We have been living with the pandemic for the past year now. All of us have struggled. Some of our goals were delayed. We became in the middle of “we’re not sure what’s next,” but all of us are still hopeful that this, too, shall pass.
While we are still in the process of overcoming this situation, did you know that you can still pursue your goals, such as starting a business? If you’re like me, who has a plan to put up a business before the pandemic, this blog is for you.
Today, we will share some tips on how you can start a business in these uncertain times.
1. Assess Yourself, Look into Your Passion
Having a business alone is good, but it’s best if it’s relevant to what you love.
Assess yourself. List down your strengths or hobbies and see if you can relate them to your community’s needs. Below are some examples:
- If you love baking, then you can try selling cookies, cakes, or shortbreads.
- If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you can explore fitness apparel or offer coaching online.
- If you love writing, you can provide writing services for digital marketing agencies or your family and friends.
- If you’re into fashion, you can also sell clothes or explore ukay-ukay (that most Filipinos love). Plus, we know how cheap each bale can be!
- Or maybe you love pets; then you can also explore items specific for cats or dogs like treats, biting toys, personalized collars, and others.
2. Conduct Research on Your Plan
The next step is to research.
For example, you have chosen baking cake in Metro Manila. Since it’s pandemic, it’s hard to go outside and see it by yourself. Plus, not all shops are open right now.
What you can do is go online. You can search Facebook Page offering cakes in the location. See what their products are, what’s their best selling, and what’s their marketing strategies.
You are not going out there to copy them. You are there to see how you can benchmark and set yourself apart from the competition.
Aside from that, you can also document your mission/ goal of the business, audience, product list, unique selling point. Here’s an example:
- Mission/Goal – to provide affordable yet high-quality cake products to celebrate every Filipino milestone
- Products – fondant cakes/ minimalist
- Audience/Target Customer – mothers, ages 20-45 years old, love celebration, thoughtful and friendly
- Unique Selling Point – customized minimalist cake, free shipping within Metro Manila, free ten cupcakes with a minimum purchase of 3 000 pesos
3. Create a Budget
The budget is the lifeblood of the business. This should be one of the aspects that you should check before finalizing what you will pursue.
We all know that it’s pandemic, and budgeting is quite challenging. Here’s how you can start strategizing:
- Plot your current income (list down all of your income sources such as salary or other side hustle).
- List down your expenses. You can also consider assessing your needs and wants so you can allocate others to your business.
- Check your savings. See how much you can set aside.
- Do not go all-in. This means that if you have 10, 000 pesos in your savings, you can only use at most 50% to make sure that you still have enough funds.
- Once you are earning from the business, do not spend the profit on anything else. Use it to expand the business.
4. Go Online
Of course, it’s pandemic, and the best way to market yourself is to go online. The simplest and most affordable strategy you can do is create social media accounts because they are free.
Create a Facebook or Instagram page. Optimize it. Post your details such as contact number, description of the business, products, and invite your friends to like or follow it. You can also consider posting reviews, valuable information about your product, promos, and others.
Let your friends and relatives know that you are starting the business because they can be your number one supporter.
5. Reiterate Food Safety/Practice COVID Safety Protocols
Nowadays, people are more conscious on the process of the products they avail, especially in food. It’s normal because all of us do not want to contract the virus.
One thing that you can do is to assure your customers that your product is safe.
How can you do this? You can indicate on your marketing materials how you implement the safety or share your process on your social media accounts.
For example, you sanitize all the working areas when working on the cake, such as the tables, utensils, etc. Your staff/team wears facemasks/face shields while working. They are stored in a clean and dry place to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and others.
6. Keep Improving
Your business doesn’t stop upon launching. Always ask for customers’ feedback – how it tastes, how they feel about the design, the service, or if they have other suggestions. Collect all of these. Accept them and see what you can do.
Always remember that improving is one of the success ingredients. Keep in mind that you are doing it not for yourself but making your customers happy.
This pandemic may be one of the hardest struggles we’ve ever been through, but this can also be a chance to discover yourself and explore. You can serve the community by starting a business that can solve their problems, and who knows, it can go big and can be the start of your new venture.
So do not limit yourself. Start throwing all the ideas. Go all-in for your dreams, even if there are obstacles.
If you think you need any help, Par Pahiram is just here. We offer cash loans that can help in starting your business with a very low-interest rate only, plus the process is straightforward!
Visit our website or talk to one of our customer service representatives, and we can start helping you.