I love my Wednesday schedule. Although it is one of the busiest days in my week, it is where I am able to engage my creative mind and learn more.
Ever since I started InHim Media and InHim Consultancy, my exposure to different kinds of businesses have been really amazing. Specifically, during Wednesdays, where I meet with the owners of the businesses that we do consulting for.
Meeting the owners of these businesses is like having a one to three 1-3 hours business application crash course. Even though I am a consultant (more on marketing, branding, sales, and customer service), I learn so much more on about the nitty-gritty problem solving of different kinds of businesses.
Today, I specifically learn more details about starting a commercial food park. The initial food park , “Tambayan sa Consolacion Food Park”, which InHim Media built the whole brand, packaged and marketed through social media was very successful that the owners already have a pipeline for another food park, this time, somewhere in Cebu City.
As we are now early in the planning stages of the business, I learned a few things today especially on construction and forward thinking. Here’s what I learned from our business meeting today, . I call it, 4 four check points for starting a commercial food park.
1. It Has to Start with Proper Planning
One of the crucial things to consider is the planning of the design and orientation of your structure (commercial building). Architect Javier ,(a very popular and experienced Architect. in Cebu,) mentioned that a lot of businesses have failed because of poor planning. She mentioned a rule, “Simple is best”. I’m not talking about the design here. For example, the layout should be done in a way that each person going to your commercial place easily understands the flow of traffic. Where to go, and what to do. It should be so simple, that in one glance, the person can get a rough understanding of what is happening.
2. Longterm Plans of the Government Should Be Considered
Since your place is going to be commercial, it will really involves a good amount in terms of financial investment. So as the owner of the business, you need to consider the future plans of the government for that prospect location. For example, the location is to be constructed in south part of Cebu city. As of today, the mayor of Cebu city has been already been talking about and considering to add a BRT (Bus-Rapid-Transit) in the south area of Cebu. If that happens, there is going to be a long construction and fixing of the road. Like 3-5 three to five years of construction and of course traffic. How is it going to affect the business? Will it be affected or not? Is the traffic going to be a hindrance to the business or will it help it (since the business will be along the highway)? How many meters do we need to setback for the frontage considering longterm government plans?
But obviously to really know the plans of the government, you need to visit the local government of your prospect location and ask around, specifically ask the City Planning Department. Once, you have a good idea of the government plans, gather together a group of professionals (architects, engineers, business developer, marketer, etc.) to brainstorm on how to solve the problem.
3. Investments Should Make Sense not only today but Tomorrow as well.
Once you’ve considered your plans, and your adjustments versus government plans, it is now time to finalize what you really do with your structure. But a very crucial guide is to consider longterm investments that both make sense today as well as 10-20 years from now. This simply means, your plans should consider your working budget but also needs to adjust to future problems that could occur. Like how will you dispose of your water? Can you tap or take advantage of local drainage system? Do you need a grease-trap? How much do you need to invest for plumbing? Is that a long-term plan? Is there any future problem that poor plumbing might cause? If I do these preparations now, how much would it cost? Is there a way to save?
This set of questions can help you prepare not only for plumbing but also for all areas like parking, comfort, safety, waste disposal, rental pricing, traffic of people, emergencies, etc. (In a way, it goes back to proper planning).
4. Lastly, and Very Important, with all These Considerations, is it Marketable?
I guess this the make or break. Often, many entrepreneurs consider cost for planning, construction, safety, cost, and many more, but not all (in my opinion) consider what to invest in for marketability. I mean, not many people really consider what they should include. In fact a good figure should make their commercial plan more marketable. Questions like, what can I add to my commercial space for marketability? Should I add more areas for people to lease or a bigger dining area? How about entertainment? Should I invest in a good sound system? What should I put in my structure that will spark interest? Can I market early on, even when my structure is not yet done? How many people would I get on peak times? How about on weekdays like Tuesday or Thursday?
In conclusion, it all boils down to PLANNING. When you plan, each area should be considered like if you need storage, office, and the kind of manpower you need and their skills. More importantly, I believe you need a team, especially in getting professional help from experienced people. For me, solving something is not that difficult as long as there are many minds thinking, and the problem is approached with an “We can- do- this attitude”. At the end of it all, the simplest solutions are mostly the best. Only few things are actually rocket-science (Hello Elon Musk!), most of it are common sense in a group with common goals.
For more questions and assistance about starting commercial businesses, call me at +63917-6710060. I will do my best to help.
Be filled with joy,
J. Bere – #SirChubby