Jake Pajarillaga (PH): Strategies for COVID-19 Affected Local Businesses from a Digital Network Marketing Company

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In the Philippines, Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro enterprises make up 99.6% of establishments in the country. There are no limits on becoming an entrepreneur.
But a college degree is nothing without a drive or passion when you establish your business. However, not every business is positioned for success. Only about a third of businesses survive the two year mark and the rest are still struggling in the fifth year. 

In this episode of VirtualPreneur Summit of 2020, we invited Jake Pajarillaga, a former radio personality, production director, and assistant manager of a huge radio station in the Philippines to share his journey from a disk jockey (DJ) to becoming the owner of Hiyang International.

The Speaker: Jake Pajarillaga

Jake Pajarillaga started manufacturing beauty products in 2011, when he was still a DJ for a radio company.

His passion for selling and helping others to build their own wealth and achieving their dreams prompted him and his wife the Far East Beauty Products marketing company based in Davao

Jake also took the innovation to community-oriented digital marketing pushed his brand to be one of the preferred health and beauty product in the Southern Part of the Philippines 

What Can You Learn from the podcast:

  • How a renowned DJ became an Entrepreneur (1:47)
  • How to scale your small online business (3:20)
  • Why you must avoid the quick route or risk losing your business (11:25)
  • Why you must give credit where credit is due (17:25)
  • How do you know if you are ready to start a business (18:50)
  • What are the benefits of starting your own business (30:25)

Connect with Jake Pajarillaga via FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN or through the WEBSITE.

Why Did Jake Pajarillaga Get Interested In Starting His Own Business

The renowned DJ responded that he got interested in business because of how he saw the success of the advertisements he made for his clients in the radio industry. 

Jake Pajarillaga shared how he was the talents, the voices, the ones who shared and their products and materials.

“When they started their business, they didn’t start big. However, I saw how they persevered and grew over the years until they became successful,” says Jake.

The former DJ was inspired by his client’s stories and that was when he started manufacturing his first product which was soap. 

“The soap was something I studied for 4 years before it was sold in the market,” shared the DJ.

He launched his products in 2015 and ventured into online selling. Jake didn’t have a physical store then and he was unable to afford to rent an office either.

Jake mentioned that he started with a small capital and profited through the ease of online selling through the Facebook Market where they would do meetups at malls, coffee shops or others.

Jake Pajarillaga currently has over thirty centers from different cities nationwide. He has over 90 thousand plus members who are registered. 

If those members sell at least one soap each day, they’ll need 90 thousand pieces. 

Why Soap?

We were also curious as to why Jake decided to venture in manufacturing soap over other products. 

At first, Jake didn’t think much about it but thinking back he shared how he was influenced by the success of his client’s soap products and he wanted to do the same thing.

Also, Jake mentioned how the people will always be using soap. As long as they take a bath, the soap is something that they will always use.

Moving Up

After two years, Jake was aware of the slow progress of his business because there was plenty of competition and the market was huge.

So in 2017, that was when he implemented multi-level marketing. It was then Jake decided to give his  distributors incentives and created his network.

Jake currently manufactures over 40 different kinds of products. They range from shampoos to deodorants, feminine wash and anything that falls under cosmetics.

Four Years And It Didn’t Get Easier

For Jake, it took him over four years to open and sell his products and two more years before he expanded.

Jake mentioned how starting your business will depend and varies from the type of business that you are trying to open.

For others, what takes a while to succeed is the learning and research stage. This is where you learn how to get insights from other brands to know which products or services that sell well and which is more popular.

However, in Jake’s case, he didn’t just sell his product but he created one of his own. He started from the very beginning and it took a lot of his patience, dedication and strong will to continue what he started.

So, is starting a business easy? Then the answer is no. It wasn’t easy and it took a long time to establish what they had at the present.

Jake Pajarillaga shared how it took him nine years of continuous improvements and experience that molded him to become who they are today.

There Are Plenty Of Problems In A Business

“It is normal for a business to face problems,” reminds Jake.

Failures that you’ve experienced that changed you personally. However, Jake doesn’t like to call them failures but simply a bad experience. An experience that made us smarter and better at making decisions. 

There are plenty of problems to face in business. There are plenty of people opening up a business that are now gone. 

“I had friends whom I worked with for 5 years but are now gone because of these easy money schemes,” says Jake.

Many of the dealers stopped working on their business believing in that easy money scheme. Jake shared how you can simply deposit your money and they’ll help you grow them up to 30%. 

You didn’t need to sell their products and so businesses were really affected then because no one no longer wanted to do business. Because every month they know their money will increase with interest.

“During that time, I almost forgot the reason why I started my business in the first place. I wanted to join on those investments,” says Jake Pajarillaga.

Jake shared that when you do business, believe in your business. This is most important especially if there comes a time that your business is affected, or if you feel like you will lose your market. 

Jake was saddened to hear that his friends invested their capital on those investments which mostly failed.

“Before making a decision, go back to your foundation or your root cause why you started your business in the first place,” says Jake.

How To Start Your Own Business

The secret for a good business is not about being good. It’s about believing not just in your own skills but also a belief in God.

If you want to reach this goal, you have to ask and consult God.

Many people think that running a business is easy. They are wrong. Because sometimes what they see is your end result and not the process.

However, what they don’t know is that there were countless sacrifices being placed into the business.

“If you want to be number one, look at what the top spot of your market is doing. And do it better!” shares Jake.

Also, the effort of successful people is always different than the ordinary ones. That one is a fact.

READ ALSO: Larry Golden (US): A Business Development Leader’s Effective Sales Strategies to Implement for Local Entrepreneurs during COVID-19

10 Steps To Start Your Business

1. Conduct Market Research

Doing your market research will assist you if you can turn your ideas into a successful business. It’s a way to gather information about potential customers and of course businesses that are already operating in your area.

Don’t forget that in order for a small business to succeed, it must solve a problem, fulfill a need or offer something that the market wants or will want.

2. Write your business plan

Tee business plan is the foundation of your business. It is a roadmap, that’ll provide answers on how you’ll structure, run and grow your new business.

With it, you can convince partners or people to work and invest in your company. 

Because if you intend to seek financial support from an investor or financial institution, they’ll be asking you about your business plan. 

  • Get Feedback

After creating your business plan, it’s also important to let people interact with your products and services. 

Have a set of fresh but professional eyes to help you pinpoint the problems you might have missed. 

Some advice can be solicited or not. You must also have a plan to receive feedback. 

Don’t jump to bad conclusions. Negative feedbacks aren’t to bring you down but to help you.

Look into the grain of truth, if you don’t like what they’ve said. Seek out repeating comments and listen with curiosity. Lastly, ask questions and learn how you could make it better.

3. Funding your business

Now that you’ve laid out your business plan and strategies. You’ll need to start looking for or raising your capital. 

For at least 12 month, you’ll need to put together a spreadsheet that estimates your business costs from licenses, permits, equipment, insurance, branding, inventory, grand opening events, property leases. Including rent, utilities, marketing and advertising, production, supplies, employee salaries and of course your own salary.

The goal of this step is to work through your options and create a plan in setting up the capital that you need to get your business started.

4. Picking your business location

This should already be included on your business plan however, we needed to provide a different point for this since your choice for a location will affect your taxes, legal requirements and more. 

It’s also a different story if you want to start your business online. There are a lot of things to consider when growing your online presence. From choosing the right platform, driving online traffic, measuring your online success of metrics and scaling it.

5. Choose a business structure

The business structure you pick will influence everything you do from operations, taxes and personal assets, legal protections and benefits. 

The common business structures are sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), Corporations (has subcategories), and Cooperatives.  

6. Choosing a business name

You’ve got your plans and finance prepared, now it’s time to pick your business name. The name you choose must reflect your brand and make sure that the business name isn’t already used by someone else. 

7. Register your business

After picking the perfect business name, it’s time to make it legal and protect your brand. Don’t forget to stay up to date with registration requirements. You also need to check with your local tax office or franchise if applicable.

8. Get federal and state tax IDs

Starting a business means getting involved in plenty of paperwork. You’ll also need to get your Employer Identification Number to pay federal taxes, hire employees, open your business bank account and apply for business licenses and permits.

9. Apply for licenses and permits

You will need to research what licenses and permits you’ll need to apply to your business during the start-up process. Your requirements and fees will also depend on your business activity and the agency issuing the license or permit. It’s best to check with the issuing agency for details on the business license cost.

10. Open a business bank account

It’s easy to set a business bank account if you have the right registrations and paperwork ready. With your business bank account, you can handle legal, tax, and day-to-day issues. 

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

After dealing with the legal part, it’s time to build your team and of course give them the credit they are due. 

“Because that is how people will judge you. It is also important to clarify what the vision is of their leader,” says Jack. 

Jack mentions that the reason why his business is still growing is because he was able to share with his employees how he wants his company to grow and how he was able to fulfill his promise to them.

When Would You Know That You Are Ready To Start A Business

Although having a business plan is a solid start, you can’t ignore one important factor in starting  a business. And that is passion or your needs.

Jake Pajarillaga mentioned that when he started his business, it was at the point of his life where he had to provide for his soon to be born child and his wife. 

A lot of businesses opened up because they want to earn money or something out of copying their peers.

However, if you don’t have any personal meaning of why you started your business in the first place. It will just take a little storm to destroy your business.

Because it needs patience, time, innovation and learning. As we go along, there are plenty of things to study about.

If you want to know if you are ready to start a business you have to ask yourself the reason why you want to go into business. And also what business would you like to go into.

If you start your business because you fear missing out. If you get tired or you find yourself unready for the situation, you are wasting both your time and money.

“Once you make your decision you pursue that decision,” says Jake.

If you have a dream, and you have a reason to pursue that dream. You can no longer go back. You can also start with these three questions that Jake left us with.

  1. What is your reason for going into the business?
  2. Do you know what business you want to pursue?
  3. Are you ready for the consequences you will face?

You also have to do the proper research and be ready not just your heart but also your mind. 

There are plenty of problems you will face including stress. 

What Are The Benefits Of Starting Your Own Business

Jake Pajarillaga replied that he has always dreamed of becoming a DJ. And now that that dream has been fulfilled. He understood how people have no contentment. Jake stated that it’s true that you will always want more. 

When he was given an opportunity to become an assistant manager, he was finally able to realize his dream. However, when Jake was working at his dream job and position, he also took in a lot of responsibility and pressure.

As compared to being a simple employee, his life changed when he became a manager. So, he thought that there wasn’t really any problem. He was at the peak of my career however, the problem lay when he got home. 

Jake’s wife would ask him out for a meal out or travel, he realized he didn’t really have a budget. 

Jake also thought about his child, his needs for school or what if we get sick. Although Jake didn’t forget how thankful he was for his job, it simply wasn’t enough.

“We are ambitious, and if you are an ambitious individual that is good. What is wrong is doing something wrong,” shares Jake.

In 2016, when he resigned from his job as a manager. Jake was honest that he had fears and doubts. But it’s still not enough. It wasn’t the life I wanted because he was still renting their house.

So why not take risks and start to invest time in business. The company accumulated real and registered followers. To have those loyal followers, Jake had to invest time and let his followers understand his vision as a leader.

“If it’s clear for them that you want them to succeed then the people will follow you.  If you can also establish your brand or name to be credible it can help the process of establishing trust,” ends Jake. (A. Menchavez)

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