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Business 101: Choosing The Right Idea and Strategy
Sean: Hello. Hello. Thank you once again for tuning in the Leadership Stack live. We have a special guest tonight, Ms. Antonette Aquino a.k.a Toni. And we are going to be tackling questions about business, entrepreneurship, leadership, management, personal finance, and investments, and maybe how to even be a TikToker. So Toni, welcome to the show and thank you for being here tonight.
Toni: Hi, thank you Sean for inviting me. It’s such an honor to be part of your show because Sean already knows this, but I’ve always been such a huge fan of his.
Sean: Toni, before I move on, can you tell our audience a little bit more about you so that they know who I have here with me as a guest tonight.
Toni: Okay. So hi, I’m Antonette, but most people call me Toni and I am a licensed financial advisor and founder of Money Health Check. So Money Health Check is essentially a social brand that aims to promote financial literacy specifically to the young Filipino community. And on top of that, I’m also a content creator. So I think some of you guys already know that I’ve put most of my content on Tiktok. So that really is my main platform for promoting my advocacy. And on top of that, I also lead a team of around 18 people. And for those who don’t know, I’m also a student, a student from DLSU.
Sean: All right, I’ll start with some business questions. We have a question from Mitch. Mitch, thank you once again for tuning in tonight. How can someone protect their business or content idea from being stolen during pitching? When is it okay to steal and when is it crossing the line?
I would say this rarely happens. I would say this rarely, rarely happens. So ideas are cheap. That’s what I always say. Ideas are cheap. A lot of people have a lot of ideas. That’s the truth. A lot of people have very nice ideas, maybe even brilliant ideas. But if nothing is done about it, it’s just an idea, you know. The problem is there are some people who have an idea and they keep talking about it and they don’t do anything about it. And then someone thinks that their idea is also brilliant and actually does something about it.
That’s when we say, oh, that person stole that other person’s idea. But in reality, we have a lot of talkers, not a lot of doers. And these talkers talk a lot about their ideas. It’s the doers who get to do the idea. So the usual case of this is there’s someone who keeps talking about his or her idea, and you just keep talking and talking and sharing it with everyone. Unfortunately, within that crowd, there’s someone who’s really looking for an opportunity to do or start a business that is perhaps a new idea.
We have some companies in our world today that actually were kind of like that, you know. They kind of stole the idea. We have Uber, we have Lyft, Grab, they have the same business model. But the first ever one that did that business was actually Lyft, but we don’t know them now because the others stole the idea and flew with it. That is what I think about this question, right?
How do you prevent it from happening to you? Don’t talk about your idea to people you don’t know, people you don’t trust. Have self-control. I know that as a founder and as a visionary, you might want to keep casting the vision, you might want to keep talking about it. Some founders, some visionaries, that’s how they make it grow within their mind and heart that finally, because of telling themselves and other people repeatedly, they finally get the oomph, you know, the drive to do it themselves and to finally start it. That’s how they build it themselves. But when you are that kind of person, and you keep doing that, or you start doing that, make sure you’re doing it with the right people.
Toni: So there was one that asked, from Blessy GP, how to tap wider customers as a small startup business?
Sean: I am assuming when you say wider customers, they’re your target market. A lot of people think that we need to get into this viral bandwagon, or we need to get into whatever is sexy in marketing right now, because that’s going to give us more reach and that’s going to make us more money. That’s not true. Here’s the thing. Marketing is marketing. It’s all about getting into the face and minds of your target market. That’s it.
It’s not that traditional marketing is dying. Things are moving to digital. It’s not even about digital. Marketing is the same. Today, yesterday, it’s the same. It’s just how you’re doing marketing now is different because your target market is moving to digital. So if your target market is not on digital, I wouldn’t tell you to go digital. I wouldn’t tell you to get social media marketing or SEO. I wouldn’t tell you to get a website. But if you know where your target market is, focusing and expanding on those platforms, that’s going to help you reach a wider audience.
If your target market right now is someone who is using their smartphones first thing in the morning, they pick it up and last thing at night, it’s the thing they put down, then Facebook is a no brainer. You have to be there. You have to be running some ads. You have to have a budget. You have to be promoting, creating content for your Facebook market so that you could get a wider audience and reach.
A lot of people also overlook word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing is still the best form of marketing. But here’s the thing, not a lot of companies have a word of mouth strategy. I’ve mentioned this in an earlier podcast. One of the brands that I love in the food industry is Yabu and that’s because when they were starting out, I mean, my wife, we went to one of their restaurants. We had to wait like 45 minutes, which we didn’t mind because we were just talking.
So we didn’t even complain. We didn’t call the waiter. We didn’t follow up. We didn’t follow up on our food. And after 45 minutes, food came and we started eating. And before we finished, the manager approached us and said, “Sir, sorry that the food took longer to come and we’re just going to give it to you for free.” He felt sorry. And I said, actually, don’t do that because I know that you guys are going to be paying for it if you do this. So it’s no problem I’m going to pay for it. You know, we ate it, I’m going to pay for it.
And he insisted that they weren’t going to pay for it. It’s the company that’s going to pay for it. And they’re very sorry about giving our food 45 minutes after. They’re getting word of mouth marketing now to all of you, you know, Yabu. They’re in Grab by the way. And they’re not paying me to say this. And that is an experience that I just love about them. They are customer centric and they serve their customers. Not a lot of businesses have a word of mouth marketing strategy.
You have to make sure you have yours. So for SEO Hacker, our word of mouth marketing strategy, we go the extra, extra mile. Meaning, this is only what you asked us to do, we will provide you more free services that you don’t expect. And we’ve gotten a lot of word of mouth. I mean, some of the word of mouth news that I’ve heard about SEO Hacker, I am blown away. It’s unbelievable what people out there say about us and that’s because of the word of mouth marketing strategy that me and my team put in place. So yeah, that’s going to be my best advice for you.
Toni: Yeah, I’m learning a lot for that even as someone who hasn’t been explored in the digital marketing field.
Sean: Another question from Jeff, what is your perspective about network marketing?
I think network marketing works, but the product must be good. I have been using USANA for a very long time already, and I believe in the product. I am not actively selling it. I am not active in the network marketing business of USANA. But the product is super good, that’s why the company has existed and thrived for the past years.
And I think if you’re a part of a network marketing company that has a really good product, that’s going to be really good for you because you can make a lot of money. I also know that one of the Filipino founded network marketing products and companies that is super duper successful is Santé Barley. And that is a really good network marketing company. They love their people. They practice what they preach.
The CEO, Joey Marcelo is really, you know, an authentic man who believes in health and wellness and fears God as well. So that is one of the biggest, I believe network marketing businesses that’s founded by a Filipino operating here in the Philippines. And definitely what they’re doing is really, really good.