Looking out my window here in BGC, I don’t see any movement. This enhanced community quarantine has turned this hustling and bustling place into a quiet and somewhat eerie neighborhood. Weirdly so, I miss seeing people and cars.

This got me thinking about the Auto Industry. How are businesses in this industry doing. Fortunately, Automart.ph, one of the startups in this environment is the hero of my feature today. Here is my interview with the founder of Automart.ph, Poch Ceballos.

Ginger: Hi Poch! Can you tell readers more about Automart.ph?

Poch: We sell used and repossessed cars at prices far cheaper than what you can get from most dealers and marketplaces. We follow a strict “no patong” or no premium over what the suppliers sell the units for, so you’re assured that you get the lowest rates possible always.

Poch Ceballos from Automart.ph

While buying a brand new car is always a nice goal – and the brand new smell can be intoxicating – it’s simply not a practical choice especially with a global recession looming. Automart.Ph has a lot of almost-new and very high quality cars, at around 30-50% lower prices vs brand new cars. That’s the practical way to go about it. We have branches and car lots in QC, Paranaque, Cebu and Davao.

Ginger: I agree with that during this time, it may be wise to really think about purchases and having this option from Automart.ph for buying cars is great. So tell us, why did you start your business? And what is your mission? 

Poch: Our mission is to provide Assets for All. We provide practical, low-cost options for Filipinos nationwide, especially for items that are normally very expensive, like cars.

Ginger: To give people insights on different business models out there, can you describe your business model?

Poch: We work with suppliers who need to sell cars and place their inventory on our site. In return, we get a small commission for every sale.

Ginger: So, Poch, everyone’s talking about the Pandemic. Can you share how was Automart.ph and you as a founder impacted by this pandemic both or either positively or negatively? Were you also impacted by the Enhanced Community Quarantine? 

Poch: Our folks are doing study-from-home, and we’re upskilling them so that once we’re ready to go back to work, they’ll have more and better skills.

Ginger: I love companies who give high regard for their employees. How about your company? How can people help you moving forward? What kind of help are you looking for? 

Poch: I’d love to encourage and ask them to buy used and repossessed cars from us, instead of brand new. It’s cheaper, kinder to the environment since nothing new is produced.

Ginger: Because of the things happening now, what changes will you be implementing in your business? 

Poch: We might be trading down – selling even lower-priced cars than before. We’ll also be working with more partners who need help disposing of their added inventory.

Ginger: To end this interview, Poch, what are the business lessons that you have learned from this? 

Poch: You must be able to weather sudden downturns – have enough reserves if possible, and be kind to your employees. If you can have them work from home or study from home, do so.

Ginger: Thank you so much and more power to Automart.ph.

For those interested in collaborating or purchasing, please visit: https://automart.ph

Facebook: https://facebook.com/automartph

Instagram: https://instagram.com/automartph

Thanks for reading these SME and local business features!

P.S. Please follow https://www.facebook.com/groups/BounceBackPH/ to see how you can support the Philippines.

P.P.S. Please follow #BounceBackforBusiness #GInspiration #GoLocalPH for more Local SME and Professional stories that we can support!

P.P.S. If you want to be featured next, please visit this link https://mommyginger.com/smes-and-professionals-unite-during-this-time-of-crisis.html

There are more and more people that work from home. And this is not just because government has mandated or suggested that people work from home at this time. Even before this, we had a lot of freelancers and online digital workers who work from the comfort of their own home. There are approximately 1.5 million freelancers who work online as virtual assistants, writers, tutors, etc.

So for this particular segment, not much has changed in terms of the working habits that they have.

I’ve been an advocate of professionalizing this industry and I love the Filipino freelancing community. I, too, have been freelancing (also was a full-time freelancer for a time) continuously since 2010. I just focused less on it when I decided to put up my own business back in 2013.

With this, there are a lot of tips that we can actually get from the people in this community. So feel free to follow the them by joining different freelancing groups on Facebook.

For today, I thought of giving you some things that you can try out a home. So just to give you a background of what I do, I’m currently running a SaaS tech company with my husband. I also have an events based business. I am and have been a professional blogger since 2008 and I’m also a mom to a little girl.

So fo the tips that I’ll share with you today, I personally and obviously do and follow these things. As a mompreneur, I juggle a lot of things so these may be applicable to moms and dads who are reading these, too. Some of them are even probably shared by a lot of productivity gurus, but I’ll try as much as possible to share my personal experience together with these tips.

I wake up at least an hour before my first task (in my case, it’s usually an online call for daily syncs with different departments of my business).

Lying on the bed for an additional hour or so is such great temptation, especially if you’re not used to working at home. I can’t stress the importance of following a daily routine and building a habit from that. From what I have experience personally is that if I don’t follow a routine and just go through the motions and follow how I feel on a daily basis, I feel depressed after a few days. That feeling came from thoughts like “what’s the ‘plan’ for my life?”, “why am I so unhealthy? or I feel so unhealthy!”or “How can I be so incompetent and unproductive?”. And when you’re in that state, it’s harder (at least for me) to get up and grab that rhythm again.

I track all of my tasks, online calls/meeting using Google Calendar

What I’ve noticed when you’re working from home, you easily lose track of time and easily get distracted. I have had a few times that I was late to online calls, because I was doing something with my daughter or watching a video online that suddenly caught my attention. So my tip would be to have all of these calls in an online calendar that you can track and set notifications so that it pops out on your screen.

Also, I keep different kinds of Calendars. You can go to the lower left of your screen and add your own calendar. You can even share this calendar with other people.

Eat a tech-free meals.

To be honest with you, eating for me is more of fuel to get me through the day rather than an activity by itself that I enjoy. So usually, it takes me less than 15 minutes to finish a meal. Working from home even cut this time into half. I’m done eating in under 10 minutes. My husband is the total opposite though and he loves having a good meal. He actually taught me how to enjoy eating and be present while eating.

We also made this rule at home to leave gadgets in our work / study area when we would go for a meal. I’ve noticed that having a tech free meal encourages conversation with the family, and we get to talk to each other (and I mean really talk… as compared to us “sort of” listening to each other). So this is actually one thing that I encourage you to do. Have a quiet meal time (when you live alone) or have conversations with your loved ones.

Exercise, peeps!

Working from home mean that you have limited space to move around (no pantry area or a workmates to go to). You should move and get blood flowing through your body. I would see a lot of IG stories of videos of people who work out, and they’re all so glamorous and nice looking. But don’t let that stop you from exercising. You don’t have to look fab, before start working out. Exercising is not just for fit people or people who would normally go to the gym. You don’t have to do burpees, 3 minute planks or 10 push ups at home.

If you’re just starting out this whole relationship with fitness, start by just stretching. A simple routine that I personally do is the following:

  • Crawl to plank (10 times)
  • Stay in Plank position (try to stay for 10 seconds than gradually increase time)
  • Jog in place for 1 minute or Jumping Jacks
  • Air squats (10 times)
  • Air Jabs – Front (alternate at 20 times)
  • Air jabs – Twist to the side (alternate at 20 times)
  • Cruches – 10 times

It’s important also that you encourage your kids to workout, too and to move and stay active.

Fix your files in your computer and sync it with a cloud storage facility

Most of us, including me, know where to find things even if our desktop and document folders are a mess. But I recently fixed all of my folders and had time to fix my files that are stored in Google drive, too, and I feel and I “think” I am more productive.

Having a cleaner desktop leads you to find files faster. I recently just used the Use Stacks feature of my Mac. It basically, stacks in one pile all of the same kind of files based on how you sort it. Super cool! My desktop is so clean now.

Make it a point to learn something new everyday!

What I like about reading a chapter of a book or going through 1-2 sessions of an online course is that I feel like I did something “substantial” for the day.

I take down notes every time I go through sessions or when I read a chapter of a book. I store it in an online tool also. You can also use a notebook if you like writing using a pen and paper. What I use is my Notepad that syncs to iCloud. My notes sync in all my devices, so I get to access it everywhere I go.

I hope this list helps you.

One of the people that I follow is Thomas Frank. I usually watch his YouTube videos.

If you want to check out his course on Skillshare, here is a link to a free 2 month subscription:

https://skl.sh/gingerarboleda

I highly recommend that you look for these two courses.

You can experiment on it these different things that I mentioned, combine it with what you have learned in Skillshare, and try it out. Some tips may work for some and might not work for others. The important thing is you try to find what will help you work happily from home.

Let me know if you have questions on productivity or how to be productive while working from home. I’ll be glad to reply.

Love,

P.S. Here are some other articles that you may want to read:

Please visit the blogs below!

This blog post is part of Mommy Bloggers Philippines Blog Hop

Hope you will learn more tips from the moms to keep your mental and emotional health in check during this COVID 19 crisis. 

18 P’s You Need During This COVID-19 Pandemic by Certified WAHM

5 Ways To Fight Stress During The COVID-19 Outbreak by MumWrites

God is Bigger than COVID-19 by Tipid Mommy

5 Ways to Keep Your Sanity During COVID-19 by Mommy Mhownai

How a Positive Mindset Alleviates Anxiety During the COVID -19 Crisis by All Around Pinay Mama

Life in the Time of COVID by Hits and Mrs Ph

Community Quarantine + Oratio Imperata by MajLife

Pause, Praise and Pray by Tweenselmom

During situations like this, I’ve noticed that a lot of people flock to get news and information on Viber and other chat-based channels. Johanson Dy Cheng, the founder of www.entrepnegosyo.com and www.emarket.com.ph, is using his community to help others in this time of crisis.

Johan founded these websites to help share general and specific information regarding business and commerce needed by up-and-coming young entrepreneurs. These avenues for learning is not only a simple and
necessary networking tool, it also serves as a communication link for already well established and successful businessmen and tycoons, whether local or international.

About the Founder

Johan graduated from Jubilee Christian Academy in 1996 and from De La Salle University- College of Saint Benilde in 2000, with a Bachelor of Science degree, major in Industrial Design.

He is no stranger to hard work as values like this were passed on to him from parents and family that handles various business endeavors. He was an academically gifted student, and was chosen as one of the select industrial design delegates sent by his school to the Industrial Design Forum held in Sydney, Australia from 1999 to 2000 under the umbrella of the Biennial Congress of International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
When he graduated in 2000, he was conferred as one of the Ten Most Outstanding Student Leaders of all school organizations with the COPS Bahaghari Award of De La Salle University.

While in college at the De La Salle University, he was cited and included five times in the Dean’s List.

His professional career spans both the private and volunteer sectors. His work in the private sector began immediately after his graduation from college, when he joined the family-owned House of Accessories, where
he assisted in handling inquiries and purchasing of products from different Asian countries. During this time, he was working simultaneously as a bank trainee with China Banking Corporation in the year 2000, focusing on the analysis of financial statements of companies obtaining loans.

For the next 13 years, he worked for the banking industry’s giants. Among them were Standard Chartered Bank from 2000-2005. He was pirated from by Citibank from 2005 to 2010, where he rose from the ranks of trainee to Customer Relationship Manager. All the experiences he accumulated during his days in banking prepared him for entrepreneurship.

About EntrepNegosyo

In 2005, Johanson started EntrepNegosyo, an information gateway intended for the Philippine business community. It provided business news, bulletins, research and technology advancements that helped promote entrepreneurship literacy. His aim was to create global impact by empowering young Filipino entrepreneurs to be leaders, and taking the initiative in finding community solutions.

A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he envisioned EntrepNegosyo to be a universal portal where start-up companies could utilize shared resources from partners across the globe. To date, EntrepNegosyo has
more than 5,000 start-up subscribers as well as Small and Medium Industries (SMEs) taking advantage of its easy-to-use portal.

On his EntrepNegosyo Facebook site, Johan has created a dynamic meeting ground that allows its voluminous membership to expand their businesses while networking with one another, through active social media interaction. Relevant and valuable daily business advice and bulletins are part of the EntrepNepsyo’s regular menu, as well as inspirational talks from featured speakers. His work today allows young Filipino entrepreneurs the information and support to start, to grow, to network and to succeed in their chosen business endeavors through direct exposure to the working opportunities offered in his two social media sites.

By pioneering this online Philippine business community page for Filipino entrepreneurs, Cheng was able to pursue his passion for web and industrial design. Johan considers it a rare opportunity to work at something that he is very passionate for. Apart from this, Johanson has also involved himself in several other ventures: As social media and business development head of Philip Leonard Furniture; as Vice-President for Business Information Technology at Real Estate HUB, LLC; and as Sales Representative at AutoKid Group of Companies. Johan’s career in the volunteer sector began in 2000, when he joined Junior Chamber International (JCI) Manila. Here he further honed his leadership abilities, becoming chairman for different standing committees. He was soon an invaluable, eager member, driven by his innate desire to be of assistance to everyone.

Johan’s Working Dream

It was during his years as a member of JCI Manila that he found his second calling —that of spending much of his time in humanitarian aid and development, onsite rescue and relief operations. He also found himself in resource mobilization for healthcare delivery. He assisted also in bolstering capacities of existing outposts for basic services.

He was drawn most to caring for children with disabilities, having realized that it was the most marginalized and ignored groups of children today, most especially those afflicted with cerebral palsy. It was then that he
decided to pursue a lifelong mission of uplifting the lives of children with disabilities in the Philippines by creating awareness, educating stakeholders and providing appropriate opportunities for development and a better life.

He started his spiritual ministry at a very early age, actively serving as a volunteer for the Christian Bible Church of the Philippines in his local community at Talayan Village, in Quezon City. A devout Christian, he has
since worked closely with various parishes and charitable institutions, including continuing support for the Christ Commission Fellowship composed by lay men and women who share God’s love and the Gospel.

Today, much of his ministry has been devoted to children with disabilities. He has made this his life’s work, going to hospitals to visit and pray with patients daily after work. He will usually take with him his friends from church and colleagues from JCI Manila to provide comfort and hope to the seriously ill.

Johan is like the “energizer bunny,” never running out of energy to do whatever he can in a day which seems to be lacking in hours for this workaholic who detests holidays. Johan seems to have mastered time
management to perfection. He sleeps only three to four hours daily as he always is on the go whenever he is called. He spends a lot of his time meeting with his “Golden Heart” team in looking for ways to further reach out to more children.

Can you describe your business model? How can you earn? 

Johan earns through domain reselling and through the e-commerce platform.

How were you impacted by this pandemic? How were you impacted by the Enhanced Community Quarantine? 

At this time, Johan says that there is no chance to do social networking and business networking. He would like to get the word out that SMEs can use the platforms that he has to promote their businesses.

How can people help you moving forward? What kind of help are you looking for? 

He wishes that people can share his websites to all business owners: www.entrepnegosyo.com and www.emarket.com.ph

Because of the things happening now, what changes will you be implementing in your business? 

He plans to add an online payment gateway so that people can pay online.

What are the business lessons that you have learned from this? 

Johan says that we need to educate people and businesses on having a contingency plan on how to earn online.

Spread the word about these two sites that can help local businesses:

www.entrepnegosyo.com

www.emarket.com.ph

Thanks for continuously reading my stories on local businesses!

P.S. Please follow https://www.facebook.com/groups/BounceBackPH/ to see how you can support the Philippines.

P.P.S. Please follow #BounceBackforBusiness #GInspiration #GoLocalPH for more Local SME and Professional stories that we can support!

P.P.S. If you want to be featured next, please visit this link https://mommyginger.com/smes-and-professionals-unite-during-this-time-of-crisis.html

Summer is the perfect time for swimming lessons. Usually, during these months, local business Swim Central Inc. earns from corporate clients who want to offer these classes as an extra curricular activity for their employees. They also earn from individuals who sign up for themselves for beach season and to send their kids for these classes.

But since the pandemic hit different countries and the Philippine government mandated a complete shut down of Metro Manila, not a lot of Filipinos are enrolling (for obvious reasons).

Beginnings of Swim Central

Swim Central was started by Coach Mark Christopher Santiago, a freelance and part time swimming instructor. He started this way back in June 2012 while still having a full time job. His love for swimming later escalated to the desire of sharing with others the fulfilling experience and benefits of swimming, specifically to the young professionals.

With proper training, mentorship and research, he was able to establish a system on how to teach swimming to young adults in an efficient approach made easy and fun.

In the past years, Swim Central has been continuously growing and expanding as Coach Mark trains new swimming coaches so they can serve more young adults and teach them the proper way of swimming and enjoy the benefits it could give.

Impact of COVID-19

When asked how COVID-19 affected their business, Coach Mark mentions that there are a few swimming lessons now considering this should be their peak season.

I asked Coach Mark these three important things:

How can people help you moving forward? What kind of help are you looking for? 

Coach Mark hopes those who already enrolled for swimming lessons and wasn’t able to push through with their scheduled sessions due to this quarantine season will still continue their journey to dive into the lifestyle of swimming after this health threat dies down.

He and his team hope the swimming enthusiasts we have in our community and their alumni would rally behind them to actively promote the lifestlye of swimming for a healthy and active Filipino community.

Because of the things happening now, what changes will you be implementing in your business?

He said that he will create new strategies in ushering more students for Swim Central even after summer. He also plans to strengthen existing offers of Swim Central merchandise like SC Shirts and venture to personal swimming apparels that students can use during their actual swimming lessons.

What are the business lessons that you have learned from this? 

Coach Mark said that a business should increase their emergency fund threshold. He says that thankfully they have a fund. But somehow on “worse case scenarios” and unforeseen circumstances such as non operation for a month (like this one), there should be an increase in the minimum requirement hereon.

Please support Swim Central by checking out and following these links:

http://www.swimcentral.com.ph

https://facebook.com/swimcentralph

Let’s support local businesses!

P.S. Please follow https://www.facebook.com/groups/BounceBackPH/ to see how you can support the Philippines.

P.P.S. Please follow #BounceBackforBusiness #GInspiration #GoLocalPH for more Local SME and Professional stories that we can support!

The effect of the corona virus (COVID-19) won’t be just on people’s health, but it will have an effect on the world’s economy and people’s mental health. Here is a good podcast of the World Economic Forum that you can follow:

The International Labor Organization also mentions that the COVID-19 Pandemic will result to approximately 25 Million people who will lose their jobs: https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_738742/lang–en/index.htm

Regardless of how huge the effects will be, what we know is that the Corona Virus will definitely impact all of these. Given the uncertainty of things and the future, I’d like to believe that the strength of each one of us collectively will help us weather through a crisis like this.

In our country, the Bayanihan spirit of the Philippines shines through in times like these. A lot of negativity and fake news have circled the internet, and a few people talk about the help that’s going around. I’ve been seeing a lot of people and groups stepping up though to help certain segments of society. An example is that the freelancing community that I’m a part of have been teaching employees how to effectively work from home. What’s interesting that speakers were from different professions and had different backgrounds.

I think we can all do our share to focus and promote the good things happening in our community.

This morning, when I woke up, I wondered how “in my own little way” as a blogger could I be able to help the people in times like this. My heart (as you all would know since I always talk about it) really goes out to business owners, professionals and freelancers who are affected by this crisis. The SMEs in the Philippines also make up 61.6% of the country’s employement (source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/01/03/helping-msmes-grow/). If they are negatively affected, their could be a huge hit on our country’s employment rate.

As I read all of the comments in Jason Dela Rosa’s Facebook Group Bounce Back PH, I thought of running articles and features from tomorrow onwards on different Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) whose businesses have been affected by the Corona Virus and the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

I think all these local businesses need all the support that they can get from all of us.

If you know a business which needs help, please share this form with them. I’ll be happy to write about them in the following days.

For all the articles about these local businesses and SMEs, I will share links at MommyGinger’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mommyginger/

Hope you can read about them and support them! Have a great day!

P.S. Please read my previous article on the Effects of the Enhanced Community Quarantine and Corona Virus on small businesses: https://mommyginger.com/short-and-long-term-effects-of-enhanced-community-quarantine-to-smes.html