7 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PUTTING UP A BUSINESS

It has been almost  seven (7) years since my wife and I started Bright Hope Room for Growth Inc., and I am glad that we never gave up even if there were times that we really wanted to.

bright hope moving up
BRIGHT HOPE MOVING UP DAY 2018

Bright Hope is a small school with a big heart and it continues to advance as one of the premiere christian Pre-kinder and Kindergarten School in the City of Baguio.  Apart from its uniquely designed age appropriate programs, one thing that makes it different from other schools is that it offers Baby Classes for ages 1 year 8 months to 2 years and 2 months old babies.


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Currently, BRIGHT HOPE is composed of 11 employees and we are blessed to have leaders who actively manage it.  This allows my wife and I to just be around as volunteer management and academic consultants.

Looking back from where Bright Hope started, I can say that it has become a ministry just like how we envisioned it to be and we are making it a goal to continue to grow.

I’m no business guru but with seven (7) years of Bright Hope existence, let me share to you seven (7) life lessons that I learned that may be useful to those who are putting up a business or an organization:

  1. Do not quit your day job – If you are currently employed and are just relying from your monthly salary for daily sustenance -DO-NOT-QUIT-YOUR-DAY-JOB.  Resigning from work will probably apply to those who have savings that could support them for five years or more.  It takes time to grow a business and your monthly salary can help cushion your survival expenses. If you are stressed just because you don’t have enough time to be hands-on in your business, you’ll be more stressed during off peak seasons and realize that you have no cash flow. 

2. If you can, avoid investors who do not understand your vision and is just up for the money – we have different views when it comes to entertaining investors so to each his own.  But what worked for Bright Hope is not getting other people to invest. Carefully consider this especially if your vision differ from individuals who offer to invest.  The advantage of not getting investors is that we can allocate our budget to wherever we see fit without consulting other individuals. It takes away unnecessary headaches caused by clashing decision makers.  

3. Love your employees, they are a big factor why your business is a success.  I like this quote from Stephen Covey


Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers. 


Bright Hope’s success is attributed to the dedicated teachers and staff who sincerely love their students.  In a business or in any organization, I learned that taking care of your employees or the people who help you run the organization does really make the difference.  Give them what is due.  We enter into business so that we can earn a living, but our employees need to live too. People who work for your organization will not demand more if they see that they are getting what is just and due to them. Plus, you’ll be greatly blessed as you allow yourself to be used to bless other people.

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Bright Hope Team 2018.  This was taken after the Parents’ Orientation. (3 others not on photo, sorry guys!)

4. Exceed customer expectation – I worked for several BPOs as a call center agent and that is where I learned about the importance of exceeding customer expectation.  It actually works if you care about your customers.  Besides, they are the very reason you are there. It is true that we cannot please everybody but in the field of providing services, we try to please everyone in as much as we can. This creates regular clients and customers.  Businesses do not aim for one time customers, they aim for repeat customers and that’s what you’ll need to thrive.

5. Never stop learning – continue to develop your craft, your people, your services.  Evolving will ensure your existence even if there are other products and services that are being created everyday.  Invest in education and in trainings.  My wife had to enroll in online classes just so she can learn new preschool concepts.  I had to take up management classes just to learn how to handle people (though I did not finish it after Math came in so I am looking at other Math-less courses okay?).  The teachers at Bright Hope had to go through series of trainings including make-up lessons so they can look presentable and professional even if they already are.

make up bright hope class
Make Up Tutorial for Birght Hope teachers by Krizia Guevara.

And just recently, my wife and I attended the E-Commerce and Social Media Learning Sessions of Ms. Janette Toral held at Cordillera School of Digital Arts Baguio.

training csda 1
with Ms. Janette Toral of Digital Filipino.
csda certificate 1
Certificates given by Ms. Janette Toral during the Social Media Learning Sessions at Cordillera School of Digital Arts Baguio. 

The point is, learn new things everyday.

6. Don’t be discouraged by people who do not believe in your crazy ideas – business concepts start off as crazy ideas until they are developed and are ready for hatching. While you are contemplating on your business model you will find yourself tempted to tell your friends about it and that is normal.  Prepare to get laughed at.  That is also normal.  Remember that not everybody is born a dreamer like you. Put that in mind, okay? But don’t hold it against them, they are created to challenge you.

7.  Never, never, never give up.  There were times when my wife and I were on the verge of panicking because we were worried we could not pay the rent for Bright Hope but we just focused on answering this question:  “How can we better our services so that we can attract more parents to enroll?”  We then created program after program and blessedly, there were parents who enrolled and believed in the programs that we offered.  This kept us going.  This kept us believing that Bright Hope exists for a purpose and we will never see that purpose if we gave up. We are thanking the Lord for giving us the strength to not give up and providing for our needs.

Currently, apart from Bright Hope’s mission of sharing the good news to the children and their families, we are glad that it is able to help alleviate poverty by providing employment, a college scholarship, and a plan to subsidize skills training for children in conflict with the law.

The things that I shared are not new, but I hope it encouraged you.  We can all make a difference, hold on to that bright hope and use it to ignite a bright tomorrow.

I have to go now, my son has been playing with my phone for almost 2 hours as I write this! haha.

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My wife working on her paper as I write this blog, my son took this stolen shot upon my instruction.

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6 Opportunities for New Lawyers and Law Graduates

For some, having a Bachelor of Laws Degree can sometimes be a hindrance to landing a job. Either you are regarded as over qualified for the entry level job you are aiming for or they do not see your educational background as relevant for the vacancy you are applying for.

For New Lawyers, you might still be in the cross road as to whether you want to join a law firm, put up your own office, join the government, or just venture into other things that has nothing to do with lawyering.

Whether you are preparing for the next scheduled bar examination or job hunting as a new lawyer, here are some career paths you can take to maximize your degree or to add on to the services that you offer as a lawyer.

1. INSURANCE AGENT/BROKER

Not everyone spent a semester in their life learning about the Insurance Code of the Philippines. With your knowledge of this specific law, you can easily shed light to some common concerns of prospective clients such as the difference between a pre-need company vs. an insurance company.

You can even be creative and blend your knowledge on the laws relating to Succession and even Taxation.

With those laws in your finger tips, you have better chances of convincing your prospects to get their first insurance policy from you.

How much you’ll earn?

Limitless! Depending on the plans you’ll be able to sell and the commission plan of your insurance agency, you’ll earn an amount ranging from 25 to even 45% of the premiums your client pay on their first year.

How to start?

Choose an insurance agency that you trust so that you can easily sell their products. The insurance company will usually assist you in obtaining a license to sell insurance. You can search on the big players in this field such as the following:

PHILAM LIFE INSURANCE, SUN LIFE FINANCIAL PHILIPPINES, AXA PHILIPPINES and many more!

Get a mentor and obtain a license so that you can legally sell insurance plans. It is also best that you invest in your own insurance plan so you can sell from experience. Imagine a situation where in the middle of your sales pitch, you were asked what insurance plan you have and you answer: “None”.

2. REAL ESTATE AGENT/BROKER

In law school, you had sleepless nights reading about Laws on Property and Ownership, the Law on Sales, Land Titles and Deeds, Taxation, Contracts etc. This gives you an upper hand if you want to be successful in the field of real estate.  Your days in law school actually gave you a wholistic understanding on what can go on from the point of offer to buy or to sell up to the transfer of properties.

How much you’ll earn?

If you are unlicensed and only a referrer, they usually give 1% to 3% commission based on the selling price of the property sold. Once you get a license, you can demand 5% commission. Again, commission rates are flexible depending on the agreement of the parties.

How to start?

To gain experience, you can start selling condo units as there are a lot of developers looking for sales agents. Do yourself a favor by checking the profile of property developers so you don’t end up selling questionable properties.

Some popular condo unit developers include AYALA LAND INC., SM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, DMCI HOMES and others that you are actually familiar with in your community.

Or you can even do freelance by offering to sell the property of some relatives or friends who are looking for buyers. Don’t fret, you will be able to learn the tricks of the trade as you go along but first you have to get out from that bed and start grooming yourself to becoming the next real estate tycoon!

3. HUMAN RESOURCE

Nowadays, companies look for  Human Resource Personnel who has knowledge of the Labor Code of the Philippines to help them ensure zero legal liability pertaining to labor.

Didn’t you enjoy two semesters reciting on labor laws and reading jurisprudence on illegal dismissals? With that, you can actually better guide your employer in making sure that he does not violate any labor laws.

How much you’ll earn?

Salaries usually depend on your experience. HR associates can be paid a starting salary based on minimum wage while HR directors can get as high as 6 to 7 digits a month.

How to start?

You don’t go to companies and say: “Hey! I have a law degree and I’m applying for that HR Manager Position.” Unless you have prior HR experience, seldom that companies get fresh from law school people to become their HR Managers.

You usually have to climb the corporate ladder in this field which means that you have to start from being an associate, to an officer, to a manager, and a director.


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4. LAW INSTRUCTOR

If you did not pass the bar yet, you can still teach Constitutional Law  or other social sciences subjects.  Apart from constitutional law, you can also start by teaching Criminal Law to criminology students, some school don’t require that you pass the bar to teach this.

Other universities who are not that strict in law experience may also get you to teach in their law school.

How much you’ll earn?

This depends on the load you are given and the hourly rate of the school where you choose to teach.

How to start?

Apply in Universities and Colleges, of course. Take whatever load they give you just so you can gain teaching experience.

5. ENTREPRENEUR

Being an entrepreneur means you will be your own boss. You will be running your own company and dealing with hiring and terminating employees, tax implications of your business moves, contracts etc. If you are a person with a business sense, do not allow your four (4) years in law school to just go down the drain, you can use your legal training to guide you in building a business empire.

How much you’ll earn?

It depends on the business that you will be starting. Don’t immediately think that you’ll rake money on your first year. Businesses take time before you can even enjoy the fruits of your labor.

How to start?

Know your passion. What do you enjoy doing? Are there needs that you want to address? Do you have a special skill that you think you can offer to the public?

Entrepreneurs usually start with an inspiration to come up with products and unique business models that customers will embrace.  So what do you have in mind?

As for me and my wife, we started Bright Hope Room for Growth Inc., now a premiere preschool in Baguio City.  This was born out of my experience as a former tutor and my wife’s experience as a Guidance Counselor. So bank on your acquired skills to come up with a bright business idea.

6. PUBLIC SPEAKING

While I was still in law school, I usually get invited to talk to college students and I usually share my experience as a job applicant. Apart from sharing my experiences as a job applicant, I also included topics on how to prepare a resume and how to answer job interviews. Since you are a law graduate, you might want to add some topics on basic labor laws, too!

After passing the bar, my topics in speaking engagements evolved to talking about labor laws, criminal law, family, and my experiences as a drugs court lawyer.

If you want to make this as a career, you can start by sharing your experiences on something that you are an expert on. Say for example, leadership etc.

How much you’ll earn?

This depends on the budget of the inviting organization.

How to start?

Say yes to every speaking engagement where you think you can add value to the audience.

The six (6) enumerated career paths are based on my experience and not intended to limit you but to help you realize that there are a lot of possibilities.

Bottom line, you have the ability to open numerous doors of opportunity with your Law Degree, you just have to want to open those doors! 🙂

Do you have any additional suggested career option for law graduates? Comment below. 🙂


Just passed the bar? Or planning to take it?

Do you want to unlock your potential?

Take the Clifton Strengths Assessment now and book a Strengths Awareness Session with Atty. Dexter Diwas.

Click the link below.

https://dexterdiwas.com/gallup-strengths-coaching/

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE POSTING ON FACEBOOK

Posting on social media may seem harmless but not until Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.  The said Republic Act provided the penalty for Cyber Libel.

Cybel libel is libel committed through a computer system and this includes posts on facebook.

Ano nga ba muna ang libel?

Under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to discredit or cause the dishonor or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. Thus, the elements of libel are: (a) imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another; (b) publication of the imputation; (c) identity of the person defamed; and, (d) existence of malice.

In short, cyber libel is paninirang puri done on line at mas mabigat ang penalty as compared to ordinary libel.

So what is the penalty?

Kapag ginawa mo ito, you shall be punished with prision correccional (6 months and 1 day to 6 years) in its maximum period to prision mayor (6 years and 1 day to 12 years) in its minimum period or a fine ranging from Six Thousand Pesos (P6,000.00) up to the maximum amount determined by Court, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.

Angry Man (9)
Kaya kahit na gaano ka na na-ngangati, nag-ngingitngit, at na-ngi-nginig at gustong gusto mo nang siraan SA FACEBOOK ang umagaw sa boyfriend or girlfriend mo: DON’T.

A lot of teenagers are not informed kung gaano kabigat ang consequences ng irresponsible social media use and many schools recognize this concern. Kaya naman I was thankful when I got the chance to be invited as a resource speaker to talk about Cybebullying and Netiquette before the 800plus Senior High School and College students of PASS College in Alaminos, Pangasinan during their orientation.

PASS COLLEGE
PHILIPPINE ACCOUNTANCY AND SCIENCE SCHOOL or more popularly known as PASS COLLEGE is located in Alaminos, Pangasinan. The school offers BS in Elementary Education, BS in Hospitality Management, BS in Business Administration, BS in Computer Science, BS in Tourism and Hotel Management, and associate courses such as Associate in Bookkeeping and Associate in Computer Technology. They also offer Bartending (NCII), Commercial Cooking (NCII), Food and Beverage Services (NCII), Front Office Services (NCII), Tour Guiding (NCII) and Healthcare Services (NCII).

In preparation for the talk, I found a graph that shows that we Filipinos spend an average of 4:17 hours every single day on social media. You read me right – 4 HOURS AND 17 MINUTES. That is a lot of time wasted if we use social media irresponsibly! Very alarming. (Please refer to the graph below)

time spent on sm

This explains the reason why most of the cyber libel cases that I handled were committed on facebook, the most popular social media platform of our time. Nowadays, Facebook has been the easiest avenue for venting.  Airing our frustrations in life through facebook may seem so innocent but can, most of the time, be messy.

To avoid being a victim of cyberbullying or to make sure  that you don’t cyberbully or commit cyberlibel as defined under Republic Act 10175 also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, you can follow this one simple tip that I borrowed and shared during the talk:

THINK BEFORE YOU POST
Take a deep breath, isip isip muna kung ipo-post mo ba talaga yang na-type mo habang ikaw ay galit at punong puno ng hinanakit.

THINK stands for:

think before 3
  1. T – is it TRUE?

Make sure that all your posts are TRUE.  And let me just warn you that even if they are, not everything that is true deserves posting on social media. In a Supreme Court decision, the latter said:

“It must be remembered that every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, EVEN IF IT BE TRUE, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown.” (emphasis provided)

It is true that…

telling the truth
But there is a right time and a right place for telling the truth and in your situation, social media may not just be one of them. 🙂

Oo nga, totoong kabit siya! Pero huwag mo idaan sa social media, gather evidence para makasuhan mo siya kung ang kinakabit niya ay ang asawa mo. 🙂 Pero kung pinost mo ito sa facebook nang hindi nagdadalawang isip, baka magkabaliktad pa ang mundo at makasuhan ka din. Kaya huwag magpost ng kung anong hugot ate at kuya, huwag.

2.  H – is it Helpful?

Will your post help? We cannot deny that social media aides in fast dissemination of information.  We learn about the death of relatives, the fact na walang pasok dahil bumabagyo,  na walang maka-daan sa Kennon Road dahil landslide, na may 3-day sale sa SM, at iba pang information na talaga namang nakakatulong para mapadali ang ating buhay.  Through facebook, we are also reminded of the birthdays of loved ones and are even encouraged to greet them.

facebook reminder
Facebook has made it easier for everyone to remember birthdays! Huwag mong sisihin ang hindi nag-greet sa iyo, malamang bawal siya mag-internet sa trabaho at wala siyang internet connection sa bahay, or di siya maka-connect sa alin mang wifi, o di naman kaya ay namumulubi na at walang data, they also need your help.

In those examples, posts are of big help.  Through social media, helping can just be a click away, we don’t have to be physically present to help inform someone.  Imagine kung iisa-isahin mo ang mga kamag-anak mo para sabihin na may bago kang bentang sabon na makakapagpabago ng buhay nila, stressful diba?

do-what-you-can-where-you-are-with-what-you-have
And if what you have is internet connection and a lot of time on facebook, use that time wisely.

Social media, more particularly facebook, also help bloggers reach their potential readers and it is us netizens that decide whether to share them.  We can opt to share articles that sow good vibes or spread negative ones.

attract


Kaya remember, post to help.


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3.  I – is it inspiring?

A lot of us get encouragement when we read inspiring posts online and I thank those people who take the time to craft inspirational quotes for sharing.  There is no problem with posting personal statuses (one thing that I am most guilty of) for as long as it has a goal, and if it is not to inspire, it will be no different than a spam clogging someone else’s facebook feed.

inspire
Di ba? We can be a source of inspiration just by posting quotes or stories that brings back trust in humanity. 🙂

4.  N – Necessary?

“Kailangan mo bang i-post yan?” For the past days, my facebook timeline has not been busy because of this.  I just realized that I have been unnecessarily posting before to the point that every person I meet in the workplace know every single detail of what is happening in our family.  There were many many times that I crafted facebook statuses and end up deleting them without posting it after realizing that my facebook friends need not know about it.

facebook-oversharers
In some of the cyber libel cases that I handled, the perpetrator mistakenly confused her facebook account with her diary. She posted her frustrations and reached the point of naming and shaming her husband’s mistress. Though she had the right to be angry, her husband’s mistress now has a case against her. Sad.

5.  K – is it kind?

kind

We see a lot of posts bashing someone else’s grammar, accomplishments, pictures etc.  One latest example is this celebrity who was told for her grammatical error when she posted:

“the more you ignore me the closer i get, your wasting your time!”

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A netizen then reacted and posted:

beauty-2

The netizen may be knowledgeable about grammar, and she was right with the grammatical error that she spotted.  But a lot thought that the netizen could have just chosen to be a little kinder by sending her a personal message if her intentions were pure.  Ang ending, na bash din ang netizen.

Social media is an effective platform in making life easier for us these days.  We can get a job, open opportunities, and get our message across easily because of this technology.  But if abused, we open ourselves to falling victim, worse victimizing our fellow netizens.  Let us protect ourselves and our loved ones, let us T-H-I-N-K before we post.

One biblical rule that I challenge myself to follow before posting:

whatever-is-true-whatever-is-honest-whatever-is-pure-religious-quote
Think about these things, then confidently hit that POST!

God bless, everyone! 🙂

Scouting for a PRESCHOOL IN BAGUIO CITY?

Hindi ka pa ba nakahanap ng PRESCHOOL para sa toddler or preschool aged child mo?

Afraid of enrolling dahil baka sa kalagitnaan e baka ayaw nang pumasok ng baby mo?

Worry no more! Here at BRIGHT HOPE ROOM FOR GROWTH INC. , we carefully designed a SHORT TERM PROGRAM na sasagot sa pag-aalinlangan mo kung ready na ba for school ang baby mo. 🙂

Staying true with our commitment to providing excellent childcare programs, Bright Hope Room For Growth Inc. is again offering the third wave of PRESCHOOL JUMPSTART, a 15-day program designed for the following reasons:

1) Help child experience PRESCHOOL LIFE before even enrolling in any regular preschool program;

2) Help parents who are scouting for a preschool that will best fit their child’s needs and personality;

3) Help parents understand that it is never too early for their child to come to school. 🙂

jumpstart poster

 

WHAT ARE THE ACTIVITIES EXPECTED?
Your child will get to sing, dance, listen to stories, and do arts with children their age.

HOW MUCH IS THE COMMITMENT FEE?
Only P2415.00 for the 15 sessions.

MODE OF PAYMENT?
50% downpayment, balance payable on the 8th session.

WHEN WILL CLASSES START?
July 3, 2017. 1:30 to 3:00PM daily.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?
A list will be provided upon registration.

HOW OLD SHOULD YOUR CHILD BE TO BE ABLE TO JOIN THE PROGRAM?
Your child must at least be 3 to 5 years old.

HOW DO YOU RESERVE A SLOT?
Message us through our facebook page by clicking THIS, or call 074-424-2647 or text 09176562002, or visit 2nd Floor, Luke Foundation Building, #90 Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City, look for Teacher Amanda Demandante.

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enrollment on going

FEEL FREE TO VISIT US TO INQUIRE OF OUR ENROLLMENT PROCESS.