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Moments and Lessons in Business
Moments and Lessons in Business
Business & Career | December 1, 2020
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This month’s theme is all about special moments. It got me thinking about what special moments there are in the life of a businessman or entrepreneur. Here are a few moments and along with it are some lessons I learned.

1. Stumbling Upon Your Idea or Thinking About It

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Trust me when I say that in business, this is the easy part. Chances are, everyone has an idea inside their heads for a business. I wouldn’t go and say that some are better than others, but I would say that some ideas are just not for the moment. So, if you have ideas or bursts of inspiration. Write them down, take note of them, and revisit them every so often. You might be surprised that the idea that you thought of months or even years ago is already ripe for the picking today. If ever it’s not completely right, a little tweaking might just do the trick. This reminds me of a friend’s now-defunct farm-to-table, nose-to-tail themed restaurant he launched more than 6 years ago. It was a fantastic place! But back then, it wasn’t a trend yet, and costs were high because suppliers still didn’t grasp the concept. Logistically, it was a nightmare too. Sad to say that it was such a great idea that was not for its time yet.

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Look before you leap. | Image by Andrea Piacquadio

2. Finding The Right Partners

Sometimes this happens by chance. And sometimes, just like a relationship, you have to kiss a couple of frogs to find the right one. Finding the right partners (be it business partners or suppliers) for your business is such a great moment. I always say that every business has special needs. And most of the time, you really won’t be able to fulfill everything by yourself. This is where your partners come in. Personally, my principle is that every partner in a business should be a strength to someone’s weakness. I feel like it’s senseless and redundant to gather partners who share the same strengths and leave your weaknesses open. This strategy has successfully worked for my ventures. You also will get to learn so many new things along the way. I remember my first failed business venture when I was 22 years old. It was a home service spa and massage on-demand service. It was the trend back then in Alabang, where I used to live. I had 3 Partners there, and our strength was providing the capital. None of us had the tools and skills to properly manage the business. So eventually, it bled and failed, and I learned this lesson through experience.

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Build a team that covers all weaknesses. | Image by Jopwell

3. Launching It

This is always a special moment for any entrepreneur’s life as this is when you actually will see your idea come to fruition and be able to share it with the market. If you will be fortunate enough to experience this, relish this moment. I still remember every club opening/launch we did vividly. The same goes for my other businesses, such as my marketing, PR, and events agency. Every milestone and every big event, I hold dear to my heart. But as fun and memorable as this moment will be, keep in mind and brace yourself, for this is where the real hard work starts. Because from your launch, you will already be able to get instant feedback on your product and concept. Listen to your customers, study their behavior, and most importantly, adapt to it right away. Successful businesses listen to their customers very well. Do you remember when we launched The Palace Pool Club last 2015? Back then, we thought we could push for daytime partying. We thought the market was ready for Vegas- and Ibiza-style daytime clubbing. We were initially open from the afternoon till the evening only. It worked for a couple of months until we saw that the behavior locally wasn’t ready for that yet. The market here still opted to go out late and also go home in the morning. So we adapted to that, and that’s what happened. Even when The Palace Pool Club evolved to become The Island, that’s still how it was. Maybe post-pandemic it will change, but we have yet to figure that out when we open.

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The work doesn’t stop after the champagne cork pops. | Image by Jaeyoon Jeong

4. Generating Revenue

This is a goal for every business. If this is not your goal, then it isn’t sustainable, and you shouldn’t be running a business but a non-profit or charity instead. A lot of businesses go belly up because they don’t anticipate future expenses. Some keep on making capital calls with existing partners. And some will bring in new partners that will end up diluting the equity of current partners to infuse new money. When your business starts to make money, SAVE. Study what expenses need to be saved up for and allocate for that and a little more. It’s very tempting to release everything out right away to get a return on your capital sooner, but doing so and not leaving enough for your working capital and a little bit more will be more troublesome in the future.

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Be mindful of your numbers. | Image by Lukas

These are just a few of the possible special moments in the life of a business and some lessons I learned along the way. I understand that some businesses—depending on their nature—will have more, and some might be a little different. What’s important is that with every step (or misstep), you find the lessons and grow from them.

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A well-known fixture in the nightlife industry, Franco and his successful business ventures have continued set high standards when it comes to serving Manila's night owls.
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