Starting a business is not easy much more making it a success. I realized this when my first business, PINOY WAFFLE franchise, failed. What an expensive way to learn a lesson, phew! And to avoid further losses, I just decided to stop the operation.
But before I finally let go of that nightmare, I would want to make an account of the lessons I learned so that when I decided to enter again the business world, I have some reminders to consider before I finally jump in.
NATURE OF THE BUSINESS
I should consider seriously the nature of the business I am going to engage with. Is it something that I am very familiar with that I can operate it by myself? Or do I have to hire other people to do the operation for me? If the answer is the latter, then the risk I am about to take is high. So I have to think it over and over again if this is right the business for me.
CAPITAL AND ROI
How much is the needed capital? Where will I get it? Should it come from our family’s money or should I loan it? How long can the initial capital support the business even without any income? How long can I get the return of the investment?
LOCATION OF THE BUSINESS
Does the success of the business depends on its location? Is it a must that the business is in crowded places like mall, train stations, terminals and the like or the business will survive even if it is at home? If the business’s success depends on its location, then the capital will be much bigger than that of a business which can operate at home or non-crowded area because most crowded places requires a big investment on the rental which either big companies or big time investors can afford. In addition, the risk of loss is also high since the required investment is also high.
MARKETING AND PROMOTION
How do I plan to promote my business? Is it through the word of mouth, flyers, proposals or online ads? If I’ll be using promotional materials, will I be doing it myself or will I need to avail printing services? Should I trust flyer printing online or should I look for local vendor?
PLAN B, PLAN C…
What if my initial plan didn’t work? What would be my next step? If the business fails, how will I cut the loss?
The most important lesson I learned is I should not have easily trusted the words of the franchiser. I should have been more cynical and vigilant about their real intention and that was to convince me to buy a franchise from them and get my hard-earned money as franchise fee. After they got it, I was on my own.
The impact of that failure was not too painful. Why? Because I always believed that everything happens for a purpose. I consider the failure as God’s way of reminding me that my success is not in the hands of anyone but in His hand alone. And probably the business is not really meant for me. I might have lost a substantial savings on that endeavor but I believe that God has returned it back to me in so many ways.
Have you ever engaged in any business? How did it go? Do you have any learned any lesson?