Hard work and passion are the traditional requirements for success in business, now entrepreneurs are capitalizing on the internet as the modern-day recipe for sure success. Rather than invest hefty sums, young entrepreneurs use of social media to market their wares.
They said that through the internet and social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, doing business is a lot easier.
“Nowadays, the internet plays a big part in the success of small and medium businesses. Information about a certain venture is readily available. Supplies, equipment, ingredients, materials, and many other information could now be easily found without even going out,” said 31-year-old entrepreneur Don Kishin Figueroa Javier.
Javier owns Kartwheel Creations, a company that sells a collection of artworks and crafts like paintings, wire sculptures, and resin necklaces.
Javier started in 2011 marketing and posting his works via the internet. With its success, he began selling them through arts and crafts fairs a year after.
At present, Javier’s business has reached clients as far as Holland, Australia, and Canada.
“These days, marketing, advertising, and other sales opportunities are just clicks and posts away,” Javier said.
Even old school businesses like journal and planner-making have realized that the internet is in fact an ally and not a foe moving forward.
“Social media and access to information through the internet is making it easier for us to start and hopefully sustain our small business,” said 30-year-old entrepreneur Nadja Castillo.
Castillo, whose journal-making venture thrives in this day and age of blogs and social networking onslaught, started Alunsina Handbound Books with a capital of only P5,000. Their products are now sold and recognized by customers coming from the United States, Australia and Europe.
“People who want to put up a handmade business, like ours for instance, don’t need that much capital and can use what little they have on production and product development,” Castillo said.
“This is because it’s now easier to market our works through social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and there are many online marketplaces and stores where we can sell our crafts in exchange for small selling or listing fees,” she added.
Castillo said that the landscape and process of putting up a business these days as compared to the time prior to the popularization of the internet is also evolving.
“If you want to put up your own business, the ideal scenario is you first have to study business management in college or attend a series of seminars, but it’s not a prerequisite anymore especially now that there is no shortage of available information and tips on the internet about starting and running your own business,” she said.
Not only is the nature of doing business in the Philippines changing but even the values of Filipino consumers are evolving as well according to 38-year-old entrepreneur Mary Elizabeth Alejo-Aytin.
Aytin believes more and more Filipino consumers are now looking for out-of-the-box ideas and innovative products which are not commonly seen on malls and most stores.
This, she said, are making handmade products in particular easier and faster to sell now as it was a few years ago.
Being unique has in fact long been the recipe for success of Aytin’s business called Orig.Kami which offers unusual decorative pieces and handmade novelty items.
“From our experience, if you love what you do and you answer the ‘for whom’ question, you’ll be right on track. Personally for me, the cliché of being yourself works all the time,” Aytin said.
Given the importance of the internet these days in putting up and marketing a business, these entrepreneurs believe SMEs like them will continue to grow in number in the coming years as more Filipinos will come to realize in how having an own business can uplift their financial status.
“For me the idea of getting into a business comes mainly from that desire to earn more than what you are earning now. Then in the process of thinking about what to get into, people discover a deeper calling like self-fulfillment, self-development, and helping others. These are the things that really fortify their resolve to dive into entrepreneurship,” Javier said.
“Our government can only do enough in uplifting lives of our countrymen, but I cannot march on the streets forever. It’s in this premise that we do more work besides 9 to 5 day jobs. The answer is simple, our salaries are not enough to sustain and provide for our everyday necessities,” Aytin added.
These entrepreneurs, however, stressed that putting up a businesses is not typically a walk in the park, especially in the beginning when sales tend to be unstable.
“Yes, you get to be your own boss but the downside to this is that you are accountable for everything. You have no one else to blame but yourself if something goes wrong,” Castillo said.
“But it’s all worth it, no regrets. The benefits first of all is it uplifts your way of life, economically and personally,” Aytin added.