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Monday, August 6

Finding a Sideline that's Right for You

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. NestlĂ©’s Julius Maggi Kitchen conducts FREE cooking and lifestyle seminars on a variety of topics at the NestlĂ© 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.


22 comments:

ladybug said...

Hi rowena! Nice advice for budding entrepreneurs. Thanks for dropping by my site. Have a great week ahead of you! :-D

Analyse said...

you're right? better like the business that you will venture in, it's like hitting 2 birds in 1 stone, di ba.

rowena said...

Hi Ladybug, wow, thanks for the visit. I just posted this awhile ago, am so glad me comment kagad. To think it's almost 12 midnight na.

Hi Analyse, yup, you'll enjoy more if you really like the business or the one closes to your heart.

niceheart said...

These are very good tips. I have also been looking into finding a sideline. But I don't know if I have the makings of a businesswoman. :) I was thinking of taking a second job to augment the family income. But as of now, we're always busy at work, so whenever overtime is open, I grab the opportunity and work extra hours. :)

ScroochChronicles said...

Rowena, my friend used to work with Sen. Mar. She was chief-legal baka you know her. Her name is Rissa Ofillada.

rowena said...

Hi Niceheart, thanks for the visit. I do hope you'll find the right sideline that won't use up much time so you can still do other things. Btw, have you tried selling or marketing goods in your office? Try it.

Hi Cookie, I've heard of her when she's with the office of Sen. Miriam Santiago. I only worked for Sen. Mar Roxas during the campaign. But I've worked in the Senate for 12 years and have worked for about 8 senators.

lady cess said...

minsan din trial and error lang ang pagpili ng raket. have patience and you will eventually find what is the business youre happy and comfortable handling.

ScroochChronicles said...

Yes, that's right. She used to be chief-of-staff of Sen. Santiago before transferring to Mar. How about Congress? You ever venture there?

Heart of Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips. I hope I can find a suitable business that I can do without sacrificing too much of my time with my son. It would be great to be a WAHM.

rowena said...

Hi Cess, yeah you're right. Lam mo ba dami ko ring sinalihan na multi-level marketing business, no luck. Still, nag member na naman ako recently kasi I like the product. Will post about it next time.

Hi Cookie, yeah, I've worked for some of them but I won't mention with whom. Not so good experience also.

Hi Rachel, I hope you'll find one soon. That's also my wish. It's really hard to leave the kids alone with their nannies for a long time.

Gina said...

Nice tips Rowena! I will surely keep them in mind. I have an entrepreneurial calling ( I hear it!) =) and someday I'd like to open and operate the business of my dreams.
My sis, brother and I opened and operated a small gift/novelty shop before which didn't really take off for reasons that there came a time when none of us could personally manage it, thus we closed shop after a couple of years.
But someday, gusto ko pa ring mag venture into a similar business. I do have to do feasibility studies and take a lot of things in consideration before I attempt it again. But someday......

Carrie said...

Hi there, thanks for stopping by my blog! It's always good to meet new blog friends :)

What a great post! I feel truly lucky, because I believe I have a job that I love. Teaching music to kids. I enjoy it so much, that I would do it for free if I could. It's nice to have a flexible schedule, set my own hours, and still be able to bring in some cash!

I'll be back again!
God bless :)

rowena said...

Hi Gina, when you're ready to take the plunge, wish you'll make it this time. You really need to be a hands-on man (lady) bec. it's really hard to delegate tasks to some staff esp. when it comes to handling money. I wish you'll be successful on your next try. Goodluck.

Hi Carrie, thanks also for the visit. Oh so you love music a lot (and a very nice job you got), I've been bugging my kids to have piano and voice lessons last summer but somehow didn't get the chance to do so. Next school break, I'll definitely have them take the lessons.

SexyMom said...

nice tips, Rowena, am sure a lot of mothers are really looking for money generating activities, if not to augment their incomes, money to buy the nice things for the kids, for self--that pampering, etc.

rowena said...

Hi Dine, yeah you're right, a lot of mothers I know are having their part-time work so they have extra money to spend for their kids' stuff and mommy stuff like bags, shoes and visit to the salon. Hay, I better start my business na....

myepinoy said...

Thank you for the infos.

These tips apply to all seeking an extra income.

ann said...

Hello Weng! My small business here started only as libangan, pang-alis ng homesickness. But now I am earning more than I expected. Nasa bahay pa ako and walang boss..walang pressure.

julie said...

Wenchie, I used to tutor kids of a couple who does marketing of concerts before. Ahh...had the privilege of going to those concerts for free, hehehe. This business is hard, sort of like "pakapalan ng mukha at patibayan ng sikmura" since you deal with personalities so immersed with being so important. It is easy to get lost in this kind of business.

Btw, are you going to the Linggo ng Wika celebration on Friday?

julie said...

Ooops, sorry, next Friday pala.

And hope you sign up with the Blog Party on the 23rd para magkita na tayo, :D

rowena said...

Hi Myepinoy, thanks for the visit. Hope this post helps would-be entrepreneur mommies.

Hi Ann, glad to know you're doing ok with your business. Share naman what's the business you're into.

Hi Julie, you're right, patibayan talaga ng sikmura when you deal with some "celebrities". I will still venture into this business again in the future but will not deal with the bands again. Re: the CFA's Linggo ng Wika, will be there. And yes, I'm going to attend the Blogger's Party, Dine emailed and invited me to attend. Yippee! See you there Julie.

Toe said...

Sage advice Rowena! I have never had a head for business. I usually end up giving away the stuff I'm selling so I'll probably be an employee for the rest of my life. But it is indeed wise for women to do business to augment the family income. And you're right, one's interests and strengths should be the basis for choosing a business venture.

rowena said...

Hi Toe, thanks for the visit. Hope you'll try once more to get into business even while in your office.