Eversince I gave birth to my fourth child, I stopped working full-time. Of course I have to take care of four growing kids but I sometimes missed my previous work so I dabble on short-stint job like joining a senatorial (2004 with Senatorial Candidate Mar Roxas/2007 senatorial and local elections) campaign or consultancy work (for some of our legislators and some private companies). After the elections, I get offers for full-time work and sadly I have to turn down some of them (like the job at the city hall) because I can't leave my kids for about 10 hours a day and I'm also homeschooling my only son. So I decided to venture into business. I remembered I've been doing business since my grade school days. I would sell my stationeries and stickers to my classmates. During high school, I sold key chains from my collections. And in college, I market Avon products, most of the products I bought for myself though, he he. After college, went into government work. When I got tired of working for our "honorable" leaders, I resigned. My friend, Queenie and I rented a tiangge stall at the Greenhills Shopping Center. We actually manned the store. We were the tinderas (store-seller). Oh what a sight! We would do all things (making bola, or making pa-cute) so we can sell our goodies. It's a very tiring job. After that experience, we ventured into movie premiers. We had so much fun and for a month of field work and a little of public relations work, we earned what we usually get in a year's salary. When Queenie entered law school, we parted on our business ventures. I tried to enter the big scene- produce concerts. I was able to get some help from people from show business. Even the former QC Mayor Mel Mathay wrote a letter to the Araneta management to accommodate me on my scheduled concert date. And some marketing group helped me also. Had business meetings with band managers to discuss the project. Met with the Introvoys, True Faith, Alamid, Yano bands and prepared contracts with them. But when they're about to sign it, guys from this band don't want to perform with this other band (just because of personal differences) so the supposed to be big concert at that time, was cancelled. While I have paid some managers the downpayment, getting the money back is another problem. I have to plead with this certain manager to get it back. Good thing my uncle's men called him, just the mere mention of my uncle's name (former AFP Vice Chief of Staff) scared the guy and his father went to our home to return the downpayment. After that sour experience with those bands, I dare not try that venture again. As I was saying, I am still going into another business but we are on a planning stage. And for mothers who are also thinking of ways to augment the family income, read this article from the Nestle website which I have copy/paste and posted in my site.
“Times are hard.” It is particularly common to hear this line from homemakers responsible for taking care of the household budget. With bills and the prices of common commodities constantly on the rise, most homemakers, even those with regular jobs, find it hard to make ends meet.
With a desire to augment the family income, most homemakers resort to looking for sidelines. But finding the right one is not as easy as it seems. While all business ventures have its risks, you can avoid taking chances by heeding these three simple rules.
- Rule No. 1: Woman, know thyself. The first thing to do is to make an honest assessment of your talents and skills. Ask yourself questions like: “What am I good at?” “What do I do well?” or “In what endeavor am I at least above average in?”
It also pays to constantly learn new useful skills. Nestlé’s Julius Maggi Kitchen conducts FREE cooking and lifestyle seminars on a variety of topics at the Nestlé Center in Rockwell, Makati City. After assessing your strengths, ask yourself “What are the limitations of my talents and capabilities?” Are you skilled enough in sewing to go into dressmaking or should you just stick to patching up your children’s pajamas? Finally, ask yourself “How much time do I have?” If you have a baby at home, or even a child under three, the time you can spend outside will be severely limited. If your children get home from school at noon you can count on four to maybe five hours of free time for your sideline. If your husband is the type who wants to find you at home when he arrives, then you’ll have to rule out work that requires staying out late.
- Rule No. 2: Woman, know thy market. Before you venture into any business, it makes sense to acquaint yourself first with your market. Do you live in a subdivision? Then your neighborhood is your market. Do you work? Then your co-employees could be your market. Analyze your market well. Ask questions like: “What do my prospective customers need?” What do they want? What will they buy?” Once you’ve put your finger on the particular needs (food, clothes, insurance) and wants (chocolates, make-up, CDs, books) of your market, you may start choosing the products or services to peddle.
- Rule No. 3: Woman, know thy product. It’s not just a matter of liking and using what you’re selling. You must also know what makes this product different from all the others in the market. Marketing people call this the unique selling position (USP), a quality you can highlight so that buyers will purchase your product and choose it over other similar merchandise.
If you’re lucky to find a perfect fit between your market and your product and between your business and your own skills, interests and time, you will discover that a sideline does not simply provide extra money, it can also give you fulfillment and a sense of achievement.