“I’m thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.”
Few years ago, my husband and I hit rock bottom financially. He suddenly had to leave his job (due to some house helper issues), making me the sole breadwinner of the family. We decided that he will stay home for the meantime to look after our daughter and take care of everything at home. I work as a Technical Support/Customer Service Representative in a call center – although pay is higher than most jobs and we only have one child, making ends meet was still a struggle. We are literally living paycheck to paycheck and can’t even spare a few bills for savings. This went on for months until I was able to get a part time job being a Financial Advisor. I undergone trainings while working full time and eventually made my first successful sign up. I was ecstatic when I got my first commission! It wasn’t really that much but to have a few extra cash somehow made me feel a bit secured. The urge to spend the money to ‘treat myself for doing a good job’ is strong but I managed to keep it.
The Eureka Moment
One day while on break at the office, a friend shared a link about a branded overruns warehouse selling clothes in really low prices if you buy them in bulk. This piqued my interest and thought this may be a good small business to start with. As soon as I get home, I started my research. After a long discussion with my husband, we decided to take the risk and give it a try.
Let’s get started
The following week, with the small capital we have, we went to the warehouse. It was overwhelming. There are a lot of clothes and a lot more people buying goods too. The management showed us around and explained how we can take advantage of big discounts. The good thing here aside from being the cheapest option is you can replace unsold items within 2 weeks. After that, we spent almost 3 hours going through isles of clothing, sorting, deciding which ones to buy and finally falling in line to pay.
We spent more or less 6000php, fares included. We got almost 50 items – these include shirts, pants, shorts and some hoodies. Each cost somewhere between 80php-180php. I’d say it’s a lot to get for that amount of money.
As soon as we got home, we took pictures of them one by one, edited them for branding and then uploaded them to my personal Facebook account. I got inquiries right away and made sales within a few days. I asked clients for photos of them wearing their purchases and post them online to boost sales. I can say the launch was a success.
Keeping the wheels turning
Every other week, we would go back to the warehouse to get new stocks. This means new set of picture taking, uploading, answering queries, order taking, meet ups and shipping. It’s not easy to be honest especially if you have an office job. But the best part is my husband, my daughter and I get to bond more while learning and earning. Yip, the daughter helps too in tracking the sales and doing inventory. So yeah, it’s a family agenda. The earnings from this small business go to savings and unplanned expenses.
Meet my business partners
We had to pause
When things got busier a couple of months ago, we had to temporarily close the business. I was given more roles in my jobs and my husband started looking for work again. But the advantage of venturing to this kind of business is that you can always start over and we will surely be back.
How about you? Are you also looking into starting your own small business? Why not? As long as you have the patience, the passion and the will to overcome every roadblock, you will definitely succeed.
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.Winston Churchill
By: Jhoneme ‘Imee’ Odoño