FAILURE should not, in any way, dampen one to pursue business and make his/her vision a reality.
In 2014, a young 24-year old neophyte, Alfred Jett Grandeza braved the business world by starting his own business called the Patrons, a unified loyalty card partnering with national and local stores and malls. But things went rough and bumpy along the way which led his first business venture to crash. The business he led ran out of cash and everything was not working as planned.
Recalling the experience, this Dabawenyo young entrepreneur considered it as a risk worth taking.
“There are lessons learned, failure is part of success. If you look at the entrepreneurs all over the world, they all had their share of failures,” he said.
The failed business did not hinder him to launch another one, a true character of a champion.
Good thing about failing is the opportunity of gaining important lessons that can’t be learned from anything else.
From his end, Grandeza shared that there are three things he learned from that humbling experience: Late product launching is a no-no, familiarizing the target market and creating a minimum viable product is important.
He also emphasized that resilience is an important attribute of an entrepreneur that starting a business is not a piece of cake.
“If you're not resilient enough to stand problems every day, you'll be quitting as soon as possible,” he shared.
On rising and winning the game
Now at 26, Grandeza is busy working on his second business venture – Lean, a technology consulting business and academy.
Starting his new business venture with just P30,000 last 2016, Lean has been doing good as far as business operation is concerned.
“Lean is doing well, we are growing 'organically'. Right now, we have bolder plans for the next months or probably next year. Lean Academy will be scaling outside of Davao, we will be taking Lean Academy to the next level,” he said adding that they are taking Lean Academy online and hoping to supplement Information and Technology programs to schools around the Davao region initially.
Lean Consulting does websites, web based systems and mobile apps while Lean Academy does the programming training.
He added that with little money/funding, being creative and resourceful help as one must be able to craft deals and be creative on how to use the money efficiently.
On being a young entrepreneur
As a student, Grandeza has been following tech entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others which inspired him to be of the same these innovators and moguls.
Being a young entrepreneur, challenges may seem too distractive. On facing these, Grandeza shared that the most challenging is finding out what to sell (as a product or service) or your niche then marketing it to the public.
“There a lot of people who have ideas, chances are, you have the same idea with other people. You need to narrow it down so you could differ yourself from the others and standout. Finding that perfect spot is a real challenge,” he said.
But settling on the newly-found spot should not be the case forever, he said, the 'perfect spot' changes with time as the needs of the people change.
“To face that, first you need to accept that everything changes. Second, you and your team should be very vigilant of the needs of your customers. Third, you and your team must be agile enough to adapt as quickly as possible,” Grandeza added.
Asked about his vision for his company, Grandeza said, it is his mission to make Philippines a technology hub, believing that technology is the only way to move forward in this time.
“We can't rely solely on BPO and other industries. We must create our own technologies and products. Hopefully in 5-10 years’ time, Lean would be able to fast forward us to the level of innovation,” he said.
As a young entrepreneur, Grandeza gained lessons he wants to share to his fellow budding entrepreneurs.
“We should not be afraid to take risks, if you're not bold enough, you'll be stuck. Also, be inquisitive - always be curious and learning. Never stop learning. Stay sharp and on top of your game. Moreover, a sales skills is an edge, if you have a business, you must at least, know how to sell. Sales cures everything,” he said.
He also shared about the importance of knowing oneself, that being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses enables one to move forward.
Grandeza, as a young entrepreneur, is a one of the million people living proofs that failure makes a true winner.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 04, 2017.
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