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Business owners share practical tips on how to overcome financial missteps |

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Business owners share practical tips on how to overcome financial missteps

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Business owners share practical tips on how to overcome financial missteps
Musician and Linya-Linya owner Jim Bacarro
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — For some entrepreneurs, financial missteps must occur before business success takes place. So, when you are starting a business and you happen to hit a stumbling block early on, do not be disheartened. Keep pushing on, and success will start showing itself.

This is what happened to retail shop owners Jim Bacarro of Linya-Linya and sisters Roma and Maan Agsalud of Common Room, as they shared in RCBC Boz Sessions and admitted that they had to learn their lesson the hard way.

The RCBC Boz Sessions is a video series featuring Filipino entrepreneurs who share the story of their own journey, as well as practical tips and insights on starting and growing their own businesses.

The Agsalud sisters behind Common Room.

Like kids in a candy store

Linya-Linya’s Jim Bacarro said their company experienced “a rollercoaster of hilarious financial missteps” before it became the renowned and popular apparel and lifestyle brand that it is today.

In the episode that premiered on April 3, titled "Nadapa, Natuto, Kumita," he shared on Facebook how their funniest financial mistakes became the company’s foundational strategies.

“Those epic fails were also the foundational parts of who we are as a company today,” Bacarro shared.

The Linya-Linya founder cited issues with cash flow and business capital as “bloopers” that eventually became “incredible lessons.” He admitted that they were like “kids in a candy store with our cash” during their first few years in the business.

“Sales meant celebration, right? Wrong! We pulled out cash without thinking twice. And guess what? When it was time to pay suppliers, our wallets were singing crickets,” he recalled. 

Bacarro added that Linya-Linya’s operations started “undercapitalized,” diving into projects with “pockets half-empty.”

“The result? We got smothered by interest payments and were left scrambling for funds,” Bacarro explained, adding that they were also prone to making unplanned and unnecessary big purchases that “led to us scrimping on our actual products — the T-shirts!”

Mixing business and personal funds

Sisters Roma Agsalud-Agsunod and Maan Agsalud of the arts and crafts store Common Room likewise admitted committing basic mistakes during their first few years in business.

In their YouTube video, titled “Three Mistakes When Scaling Up Your Business,” Agsunod and Agsalud shared the lapses they committed that prevented them from leveling up sooner.

The sisters did not know anything about the basics of business when they started. “Sa sobrang wala kaming alam sa negosyo, akala naming kumita na kami basta maibalik lang ang rental fee namin,” they said.

Their lack of business know-how made them commit other mistakes, such as mixing personal finances with their business earnings, and making decisions based on feelings instead of hard financial data.

“When Common Room was just starting, kami ang breadwinners ng family namin, so lahat ng earnings namin, napupunta sa panggastos ng pamilya. Hindi namin alam na dapat paghiwalayin ang personal bank account sa business bank account. 'Pag hindi niyo sila pinaghiwalay, mabagal ang growth ng business,” they shared.

The sisters added: “The solution to not knowing the basics of business is to do simple self-studying. Kahit pinaka-basic concepts lang, pwede mo na matutunan sa YouTube videos. Manood lang kayo ng ilang videos at malaking advantage na agad ‘yan. Nakaka-stress ang mistake na ‘yan. Kaya ikaw, study your data before you make any big decision.”

Do not be afraid to try new tools

Bacarro believes that a financial misstep can translate to business success if one recognizes the mistake immediately and turn it into an opportunity for growth and innovation.

“Through these mishaps, we learned the hard way that managing a business isn’t just about making sales; it’s about smart financial planning,” he said.

For Agsunod and Agsalud, accepting the mistakes allowed them to make the necessary fixes and changes. “So, to all aspiring entrepreneurs out there, embrace your mishaps, learn from them, and maybe get a little help,” they said.

Bacarro advised being in the know when it comes to new tools and technology for business owners, as these could significantly make their lives easier. “Don’t be afraid to try new tools to help grow your business,” he said.

RELATED: 'Umpisahan na ninyo': Diwata gives advice to people who want to start their business 

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