8 tips to make your business bloom

by Armando Bartolome

Posted at Aug 30 2014 05:38 PM | Updated as of Sep 01 2014 07:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Want to make your business bloom?

After making a quick review of the many entrepreneurs my wife Lyndah, who is managing director of our company GMB, and I have mentored, we came up with top 8 tips.

In fact, these tips became so successful that a great number of my seminar participants are clamoring that we write a book using it as the title.

Incidentally, my book “Is Franchising For You?” is now available in all National Bookstores, Amazon and ITunes. After giving almost 808 seminars since 1993 in the country to people from different walks of life, they asked me almost the same question, “Is Franchising For Me?”

Thus, it dawned on me they are after all asking for something to fill the gap. My wife and I therefore gathered our notes and began to map out the topics. But we were able to do it in two months!

With such blessings, the book was awarded the “Book of the Year 2012” by The National Book development Board together with the Manila Critique Circle. The award was under the Professional Category and being the only 3rd winner since 1980.

Below are short and practical tips. The reader is highly advised to ponder and see oneself in the picture. Remember if you want success, you have to strive hard to achieve it.

1. Be different.

Do not be a "me, too." Your business idea must be differentiated. You may be serving the same products or services. However, begin asking yourself if you have such distinction. You may want to have a BLIND TEST where you can place side by side your products vis-à-vis your competitors. Oops, better appoint only one person in your company to handle this. He or she should be the only one who knows the true identity. It may be fun but dig deeper if you or your management staff fail to recognize your products.

People always say that they can have better, if not the best product or service. Now it is time to prove it. Oh, remember to be different is not achieved overnight. You have to constantly communicate to the target market. The customers must be able to really see and convinced.

2. Find a need and fill it.

When people complain about a product or a service that means there is room for a new player, a new solution or a new answer to everyday problems. There is an acronym to help you remember. This is A.I.D.A or Annoying, Irritating Disgusting and Angry. Imagine the world today without mobile phones? Or better imagine today without the upgrade of the mobile phones to smartphones? Almost everywhere one sees the tremendous change in the cellphone landscape. Thanks to Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the phone.

Listen and see what people are talking and complaining about. In general we have people complaining the hot weather, the endless traffic, diggings on the roads. Among entrepreneurs, you have complaints about difficulty in getting the right locations, finding the right franchisee, obtaining the necessary loan to improve the business, salaries and right quality people, etc. If you are in business, how can the above words help you pick the right golden nugget to success?

3. Be focused.

Some have the notion that all a business needs is capital, a business name and it will run already. How I wish these could be true! Nevertheless in today’s world, an entrepreneur needs to have discipline to focus on the right scheme of conducting the business. This is like driving a bus and many options are presented to reach a destination. In fact technology is so fast opportunities can appear and disappear in a matter of seconds. Look at these young geniuses we have this century in the name of Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

4. Eat what you sell; use what you sell.

If you don’t eat it, don’t sell it. The real entrepreneur can talk hours and hours and even describe his product or services non-stop! I remember Injap Sia in his early years. On our way to visit his parents in Roxas City, as he was driving, he would narrate all his experiences like putting up Mister Labada, Holland Water Station, Four Season Hotel and Mang Inasal. In fact we were all the time laughing to our hearts content that we never realized it took us much longer to reach his place. He was driving 30 kph! He remembered all trial-and-error he and his wife Shiela encountered. Funny moments but at that time he almost gave up!

5. Love what you do. Everyday.

You have to like what you are doing, so it will not seem like work at all. This is what I always tell people. Challenges or problems will be easy to face if one is always in love with what one loves doing. There seems to be some healing of sorts as I hardly see happy and content entrepreneurs suffering some form of sickness. People like our friend Chit Juan of ECHOstore seems to hold the secret to the fountain of youth. She is always on the go that her mobile phones like Blackberry, Nokia and iPhone seem to give up of her fast pace. Her mind just churns out with bright and super ideas. Mind you these ideas are so brilliant that it turns into full satisfaction and dinero!

6.Wait for one whole cycle of one year before expanding.

Go through different seasons, buying seasons and also cash-strapped periods like tax filing time and opening of classes. Check your good and bad months. Remember the days of the Shawarma? Years and years ago my phone did not stop ringing from different people asking for assistance in positioning their business into a franchise. My one and only answer is: "Let us talk after 12 months." Unfortunately nobody returned to set a meeting. Any business must under a cycle especially in months where scarcity of raw materials may be experienced. My advice is to take it easy and nurture the concept.

7. Be a marketer.

Know your target market. Study them. Watch their buying patterns and their habits. I am fond of building database. In our years of mentoring, I emphasize the importance of knowing the customers. There are promotions and advertisements to get people to come and try the product or service. There are forms or coupons filled up and dropped in a tambiolo. Yet most often after the event, those pieces of paper are disposed! Oh this is a great source of information. Database or customers’ listings are even purchased by marketing companies. Next time, be mindful and take time to study that information.

8.Be true to your business.

DO NOT DO IT JUST FOR THE MONEY. Do it because you like the business, it can pay for your expenses and it can help many people. I always believe that not everybody is given a chance to go into business without having a defined mission in life. Many people are given different talents and skills. Yet to be an entrepreneur always spells for me to carry on a mission.

Most of the people we have assisted have begun to do what we call Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It is not mainly for show or some kind of gimmick. In fact, most of these people prefer to be behind the scene. Blessings come in many fold and different circumstances.

By the way, if you or any of your colleagues are interested in learning about how franchising works or meeting successful entrepreneurs who took franchising as a route to success, get in touch with the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI). This organization is now celebrating its 17th year and there is the Center of Franchising located in Shaw Blvd. Pasig City.

There are weekly seminars conducted no less than by entrepreneur-members who walked the talk. Attendance is limited to 25 participants. The number of the Center is 02-6540345 /09062456045. For those who like to have FREE entrance tickets for the 2014 Filipino Franchise Show in World Trade Center on October 3 to 5, just text your name to 09228149882.

For questions and more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome by email: [email protected] His website is www.gmb.com.ph