What does it take to start a business and thrive? Capital? Many think of this as the beginning of business but very few has access to enough cash. In fact, this is the model of most micro-finance services. For without cash or financial capital how could a person get into business? Practically, both manufacturing and marketing businesses need goods to sell. So, without cash to buy goods to sell, how would one start business?
Others begin business with a feasibility study and a business plan however bare and simple it may be. This can be very expensive though. I charge Php150,000.00 writing a feasibility study. So, you have not yet started and you already have to spend hundreds of thousands of pesos. Bigger businesses spend a lot more money at the onset. Few years ago, I was part of a team that conducted the Environmental Impact Study (EIA/S) of a mining project in Cagayan Valley. I was paid Php70,000.00 for the first part and another Php40,000.00 on another part of the study. As part of the team, we had a geologist, a fresh water biodiversity scientist and a social development specialist. The project itself had not yet started and the proponents were already spewing lots of money. The EIA/S is a requirement for big scale business ventures like this. An FS and a written business plan may in fact be more of a hindrance to start a business than the beginning of it.
Or, you need to have a unique brilliant idea? I honestly did not see anything different or a Marsian idea in what she did. Everything was more of being practical. The products are common and there is nothing special in the services. Her sales pitch, as she narrated it to me goes like this, “We all sell the same products. So, what is the difference? Me”, she said, “I am not in their company selling their products. I am here selling these products. Can we now close the deal?” I like that. Some products really cannot be special or better except with the person or experience. Consider the business of banking. Whichever bank you go, you will get the same kind and quality of money. No bank can offer money with better or more beautiful design. They cannot have your name printed on the money to personalize it for you. What can make the difference? Your experience with the company. This lady is streetsmart. Her safety products are the same with those sold in the market. It is her that makes the difference not the products. That is not product or unique idea to start a business, is it?
Or, it takes guts and a lot of luck? This sounds more like her story. And yet I can say her luck were more from hard work than sheer chance. Further, her guts did not evolve from single cell organism but come from something Christians call faith. Quite few has it and in very small measure.
This lady that I met slapped my face on what faith and business means. Not, not literally. The lady is not brute and it is not in her looks to violently raise her hand and land it in your face. If looks could kill, then I would have been dead by now. She doesnt look like the one who manages millions of pesos per month. Reality bites?! She rocks.
I am broke and looking for all sorts of racket or route to escape or evade poverty and I am still wondering if becoming poor is really unavoidable. Is it the case that at some point in life, we will really hit the bottom or close to it and live lives of poverty for some time? I am there. How do I get out, or up, whichever is the path to prosperity but not compromising faith. Then there was this offer to me via Facebook to buy a printed shirt. An idea flashed into my mind – I can sell shirts. I pressed my thumb in the digital keypad and gave my pitch, “Why not let me sell these shirts to help myself as well?” And the reply was, “we can meet”. A familiar name appreared, Ptr George Quierez, whom I met through Facebook is a partner in the business. To cut the story short, the three of us met and the flesh and blood of faith femme was there in front of me.
Actually, she owns the business and the one who started it. She is just 25 years old, a bit petite, but has the looks more of a pretty employee than a strong enterprising woman and yet the business began without the needed capital. And the day came when things did not seem working out. And it was like time to quit but she poured her heart to God saying, “[‘Wag mo akong iwan, Lord. (Never leave me, Lord)].” Then for reasons she could not explain, there was business but still there was no capital. It happened just the same. The rest is history, or should I say, “herstory?”
The femme of faith is Ms Lukeonethreeseven in Facebook, the sole proprietor and General Manager of Frontguild Enterprises. Her power verse is Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
What does that passage mean? In Sociology, the passage would be referred to a spiritual/cultural capital, which practically can be translated into financial capital. From her story, the translation of the spiritual capital into financial capital must be through her character, her trustworthy personality, which emanates from her faith. In this way, people who have the faith posses power to get into business and thrive.