo and started selling what she calles “Sunday ulam,” or what you would buy for your family on a Sunday. In Sunday Market Live, their online selling show, Ryan leads the live selling while Judy Ann is the one responsible for research, development, and costing.
“It’s actually a very fun run. Nararamdaman namin yung mga tao, gumigising talaga nang maaga kasi interactive siya,” said Judy Ann. These online followers have turned into regular customers, some of whom live abroad and order for their families here in the Philippines.
The struggle is real, isn’t it? Even celebrities go through normal people’s problems, especially when it comes to running a business. Catch the full episode with Judy Ann and hear more of her stories here: https://glbe.co/gba-aysep1
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