What’s the Catch?
Several people aim to be successful businessmen. Some people though, think it’s impossible to even start up their own business. Putting up one’s own business sounds very challenging, in fact it actually is. In our first GE class with Miss Marissa Felix, we were divided into groups with people that we have to work with for the rest of the semester. We learned so much about people who succeeded in starting up their own businesses and in just a brief amount of time; everything that we deemed improbable suddenly seemed reachable.
Invited to share with us his precious time was Mr. Wilson Gan MBA, magna cum laude in BS- Management Information Systems from Ateneo de Manila University. He is the former systems analyst of Proctor and Gamble before being the the development manager for IBM Business Services. Now, he is the consultant for the Boston consulting group and a current faculty at Enderun Colleges. Mr. Gan taught us that in order to create a convincing business plan, we have to consider four steps. First is to develop a business idea. A concrete example given to us by Mr. Gan was Edgar Sia, the owner of Mang Inasal. Edgar Sia started his business by borrowing 2.7 M pesos from his dad to open up his first “Mang Inasal” store in Robinsons Mall, Iloilo. Mr. Sia had a very good business plan, selling chicken and unlimited rice, something that the Filipino’s want very much. The second step is to set goals. Mr. Gan told us that our goals needed to be smart. Smart as in S-specific, M-measurable, A- actionable, R-realistic, and T- time-bound. “And of course with that, Globe telecom changed their acronym to MARTS”, he added, and soon everyone was found chuckling.Third is to create a mini-business plan. Another example given to us was the Collezione brand that recently sold 2.4 M Philippine map-embroidered shirts as of December 2010. It was just in time that the late President Cory Aquino died and it was also time for campaigning for elections that gave the Filipinos a sense of nationalism. For me, considering the events happening and actually finding out what people need for the moment is a very good business plan. Last is to pitch the business plan and to be able to deliver it well.
The speaker also showed us different companies and the story behind them. He told us about “The Snuggie”, a blanket with sleeves that sold 25 million as of December last year. The point he was trying to make here was that we should not be afraid to step up and be creative with our ideas. Another example he gave us was the “Swackett” and application from apple that told you not only weather forecasts, but also advises you on what to wear that day, something that millions of people downloaded because they found it useful. He then showed us this video clip about IDEO, a design and innovation consulting firm that designed the apple mouse, the Polaroid I-zone, Palm-V, the Oral-V soft handed toothbrush and many other useful things that we have taken for granted.
At the end of the meeting, we were asked to brainstorm and think of a business of our own. We had to include what our vision was and our goal after a year. Some important points to be considered in pitching our business plan was to focus on a customer group such as teens, little kids, athletes, or adults. Next was to identify a need or want, like in Resorts World, where they set up Coffee shops where teens can hang out, and Casino’s for gamblers and different hotels that suited the different kinds of travelers whether it be businessmen, tourists orbackpackers. Lastly was to look at the market place – ours which is bound to McKinley hill and the Fort area first. I wasn’t expecting my first GE class to be this insightful, this productive and this awesome. My first GE class was very unique and I cannot wait to see what awaits us next week.