Success tips from the ‘Potato Man’

(The Philippine Star) - February 10, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - There is no exact formula on how to make a business work. Some attribute it to luck or determination, while others credit it to theories that they read from books and learn from school. 

Potato Corner CEO Jose Magsaysay Jr. – or Jomag to his peers – shakes up all these and pours in a dash of experience and a big dose of creativity to bring notable success to his flavored French fries business. 

Here are some of his business secrets on how he did it. 

1. In partnerships, assign one captain.

Potato Corner started with four players and they assigned Jomag to be at the helm of operations. Because of this, Jomag was able to apply his personality in running the business, and this gave it a solid direction. Though he still had to ask for his partners’ permissions on the company’s major moves, he was the clear leader on steering Potato Corner to success. 

2. Stick to your brand DNA. 

If your business becomes successful, find out why – and stick to these reasons.

“Don’t take for granted the goose that lays the golden eggs,” advises Jomag.

“A lot of businessmen, go through their businesses without finding out what made their business successful. They change it in so many ways until they steer away from their brand DNA, then the business would no longer work. Just like in animals, when you change their DNA, they become abnormal, they mutate,” he adds. 

3. Have a “No Problem” attitude.

Unlike most franchising businesses, which use templates, Potato Corner customizes its deals with its partners and franchisees. According to Jomag, flexibility has been an important part of the business operations.

“In 1993, when we first encountered an offer to franchise Potato Corner, there were still no local franchising consultants and we just researched and copied contracts from the Internet. The first three franchise were actually sealed with handshakes and with thanks,” shares Jomag.

Aside from its various franchise packages, Potato Corner even offers a no cashout plan, which could not be found in any other company. If the potential partner has a location in a private school, Potato Corner could offer to capitalize on this outlet and share the earnings with the partner.

“Don’t over prepare. You have to try it and say “yes.” While you’re preparing, the opportunity might pass you by,” he says. 

4. Grow your brand exponentially.

Jomag attributes the success of Potato Corner to franchising. He shares that in their first two years of operation, more than 300 outlets that copied the concept of flavored French fries.

However, being able to franchise Potato Corner gave them significant presence. They already had 70 outlets in the first two years. 

“The reason why we’re here now is because of franchising. Just imagine, if we didn’t franchise, there must be another brand who grew and became the market leader. They could be the Potato Corner today,” shares Jomag. 

5. Offer unique, quality products.

Flavored French fries may be a simple concept but there is a reason why many still prefer that familiar cheese, barbeque, and sour cream taste of Potato Corner.

“We asked companies in the US to try and copy our flavors but they couldn’t do it. The secret of Potato Corner lies with the combination of different high-grade spices sourced out from different parts of the world,” says Jomag.


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