Becoming an entrepreneur is an exciting and daunting prospect because while you get to enjoy the benefit of being your own boss, you also carry the risk of a failed business venture.
Many neophyte businessmen have run the risk of trying out new ideas and business concepts on their own, only to run out of steam and funds a few months down the line. Others go for highly original franchise business models only to see their hard-earned capital slowly shrink to nothingness, their franchisor unable to lend even a hand to the erstwhile investor.
While such stories have made a lot of would-be investors think twice about putting up their own money in business, a group of young entrepreneurs and migrant workers-turned-businessmen have found and continue to enjoy the proven success of the world-class convenience store franchise known as 7-Eleven.
Fully supported by their partnership with the 7-eleven’s local licensor, Philippine Seven Corp., the steadily growing number of 7-Eleven franchisees now offers five important tips that may guide fellow entrepreneurs to a successful entry into the world of business.
Tip no. 1: Research. Research. Research. “Going into business is not a matter that must be rushed; one must exercise patience and explore multiple sources of information about a business idea or concept before even thinking about investing,” explained Carlo Genoso, franchisee of 7-Eleven Madrigal. He had initially learned about the 7-Eleven business while in the US. But even then, both he and his wife still diligently researched on how the 7-Eleven franchise was being run here in the Philippines. Fortunately, they learned that Philippine Seven provided its franchisees full support in training, operations, warehousing and marketing that it seems all one had to do is man the store. Now the husband and wife team have moved their family back into the country and plan to run their 7-Eleven store as part of their retirement plan.
Tip no. 2: Understand the business concept first. “Know everything about the business that you will get into,” said Felixberto Paras, franchisee of 7-Eleven San Fernando, Pampanga. Formerly an OFW electrical engineer, Paras was first attracted to the world-class brand name of 7-Eleven and knew nearly everyone around the world recognizes the familiar logo. But still he endeavored to learn more about the ins and outs of the convenience store business. Fortunately, Philippine Seven’s franchisee training, which includes hands-on store operations shadowing, fully immersed him into every aspect of the convenience store business. Now he knows how to make his store perform extremely well, even with his eyes closed.
Tip no. 3: Have a vision. “Whether going into business on your own or investing in a franchise, it is important for one to have a vision, that way you have a goal to strive for that will fuel your success in the business,” stated Mike Bolos. A former finance executive in Dubai, Bolos returned to the country with a vision of economic advocacy that he hopes will spark investor interest in his native town of Guagua, Pampanga. Now aside from putting up his own modern commercial structure at the town center, he also began to attract the attention of other businessmen with the familiar sign of his own 7-Eleven franchise.
Tip no. 4: Prepare to be a hands-on player. “Having your own business means you are the boss, but that doesn’t mean that you will depend on other people to do all the work for you,” said Genoso. Being the one doing most of the work is often his source of pride. Now as the boss of his own 7-Eleven staff, he is not content with simply ordering people around, rather he interacts with the staff and even the customers. This allows him to experience firsthand how his store performs at different hours of the day. And with his learnings, he is able to guide his staff on the best way to improve day-to-day operations of his store.
Tip no. 5: Invest in a business that invests in itself. “In the stock markets, one sure indicator that a company is going to hit it big is when you notice its stock beginning to rise and people are buying into it,” stated Lindon Genoso. He explained that this is the same thing with a highly successful franchise business, wherein the licensor uses income from royalties and franchise fees to reinvest in the company by introducing upgrades in equipment, marketing and operations. This was the trend that he noticed with Philippine Seven Corp. and so he was more than happy to part with his capital investment in order to own and operate his own 7-Eleven store in General Trias, Cavite.
Although rooted in what they had experienced with 7-Eleven, these four franchisees believe that the tips that they have shared will be valuable and applicable in any venture and may be the key to unlocking success in the business for the next generation of entrepreneurs.