Archives for September 2016

Payoneer: It’s about TRUST and FAMILY

Hello from Tel Aviv! I apologize for not updating my blog for the past few days. It has been a busy week for me. I am now in Israel for the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival, and everything has been amazing. This is my first time traveling alone to another part of the world. I love it! I think moms should do this more often. It’s so empowering! Haha!

What I have noticed is that we really have a lot of Filipino “kababayans” scattered all over the world (W-O-W!). Case in point, I was tasked to deliver a pitch during the Cities Summit here in Tel Aviv and amongst the audience was a college friend, whom I have not seen for the longest time! How cool is that? It was surprising to see a fellow Filipina. Also, while leaving the Intel Exhibit in DLD, this other woman talked to us in Filipino from out of the blue, and we chatted after. She worked for Fujitsu and she was there for the conference. So, yes, we Filipinos are everywhere!

I am so proud of all of the Overseas Filipino Workers that we have. I’m just here for a week and staying here, away from home, feels completely different. I know that all of us are trying to make ends meet and trying to build a better life for our families. I salute all of the OFWs and the Filipino workers all over the world.

That hard earned money should aptly go directly to the hands of our loved ones in the Philippines. Most of us use our social connections or MTOs or use wire transfers to send the money to our loved ones. But let me give you another option. I have tried using Payoneer and it’s fantastic. This is how it works!

So all you need to do is ask your loved ones to open a Payoneer account and transfer money via Payoneer. It’s also way cheaper than the current options that you have. The also have the lowest conversion rates and a low total processing time.

ltp-philippines-847x1084The reason why I use Payoneer is not only about these advantages and benefits. It goes beyond the stuff that you already know by reading other blogs, like Cath’s article: http://www.freelancing.ph/payoneer-making-the-most-with-lesser-fees/. It’s about TRUST. It’s about family.

I have met the people behind Payoneer for more than a year; They have been nothing but supportive. I consider them as family. From experience and interacting with them, I have gotten to know them. I have trust the brand and the people behind the brand. If I were to make payments or to send / receive payments, I would definitely want to course it through an entity that I TRUST. This is my hard-earned money and I very much want to interact and deal with someone (or a brand) that can guarantee me that it gets to my family on-time. I know that Payoneer can and will deliver.

Give it a try! If you want to learn more about Payoneer, this is their website (CLICK HERE) or you can visit The Freelancer Fair on November 19, 2016 (CLICK HERE). Payoneer is one of the Major Sponsors of The Freelancer Fair 2016.

 

WiF Banner 720 x 90 px

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Preparing for Pregnancy

Hey there, pretty pregnant mommas! It’s that time of the year again! Manila Workshops will hold a 4 part workshop series on preparing for pregnancy and for parenting! This will be the 4th and final run for this year, and the workshops seem to get bigger and better every time! This series of workshops is in collaboration with our friends from The Parenting Emporium.

Workshop-Series-2016-2-724x1024
First Time Parents workshop series is one of the most successful workshop series of Manila Workshops. We have been offering this workshop series since 2013. This is designed to help expectant parents to prepare for the coming of the baby; However, we also do invite singles, relatives and caregivers to attend too!

These are the different topics that we have!

October 15, 2016 (9AM-12NN) – What to Know Before Giving Birth (OB Check-ups and Pregnancy Nutrition)
October 15, 2016 (2PM-5PM) – Preparing for Delivery Day/Newborn Care (Delivery Options, Newborn Care)
November 12, 2016 (9AM-12NN) – All About Breastfeeding
November 12, 2016 (1PM-5PM) – Baby and Toddler Nutrition and Care

Get a better deal when you sign up for 4 workshops!

Individual Rate show details + P600.00 (PHP)
Couple Rate (one workshop) show details + P1,000.00 (PHP)
Couple Rate (attending 2 workshops) show details + P1,750.00 (PHP)
Couple Rate (attending 3 workshops) show details + P2,400.00 (PHP)
Couple Rate (attending 4 workshops) show details + P3,200.00 (PHP)

REGISTER NOW

This event is supported by StemCord Philippines, Cetaphil Philippines, Mamachows, Beginnings, Pampers, VPharma, Cradle/Cycles.

Hope to see you soon!

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Business Lessons: Cost and Volume

Today, I had a class on COSTS and the relationship of cost and volume. Starting a business means that you won’t be escaping this concept anytime soon. In order to manage and sustain a business, we need to monitor and control costs, because ultimately, to increase profits, you need to increase revenue and decrease costs while maintaining the value of your service.

Understanding costs

Now one of the things we need to look at is the behavior of costs. Here are the three behaviors:

VARIABLE – These are the costs that are directly proportional to the volume (level of activity).

FIXED – These are costs that you incur whether there is volume or not.

MIXED OR SEMI VARIABLE – These are costs that have a variable component and a fixed component. A classic example of this are utilities and manpower (when employees who receive pay but sometimes go overtime).

To be able to make profit, we need to increase volume to be sold to increase sales.

So how do we increase volume and sales?
1. Look for the customers who find value in availing your product.
2. Deliver great service so that your customers will be brand believers. This will be FREE advertising for your company.
3. Pray for sales!

Learning about Costs

Now there is this term, Full Cost which is Unit Variable Cost + Unit Fixed Cost.

Total Variable Cost increases as volume goes up but Unit Variable Cost is constant on a per unit basis.

Total Fixed Cost remains constant as the volume goes up, but Unit Fixed cost decreases on a per unit basis. With this, you are trying to achieve what you call Economies of Scale. This is the reason why we can give discounts when people order in bulk or in huge volume. Check different tiers so that you would know at what volume you will start to earn a margin.

The next term that I learned is Contribution Margin. Contribution Margin is the difference between sales and total variable costs or the difference between selling price and unit variable cost. This margin covers (or supposed to cover) for your fixed cost. Contribution Margin Ratio is Contribution Margin divided by Sales.

You need to find out where the biggest margin is. If you find out that the segments that you are tapping all bring in the same margin, look for the segment that will bring in the most volume.

I wanted to share these things. I just thought of sharing it, since I think it will be useful for startups and entrepreneurs to understand. Hope this helps!

 

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S&R Membership Shopping: The Little Things Matter

Customer loyalty is very important for brands these days. With tough competition and the high cost to win new customers, it is more cost efficient to keep old clients. But not a lot of brands take this to heart. They focus so much on acquiring new customers that they forget to keep the current ones happy. Sometimes, too, brands think of so many complicated offerings or promotions that do not benefit the customer in anyway. These are oftentimes things that are deemed useless and even irrelevant to the customer. Brands and companies should think that sometimes simple things matter. This is the reason I love S&R.

Our friends and family always renew their S&R Membership Shopping. This is because S&R knows that simple things and perks can go a long way in winning customer loyalty. A very good example of one of the amazing perks of being a member is access to the upcoming Members Treat for S&R Membership Shopping happening this coming September 30.

S&R Poster

The S&R Membership Shopping – Members’ Treat sale is one of their biggest sales where they offer 50% off (yup, half the price!) and even Buy 1 Take 1 Deals for a lot of items. This great sale will happen from September 30 until October 02 nationwide. The participating stores are:

– S&R BGC
– S&R Aseana
– S&R Congressional
– S&R Alabang
– S&R Shaw
– S&R Cebu
– S&R Pampanga
– S&R Davao
– S&R Imus
– S&R Nuvali
– S&R Davao

What I am looking forward to the most is that in this sale, the items that are on sale are usually really great and useful things. Other stores would most likely have hard to sell items on display during their sale, but S&R puts on display items that a lot of us would actually buy and even buy in bulk! For this year, some of the items that I am hoping that they would sell during the sale are their Colgate Kids Mouthwash Bubblegum and UP Baby wipes for my daughter, Suave 2-in-1 Professional Shampoo and Conidtioner for little ol’ me and Irish spring soap for the hubby. Oh, wait! I also love their Ring cakes. I’m sure if you have tried that before, you would agree that the US Double Choco-chip Creme Ring Cake and the US Apple Raisin Creme Cake are to die for! I also wish that they include their Ben & Jerry Chunky Monkey ice cream and the Ben & Jerry Chocochip Cookie Dough!

These simple things matter to a simple person like me! Great deals and bargains make me happy.

Are you a loyal customer of S&R? If you’re not yet a member, I suggest that you go and sign up now for S&R Membership Shopping, so that we could go shopping together this coming September 30!

Don’t forget to share your S&R Shopping experience using #LoveSnr #SnReveryday so we could get to see what great deals you got to avail of. With these simple things, I know I will be forever loyal!

P.S. For more information on S&R membership, please checkout this page: S&R Membership

 

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Ladies, We are Definitely Worth it!

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report of 2015, the Philippines ranked 7 out of 145 countries, with a gender gap score of 0.790 (1.0 = equality and 0.0 = inequality). The full report is in this page: http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2015/economies/#economy=PHL I’m glad that gender equality isn’t that much of a problem here as it is in the rest of the world. But even with such a high ranking, I always wondered why is it that in the corporate world, and even now in the start up community, there are not a lot of female leaders and founders.

As Philstar mentioned in their article about the Filipina CEO Circle event that I, too, attended the other day, a recent survey conducted by KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. among the top 1,000 corporations has shown that very few of these companies were led by women (only 68 out of the 770 companies that they contacted were led by Filipina CEOs). As I listened to some of the successful women in that conference, and as I thought about my other female friends and relatives (those who have achieved their goals and those who are still struggling), this is an insight that I have picked up that I want to share with you.

Be inspired!

Be inspired!

We need to think that we are Worth it!

Masyado tayong mabait (We are too nice!).  Ever since we were young, we, ladies, have been taught to respect elders (parents, teachers, etc.). Like the men, we were taught to study hard and pursue our dreams. No one cornered us and taught us differently. No one said that ladies couldn’t do the different things that men did. No one told us that there was a limit to the opportunities that we could grab. We were never told that there was a limit to what we could do. It is “us” — we limit ourselves.

We don’t think we are capable of traveling alone. We think we should wait for that promotion to land on our laps, because asking for it might be too domineering. We should not speak our minds if we feel that we are not valued enough in a company, because that would be too rude. We think that we can’t say no to things that our family and friends ask of us, because it’s “rebelling” and not very polite, even if it means giving up important things like health and our biggest dreams. We think that we should all stay at home, take care of the kids, cook food, because that is what the society expects us to do. We almost always think we are not good enough for that opportunity that lands our way. Oftentimes, we say no.

Get this, all of these examples are based from real experiences and stories that I had with friends and family. Hey, some of these are also my experiences. These thoughts are, sad to say, real. We think these things. We continuously tell our friends and family about wanting all of these things for yourself, but we hesitate to make things happen. We think we are not worth it. Just recently, I came across a single friend who finally gained independence, and I was telling her of all the beautiful and amazing things that she could do. She was going on and on though about it being the first time that she was all alone. I told her to stop sulking, because if it were me in her position, I would probably be traveling the world and making all of my dreams a reality.

When was the last time you have thought about YOU? You may be in your 20s, 30s, or even in your 40s, going through your daily routine, but is what your doing really that something that you have dreamed of doing? Have you been brave enough to say YES to opportunities that come your way? Have you loved yourself lately? Have you done things that you have always wanted to do without feeling guilty? Have you just enjoyed and lived?

As Basha from the movie One More Chance would say, I want to stop wondering “what if” I want to know “what is”.

If you haven’t thought about these things, you should. You are worth it.

 

P.S. My friends and I started a group of women who support each other in accomplishing their goals. Visit is at http://beautybizbliss.com and please do sign up!

 

 

 

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Web Hosting for your Blog 101

Rain reminds me of blogging. It’s raining again and in times like these, I love writing. Blogging really relaxes the hell out of me! haha! Create and start a blog, people! You won’t regret it. Don’t worry about the technical stuff. In fact, today, I will help you tackle on of the slightly technical things: web hosting. When you want to create a blog, one of the things that you need to look for is a web hosting provider. Web hosting is where you can store your blog. You don’t need manual servers! For those who want to know what web hosting is all about, here is a very interesting video. I love the very simple explanation!

Now, I’m sure you will want a step by step guide on how to set up your own web hosting for your blog. One of the hosting providers that I use is BLUEHOST. I use Bluehost because they have great customer service and they are reasonably priced. Today, I will share with you the simple steps that you need to go through when you want to have a web host for your blog.

So the first step is to click on this link to go to the Bluehost site: BLUEHOST WEBSITEOnce you arrive at their page, click on the green GET STARTED NOW BUTTON.

Bluehost 1

The page will then show you the different plans available. I suggest that you get the PRIME option if you are creating a website though for a business. If you have a business, this package already has SiteBackup Pro so that you don’t need to worry about backing up your site. If it’s a blog, the PLUS or the BASIC package will do.

Bluehost 2

After you have selected your plan, you can look for a domain name (this is free when you subscribe to BlueHost or key in the domain that you have already bought.

 

Bluehost 3

Click on next and it will ask you for your information. Just key in the information that BlueHost needs.

Bluehost 4

Key in your payment details and that’s it! You have already purchased web hosting for your blog.

If you have more questions, you can easily start a chat session when you click on the chat tab.

 

Bluehost 5

I hope I was able to show you how easy it is to set up hosting for your blog! Happy Blogging!

 

 

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It Takes a Village to Raise a Business

For parents, we are all familiar with this statement “It takes a village to raise a child”. I just had a thought the other day while having our weekly check-up meeting with Ideaspace (entity behind the acceleration program we are part of), that the same is true with businesses. We were talking about the value proposition of Taxumo (our startup). In the room, EJ (my husband and CEO), yours truly, Manny and Prim (mentors) and Dustin and Brenda (from Ideaspace) were all pitching ideas and sharing experiences to further solidify our VP, and it was nice to see that everyone was so involved! There was a moment when I stopped and looked at all of them, and thought it takes a village to raise a business, too!

It takes a village to raise a business.

For the longest time, I always thought that there wasn’t anything difficult about putting up a business. Once you overcome that fear and just start turning your concept into reality, it should be that easy. Basically, a business is just a great idea that we implement and that’s it. Making Manila Workshops successful even further strengthened my belief that it’s all about jumping and fast execution. Boy, was I wrong!

In the past year, I have grown leaps and bounds in terms of learning more about putting up a business, and this is because I was open to hearing from other people. There are a lot of things that I see and wished that I could have done better for Manila Workshops. The good thing though is that I could still adjust now and make everything better than how it was. And the other thing is that I could apply what I have learned with this new startup, Taxumo. To tell you honestly, I haven’t had this much clarity as to what I need to do with my business, and this clarity was because I never let anything pass me by (both good or negative inputs about the business).

But being open means also looking at the value of these things. As a startup founder, you need to decipher if these inputs are things that are valuable or things that are not. There are plethora of tools that were explained and given to me by mentors, by our classes,etc. and most of them are available online. These tools are mostly used for validating the need of the customer. The old me would have said, “Doesn’t this lead to analysis-paralysis?”, but since I have seen the value of this process and the value of each tool (from Business Canvas, to QFD, to the Kano model, to strat mapping and usability tests, etc.), I, together with the team, of course, go through each one. As a team, you should talk to each other and discuss what you think are the insights, tips and tools that would make sense for your business.

Being open to listen doesn’t really equate to action or reaction for most of us. For example, even if most of these are readily available online and even if we know that we need to talk to the customers, we are so preoccupied with the idea that our business idea is just so amazing that we think who would not want to purchase or use it? I have been a victim of this (lol!) — in a few business that I have started, which eventually failed. I learned my lesson the hard way, and by validating the need even before you launch it may be the wisest way to go, so that you don’t waste time and effort. You can not know your customer enough. Each day should be a day to look for new insights about the customer.

There is this article from Forbes Magazine that’s circulating the web and it’s the fact that only 10% of the startups make it. Sharing the article here: 90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10% This is a very good read!

Just wanted to share my thoughts on this, so go and talk to people. See what they think about your product. You’ll learn a lot from talking to the “villagers”.

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