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5 indispensable things in running a business

Lessons from a furniture company executive
By Jovita Romero |

There is no single route to the quest for success; there is no fixed computation that has been proven to be the only way to succeed in business. But there are five things that are simply indispensable in doing business. While business involves math, and lots of it, it cannot be computed in the same way as you would do 1+1=2; the path to success made by one will not exactly result to the success of another entrepreneur.

Jovita Romero, the vice president for finance of Danilyn’s Enterprises Inc., one of the country’s leaders in modern furniture fabrication and manufacturing, shares the five things that entrepreneurs cannot do without in running their business that will eventually lead to success.

1. You are your own person; rely on your own skills. Hard work is not enough--share your skills and your knowledge in running a business.

"I had vast exposure and experience with office procedure, as a result of my previous employments. There was a point when I was asked to manage one of my former boss’s businesses. It wasn’t easy; it all rested on my shoulders. As the finance person for Danilyn’s, my degree in accountancy also gave me an advantage. My experience in operations and my educational degree worked together to help me as an entrepreneur. You’ve got to have a skill of your own, so that when you set foot on any business, you would be able equally command respect in the business."

2 Businesses need capital = money.

"When we took over Astrotex, we had to acquire all their stock fabric, appliances, pay for improvements in the facility and brand goodwill. We also needed to pay for fixed expenses like utilities, rent and salaries. During those early years, money was a bit of a problem—there were months when my sister and I could not even draw our monthly allowances because there was no cash at hand. We also had to infuse additional capital to pay for the operations and to pay our workers. We worked at raising the money that we needed at every turn, and we were able to pay all our obligations to the former owners ahead of the agreed schedule."

3. Be knowledgeable and take a hands-on approach.

"For a small-scale business, knowledge of the line and nature of your products and services is a crucial success factor. You can only know the needs of the business if you personally attend to it. This way, you would be able to come up with instant solutions to any business adversity. The growth of the business also depends on your involvement in the business. If you depend entirely on feedback from an employee to whom you have delegated responsibilities, you won’t have the required feel for your business, you won’t know what your market wants."          

"Now that our business has grown, my sister and I would laugh when we recall those days when we had to stay up late to create patterns for new designs, guided by how-to books, meticulously look at hemlines of hotel curtains, compare the make of quilted bed covers, and cut fabrics ourselves! Being hands-on in business and being knowledgeable of such intricacies are needed especially at the startup phase of any business."

4. Practice hard work and perseverance.

"These terms are very much abused in discussions like this, but it is the truth, you cannot get away from these words. If you don’t have these traits, better not involve yourself in business. Your workers may rest, but not you, the business owner. In my case, I could not have mastered the manufacturing business if I did not persevere making curtains and beddings myself. Apart from learning the ropes of the business, learning the patterns for every design, the full-sizing of a piece of furniture, learning to cope with various types of clientele, beating deadlines to deliver furniture and installing draperies became the substance of my life."

5. Work with passion.

"An entrepreneur can only give himself to his business if he can work with passion. Entrepreneurship is all about the art of loving the things you do for your business—without complaining, counting the hours, expecting things in return, without anticipating what you would get in return. Being an entrepreneur is a selfless offering of your skills, talents, resources and self."

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Photo shows the author, Jovit Romero

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