Posts Tagged ‘zerocap’

My wife and I used to live in a condo unit when we were newly married. At first, the condo was pretty spacious and needed some furniture so we got a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, then gifts would come from friends and family on special occasions and over time the stuff we had would pile up. I remember one time feeling claustrophobic already, I literally couldn’t breathe anymore and no matter how many times we would donate, or purge we would feel that the condo was magically getting smaller and smaller.

Now this is not because we keep buying stuff, we actually live (then and now) a very simple life. We do not buy anything we do not need and we donate and “purge” regularly, the fact is everyone will eventually have more “stuff” over time. This is what I call “the power of accumulation” and what I wanted to share with you today is how I use this power in businesses. And how you too can build something small first then slowly, over time, accumulate not just “stuff” but wealth.

Before I start, I’m sure you are thinking right now: “I can’t start a business yet, I don’t know anything about businesses”. So I want to let you know one powerful truth:

“Everyone starts at ZERO.”

Every successful business owner starts by not knowing much about business. Sure, some of them might have studied about starting a business whether in college, grad school, books and even through seminars. And I wholeheartedly believe in education, but let me tell you another powerful truth:

“Experience is the best teacher of all”.

Let me explain further. If I were to tell a 5 year old child to stay away from the stove because he/she might get burned, then show the child pictures of what a burn looks like and tell her that it is very, very painful then the child has been educated on how not to get burned right?

Now, the child will listen to you…for a while that is.  But when you are not looking and the stove is on, chances are, the child will still go near the stove and accidentally burn her hand anyway. Because the child needs to fulfill her curiosity on what the word “burn” is and understand what you meant about how painful it can really be. Now, the moment she gets hurt and realizes that she never wants to get burned again, she has gained experience.

Likewise, the best way to learn about business is to experience doing business and find out first hand what it is like to go through the pains and gains of being in business.

So are you ready to gain experience and accumulate businesses? Alright then here’s the simple formula / plan that you must start doing now to start accumulating wealth through businesses: “S+R+A” = Power of Accumulation

S = “Start small”

There are many ways to start a business, but my method is the one that you can do right now. First off, know that no one can ever be sure if a business will succeed or not. So, common sense would dictate that you start small. If you have a small business already, good! If you don’t, then start one now by starting a sideline or racket. If you need some suggestions on creating a business without adding any costs, go to my blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com and search this phrase: “Money Management Simplified Part 3”. In that article are two incredibly simple ways to start a small sideline business with Zero Costs. I would also suggest that you read the whole series (parts 1 to 3) to learn how to manage your money for businesses.

As my readers already know, when I start businesses I start them with Zero costs, to me that is the ultimate way of starting small.

R = “Remain Small”

When I start a small business, and it becomes a success, I do not hire a lot of people, I keep it small and manageable. But I do something “special” inside the business to make it even more profitable. I call it “Multiple Streaming”. It’s a technique that I teach in my 7 point formula seminar. What Multiple Streaming does is that it takes an ordinary sideline or racket and it “doubles” the income streams of that business every year. Now, if I increase my income stream per business and keep my staff small and manageable, the business becomes a lot more profitable even without becoming too big. Why do I like keeping my businesses small? Well, lots of reasons but the most important reason is that small businesses can move a lot faster than bigger businesses and the relationship between the customers, the staff and me are more direct and personal, no red tape.

A = “Accumulate”

Now, once my small business’ income stream stabilizes. I do it all over again with the same process, I start another small business, then I “Multiple Stream it” until profitable, then add another when ready. I simply keep adding small, profitable businesses over time that accumulate into true wealth. Imagine money coming in from multiple sources — when you wake up, when you are asleep, when you are eating, when you are on vacation. It’s an incredible feeling I assure you.

“The Power of Accumulation”

So going back to the introduction of this article when my wife and I started out in a small condominium, the fact is, you will always accumulate more “stuff” no matter what. So I learned to apply this incredible power into businesses and instead of the awful feeling of Claustrophobia, I achieve something else- “freedom from financial worry”. So now, you too can accumulate more wealth by just following the simple plan that I just outlined for you and of course gaining as much experience in the process. All the best! Good luck and God bless!

Author box:

Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader, marketer, sales consultant, and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila. Mr. So is slated to conduct his “7 Point Formula Seminar” this July 31, 2010. If you are interested in attending this seminar, email Mark directly at markso@zerocapitalclub.com. To read more of Mark’s interesting and life enriching articles you can go to his blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com

Advertisements

(Continued from last week’s article… if you have not yet read Part 1, please click here)

One month before I met my wife, I started to work and turn my troubled business around. So I did what I should’ve done a long time ago, I fired my non-producing General Manager and her cohort but kept one staff who was loyal to me.  That reduced my costs tremendously. I could now afford to pay that one staff to continue to chase after the deals that we were supposed to close and I could start to pay off the debt that had piled up.

But cutting costs wasn’t enough.  I needed to get more sales in so that I could get out of debt faster.  So I made a few phone calls and I was referred to a person who could probably help.  I called and arranged a meeting with the person and she mentioned that she would introduce me to her business partner so that we can discuss the matter thoroughly.  I did not know it at that time, but the business partner was destined to be my wife.

When I first met my wife Jhoanna, I was immediately attracted to her. She was radiant, elegant, beautiful, and little did I know then, a genius. After a minute or two of introductions, I explained what I thought would be the best deal ever and handed her a 2 page proposal.  After looking through it, she simply said: “Your deal doesn’t make any sense for us to get into it.” Bam! I thought I had the deal in the bag, where did that left hook come from?

Although the deal did not push through as planned, my wife made me realize one of the most important traits a successful entrepreneur should have. And that was to think about action and results, not fluff. You see the deal that I was proposing was to outsource 100% of the work of my company to them and I would take 70% while they got 30%. And how I went about pitching the deal to them was with nothing more than charm and fluffy words. My wife saw right through that and showed me with her matter of fact statement that handsome and charming I may be, that would get me nowhere. A lesser man would have just walked away, but not me.  I got even more attracted to her. She gave me another reason to turn the business around.

Well, back to the drawing board I told myself. The one staff I had kept was making little progress, there was still NO income, and the debt was still piling up. I had to do something more drastic.

Now at that time, Jhoanna and I were already dating and she became my sounding board, business advisor and more importantly, my source of strength.

One of the most crucial ideas that she gave me during those times was to get a “virtual office” to lessen my operating costs yet make my company still professional looking.  A virtual office is a business center service where you pay a minimal fee to rent the office address including the phone line and a receptionist without actually staying in that office.  With my wife’s help (she called up all the virtual offices in town and got me the best deal), I got one that charged only Php900 per month.

Armed with this solution, I decided to let go of my Makati office and phone lines to save more on costs. I made a deal with my staff to let her bring home the computer and printer and to use her home phone temporarily. I would pay for half of the phone bill and whatever excess electricity she would consume because she’d be working from home.  She agreed.

Interestingly, the Virtual Office was the key to getting our first client in. This was the next crucial lesson my wife had taught me about business:  You need to package yourself well. Perception is key. The Virtual Office allowed me to look extremely professional, yet lessen my overhead.

On our calling card was printed:

Office Address: …West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road Ortigas, Center Pasig City, 1605 Philippines.

Phone: (632) 6873416; Fax: (632)6874645

I instructed my staff to call all our prospects and inform them that we were moving to a better office. When my staff started calling our prospects telling them that exact line and of course our office address and phone numbers, guess what?  Most of the prospects’ reactions were very positive and that immediately increased their perception of us.  In fact, one of the comments that my staff relayed to me was “Wow you guys must be doing really well, because that address is expensive”.  Little did they know that it only cost me P900 / month!

And sure enough, after a couple of weeks, we closed our first major deal. It was for a Million Pesos Gross and that was the first sigh of relief I had in 10 months. Finally, the business was turning around.

The projects were now coming in, and in the next 6 months, we had recovered 90% of the losses which was truly remarkable. However, I was still not making any money at that time from the business, I was still in debt and for some reason, I could not pay it off. Now this is where my wife truly helped me out. The turn-around of the business was just a small victory for the real problem that had to be fixed was my unhealthy attitude about money which my wife, through tough love, patience and practicality taught me to turn around as well.  (To be concluded next Sunday, Nov 15, 2009)

Mark So is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy.  A sought-after Business Trainer & Consultant, he has taught thousands of people practical insights and strategies to win in business.  On November 14, he is scheduled to conduct his signature seminar on Capital Raising and Cashflow Management.  For more information, you may contact Tel Nos. 6874445, 6874645, 6873416 or visit www.businessmaker-academy.com or www.zerocapitalclub.com.

Manila Bulletin:  BIZMAKER Column – By Mark H. So – October 11, 2009

During countless business seminars that I’ve conducted since 2003, one of the most common concerns of people in starting a business is about the risks involved and the fear of failing. A very valid concern indeed, one which to the inexperienced is incredibly intimidating and very limiting to a person’s full potential.

So in this article I’m going to explain in very practical terms how entrepreneurs like me beat failure every single time. Let me take you now to one of my seminars and I want you to imagine that I’m talking directly to you with a calm, soothing, and handsome voice.

“My friend, let’s talk about why you are afraid of failing, (Tell me if you can relate)

  •       Is it because you are afraid of losing the money that you worked very hard to save up for?
  •       Are you afraid of all the horror stories that your friends tell you about business?
  •       Is it because you have tried it yourself and almost lost everything you’ve got?
  •       Is it something else?

If you answered yes to one or even all of these questions, let me tell you now that you are not alone. Millions of people all over the world feel exactly the same way. Do you know that 95% of start up businesses fail in the first 5 years, and then for those who survive, another 95% may also end up failing in the next 5 years? (This isn’t exactly encouraging I know but continue reading as I assure you it’s worth your time).

Let me tell you the number one reason why the 95% fail, it’s because they’ve never really discovered the true secret of an Entrepreneur. And that secret is not talent, it’s not  just connections or customers, and it’s definitely not about capital or the lack thereof…It’s something far more basic — It’s about knowing how to totally eliminate the  risks right from the start.

Repeat after me:You can never fail if you have nothing to lose in the first place.

Now let me explain in very practical terms what I mean by this (Please feel free to write down some notes). Okay, let’s first quantify what failure really means. 99% of failure in business is about losing the money you put in, correct? And the 1% is about losing face or a deflated ego. So let’s talk about the 99% or losing money. Many, many times people put way too much emphasis in having start up capital first (I discussed why this is wrong in my article in Manila Bulletin last Sept 23 – How to Make Money with Zero Capital). And the problem is, most of the time people put in capital that they can never really afford to lose.

So what happens, if the business closes up? They’ve lost the money and most of the time, end up devastated. Is there a better way you ask? Yes and it’s far more simple than you think.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if there is a way to start it without putting in any money first? This is called starting with Zero Capital. If your answer is “Yes” then proceed with your money making venture, and if the business closes up, did you really fail? Not at all, you might experience a deflated ego or hurt pride, but that is really nothing if you think about it. Again, you can never fail if you have nothing to lose to begin with.

Now, if the business really needs start-up capital, like a coffee shop or a grocery where you need to invest some money into it, then ask yourself 2 simple questions:

1.)    How much money am I willing to put into this business?; and

2.)    Am I willing to lose this money if ever the business does not succeed?

Now if you come up with a peso figure to the first question and say “yes” to the second question, then congratulations, right there and then you have beaten failure yet again.

Now if you answered “No” to the second question then go back to question number 1, ask yourself how much money are you willing to put into this business that you are willing to lose.  Repeat this as many times as possible until you get the answer.

So now you ask— if this is the only amount that I will put in, then I can’t start the business yet…what do I do? Should I get a loan to cover the difference? No, not even close, the first answer I’ll give you is simple and uses common sense – If you cannot afford it, then scale down the business that you want to get into. Just learn to modify your plans a little bit so that it fits your budget.

Okay, so that answer is not going to stop you right?  In your mind, you adamantly say “ I want to put up a coffee shop even if I cannot afford it”.  You are head strong and stubborn I’ll give you that, but I will also tell you that’s the spirit and here’s what you should do:

Learn how to get Capital without getting into Debt. This is called learning how to raise capital using some technical know.

Is that even possible? Of course it is. I teach this in my Capital Raising and Cash Flow Management Class where I share what I have done successfully and it’s not just something you read from a book. Life has taught me well and the lesson I am sharing with you is a jewel that I picked up a few years back.

Now I’m not yet finished with our one on one discussion. This is just the start of our journey together, what I’d like you to do now is to continue reading my future articles in Manila Bulletin every Sunday in the Classifieds section (usually C or D section). If you have missed my previous articles, you can always come back here and leave a comment. Talk soon and more success to you.

Mark So is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy.  A sought-after Business Trainer, he has taught thousands of people practical insights and strategies to win in business.  On October 17 and 24, he is scheduled to conduct the ZERO CAPITAL BUSINESS WORKSHOP, a two-day intensive seminar with four one-on-one coaching and consultancy sessions to help you get started in business.  For more information, you may contact Tel Nos. 6874445, 6874645, 6873416 or visit www.zerocapitalclub.com.

Money can get really tight when you are looking for a job and sometimes, even when you already have a job!  But the good news is, you can start your own business and create extra income almost immediately with ZERO CAPITAL whether you are currently employed or not.  So, are you ready to take in the secrets that I will share today?  Read closely.

You Don’t Need Money to Make Money

I was interviewed for a TV show hosted by Bishop Chito Tagle on ABC 5 and the theme of the show was “Entrepreneurship for nation building in the Philippines”. In the course of the interview, I was asked how someone can start a business when they have no money. To this I replied, “I think a lot of people have it backwards, the reason why you will go into business in the first place is because you don’t have a lot of money to begin with.”

I got a quizzical and interested look when I said this and the host asked me to elaborate further, so I replied: “In business, you do not need capital, you need customers. If you have capital but no customers, you are not in business, but if you have customers, even with no capital, then you ARE in business and you can make money”

The Zero Capital Method

Let me share with you some insights for making money without money, I call it THE ZERO CAPITAL METHOD which is really about starting your own profitable business, sideline or racket—with nothing (okay, less than a thousand pesos if you really want to be strict about it) and I don’t mean getting a loan or a hand out from your parents or relatives.

With the Zero Capital Method, you can immediately make extra money whether you are aspiring to become an entrepreneur, looking for a job or already have a job but just want extra income.  So without further ado, here are my no-nonsense learning principles and action must-do’s based on what I and my business teams do to start Zero Capital Businesses.

1. Erase from your heads that it takes money to make money – This saying is not for Entrepreneurs but for Investors. There is a big difference between the two: Entrepreneurship is about making money from nothing, Investing is about growing your money.

Page 1/3

2. Understand the true meaning of Capital. We loosely associate the word capital with Money. There are many other forms of capital that is not related to money but with the right plan can be made into money and a successful business. These are:

  1. Talent / Skill Capital – Do you have a marketable talent or skill in something? Write it down and make your list as long as possible
  2. Experience Capital – Do you have sought after experience in something? Think about how you can use that to start a business.
  3. Social Capital – Do you have any Influential connections in your network whom you can tap (not to give you capital) but to open doors for you?
  4. Time Capital – Do you have time? Time can be made into a business.
  5. Solution Capital – Do you have Solutions to everyday problems?
  6. Ownership Capital – Do you own everyday, useful equipment or property  that you can make money with?

3. Learn how to market and sell these forms of capital with ZERO Costs. The purest form of business is when you are able to sell. The sweetest form of selling is if you are able to do it without any upfront costs! If selling is not for you, partner with someone who does it well and work out a “Commission-Based-Zero-Cash-Out” arrangement.

4. Learn to negotiate. If you are used to bargain hunting and haggling in Divisoria, then this should be second nature for you. If you do not know how to negotiate, you must learn. – This is a non-negotiable. How? Go to divisoria with an experienced bargain hunter / negotiator, make a goal to buy something that you need at 50% of the asking price. If not successful, repeat until you are.

5. Learn to manage your money. In business, you can start with zero capital but you don’t want to end up with zero profits.  When you generate money, don’t spend it all on useless (non-profit generating) expenses.  Learn how to separate business and personal transactions using financial and tracking tools.

6. Learn from experience, or at least someone with experience to guide you and shorten the time to get to your goal. Do not get advice from people who have not done what you want to do and just tell you why it won’t work. Do not get advice from people who are not successful because you don’t want to end up like them. You want to end up like someone who has been down this road and who has succeeded.

Now, these 6 pointers are just the beginning of a very exciting road ahead. It is not for everyone.  But if you truly want to start making extra money now, there is no need to wait any further. All you need to do is ACT ON IT.

———————————————————————————————————-

Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center and the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila.  A sought after speaker for business and forex, he is scheduled to conduct his signature workshop “Zero Capital Business” on October 17 and 24, 2009.  To know more about workshop, you may visit www.zerocapitalclub.com and www.businessmaker-academy.com or call (632)6874645.  You may email your comments and questions to:   markso@zerocapitalclub.com