Artistas share secrets to their successful businesses

For Neri Naig-Miranda, Christine Bersola-Babao, and Grace Lee, maximizing social media helps.
Aug 24, 2018
CREATED WITH Globe myBusiness

Starting a business can be intimidating for any first-time entrepreneur, even for artistas. No one is immune to the doubts and concerns that come with starting a business.

But the celebs present at the first-ever Star Bazaar on August 17 proved that even people who have other responsibilities—a family, a regular job, and other work commitments—can run a business and achieve success.  

A partnership between Globe myBusiness and PEP.ph, Star Bazaar was a day for fans to interact with their favorite artistas, see the products they’re offering, and learn a thing or two about starting a business from industry experts and the celebrity entrepreneurs themselves.

Held at the SM Megamall Event Center, the event featured talks about business planning, finance, marketing, and branding.

Read on to know more about how these celebrities made their businesses successful:

BE UNIQUE. Host-turned-restaurateur Grace Lee, owner of Korean fusion restaurant Kko Kko, points out that by focusing on a core product—chicken cheese fondue—she was able to create brand recall and establish a brand identity, especially in this ever-changing food landscape. 

This also helped in marketing, since chicken cheese fondue was ideal for Instagram-obsessed foodies. Grace says, "There should be something that pops into their heads that is uniquely yours."

FIND A RELIABLE SUPPORT SYSTEM. For Harlene Bautista-Sarmenta, owner of the restaurant Salu and one of the speakers at Star Bazaar, having a dependable support system is important in business.

Harlene, whose family had a carinderia when she was growing up, says that while managing a business with your family can be difficult, the support she receives from them is priceless.

"When you're working with family, madaling magkainitan ng ulo, madaling mabaril yung ideas mo," she explains.

"But of course, when you have the support of your family, iba rin. At the end of the day, after a hard day's work ng balitaktakan ninyo, brainstorming and everything, 'pag mayroon nang magandang resulta and you share it with your family, iba rin."

BE RESPONSIBLE WITH MONEY, ESPECIALLY LOANS. John Aguilar, who stars in the business reality show The Final Pitch, talked about ways to get funding for your business, which include approaching friends and family, getting a loan from a bank or other financing platforms, crowdfunding, and even joining competitions like his show.

He says that in business, it's important that you handle your money wisely—especially if it's from a loan or an investor.

"Ang pera na 'yon ay utang. Pinagiingatan natin ang pera na 'to dahil kailangan nating ibalik—and oftentimes with interest," John says. "So napaka-importante that money is not seen as a form of accomplishment."

MAXIMIZE SOCIAL MEDIA. For Neri Naig-Miranda, the enterprising celebrity wife and mom whose many businesses include Neri's Bakeshop and Neri's Gourmet Tuyo, social media plays a huge role in the success of a business.

"Kapag pino-post ko yung mga niluluto ko, yung mga followers ko, nag-sa-suggest sila kung ano yung maganda para ma-improve pa yung products. So nakikinig ako," she reveals.

John, who joined Neri onstage during one of the talks, acknowledges that this is a good business technique. "Makikita mo si Neri is a natural entrepreneur. Why? Because of her curiosity."

He adds: "Tiningnan mo muna kung ano ang hinahanap ng tao, and you created a product that addressed that need. Kaya successful ang negosyo mo ngayon."

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. Financial guru Chinkee Tan, who gave an enlightening talk on what a person needs to succeed in having a business, points out that aside from having an intelligence quotient and emotional quotient, business owners must also have an adversity and financial quotient.

"Walang nagtagumpay na hindi dumaan sa pagkabigo," he says, referring to overcoming adversity and failures. Chinkee also says that people should be able to adapt to change. "May business ka ngayon, may negosyo ka ngayon, [pero] 'pag hindi ka sumabay sa takbo ng panahon, mawawala ka."

CONSULT WITH EXPERTS. Former beauty queen-turned-businesswoman Shamcey Supsup-Lee, who owns with her husband several branches of the Filipino restaurant Pedro 'N Coi, advises people to get business tips from industry experts.

"We had no experience in putting up a business like a restaurant," Shamcey admits. "So parang may pool of experts kami that we get. But sa amin nanggaling kung ano yung gusto namin. We were clear with what we wanted to put up."

Another tip Shamcey gave is learning from other businesses—including their mistakes. "At least hindi ninyo na kailangan pagdaanan, kasi napagdaanan na namin. Puwede ninyo na i-skip yung part na 'yon."

MAKE IT PERSONAL. Janice de Belen, who brought her delectable baked treats like cookies, polvoron, and even ready-to-eat meals from her three-year-old business, Kitchen of Super Janice, says she makes it a point to be present in her business even though she's busy with her responsibilities as a mom and an actress.

She says, "If I cannot be in the bazaar, hindi ako tumatanggap. Kasi people will go there to look for you. If you post it on Instagram, people will go there to look for you. If they don't find you, parang madi-disappoint sila."

CONSIDER PUTTING UP AN ONLINE STORE. Candy Pangilinan, who had a booth at the event for her bag business Qbags, emphasizes the convenience of having an online store as opposed to a brick-and-mortar shop.

"I did have a [physical] shop, but then it was so hard because mataas ang overhead—ang renta, 'di ba? I think mas okay yung online kasi mas mura, economical. Nakikita ko kung anong nangyayari. Ako mismo yung sumasagot [sa customers], so alam ko kung ano yung takbo," Candy points out.

GIVE IN TO YOUR CRAVING. LJ Moreno-Alapag of The Lollicake Factory, who was at Star Bazaar with her seven-year-old son, says she began selling cake pops and cakes in a jar because she had a craving for these desserts after tasting them on a trip to California.

"That's actually the reason why I came up with the business," LJ says. "It's my personal favorite and I was craving it."

BE HANDS-ON. Almira Muhlach was at Star Bazaar to support her daughter Ina, who sells doughnuts, cookies, and cannolis under the brand Layered Delights.

Almira helps in different areas of her youngest daughter's business: "Everything, from looking for suppliers, [getting] financial support, and even looking for contacts."

Hosted by Erika Padilla and Will Devaughn, Star Bazaar was organized by Globe myBusiness, Globe Telecom's corporate arm that supports small and medium enterprises to help grow their business.

Senior Advisor for Globe myBusiness Derrick Heng says: “Globe myBusiness is here to encourage people to put up their own business and live the life they dream of. We also help entrepreneurs create hassle-free operations so they can focus more on bringing the best experience to their customers. With the help of our celebrity guests and business experts, we hope we can impart valuable tips and inspiring lessons to those who were present at the Star Bazaar.”

The featured merchandise at Star Bazaar also included TV host Christine Bersola-Babao's homegrown food items like toasted pastillas, salted egg potato chips, and bottled drinks made with malunggay, okra, and luya sourced from sellers all over the country; actress Diana Zubiri’s fitness apparel line Be Amaz1ng; RR Enriquez’s skincare and body-nourishing products from her beauty clinic Rejuva Aesthetics and Laser Center; Bianca Lapus’s clothing line Zouk, and Marlo Mortel’s Ornstal jewelry made of precious stones and crystals.

Globe myBusiness offers a wide range of digital tools and solutions to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. For more information, follow it on Facebook.

This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with Globe myBusiness.
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