Starting an MSME? Here are 5 Things You Might Want to Consider to Elevate Your Ideas
Grow your business right.
Many people dream of starting their own businesses and might even have had the opportunity to launch a start-up. Still, many lack the foresight to elevate their ideas into something concrete. With so much misinformation being fed to aspiring entrepreneurs, the question begs to be answered: How does one prepare and set up their business for success?
In an interview with Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc. (Sun Life Grepa), a major life insurance company in the country, Justine Daguman, Sun Life Grepa’s Head of Group Sales and Strategies under its Healthcare division, talks about the key factors that can create impactful opportunities for businesses regardless of their stage in the business cycle.
- Begin with a well-curated plan
Everything comes down to the business plan, whether you're just starting or looking to expand. Identifying short- and long-term goals, especially in the first three years of the business, according to Daguman, is critical because this will be the target that will direct your business to create a system that will help you achieve that goal. During the first year of your business, it is essential to lay down the groundwork to have a solid foundation in the future. It will also give your employees a clear picture of the company's vision and what they can accomplish in their roles.
Planning also involves preparing for bad times, so doing your research will significantly increase your chance of choosing the right investments. Using essential tools such as market measurements and forward-looking financial indicators is a great help for all kinds of investors, from beginners to seasoned ones, because you can always learn from tried-and-tested principles. Using these to modify your investment strategy could mean the difference between successfully adapting to trends and stagnation or failure.
- Assess possible risks
Many begin their journey thinking owning their own business offers freedom, satisfaction, and flexibility. And while that could be true by the end of the game, the truth is that entrepreneurship comes with challenges and failures that not many may have the capacity to handle. Daguman notes, “A person who wants to start their entrepreneurial journey should realize and accept that not everything will go their way, even if they’ve exhausted their efforts in achieving this.”
Entrepreneurs are risk takers, but the level of risk varies. Once you have assessed your challenges and opportunities, it's best to “take the most calculated risk possible,” Daguman advises. It's also worth noting that risk manifests differently for employees depending on the nature of their work. Ensuring them with benefits that alleviate risk may help attract talent.
- Ensure the financial capability to support expansion
Growth and expansion might be your ultimate goal, but “sustaining your current operations with the income of the business” comes first, especially in the first year of your business, claims Daguman. Remember: Profit is king, and those who lose sight of this usually suffer.
Once you have your feet on the ground and have a better grasp of what more your business can offer, it may be a good idea to reinvest in the business where it pays off the most, which will be up to your discretion. Things could mean marketing your business, upgrading your systems, or investing in your employees’ development and benefits.
- Improve the efficiency of your operations
One common mistake that most MSMEs make is that they continue to think like small businesses, so they stay that way. “Business owners should treat their small business as a "big brand" and continue to take steps to try and perfect their current systems to cater to growth,” Daguman points out. Rather than maintaining what used to work, prepare for change by “effectively [managing] your people and [giving] them an environment for growth,” He adds.
One way to do this is by first knowing the business's ins and outs and the store flow's nitty-gritty to give you an idea of what processes could be optimized. Getting to know your business quickly —within the first year—is paramount in order to build a solid foundation for when these said processes are upscaled when the business expands. Not only will this create a more efficient system, but it will also create a manageable working environment for employees to learn and grow with the business.
- Build a people-centric culture
A company is only as good as its people. Building good relationships with your employees, especially ones that have been with the company during its developmental stages, is one of the most significant opportunities entrepreneurs must utilize. “When you can find and nurture good people, they will be able to help you bring your business to greater heights than you initially thought,” Daguman explains.
Showing your employees the possibilities for growth by supporting them are keys to two vital factors in the longevity of your company: acquisition and retention. Job hunters will aspire to get into your company if they see how well your employees are being treated, and your current employees will be proud of being part of such a progressive business. That’s why most successful businesses would also primarily prioritize their people, how to help them in their careers, and how they are treated.
Now is the time to invest significantly in a strong employee benefits program or package, such as the Sun Life Grepa MSME MyBiz. Have your people enjoy a straightforward, affordable, and comprehensive insurance package that addresses wellness, protection, and recovery for MSMEs with the right blend of starter products that cater to over 5-200 employees, from start-ups to established enterprises. By creating a safe and productive environment for your employees, your business can continue to thrive and become more than its potential.
Elevate your business along with your people! For more information, visit Sun Life Grepa’s official website to check out its MSME MyBiz package and its offerings. Follow the brand’s Facebook account to get helpful advice from their advisors.