Business insights from Eric Manalo

There are 3 fundamental areas in having an Entrepreneur mindset: 
1. Purpose - Understanding your market and the value you offer.
2. Passion - Continuous improvement as market demand changes and dictate the future of business.
3. People - Building long term (not transactional) relationship with customers and your team.

Knowledge empowers imagination. Continue to gain knowledge with the right information and wisdom through experience.

I recommend financing if business is good. Because the available cash you have will enable you to expand your business and pay for the loan. I do not recommend loans for payment of expenses with no cash flow coming in. Timing is the key.

Unless you have fix, variable or recurring income, never use your property as loan collateral for business capital.

In business development, I take time to meet with business owners or the CEO of the company. The reason why CEOs refer you to HR or other departments when you make an offer is that they don’t see the value in your proposal. You need to make an effort to understand their needs and business situation so they see you as a solution to their problem or pain points. You have to prepare your proposal in such a way that the entire company will benefit from your idea or service. When that happens, the price becomes irrelevant. Once you get the approval or directives from the CEO, it will be more easy to coordinate with the department groups and close the deal. The majority of proposals are generic with no effort to know if their message has relevance or impact on their target audience. Preparing your proposals should be connecting and engaging based on what the market wants and not from what you want to discuss.

Meeting with HR, admin, or purchasing or other department heads is great for as long as you already have a great working relationship with them to know if the timing for sending a proposal is right. The best source of information is the CEO or business owner because they know the situation of finance, operations, collections, sales, HR and other departments. You will discover a lot of insights from the perspective of the CEO so you can prepare the best solution or value proposition. It takes a lot of patience but its worth the effort to connect to what really matters to them. Remember, you attract clients not by who we are or what you offer, but how we care for them.

Before you set the meeting, find out what are their plans are for the year, what is the time frame and their working budget. Yes, you already have a database, but until you deeply understand the needs of every client what makes them buy, why they are no longer purchasing, what are their concerns, or how do you get them to partner with you, it will just remain nothing more than a list of clients in an excel sheet. Business is not just about products and services, its about building long term client relationship. The question is, what is your company doing today in keeping customers loyalty.

In setting up company rules, do not issue stupid policies, it only creates stupid results.

Practice business with integrity even if other companies do not. At the end of the day, keeping the trust of your clients is the most sustainable way to survive and grow.

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Eric Manalo