It’s great to have a business. It’s challenging to be in entrepreneurship. In our country, we need more business people and entrepreneurs to provide more jobs, generate more output, and grow our economy. However, entering into business and entrepreneurship is not an easy task but rather it’s a tough job. In the Philippines, businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises, don’t have a long life expectancy. Most of them would fail in less than 5 years for several reasons. The following are some reasons why I think there are Filipinos who don’t succeed in business or entrepreneurship in our country.
1. They are not sincere in doing business. Passion and hobby is two different things, and we know that we need passion to succeed in business. When you are passionate in your business, you give your dedication to your business. You give most of your time to your business and you even make great sacrifices for it. Perhaps, a number of entrepreneurs misunderstand that hobby and passion are the same… but they’re not. You only give your extra time to a hobby, while you give full time and even beyond that time to your passion. Many Filipinos fail in business because they only consider their business as a hobby and not a serious business.
2. They don’t want to invest more money. People do business because they want to make money – so why spend more money if they are already making some money? Many business owners in our country don’t want to let go of their cash and take the risk of investing more in their business. Because of this, income opportunities leave them. This also causes them to ignore opportunities to grow or expand. And because they cannot grow, they are easily beaten by their competitors who are always expanding.
3. They are afraid to innovate and experiment. Another reason why there are Filipinos who fail in business is that they don’t want to invest more time for innovating and experimenting. To succeed in business, we have to think for the long term. We have to make our businesses and enterprises more competitive now and in the future. We have to adapt to the fast revolving business environment. Many business owners fail because they don’t want to actually try innovating their business, management and marketing strategies. For example, many businesses don’t survive the competition because they don’t give attention to online or Internet marketing. They don’t want to experiment on putting their business online through websites and social media.
4. They don’t stick to their business plan. We start a business because we have a plan, even though this plan is only written in our minds. For small business owners, they can still succeed in business even without a formal or detailed plan, as long as their plans are written in their hearts like a mission in life. However, some business owners only put their plans in documents and sometimes only their minds. This makes them easily forget their plans and abandon them when distractions come.
5. They overreact to problems. Business owners fail because they are more reactive than proactive. When problems and troubles come, they tend to blame other people or things instead of taking the responsibility to find immediate and permanent solutions. Unlike successful business owners and entrepreneurs who find problems as challenges, opportunities or blessings in disguise, these business people find problems as unfair events or bad lucks.
6. They don’t lead their workers. There are number of Filipino businessmen who fail in business because they cannot manage their people or employees well. They don’t learn the heart of management – leadership. Instead, they become too bossy causing their workers to lose motivation and their business organization to lose productivity.
7. They satisfy themselves first before their customers. To be in business is to be in service. To be in service, whether providing goods or skills, is to satisfy customers. Those who prioritize their own satisfaction (own profit) before the satisfaction of their customers usually fail to earn loyal and long-term customers – and this causes their business to only live for a short time. To achieve business success, you have to always enter into a win-win situation, that is, both your customers and you should actually be happy.
8. They don’t follow the rules. Laws and rules are everywhere. They are created to promote regulation and order. That is why whether you like it or not, you have to abide them. But still there are many Filipino business owners who don’t follow rules, like in business registration and taxation. Consequently, their businesses or companies are always subject to investigation, penalties, and sometimes closure.
9. They don’t know how to manage their personal finance. Business finance and personal finance should not be in a conflict with each other. There are Filipino business owners and entrepreneurs who mess up their business money by spending it on their personal needs, like using it to buy a car or expensive gadgets that are only for their personal use and aren’t useful to their business. The result? Their business becomes bankrupt.
10. They lack support from the government
I’m not being too pessimistic with the government. Let’s face the truth and look for the rooms for improvement. The reality is… the support needed by micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the government is still not enough to significantly boost their businesses. The bureaucratic red-tape is still imminent in the Philippine government agencies and many aspiring talented entrepreneurs are still far from getting financial aid that are guaranteed by the government.
This article aims to make more successful Filipino business owners and entrepreneurs, as well to make our nation more developed. Therefore, may this post be a source of self-reflection and self-learning towards success and progress for all of us.