10 Lessons I learned in my first 100K business failure

Kamusta naman buhay buhay?

This is the first time that I will reveal the lessons that I’ve learned in my first business failure.

I’m a bit emotional right now when I try to remember those days, the good and bad feelings that I experienced. Medyo masakit malugi ng 100k pesos, 🙁

You don’t have to worry when you are planning to start a business. I’m not saying that you may also lose this kind of amount but its only part of the process.

Today, I would like to share this so that you may avoid those mistakes and learn as well.

Here we go…

After working in Singapore for almost 2 years, I finally decided to go back home for good.

I’m very excited to apply what I’ve learned from Robert Kiyosaki which is to be an investor and entrepreneur.

In the back of my head, I had full of doubts to venture in a business for the first time.

Despite of unknown roads ahead, there was a little voice whispering to my ears to not over think and just start the business that I want to pursue.

I’m going out of my comfort zone completely because I was grown up to be an employee.

I’ve never had any experience in any kind of business except nung bata pa ko nung nagtinda ako ng bibingka tapos lugi pa kase talo lagi sa tosscoin. Lol

I started a sugarcane juice business that I’ve benchmarked from Singapore because I really like the taste and I’m a bit of a health buff.

After months of running the business, unfortunately I shut it down because it’s not that profitable and I’m losing more money in the process.

These are the lessons that I’ve learned:

1. No business plan. I’ve started the business without any business plan. I found out that you need to identify your target market, customers, age, demographics, etc.

You have to write everything and a simple word document template will do. You can find a lot of reference from the internet.

It will help you to see the big picture and direction of your business.

2. I’ve chosen the product that I like and not people want. I learned that even if you like to eat, it’s not necessarily that you will start a restaurant business.

You have to study what people want and not because you like the product or service.

Remember that a business is for them and not for you. You have to choose a product or service that people want or like.

3. Location. I didn’t choose the right location to market my product. I only chose the location because it was vacant on that time.

I learned that you have to study the buying behaviors of the people around that area and how many foot traffic.

I later discovered that the people who were shopping around that area are almost always the same everyday. They are buying only those basic necessities such as groceries, fruits and vegetables because it’s a public market.

4. Marketing. I don’t know how marketing works and only followed the traditional way by using tarpaulin.

I assumed that when people see a new store and product, they will flock together to buy my product which it didn’t happen.

I later learned that there are many types of marketing that you can leverage. You may choose mass or direct-response marketing and many others.

You have to learn the basics and plan your marketing strategies. As they say, if you have good marketing, you don’t need to sell.

5. Managing people. It’s really true that it’s difficult to handle people than a machine because each of us has their own thinking.

Be careful in hiring your staff and I don’t suggest hiring relatives especially if you are starting out because it may create conflict.

You have to really think through who will going to join your team and need to find out if he will follow your vision and mission.

6. Market research. I didn’t conduct any feasibility study and who will going to be my potential customers. I thought that a business is for everybody.

I learned that no such thing as one-size-fits-all business.

Remember that a business is the one that can solve a problem or fulfilling a need.

You have to observe your environment and talk to people when doing market research.

With the power of the internet nowadays, you can actually do a research by visiting forums, comments in a blog, facebook groups and even news online.

7. Resourcefulness and managing expenses. I was able to find vendors and suppliers on my own.

My parents and some connections helped me in constructing and setting up the store.

I’m also glad that I learned on how to manage and cutting expenses simply by analyzing the scenario and dealing with people.

You have to become resourceful and use the existing things that you have because it will help you to cut expenses and keep the operation at a lower cost.

8. Don’t listen to what other people may say. I remember someone told me that; bakit ka magnenegosyo e ang ganda naman ng trabaho mo?

Some people won’t understand what you are aiming in life.

They will try to drag you down and what really hurt sometimes is the one who did this is your relatives.

I was able to overcome the negativity of the other people.

So, don’t listen to them and focus on the people who trusted you more. Ayaw nila kase na maiba ka, dapat lagi lang kayong parehas sa buhay.

9. It’s difficult to teach people for a new concept. You have to teach people and drive why your product or service is good than the existing or traditional one.

It will take time; you need a lot of marketing efforts and awareness.

10. Finally, you have to identify and analyze all the mistakes and learn from it. It’s only a temporary defeat and you have to move forward. As Zig Ziglar said, failure is an event and not a person.

Despite of those struggles, good and bad experiences, I’m feeling great to myself that I learned so much lessons that I couldn’t get in any schools and only real world experience can give.

This experience didn’t stop my entrepreneurial spirit and I’m still in the process of building my successful business.

I’m hoping that you will learn something from my experiences and help you to avoid costly mistakes if you are planning to start a business.


To your financial success,

Marvin Basa

About The Author

Marvin Basa

Marvin Basa is a financial literacy advocate who helps Pinoys to have successful financial lives.


  • Apple

    Reply Reply June 7, 2016

    Good day Sir,
    Nung nabasa ko ito na inspired at napaisip din ako… I was employed before but i decided to become a fulltime housewife pero gusto ko pa din may income. I have a small business which is a sari sari store.. Pero till now i want to dream big pero i don’t know where should i start.. Especially i have a small capital lang naman. Sana someday makaron ako ng business na gusto ko talaga at masasabi ko masaya ako doon.

    • marvinbasa@gmail.com

      Reply Reply June 7, 2016

      You have to start from your strength and passion. Mahirap kase mag entrep kaya passion will be your driving force to continue to move forward despite challenges. Ask the people around where you good at. Start small lang but dream big.

      You need to solve a problem or fulfill a need. Nowadays, most people start to dip their hands in an online buz kase less capital needed.

      Lastly, dont do it yourself and ask for help. Continue to develop your skills and knowledge.Goodluck.

  • Efren

    Reply Reply July 1, 2016

    After you failed in your first business venture, sumubok po ba kayo uling magnegosyo?

    • marvinbasa@gmail.com

      Reply Reply July 1, 2016

      Yes, It didn’t stop me. Patuloy pa ding nangangarap at taking action. Ready, Fire, Aim ika nga! Eventhough I’m haven’t reached the top yet, I’m enjoying the process rather than the end result. I’m happy that I’m developing my character, personality, mindset, relationship to people, etc. I’m continuing to learn more knowledge thru books, seminars and most especially taking action even hitting some roadblocks.

  • Brian

    Reply Reply July 1, 2016

    Thank you sa inspiring story sir! And thank you sa tips kung san ako dapat magfocus. I myself is an employee and tired to be one. Gusto ko na din magstart ng own business.

    • marvinbasa@gmail.com

      Reply Reply July 1, 2016

      I suggest you to read some books (e.g. Success Principles by Jack Canfield) and focus on building the right mindset first. Entrepreneurship is very hard, spelling pa nga lang e :). You need mental toughness.

      But one thing I noticed why aspiring entrepreneur didn’t start is because of fear like losing money or fear of failure. Fear is only in our mind and we always think of the worst case scenario that may happen but in reality there is a low chance that it will happen. If you are afraid of losing your money or capital, you will never start to build your own business. My advice is you must start small and don’t go all-in that will end up leaving in the street.

      The best advice that I’ve got from successful entrepreneur is, You Are Going to Die, We Are Going to Die. Don’t let the fear stops you in achieving your dreams. Goodluck!

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