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Franchise Talk: From Corporate Zone to Citrus Zone

For the founder of this citrus-based beverage franchise, planning a business is as easy as 1-2-3
By Sam Christopher Lim |


 

 

For anyone who works nine-hour day jobs, doesn’t it feel like you’re missing out on a lot of things in life as you tick off one task after another until the time to clock out arrives?

 

Making your way through the corporate world is one of the ultimate tests in life and a great jump-off point for anyone after they finish school. Building a career requires great stamina, undying passion, the determination to keep learning, staying ahead of the curve and most of all, the drive to become something BIG.

 

The skills one learns from the corporate world are valuable, too. You learn the discipline of getting yourself together and going to work every day—no matter what kind of day it is. You learn to embrace how much your profession plays a vital role in society.

 

Recently, however, people have realized the importance of work-life balance, and that doing something that nurtures your life is just as important as your profession.

 

Don S. Cenita of Citrus Zone is one of the best examples of inspirational entrepreneurs who have succeeded in moving out of the corporate zone. He has found fulfillment from something he is passionate about and discovered the secret of the work-life balance.

 

As risky as it sounds, taking a big leap could a lot be less complicated with the right plan. Don knew his passion—living a healthy lifestyle and inspiring people to live the same. He laid out a plan that was as easy as 1-2-3.

 

 

 1. Get the right partners

The people you meet along in corporate life are valuable. You all come from different walks of life with different passions, skills and connections. All of you have discovered different tricks of the trade and the right mix of all of these techniques can make up a good entrepreneurial plan. In Don’s case, he started Citrus Zone with two of his friends, Joanna Dalmacio and Raica Mosquerra. With their entrepreneurial spirit and a professionally developed franchise program, they started a citrus-based beverage franchise cart that is now one of the fast-rising franchises in the Philippines.

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2. Set it up. Build it up. Use your savings from your corporate job to support your first few stores

Don’t drop everything and take the leap to a new battle unarmored. Aside from the skills you learn from your corporate job, the income you get from it should be wisely saved as capital to create your business, your brand, your marketing strategy and, most of all, to help you to expand the franchise. The beginning is always crucial. Setting up the foundation to launch a successful franchise may require you to double the effort.

 

 

 

3. Go big or go home. If you have a good concept, expand immediately

Expanding immediately is one of the biggest and boldest decisions that you will make. Citrus Zone’s concept of affordable, sweet and freshly pressed fruit juices stood out in a crowded food and beverage market filled with products containing preservatives. The brand immediately captured a niche among consumers who yearn for a healthier lifestyle. This is why Citrus Zone aggressively expanded before competitors could copy their prototype.

 

Despite having just one branch, Don was inspired to franchise after attending a seminar and invested in creating a professional franchise program that would help in his expansion. In addition, they were able to expand the commissary, supply chain systems and logistics across their branches. After less than a year of franchising, they now have over 35 branches across the Philippines. 

 

 

So if you are sitting in front of your desk in your corporate day job reading this with an idea bottled up, muster all of your skills, get some partners and try out your idea. Just make sure that, like Citrus Zone, if you know the idea is strong, and you feel the timing is right, it’s crucial that you expand before it’s copied.

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Francorp helps businesses scale up through franchising by helping entrepreneurs create detailed operations manuals, professional business plans, franchise legal agreements and conducting regular How to Franchise Your Business Seminars.  For more information contact Francorp Philippines at (02) 638-3149, (+63917) 835.55.30, email info@francorp.com.ph, or visit francorp.com.ph. 

 

Chris Lim is the Senior Vice President for Marketing and Strategy of Francorp Philippines (francorp.com.ph); President of U-Franchise Sales & Management (www.ufranchiseasia.com); and Chairperson and Director for Special Projects, ASEAN Integration-Philippine Franchise Association.

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