Avoiding the Pitfalls: A Start-up Founder’s Guide to Entrepreneurship
In the world of entrepreneurship, the journey is often a wild ride filled with ups, downs, and valuable lessons. Today, we explore the experiences of Ann Andrada, the founder of Purplestone PH. Ann’s journey as an entrepreneur is a testament to the importance of trusting your instincts and never stopping your quest for knowledge. Read more as we dive into the challenges she faced, the mistakes she made, and the powerful lessons that have shaped her road to success.
QUESTION: Can you tell us about the most significant mistake you made when starting your business journey?
Ann Andrada: When I began my first business venture, I didn’t have a business degree or any prior experience. I was quite young, and I relied heavily on the advice of my sister, who had been in business for decades. My dad also trusted her judgment when it came to business, so I followed their guidance without questioning it too much.
QUESTION: Can you give us an example of how this played out in your business decisions?
Ann Andrada: At one point, I made an investment in my printing business based on my sister’s opinion, even though my gut told me otherwise. Looking back, I realize that my sister was in a different industry, and her expertise didn’t necessarily apply to my business. Unfortunately, that investment turned out to be a bad decision, and I ended up losing money instead of making a profit.
QUESTION: What did you learn from that experience?
Ann Andrada: I learned a valuable lesson from that mistake: always trust your instincts. While it’s essential to seek advice and guidance from experienced individuals, it’s equally crucial to make decisions that align with your own intuition and vision. Your ideas and strategies won’t always match those of others, no matter how experienced they are.
QUESTION: Can you share how you tried to recover from that financial setback?
Ann Andrada: To recover from the financial loss caused by that investment, I had to sell off the remaining supplies and machines at a lower price. It was a difficult decision, but it was better than letting those assets sit idle and lose their value.
QUESTION: It sounds like you encountered more challenges after that. Can you tell us about those?
Ann Andrada: Yes, after that setback, I became hesitant to seek advice from other business owners. Trying to make up for the financial loss, I ventured into the fast-food industry by opening a lemonade stand. It was successful, so I expanded by opening two more stalls in different locations and hiring additional staff. However, the people I hired turned out to be untrustworthy. They took advantage of my limited accounting skills, stole from me, and one day, they just disappeared, leaving me to manage the stalls on my own.
QUESTION: What were the key mistakes you made during this phase of your business journey?
Ann Andrada: There were several key mistakes. Firstly, I realized I had entered into these ventures without a solid understanding of inventory management and cash flow, which are vital aspects of running a successful business. Secondly, I lacked knowledge in employee management, leading to issues with trust and accountability among my staff.
QUESTION: How did these experiences affect you in the long run?
Ann Andrada: These setbacks left me with deep scars, and even today, I struggle with trust issues. My early vision of a successful business journey didn’t align with the financial challenges I faced.
QUESTION: Can you tell us how you decided to turn things around and continue your entrepreneurial journey?
Ann Andrada: Despite the challenges, I remained determined to learn from my mistakes and grow as an entrepreneur. My journey began with participating in workshops on bookkeeping offered by TESDA. After a brief hiatus following the birth of my child, I resumed my learning journey by actively engaging in DTI webinars and seminars. Additionally, I’m currently planning to enroll in a six-month business management course to gain a deeper understanding of the business landscape.
QUESTION: How have these efforts to learn and grow impacted your entrepreneurial journey?
Ann Andrada: They have made a significant difference. I also joined various business groups to learn from fellow entrepreneurs across different industries. I adopted a more cautious approach, thinking carefully before making any major moves and avoiding impulsive decisions.
QUESTION: Can you share some of the positive outcomes you’ve experienced since making these changes?
Ann Andrada: Since starting my e-commerce business, I’ve achieved significant milestones. I won a business pitching competition hosted by DTI, signed a memorandum of agreement for a sales partnership, and gained opportunities to be part of programs that support start-ups. Everything has been happening rapidly, and I’ve had to learn how to make quick and informed decisions.
QUESTION: What’s the most important lesson you’d like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs?
Ann Andrada: The most crucial lesson I’ve learned is to start a business in an area where you have knowledge and expertise, rather than solely chasing profits. While seeking advice is essential, remember that the final decisions are yours to make. Don’t blame others for your choices. Talk to the right people, and never stop learning. Learning isn’t limited to the classroom; there are opportunities for self-improvement everywhere if you keep an open mind and a resilient spirit.
Ann Andrada’s entrepreneurial journey is a beacon of inspiration for aspiring business leaders. Her honest reflections on the significance of following your gut, learning from blunders, and continuously seeking knowledge highlight the core principles of entrepreneurship. As we navigate the ever-changing business landscape, Ann’s story serves as a reminder that even in the face of difficulties, determination and resilience can lead to remarkable achievements. So, as you embark on your entrepreneurial ventures, remember the lessons shared by Ann Andrada, and let them guide you on your path to success.