Running a business is never easy but the rewards are worth it when you hit it big. Mila San Juan, owner of House Printers, would not normally advice anyone to start cold in the printing business. The reason? Startup cost can be high. You need at least P5 million to start, and the competition is cutthroat. Below she gives three basic tips when operating a business that requires high capital:
• Be a good payer
It took Mila and her husband Precioso years before they could take out their first bank loan. For the longest time, Chinese paper suppliers kept them afloat with liberal credit terms, and that allowed them to secure the big contracts. “Your creditors should always come before anything else,” she says. “If you can’t pay on time, be honest with them. Then pay them as soon as you are able.”
• Know the business
Before Precioso started House Printers, he studied everything about printing including paper stock, paper loading, plate making, and how to run the presses. Before he turned over a piece of machinery to an operator, he made sure the man had mastered how it worked. “There is no room for mistakes in the printing business,” says Mila. “When something goes wrong, you throw the output away. You waste money.”
• Invest in new technology
Your clients will always demand the best from you. With this in mind, Mila always attends trade shows and printing conferences to keep abreast of developments. She says the new printing machines are getting smaller, and yet are able to do the work of much bigger machines at lesser cost.