Thursday, December 4, 2008

Want to Start a Business? Dream Big, Start Small

Hi there, kabayan, here’s another post from your smalltime blogger, yours truly. This time, we’ll be featuring Mr. Ping Sotto’s advice on dreaming big but starting small when it comes to starting your business. Do you believe in this, um, shall we say, cliché? Justify Full
I’ve heard and read about this, and yes, I’m a BIG believer of this “cliché.” You have to agree with me, or else, or else, isusumbong kita kay Joel Torre! :-)

(Mr. Ping’s advice below was taken from the Go Negosyo Bigtime TV show aired last November 22, 2008 (?) on Q TV)

(START)

QUESTION: Sir Ping, meron po akong kaibigan na mataas ang pangarap sa negosyo n’ya, pero kahit anung gawin n’ya, wala pa rin pong nangyayari. Anu po ba ang maganda n’yong maipapayo sa kanya?

PING SOTTO: The key to success is pursuing your childhood dream. Noong sinabi natin kaninang gustong maging Superman, gustong maging doctor, gustong maging accountant, gustong maging piloto, kadalasan dahil sa laki ng kanilang pangarap, ng kanilang pangarap, na-o-overwhelm sila d’un sa kalakihan. Hindi nila alam tuloy kung saan magsisimula. Ang key d’un is dream big but start small.

For example, pakikita ko po sa inyo ito, isang empleyado, ha, na, nagsasabi hindi s’ya ma-promote-promote. N’ung tinanong ko s’ya bakit ‘di siya ma-promote kasi ang sabi n’ung boss niya, s’ya daw ay dapat CPA, no, CPA, may lisensya. Accounting graduate siya pero hindi siya CPA. Sabi ko, ba’t hindi ka mag-CPA? Hay naku, kahit naman mag-CPA ako, e, hindi naman ako nakakasigurong i-pro-promote ako n’yan, at tsaka ang tagal ko nang nawala sa eskwela, pa’nu pa ako mag-c-CPA ngayon?

Ayan po ang example ng dream big, no, pero hindi nag-start small. Ang ginawa ko po sa kanya ganito, teka teka, umpisahan natin little by little ‘yang iyong katayuan, anu. Start small. Ang una ko pong ipinayo sa kanya ‘go to a review center.’ Second step, ‘talk to your boss.’ Sabi ko po sa kanya, kausapin mo ang boss kung talagang ‘yun lang ang kailangan para ika’y ma-promote, CPA. So ginawa po n’ya ‘yun, nagpunta siya sa review center, next schedule, nag-review siya, next test, kumuha siya, nakapasa naman po siya, tapos n’ung binigay na n’ya ang kanyang CPA license to the boss, na-promote siya. So d’un po, makikita n’yo na, kung hindi natin s’ya tinulungan to take baby steps, no, ‘yung start small, e hindi po s’ya makakasulong sa kanyang pangarap.

Ganyan din po sa negosyo. Gusto(ng) mong magkaroon ng restaurant, e, ang nakikita mo malalaking restaurant na, ala ka namang pera. Pa’nu ka mag-uumpisa? ‘Di po ba, ‘yun ang kadalasan, gusto mong maging, a, may-ari ng malaking restaurant pero wala kang pera so sinabi mo hindi na pwede ang pangarap na ’yan.

E, pwede ka naman hong, pwede ka naman hong mag-ipon. I-save mo ‘yang iyong mga text messages na byente, treynta pesos isang araw, makag-puhunan kang kunti. Magluto ka, mag-cater ka. Meron po akong alam na, nagdadala ng balot-balot na plastic sa opisina d’yan sa Roxas Boulevard, na, nakabayong, tapos tinulungan po naming, sabi naming, “Sige, a, ‘yung mga birthday parties na ganito, ikaw na ang mag-cater, a.” Lumaki na po ‘yung bayong-bayong, plastic-plastic, ngayong dalawang bahay na po ang nag-ca-cater. ‘Yun po ‘yung sinasabi nating “dream big, start small.” Hindi ka pwedeng magising na kinabukasan, e, may-ari ka na ng restaurant. ‘Yan po namang Shoemart, no, hindi naman po naging Shoemart ngayon ‘yan. Nag-umpisa po ‘yan sa pagtitinda ng tsinelas at sapatos sa Carriendo.

Dapat po nand’un ‘yong malaking pangarap, pero i-breakdown mo into small steps para ika’y makapag-umpisa.

(END)

Just some thoughts:

Dream big, start small. In my opinion, the concept is similar to that of GOAL setting, do you agree? When I was in college, (yes, I went to college :-)) I learned, from my dedicated-to-their-job-but-sometimes-annoying-and-demanding teachers, the SMART way to set your goals.

S – systematic
M – measurable
A – attainable
R – realistic
T – time-bounded

Your goals, be it short-term or long-term, should have the above characteristics, they say. I think that putting up a business is similar to goal setting; in fact I believe that business is goal setting. For you to grow your business, you have to take baby steps first. Break your big goals into smaller ones to get you started.

I remember reading an inspiring article in a newspaper about, if I remember it right, “HOW TO MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE TOP?” There was one line there saying, “to get to the top, you have to break your big goals into short-term smaller goals that you can handle, and don’t forget to celebrate small successes along the way.”

How Do You Start Small, the SMART Way?

So how do you start your business the SMART way? Let me try. But I do encourage you to help me out (by adding some comments below) as I’m only a business-guru wannabe, and not the real thing, ok? :-) Let’s start.

1. Start small by being systematic. Be efficient. Be organized. You see, first impression lasts, and in general, customers won’t stick to your business if they see your topsy-turvy, messy or chaotic shop (unless you have a junk/welding shop and the like). In my opinion, the first few months of business are the most crucial. Why? Because it’s the time that you have the chance to attract and keep potential customers. It’s what I call “expansion and strengthening of your customer base.” So be systematic.

But of course, some of you may argue that companies like Microsoft, Apple or Google, first started in a garage. Yes, you have a point, and personally, I prefer tech-companies that look disorganized and still have that “startup feel” (think of Google) over those tech-companies that have corporate-looking worker bees (think of IBM). But in general, I think, it’s better if you and your business are organized.

2. Start small by having measurable goals. Have measurable goals. Don’t measure your goals with a ruler, measure your goals with time (similar to time-bounded goals below). Goals can be measured using time. There’s no humongous goal to a large mang-iihaw’s knife (O, ha, laban kayo? :-)). Chop your goals into bite-sized cuts and slices, and you’ll be able to swallow all the sweetness and bitterness that pursuing your goals may bring.

3. Start small by having attainable goals. You won’t REACH your big goals (even if you’re Mr. Fantastic) unless you chop them down into smaller tasks. Smaller tasks are more attainable. They’re simpler. They’re easier to accomplish.

4. Start small by being realistic. You’re just starting out but you’re already planning to open 69 branches of your super-strawberry-flavored-peanut-kisses store all over Baguio City by next week. Be realistic about your business. There’s nothing wrong in setting big/ambitious goals, but don’t set your goals too high that you get so consumed in your day-dreaming, you end-up accomplishing nothing.
5. Start small by having time-bounded goals. Have clear time-bounded goals. Break your big goals into smaller tasks and each task should be accomplished within a limited time-frame. Can you accomplish this by Monday? Can you accomplish that by next month? Can you sell 200,000 airconditioners from November to December? Can you place a short message saying “Oust Gloria!” in a time-capsule-bottle and send it to the future (year: 3000 A.D.) to be read by President Chris P. Bacon of the USA? :-) Set time-bounded goals, and oh, be realistic. :-)

I hope that this post was able to help you in some way. If you found this to be helpful and useful, please let others know about this post. Please, I’m dying to get readers, hehe :-) And as always, comments, suggestions, corrections are welcome.

NOTE: I’m the sole writer and editor of this blog, and since I didn’t grow up with “dollar-spokening” parents or studied in Ateneo or DLSU, or took up Comm Arts in college, I may have some grammatical errors lying around, so if you feel like being a Grammar-Nazi-for-a-day, feel free to tell me. :-)

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