All successful enterprises started with a brilliant business concept. Come up with a mediocre concept and it sure hurts the chances of a business taking off.
This principle guided business partners and longtime friends Esel de Sagun and Em Somera in putting up a quirky concept store. Although de Sagun and Somera’s business is into selling cutesy products, Ready for Rain has become more than that. Proof of this is its survival of three rainy seasons, countless number of storms and even the global economic slump.
Now Ready for Rain, which sells rain gears such as Plueys and umbrellas, is well into its fourth year and boasts of a growing number of clients. Besides coming up with a unique concept, the duo also shared some of the lessons they learned in navigating their way from startup to success:
1. Proper marketing and product awareness strategy
In starting a quirky concept, one major pitfall identified by the duo was the possibility of their products being misunderstood by the market as a mere fad.
“Being a new concept, education was key; we had to educate the consumers on exactly what the product was and what it wasn’t. Especially for a fashion product, people perceive that it is a fad that will come and go. We have to reiterate to our customers over and over again the importance of rain gears. The rainy season will always come around every year,” Somera said.
2. Treat your business like your own baby
Being hands-on has helped the partners truly understand their business’ nature. “It’s the first time for both of us to start our own business and we learned that when it’s your own business, you generally don’t stop working at it (especially at the beginning). We’re a very young company and we find ourselves fulfilling all roles from CEO to janitor to quality assurance to sales agent. It’s tiring but it is most fulfilling when we hear and see the satisfaction and excitement in our customers,” Somera said.