As an aspiring entrepreneur, I like hearing and reading stories about people who decided to become their own bosses by putting up their own businesses. I know venturing into business never sounds easy (and is even harder to start), but many have proven that it can be done as long as you put your heart and mind into it.
Beyond the articles and the interviews I’ve read and watched online; it is a delight to hear the struggles and successes of various businessmen firsthand when I attended the recently concluded SparkFest 2018.
SparkFest is an annual conference organized by The Spark Project aiming to gather successful businessmen from different fields under one roof to share their own experiences and knowledge to a new breed of entrepreneurs, including aspiring ones.
This year, SparkFest featured more than 20 outstanding entrepreneurs who discussed topics such as Breaking Convention and Revolutionizing eCommerce Logistics, Using Social Media to Engage your Brand’s Community, Creative Communities for Entrepreneurs, and many more. Through panel discussions, guest speakers shared their struggles, aspirations, and insights to the audience, and here are some of the things I learned during the conference:
“Just Go for It!” – Karylle Garcia, Co-Founder of Container Turf
Whether its a lack of capital, time, or experience that is stopping you; excuses won’t help turn your ideas into a business. You should start somewhere and find a way to launch your brand as soon as you can. Remember: no matter how unique or great your ideas are; if you won’t take action, they will all remain as nothing but ideas. Even worse: someone might have the same concept as yours and the next thing you know, they’ll have put up a store or have launched their brand before you.
There is no better time to start but NOW.
“Know Yourself. Find Your Community.” – Sara Martinez, Business Director and Managing Editor of Purveyr
You have probably heard this so many times by now, but let me say it again: DO WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY. In a business, you will surely encounter countless challenges; but if you are doing something you are passionate about, you will always feel fulfilled when fighting for it. Giving up will be out of your vocabulary if you love what you are doing.
Also, to be able to sustain your enthusiasm in business, you must find people with the same passion, interest, and vision as you. This way, you can seek inspiration by exchanging ideas and collaborating with them.
“Invest in Design and Creativity to Stand Out.” – Dan Matutina, Co-Founder of Plus63
Given the strong competition in the market, you should differentiate your brand from the others. Whether you are planning to put up a coffee shop, a clothing brand, or a car wash service, your business can still stand out with creativity. Let’s say you can create a unique interior, you can invest in nice food packaging, or you can have your services personalized… when you provide a unique experience, you will surely leave a mark on your clients.
“Continuously Innovate and Adapt to Change.” – Benjamin Bolivar, Co-Founder of Container Turf
Market trends change so quickly, so you always have to think ahead. Think about how you can make your business stay on top of the game. You can upgrade your concept, be up-to-date with new technology, or simply have something new to offer your clients. Make sure to listen to the feedback of your customers, as well.
Know their needs and wants, so you can address them quickly.
As they say: one of the secrets to succeed in life is to surround yourself with successful people. At SparkFest 2018, being surrounded by successful men and women made me feel more fueled to pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. The real and humble stories I heard reminded me that I can attain my goals through hard work. When in Manila, find seminars/conferences and communities that will enrich your knowledge and inspire you to become better in whatever you do.
SparkFest by The Spark Project