By Ginger Arboleda of Mommy Ginger
I just came from a workshop on Basic Legal Strategies and in the workshop, speaker Dandy Victa, a social entrepreneur with extensive background in government procedures, stressed on the importance of knowing the business laws in our country. He said that once you fully know these rules, you can actually use them to protect your business or protect your rights as a consumer.
Listening to his lecture inspired me to write part 2 of my first article here in Make It Blissful, which was Can You Really Follow Your Passion in Business?
In that article, I mentioned that a business can be built on passion, but not solely on it. Passion can motivate you to move on along the direction that you want to set for your business. Although, when you bring your business or your ideas or even your passion for a certain thing out into the real world, a lot of things can affect you and your business decisions.
A business for me is a set of relationships. There are a lot of relationships that you have to manage when you go into business — relationships with family (if it’s aligned with your family values), relationships with your customers (if you successfully address needs and provide value), relationships with partners and suppliers (if commitments and agreements are followed) and relationships with lawmakers (if your business runs within the laws and rules set by the government). The main challenge is how to handle these relationships and eventually manage all of these to move into the direction that you have set for your business.
I guess what has helped Manila Workshops succeed in becoming one of the leading brands to go to if you’re looking for lifestyle workshops is that we focus on relationships. I have mandated the team to value relationships — to entertain attendees and really get to know them, to respect agreements with suppliers and to give them what is due them, and to delight sponsors and help achieve their objectives. All of these relationships are taken care of by each member of the team, but what’s important in decision making is that all of us know our vision for the brand.
Therefore, aside from having passion, one should have a consistent vision.
Vision, as what we all know, is how you see your business to be in the long run. The proprietor, owner, CEO or president should not be the only one aware of the company’s vision; everyone should know (no matter how small the company is and no matter how small the team is).
Relationships are interactions between individuals. Each has their own perception or expectations on how things should be done. And mind you, the people that you have a ‘relationship’ with will tell you how to run your business (diplomatically and often times, unsolicited). If you don’t have a vision of where your business is going, you will be easily side tracked by those opinions. This is the reason why you need to know where you are taking your business.
With this thought, branding is therefore very important. Branding is not merely the logo that you use for your collaterals or the profile picture that you choose for your Facebook account. Branding sets the expectations of the people, especially your customers that you interact with. Each interaction should be a consistent experience and should be in line with your business vision.
Another thing that you need is to do is set a clear business model. Understand how you are going to earn from your business. In a business, there are many opportunities that will pop-up. If you don’t have a clear business model, pretty soon, you will be all over the place. This is where a business plan comes in handy.
A business plan will clarify what you should really be earning from.
Just the other day, I was talking to a possible partner about Memory Crafters and she had so many great ideas that we could actually do for the brand. I think we discussed around four or five revenue streams that would be possible to execute given the idea behind the brand. At the end of the conversation though, I told her that we needed to concentrate on Memory Crafters being a crafting box subscription service, even if all of the ideas sounded great.
Every decision for your business has to have that clarity of what your brand is, how you expect to earn from your business and proper timing is something that needs to be considered, too.
And lastly, don’t forget to measure and solicit feedback. You need to have an open mind, when it comes to establishing or improving your business. There will be successes but there will also be failures along the way. From all of these experiences, we need to learn.
There is no question that you need passion, but there are so many other things to consider for you to successfully start your business. These are just some of my thoughts on how to put you in the proper mind set.
So are you ready to take that big leap? What questions do you have about following your passion into a business? Let’s chat in the comments.