The pandemic has indeed turned our lives upside down and this includes our businesses as well. Some of you may be feeling troubled and puzzled on how to adjust to the ambiguity, or even curious if this is the right time to put up your new venture. In today’s article, we reached out to five mompreneurs who still manage to keep their business running during this time: Bibs Manila, Coco Lala, Munting Yapak, RRD Hot Pandesal & Pumplepie Books & Happiness. We asked them to share their experiences on how they maneuvered their business to continue, and the practices they have done to adapt to the abnormal times.
It is true when they say, whenever you are in doubt, go back to basics. Ask yourself again these questions: “What is your goal? What was your purpose in putting up this business?” At this tough time, it is worth revisiting your mission, vision, and align it again with your values. It will help you and the team go through the storm smoothly if everyone is supporting the same goal.
“We wanted something locally handcrafted, one of a kind (not mass produced) and ethically produced to showcase Filipino craftsmanship. Quitting was not an option for us because that would greatly hurt the livelihood of our artisans. Being grounded with our priorities and values made it easier for us to make hard decisions and strategies to keep this humble business afloat.” – Eden, Mom of 1, Len, Mom of 2 & Rona of Munting Yapak
“The boom in homeschooling has created a demand for locally published books. There is also an increased demand from Filipino families abroad. Since they can no longer travel, they introduce the Philippines to their children through books. Every year, we ask ourselves if we should continue. Now we find ourselves in a fortunate position, we can actually provide a very pressing need for Filipino families around the world.” – Alexine, Mom of 1, of Pumplepie Books & Happiness
When the crisis hits, it’s vital that for any business to respond swiftly to problems and risks that may arise. While it’s also crucial to keep in mind the safety protocols, business owners should be able to quickly adapt and familiarize themselves with new information, patterns, and processes.
“As soon as they declared ECQ, Adriana and I decided to do daily online storytelling sessions. We call it “Merienda Tales by Pumplepie”. It’s every day at 4 PM on our Facebook page. It’s a simple format where it’s just me reading a story to Adriana like we normally do together. We haven’t missed a day since we started, and Adriana insists we continue doing it for the children who don’t have books at home.” – Alexine, Mom of 1, of Pumplepie Books & Happiness
“At first, we were hesitant to sell our products online because of logistics concerns such as payment methods, and the delivery operations, but as the days gone by we have mastered the different ways, and the business has adapted to the new normal. These changing times you have to adapt, and think of other ways to get going especially when a lot of people are depending on you.” – Pia, Mom of 2, of RRD Hot Pandesal
As the uncertainty and restrictions ripen, the ‘normal’ might take some time to go back. Hence, you need to stretch out your means and do something to navigate your way towards the crisis. Take advantage of the technology, and embrace the online world! Especially nowadays that mostly everyone is at home, this proposes a chance to boost your online presence.
“When GCQ started, we decided to do online selling of our bread through Facebook. I brought home a set of baking equipment so we can also operate from home, and take Metro Manila orders. The online helped boost our sales! Sales are not what they used to be, but I am happy that even if we don’t earn that much, we can keep our remaining stores open, and keep our employees as well.” – Pia, Mom of 2, of RRD Hot Pandesal
“My background in agile marketing has been helping me fuel this business. It includes rapid response to change versus following a fixed plan, a thorough understanding of our daily analytics, and continuing to satisfy our customers through early and continuous delivery of marketing that creates value.” – Kate, Mom of 1, of Bibs Manila
Being open to your staff and clients can help your business a lot. Remember, it is not just you, but everybody else is going through the same storm. Make them understand what you are going through as a company, and the changes you need to implement.
“We have increased our online presence for added visibility since most people are at home and may have more time online. Aside from these online efforts, we have partially released our new designs based on the results of the conducted survey of our growing followers. So, it’s all about them – what they want, what they need, what matters to them.” – Kate, Mom of 1, of Bibs Manila
“Be open to our staff, and focus on providing excellent customer service. We let them know what is happening, so they are also fully aware of the situation. The same goes for our customers and suppliers – they are also informed of the status of our operations. While it may be hard to this now due to lack of staff, it’s still always a good practice to maintain good client relations.” – Heidi, Mom of 1, of Coco Lala
We know this may seem impossible to do, even for the most hopeful person to stay optimistic nowadays. With everything that is happening around us, it is easy to focus on the pandemic and its cynical effects. But these thoughts would not bring any productivity, and can be unhealthy. Having a positive attitude would change your outlook in life, fuel you with positive energy, and help you make pivotal judgments!
“As mompreneurs, juggling our time between our families and the business has always been a challenge. It gets even harder when the pandemic hits us. What helped us go through it was knowing our priorities and our values. For us, as a team, we value our relationship with God and our families. They will always be our top priorities. We value local craftsmanship and the hard labor put by our local artisans on every pair of shoes they create. We value every client who purchases and appreciates our products.” – Eden, Mom of 1, Len, Mom of 2 & Rona of Munting Yapak
“Enjoy life as it is and that we should always be ready to adapt to changes, embrace the new normal, and that the blessings of being together with our families and staying safe are really and should be the priority. A crisis always brings either the best or the worst in all of us. So I try to have a positive mindset and believe that this will all be over soon.” – Heidi, Mom of 1, of Coco Lala