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Getting A Business Idea Off The Ground

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You must’ve already gone through a similar scenario in your life wherein you were once filled with so much hope for a goal, only to be disheartened by the means to get there. Well, life doesn’t really grant fast passes to worthwhile triumphs.

Same goes for the business realm. To turn a concept into something concrete, you must have the drive to get it done, the patience for its long hours of effectuation, and of course, the willingness to execute.

Now, this is going to sound really simple – and it is going to be simple – but it’s not going to be easy. Before moving from the idea stage to the creation of a profitable business, all you have to do is, when the passion becomes a force too strong to be reckoned with, begin.

Go from there.

In your journey, take the following notes along:

Are You Offering A Solution?

If you can ask the question “is this a solution to a problem?” to yourself and hear or feel a voice in you that says “yes!” in the most rigid tone possible, then you’re off to a great start. Some of the most successful and progressive businesses have this part in the prologues of their success stories.

Sara Blakely, for example, once prepared for a party only to realize that her white pants were telling her that she didn’t have the right undergarment to smoothen its look. Her business idea then (and her thriving business now) was given birth to when she decided to cut the feet off her control top pantyhose. Voila! The roots of SPANX by Sara Blakely, a shop for slimming intimates, body shapers, and the latest innovations in shapewear for both men and women.

Another success story is of digital fitness app FitOn CEO and founder Lindsay Cook, who, while working as a busy vice president, realized the rough chances of her hitting her favorite studio classes. Although online workouts were present, the quality and motivation just seemed lacking. As a result, the app was conceived.

Who Will Use Your Products/Services?

You will need a sizeable customer base if you want your offerings to stand the test of time. Who will benefit from your product? What will make your prospective customers lean to your products instead of your competition? Learn from your competitors’ marketing strategies and channels to inspire your business plan.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

This goes from a broad market to your specific target. Sure, you can offer a product that could capture the interest of a wide audience, but not everyone will be loyal to that.

Some will only be there for their curiosity. To solve that, determine which of your audience will mostly develop a sweet spot for your offer. There are things to consider, like demographics, psychographics, and even the location you’re planning to set up your business.

This will allow you to spend on a narrower market with a high guarantee of patronage than on an indefinite one with a questionable return. Knowing this will enable you to determine your channels to reach them and will guide you on how to appropriately communicate with them. Either way, you can still start broad but make sure to specify your market as you progress.

How Realistic Is The Idea?

Take your time in your baby steps. Even the business realm steers from utopia, so there’s no use trying to go big in an instant if chances ever seem to surface.

Instead of being unprepared and spending so much on a grand launch, study your product.

Investor-seeking entrepreneurs give themselves an edge when they produce a product prototype for potential customers. In the case of a startup business, however, you could try to conduct a focus group to gather feedback on your products before letting it out into the open market.

Knowing the adjustments you still have to make will help you further improve your product after making your own simulation of a launch.

You’ll Be Afraid, So You Have To Do It Afraid.

Even the biggest, greatest business ideas go futile when the minds they originated from failure to follow through on them. Take your time in assessing your plan for weaknesses. It will not be perfect but you can make it just fine.

Once you begin, never settle.

Go over your plans regularly and make sure your business runs in compliance. Maintain your momentum, acknowledge your critical milestones, welcome the challenges along the way, and never stop improving your product or service.

But the most important part of your business journey is not the business plan but you, the businessperson. Most of the passion has to be fueled, not in the idea, but within you.

Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec suggests, “You have to have a senseless belief in your idea and yourself—almost to the point of being delusional.

Remember that everyone has advice, but no one knows what you have to go through to start, grow and scale a business until they live it. Talk is cheap, but action speaks volumes.”

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How Microsoft Company is Saving the Planet

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In pursuit of making a stand against climate change, corporations such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple have made it their mission to heal the world. 

Talks on climate change have only been getting stronger as more consumers have become aware of its adverse effects. Since then, the topic has evolved from sheer press releases and into actual action plans taken seriously by C-level executives.

In this article, we’ll be exploring more about the commitments of Microsoft, one of the frontrunners in the subject. The tech giant pledged not only to decrease their emissions but to push further and go carbon negative. Microsoft has since been releasing a series of progress reports, detailing how they can eliminate all the carbon the company has discharged since its establishment in 1975. 

After days of speaking with professionals in corporate sustainability as well as past and present employees of Microsoft, we have found how sincerely the company is taking the issue and their global influence that could expand this effort beyond their own enterprise.

Microsoft is setting a benchmark through its consistency, transparency, and determination in pulling together other companies, either suppliers or industry competitors, into sharing data and other resources for the cause.

Kinds of Emissions 

A company’s carbon emissions are combined from three different sources: first is from the business operations side such as delivery vehicles, second is from factories or power plants, and the last type is from indirect emissions produced by equipment or services procured by the business, such as business travel. 

Microsoft’s largest source of emissions is the third factor. “At Microsoft, we expect to emit 16 million metric tons of carbon this year. Of this total, about 100,000 are Scope 1 emissions, and about 4 million are Scope 2 emissions. The remaining 12 million tons all fall into Scope 3. Given the wide range of Scope 3 activities, this higher percentage of the total is probably typical for most organizations,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith.

Microsoft’s Key Initiatives

Earlier this month, Microsoft chief environmental officer Lucas Joppa provided some updates on the concrete steps that the company is undertaking to achieve its negative carbon emission target.

First off, the tech giant will be joined by nine other major companies in an effort called “Transform to Net Zero”, which aims to “accelerate the transition to a net-zero global economy.”

It basically follows the same philosophies Microsoft has set but guided with a data and scientific-driven strategy. The companies uniting in this initiative are A.P. Moller-Maersk, Danone, Mercedes-Benz, AG, Natura & Co, Nike, Starbucks, Unilever, and Wipro.

Another strategy Microsoft took is the launch of a sustainability calculator that will help their cloud clients determine their carbon footprint and, in turn, make efforts to reduce it. The third is a commitment to cease the use of diesel fuel and generators by the end of the decade. Finally, they increased the company’s internal carbon tax to include its largest source of emissions (Scope 3).

Globally, Microsoft is being acclaimed for keeping true to their commitments in doing their part to create a more sustainable environment.

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Aviation Aftermath Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed a lot of what was considered ‘normal’ before. For example, gone are the days when you can have a fun night out with friends while drinking and partying. Another aspect that the pandemic changed is everyone’s ability to travel freely (as long as their passport, budget, and visas will allow).

With everyone expected to stay home, the airline industry strongly felt the pandemic’s effects as the majority of the flights got canceled due to travel restrictions in an attempt to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Because of this, the airline industry has been forced to lay off employees or, worst, declare bankruptcy. 

The Aftermath

Government regulations in countries such as the United States and Europe have reiterated that any canceled travel plans because of the Covid-19 pandemic should be refunded in whole to the ticket holders.

Despite this regulation, many airlines have failed to comply with as they have felt the financial brunt during the pandemic. Some airlines opted to provide travel vouchers (that can be claimed until 2022) instead. Still, government regulations were specific in their guideline to give back the refund.

Statistics show a decline of 10% in early March 2020 as the pandemic started to boom globally. By late March, statistics showed a 40% to 60% decline in the aviation industry, with more flights being canceled and fewer individuals attempting to travel, including the imposition of travel restrictions by multiple countries. By April 2020, there was an 80% decline, with flight movements restricted in all countries.

What’s Next?

Because of the aftermath of the pandemic to the aviation industry, many airlines are cutting off employees, including flight attendants. US airlines have cut down flight attendants ranging from 30% to 60% because of the low demand for flights.

Because of these, flight attendants all over the world became creative in ways to earn more money now that their current jobs are unstable because of the pandemic. For example, Susannah Carr, a flight attendant from United Airlines, mentioned she rejoined AppWag to walk dogs through making extra money now that there is a lull in her flights.

Making Ends Meet

In an interview, she mentioned that her previous paycheck was just enough to cover her monthly rent, a place she co-rents with a fellow flight attendant. Since Carr has previous experience in freelance jobs such as online translations and wedding event planner, she is now busy applying for other freelance types of jobs to make ends meet.

She acknowledges that while it is not the dream job, she hoped for right off college, the sense of urgency to make a living so she can survive the pandemic remains to be a top priority.

On the other hand, another flight attendant, Joan Marie Santos, turned to bake cupcakes and pastries during the flight lull. Her passion truly lies with baking, a hobby she only got to do in-between flights. But with the ongoing pandemic and approximately one flight per month (as opposed to her usual 15 flights per month), she started baking and selling her pastries to nearby communities to make ends meet.

With the uncertainty of the pandemic, people, not just flight attendants, have to be flexible and adaptable to the changing times. 

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Less Plastic, More Life: How This Youth Leader Is Ending Bali Plastic Bags

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Plastics, at one point in time, may have been a useful and normal part of everyday life. However, because plastics take forever to disintegrate, it has become a global ecological problem.

More often than not, these plastics end up polluting the environment and also end up killing animals who mistake them for food. Because of these environmental concerns, Melati Wijsen from Bali, Indonesia, decided to put a stop on single plastic use forever. And she’s just 18 years old.

The Genesis: Bye Bye Plastics!

Indonesia is the second world’s largest plastic producer next to China. Wijsen saw the ill-effects of single-plastic use in her hometown as plastics were everywhere! The side of the road, the rivers, and the canals – plastics were an eyesore to the popular tourist destination.

Still, the quality of environmental life in Indonesia was rapidly declining as plastic usage increased. Melati Wijsen, together with her sister, just came from a school video showing inspirational leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King when they were inspired to start doing something.

They then formed the non-profit organization called Bye Bye Plastics in 2014, where its primary objective is to ban the use of single-use plastics throughout the community. Their plan of action included encouraging their schoolmates to join their cause and often held meetings during lunchtime!

Within months, the Bye Bye Plastics team was able to mobilize communities to clean the polluted beaches with a whopping 50,000 people clearing more than 150 tons of plastics! Also, the team encouraged businesses to reduce their use of plastics.

By 2018, the team partnered with the Balinese government to ban the use of single-use plastics, which took effect in July 2019. At present, Bye Bye Plastic expanded globally, with 50 teams spread out in over 29 countries.

What’s Next?

Because of the success of Bye Bye Plastic in Indonesia, Wijsen became a prominent youth leader with a global audience. She has spoken to different youth leaders in various prominent platforms such as the United Nations conferences, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Economic Forum.

But she will not stop there. In an interview with Wijsen, she feels proud of her team’s accomplishment. Still, she feels frustrated that the world’s awakening about such a prominent environmental issue took six years in the making. She also vowed to assist with other youth-led initiatives.

Wijsen and her sister founded another non-profit organization, Youthtopia, where its primary objective is to have a support group among other budding youth leaders. It also aims to develop the skills of youth leaders through development activities, peer-learning activities, and online workshops.

To date, Youthtopia has catered to a multitude of youth leaders whose cause ranges from anti-human trafficking to Black Lives Matter foundation. In another interview, Wijsen mentioned that she has all the hope for the youth and their generation because of their passion for making an impact on the community.

When asked for advice to be given to youth leaders across the globe, Wijsen wisely mentioned three actionable steps to take to make an impact:

  • Empower Yourself
  • Collaborate with others
  • Reach out to leaders

Indeed, youth leaders such as Wijsen are inspiring figures not just for the youth but also for anyone—regardless of age, gender, and nationality, to do the right thing and make an impact on the community.

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