When we started our business few months ago, we started really small. Our capital was just way less than our month worth of salary. We are at the stage of our lives where we have lots of responsibilities already, not to mention bills to pay. So our appetite for risk is low to moderate. Surely we have a day job. We love what we are doing. But we just want to explore and may be try other things outside our usual world.
We love sharing our blissful finds. We like talking about it. We look forward to our “marketing” days, or when we source our products. Slowly, our transportation allowance is covered, then our expenses in the cafés where we usually have our meeting . The next thing we know we are flying to Legazpi, Albay to witness the majestic Mayon Volcano, and of course to buy more native products for sale. Our initial customers were our friends, officemates and relatives who supported us. We felt lucky that whatever items we sell them, they are willing to buy it. However, sometimes we think that they were just really helping us in our new venture regardless of their need of our products. But for them to keep on ordering, maybe they find something unique in our items or maybe find our food products delicious enough.
As we go on, we extended our presence via online. We used all social media platforms to promote our products. We even started this blog despite our zero knowledge in blogging. We always love reading blogs. But making and maintaining one is totally a different story.
We started receiving inquiries from friends of friends then eventually from people we do not know. We answer different queries from various people. Sometimes we get frustrated because no sales pushed through. Not until we received our first order and did our first ever shipping. For lack of familiarization with some of online selling platforms, there were times when we accommodated clients who failed to pay for shipping fees. Nevertheless, we accommodated customers and delivered their orders. In turn, we received positive feedback which eventually led to increased sales.
Our “big break” of being entrepreneurs was when we received an inquiry of several hundreds of native bags needed over a short period of time, just a week to be exact. In our months in the business, native bags were among the slow moving in our inventory. We were shocked that from this item will come our biggest sales to date. We know that the logistics is not going to be easy. We are just a two women team but we are determined to push through with the orders. We required 50% down-payment for our products. The payment was made via cheque and once cleared, we suddenly felt the adrenaline rush. We knew that this was a make or break deal and we will be facing legal consequences should we fail to comply with our obligations.
We contacted all our suppliers. We went to places we’ve never been, messaged people we weren’t in touch for years just to produce what is expected of us. For several days, we were on our toes and experienced series of stress headaches. But we still try to be as composed as much as we can. Finally, we contacted a supplier who can deliver the order. We never did business with the seller. But we have been seeing the business name online and we have done due diligence on it. It is known in the business of local crafts and we think it can meet the deadline we set.
We are tested not when everything runs smoothly, but when doing right and delivering something good despite the seeming adversities. We believed in our products, capabilities and much help from our support system. Hence, we did it!
Admittedly, we still have so much to learn but this experience taught us valuable lessons as new entrepreneurs. Indeed, we are looking forward to more fruitful and blissful days ahead.