Category Archives: Classifieds Service

Stressed out over work? Sweat it off with Bikram yoga

(Originally published on August 31, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

As with many successful professionals in the country’s growing business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, Ria Cejero has learned to thrive in a very competitive environment.

The 41-year-old human resource officer has handled employee relations since 2002, and has experienced more than her fair share of late hours and work-related stress.

While she spends around 12 hours a day working in a major call center, Cejero makes time to practice Bikram yoga. She had read about the benefits of Bikram yoga before joining colleagues for a class at Bikram Yoga Alabang, the newest certified Bikram yoga studio in the country. “Losing weight was not a priority at that time,” says Cejero, “but I felt that I needed to relax.”

Developed by Bikram Choudhury, Bikram yoga is a form of yoga involving 26 postures or asanas and two breathing exercises practiced for 90 minutes inside a room heated to 40 degrees Celsius. Choudhury himself was able to benefit from the practice when he suffered from a knee injury at the age of 17.

“Bikram yoga is intended for all fitness levels,” explains Ginger Diaz, studio director of Bikram Yoga Alabang. “Regular practice may help improve flexibility, cardiovascular and muscular st rength, and endurance if the series of postures are executed properly. The room is heated to allow the muscles to become more responsive to deeper and sustained stretching.”

Since opening in October 2010, over 1,500 people have practiced at Bikram Yoga Alabang. “We are proud to have contributed in introducing more people to the wonderful benefits of Bikram yoga,” Diaz says.

Full-body Workout

As a busy career woman, Cejero still considers it a challenge to dedicate 90 minutes a day for exercise. But she says that the benefits of practicing Bikram yoga outweigh the challenges. She recalls that her first few classes made her dizzy and nauseous, something beginners are advised to anticipate. “Bikram yoga helped me relax,” Cejero shares, “I started sleeping well when I started the practice. Getting enough sleep was all I needed at that time to get the balance for the practice.” Gradually, the dizziness disappeared.

“Focus and discipline are skills that will greatly improve when you practice Bikram,” Cejero adds. “It helped me manage my schedule as well, because my goal is to be more efficient and to finish work earlier.”

In Bikram yoga, hydration is key. Practitioners are advised to double the normal water intake of eight glasses a day. Hours before practice, Cejero drinks plenty of water and only eats light meals.

Despite being used to working the night shift, Cejero says there are days when she finds it difficult to sleep. “Bikram helped me deal with that,” she reveals, “my breathing improved dramatically, which in turn allowed me to handle stress effectively.”

Cejero believes that Bikram yoga is a good fit for professionals in the BPO industry. “Bikram yoga is an excellent full-body workout that will leave you feeling incredible,” she shares. “Just be sure to drink lots of water before class. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.”

To know more about Bikram Yoga Alabang, call (2) 846-5496 and (927) 916-9909 or send an e-mail to bikramyogaalabang@yahoo.com. Visit http://www.bikramyogaalabang.com for more information and resources on Bikram yoga.

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Globe Telecom provides technology support for TESDA’s job profiling program

(Originally published on August 28, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

Leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom provided the technology support to the recently held Jobs Bridging Fair in Cebu Citythat showcased, among others, the job-profiling program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). The event was organized by the Coalition for Better Education (CBE) in partnership with TESDA Region 7.

The job fair, one of the highlights of the CBE tenth anniversary, aimed to bridge job seekers and jobready graduates with employment opportunities as a relevant input in the thrust to quality education. The event also included job facilitation activities participated by key industries from the priority sectors of tourism, information and communications technology (ICT), business process outsourcing and construction.

Being a major partner of CBE on various programs, Globe provided 25 laptops with Internet connection for the job fair. The laptops were used for TESDA’s YP4SC or Youth Profiling for Starring Careers, a multi-phase program that aims to help high school students, out-of-school youths, unemployed adults, course shifters and retirees make informed decisions on their careers to avoid education and job mismatch. YP4SC components include career profiling, labor market information, education and training information, career guidance and tracking. TESDA is one of the 36 institutions and 250 individual stakeholders that make up CBE, a Cebu-based non-stock, non-profit organization committed to the vision of creating empowered communities of learning. Its members represent the academe, students, parents, government, nongovernment, business organizations, media practitioners and professional and civic groups.

Being an expert on research and development of ICT integration in teaching and curriculum development, CBE is currently the major partner of Globe in its Global Filipino Teacher (GFT) and Global Filipino Schools (GFS) programs. GFT is a teacher enhancement training where CBE helps in developing capacities of teachers to conduct ICT-enabled learning activities in the classroom. Following its success, Globe and CBE, together with the Department of Education, are now looking at further improving the capability of ICT-mature public high schools to become the community expert in ICT through GFS.

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Monster Philippines launches Android application for job seekers and employers

(Originally published on August 28, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

MonsterPhilippines, a leading online career and recruitment solutions provider in the country, recently announced the launch of its new Android applications. With the lifestyle of young working professionals in mind, Monster’s new mobile applications aim to provide consumers with a flexible and on the go 24/7 platform to scout and apply for job opportunities.

To further strengthen mobile penetration, MonsterPhilippinesalso launched a new employer/ recruiter interface on its WAP portal. The company has also recently revamped its WAP portal for jobseekers with newer and enhanced features.

Monster’s Android application can be downloaded for free on the Google Android marketplace. The application has all the features and services present in Monster.com.

ph, but it gives users the choice to choose the way they want to search for their next job opportunity. The WAP portal for employers, meanwhile, will help them search, shortlist, reach out and interact with prospective candidates. They can also post, renew and manage job postings.

Elaborating on the launch, Sanjay Modi, managing director of Monster.com-India, Middle East andSouth East Asia, says: “Monster has always strived to innovate, keeping the consumer at the center of every initiative. Our Android application and WAP portal for job search are a direct outcome of consumer feedback we’ve received, which pointed to an increasingly active and mobile lifestyle that necessitated the need for a mobile version of our job search capabilities. With our new Android application, we’re converging traditional online job searching with mobile technology to cater to a young, mobile, tech-savvy working population, giving them an on the go and user-friendly mobile job search application.”

“Today the mobile handset and smart phone market is growing at an exponential pace,” continues Modi, “and the Android platform is at the top of the heap, with analysts expecting it to overtake all existing mobile platforms by 2012. Based on the future potential of the Android platform, the new Monster app provides a huge opportunity for us to tap into even more job seekers in a platform they are naturally gravitating towards more and more often.”

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Starting a Janitorial Business

(Originally published on August 28, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

A janitorial services business has excellent potential and needs little capital to start. There are janitorial companies that have started small and are now deploying hundreds and thousands of workers because more companies now turn to agencies to handle their  sanitation requirements. Not only do they find it cheaper, but the manpower are usually better trained.

To get into the janitorial services business, here is a list of the basic steps:

1. Undergo training. Learn how to properly conduct janitorial services. Unless you will be hiring a supervisor or manager, you will have to be the one to teach your janitors. Learn how to minimize your supplies usage as well as maintain housekeeping work standards. You also need to know the legal standards and safety measures to avoid accidents and health hazards.

2. Select a location for your office. Go for the most affordable site since office location is not important in this business. In fact, you could start first by being home-based to save on rentals.

3. Come up with a descriptive business name and register with the appropriate agencies: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for single proprietor; and with the Securities

and Exchange Commission (SEC) for corporations or partnerships.

4. Get a barangay clearance and then proceed to the municipal or city hall to get your business permit.

5. Register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and get your TIN, Certificate of Registration, and obtain authority to print receipts.

6. Register with the Social Security System, Philhealth, Pagibig Fund and the Department of Labor.

7. Open a bank account for your business.

8. Hire qualified manpower and train them to properly conform to you and your client’s standards. They must be well-trained before deployed to a client.

9. Develop an efficient payroll system for your personnel.

10. Purchase the appropriate equipment and supplies. Some of the pricier equipment you must have are floor polishers, vacuum cleaners, pressure washers and power scrubbing machines.

11. Pick the most appropriate marketing strategy. If you are a startup, network to gain potential clients or to scout for establishments that may need your janitorial service. You

can also post your services on free ads websites since many people now use the internet to look for janitorial services. This is cost-effective for those with limited capital. Those with more resources should advertise in newspapers and/or the yellow pages.

12. Be able to cost and price your services properly. While labor costs will be the bulk of your expenses, cleaning supplies, equipment  depreciation and office overhead must be taken into account.

The janitorial services business is not glamorous, but due to necessity, lesser competition and simplicity, it is a solid business with a reliable cash flow. For people with limited capital and who are not afraid to work hard, this is indeed a promising venture.

Want to learn more about this business? BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts seminars on “How to Start a Janitorial Business.” Contact (2) 727-5628/8860 or visit http://www.businesscoachphil.com for details.

 

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Setting an Apartment Rental Business

(Originally published on August 21,  2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

For those looking for a steady source of income with minimal time to spend, an apartment rental business is hard to beat. You may have heard a lot of horror stories about problem tenants, but notice that most landlords will never sell their apartments.

The truth is a lot of retirees depend on the monthly rental payments for their everyday expenses. Despite everything, apartments normally do not go bankrupt like many small businesses. That is why they are a favorite investment for people who want minimal risk.

However, there is a downside to the safety of this business. The lesser risk comes at the price of lower returns. It will take a relatively long time to get back your investment compared to other ventures. The cash flow, while steady, is small in comparison to the size of the investment.

You must also be updated with current rental laws. The rules on how much you can increase rentals and the ejectment procedures constantly change, so you must be abreast.

Be very selective in screening tenants. Reject those who have a strong chance of not paying their obligations. Do not allow those who will likely cause too much wear and tear on your apartment, as well.

Your lease agreement must be carefully drafted. It would be best to have one drafted by an attorney with experience in making lease contracts. Buying a ready-made document from a store may not only result in an unfavorable agreement, but your tenants will have a lesser view of the agreement.

The registration requirements for an apartment rental business are simple. Assuming that you will be constructing your own, here are the basic steps:

1. Check first if the property you have or plan to acquire is zoned for the construction of a residential apartment. Know, too, about restrictions like the maximum number of floors you can build. These restrictions may possibly make your investment not feasible.

2. Register with the Department of Trade if you will be the sole owner of the property or with the Securities and Exchange Commission if you plan to be a corporation. Have your accountant or lawyer prepare the needed papers.

3. Get a Barangay Clearance.

4. Obtain a Building Permit and Occupation Permit from the municipal or city hall. You must also secure your Fire Safety Permit there.

5.Register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Get your certificate of registration. This will contain the schedule of your tax obligations with the national government. If you still do not have a Tax Identification Number, obtain it at the BIR along with your authority to print official receipts.

6. Have your receipts printed. Starting an apartment is a sound investment, but you must know what you are doing to avoid mistakes. Since apartments require a substantial capital, and laws and trends change fast, it would be prudent to know more about this venture before proceeding.

 

BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts seminars on starting an Apartment or Commercial Stall Rentals Business. Contact them at (2) 727-5628/8860 or e-mail businesscoachphil@gmail.com for details.

 

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Starting Your Own Pet Shop

(Originally published on July 17,  2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)


Animal lovers will find a pet shop not only fulfilling to handle but surprisingly lucrative—if you know how to do it right. For those already involved in breeding pets, setting up a pet shop promises a profitable extension of their business.

The following are the steps and tips to get you started on this fascinating business:

1. Register your business with all the proper government agencies. Before you start, get a business name from the Department of Trade (DTI) if your business will be a sole proprietorship, or from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if you plan it to be a corporation or partnership. Obtain a barangay clearance before you proceed to get a business permit from the mayor’s office, and then acquire a certificate of registration and authority to print receipts from the BIR. Other entities you have to comply with are the SSS, Pag-ibig, Philhealth, DOLE, Bureau of Animal Industry, and the Department of Agriculture.

2. Know the laws that govern the sourcing, handling and selling of animals. There are endangered species that cannot be sold legally. You may also be liable for cruelty to animals if you fail to implement the proper care of the pets, which includes proper feeding, facilities and handling.

3. Choose a location where there are other pet shops or a mall. People buying pets tend to shop around before they buy. They want to check a wide variety so buyers tend to flock to places where there are many pet shops in the same area. You can observe this in Arranque, Cartimar and other places where plenty of pet animals are sold. However, a pet shop may also be successful alone if it is located inside a large mall. Here the advantage of convenience and high foot traffic can give good sales to pet shops.

4. Invest in good displays. Make sure the containment structures are of the right size for the animals. There must be enough room for the pets to move around and maintain their health. Remember that some animals quickly outgrow their space.

5. Source from reputable dealers. Get only from sources that can provide the legal papers. Never get from illegal sources, not only to avoid future legal problems but there is also that strong possibility of getting a disease-carrier.

6. Know what animals can be kept together. Due to space constraints, it is impractical to keep every animal in its own cage. However, make it a point to find out which animals are antagonistic toward each other. Note that there are members of the same species that cannot be put in the same cage or aquarium.

7. Have a veterinarian on retainer. Your pets will need medical care, from vaccines to antibiotics and vitamins. These are the things that only qualified veterinarians know. They can also provide you valuable advice on how to best take care of the pets.

8. Carry a line of pet supplies and accessories as well. These will help you have a more even cash flow. You may even earn more from the supplies and accessories because they are purchased regularly. People will also want to have all they will need for their pet available in one place. Every time they go back to your store, there is also a chance that you can sell them more pets.

9. Learn as much as you can about the pets you are selling. Customers will patronize pet shops that can give them reliable information. You will also minimize losses due to pets dying of faulty care. Healthy pets also look nicer; hence, they are easier to sell. Knowing about the animals you are selling also ensures you can be in better compliance with the regulatory agencies.

10. Set the proper prices. To price profitably, you must always be aware of the prevailing market prices by canvassing your competitors. This will enable you to set your prices at a level that will sell and still have a good margin. Nevertheless, there are some rules of thumb that are useful to know. Life animals usually go for at least double the cost of the pet including transportation.

11. Market your pet shop. It is not sufficient to just wait for customers to walk in; you must also be continuously promoting your store. Come up with flyers with special offers and learn internet marketing. It is also cost effective to place advertisements in local publications in the area where your store is located.

Pet shops consist of a delightful business to operate but because your inventory are living things, extra special effort must be exerted to ensure their well-being.


If you want to learn more about BusinessCoach Inc., call (2) 727-5628 or 727-8860 for details or e-mail businesscoachphil@gmail.com. You can also visit their website at http://www.businesscoachphil.com to see more business opportunities.

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On Making the Big Switch

(Originally published on July 17,  2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

If you’ve been thinking of shifting careers for some time now, purchasing a small (or big!) business franchise is a great way to go

By Tricia V. Morente

 

With entrepreneurship driving a huge chunk of the economy’s growth these days, more and more people are suddenly finding the merits of putting up one’s own business over working as an employee in the corporate world.

For some, this life-changing decision happens in their 40s—an important time for people to reflect on their careers and whether or not they still want to stay on the same course, or make a change. Such is the case of Atty. Ann Cabochan, a Binalot franchisee and the director of the Bureau of International Trade Relations of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). “I’ve always thought of myself as a professional lawyer and not an entrepreneur,” begins Cabochan, “but when my husband constructed a building with commercial spaces and eventually asked me to run it, I got to experience managing a small business. It was like a natural progression of events and things just falling into place—and suddenly I realized I was ready to manage a new venture.”

With very little experience in business to speak of, Cabochan and her husband decided that franchising a food business was the best bet for their success. So began their experience with growing their own Binalot branch—one of the most successful franchises in the country today.

Why Franchise?

The beauty about starting a franchise business is that you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Buying a franchise can be a rewarding business decision, and is the perfect option for someone who wants to enter the business world without the risks that come with starting one’s own business.

Creating a business operations model from scratch, and then implementing it through trial and error can be very time consuming and unproductive. But franchises have business models that are already developed and ready to be utilized. Binalot, for one, already has its fair share of success, which is why owner Rommel Juan is looking to expand into other areas by selling the Binalot brand and concept to franchisees.

Unlike the Cabochans, former collection officer Irell G. Perez already knew that he wanted to run his own business. He just wasn’t ready yet. “When I first started my own business, I wasn’t totally prepared and ready. I didn’t feel confident enough to go out on my own,” shares Perez, “so I thought that the most practical option was for me to look for a franchise that has the expertise and equipment, and can guide me in running a business.”

There are certainly lone wolf entrepreneurs who can go at it alone and do just fine. But for most newbie business owners and career-shifters, franchising not only gives them the technical assistance and troubleshooting support, it also provides the opportunity to communicate with other owners to learn best practices and exchange ideas.

It’s exactly what happened to Binalot Alphaland Southgate franchisee Annalyn Sayat. Exhausted from working as an employee for a big company, Sayat wanted to be her own boss. But being a newbie in the business arena, Sayat says that she wanted to make sure that her investment would be spent wisely. “I didn’t have the technical know-how of running a business,” she admits, “especially with Human Resource and Accounting. It’s why I opted for a franchise that already has a solid system and structure.” Being with Binalot, she adds, helped her to be more analytical when it comes to her decision-making. “You get to talk to your fellow franchisees, and you get reliable advice because you’re in the same line of business.”

Choosing the right investment

Initiating a career change by purchasing a business franchise definitely has a lot of major benefits. But keep in mind that there is a downside to purchasing a franchise—and that’s if you choose the wrong one to buy. It is essential to conduct a comprehensive analysis of each option you are considering and identify the key weaknesses that may compromise your efforts down the road.

“You really have to do your own research about the company, their system, the location, everything,” advises Sayat. “You also have to do the math because everything will depend on that. And finally, give it your all and the rest is up to God,” she adds.

Choose a product that you truly believe in, adds Perez. “The reason I chose a food franchise was because I, for one, love to eat,” he says, “and when a friend told me about Binalot, I researched about their products, benefits, and read feedback from previous franchisees. Eventually, I decided to go with the company because I believed in the product, their expertise, and the opportunities they’ve provided for me to learn and grow their business.”

Don’t invest in a franchise with your eyes closed, injects Cabochan. “My husband noticed how brisk business was for one of the Binalot stores in theMakaticentral business district. He frequented the mall where it was located, coming at different hours of the day, and different days of the week. We ate a few times in the store, trying something different each time, and we were convinced that it was value for money.”

The moment you decide to invest in Binalot, or any franchise for that matter, choose to take an active role in running the business. “Undergo the same training for store supervisors just to familiarize yourself with the system and intricacies of the business,” advises Cabochan. “Take an active role especially at the start and be sure you have someone trustworthy to look after the store when you’re busy or abroad. And don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

At the end of the day, the success and sustainability of a new business venture—whether a franchise or not—will always be a result of the entrepreneur’s pro-active role in the enterprise. “Starting my own business made me realize that there is no limit to one’s potentials as long as you put your heart into it,” Cabochan shares. “I never thought I was capable of running a sustainable business, but luckily enough, I proved myself wrong.”

 

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Beginner’s Guide to Project Management

(Originally published on Wednesday, July 10, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

How a major project is handled can either make or break a person’s career—and even his company’s fortune. Unfortunately, many of those new to project management are left to “sink or swim” with insufficient guidance. While in developed nations many people engage in formal training in project management, here in thePhilippinesvirtually all project managers learn about project management on the job.

To be able to grasp the essentials of project management, you must know its definition: a project is a temporary undertaking with a defined beginning and an ending, done to meet unique objectives. Its transient nature means projects are not part of operations that are repetitive work to produce products or services.

While reading this article will not make you an instant expert, the basic ideas of project management listed below would be very helpful in guiding the beginner:

• Clarify the project objectives and requirements. You must document precisely what the project seeks to attain, as well as its constraints. Establish the deadline for completion, the budget, and the quality standards. You must consult with all the departments or persons that will be affected or needed to complete the project. Things like possible legal impediments must be ironed out. A lot of brainstorming and negotiation occurs in this stage. Getting the support of internal and external stakeholders is also important for a project’s success.

• Create the project plan supported by using the appropriate planning tools. Before beginning, you must create a detailed plan. Get detailed cost estimates and setup milestones to monitor progress. Tasks must be arranged in the proper order and the dependencies (a task that must be finished before another task is done) noted. In doing this, it is impossible to organize a project properly without the use of planning tools. There are dozens of possible tools, but there are some that are commonly used. One is the Gantt chart, a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule. For better control, the more sophisticated tools often used is the Critical Path Method (CPM) and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT); these enable you to apply additional resources to relieve bottle necks that delay the whole project.

• Prepare for contingencies. Plan for problems that may be encountered. Build on some slack into your time schedule in order to mitigate the inevitable delays that will result from unforeseen events. Besides the extra time needed, you must also have some allowance in the budget for emergencies that will need additional expenditures.

• Submit timely and well written Project Status Reports. Study how to make project status reports for your superiors. Find out if there is already a prescribed format or precedent before coming up with your own. Reports should be as short as possible without missing important details. Avoid using jargon that may not be understandable to all those who may read your reports. Report if progress is on schedule and being done within the budget. Also, keep copies of your report for future reference.

Effective project management is extremely important and you must try to learn as much as possible to avoid costly mistakes.

To learn more about this important function you may call (2) 727-5628/8860 or e-mail businesscoachphil@gmail.com for details.

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Work Your Way Up the Corporate Ladder in ForMe Pieces

(Originally published on Wednesday, July 10, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

 

Dressing has always been one of the best avenues for the imagination to play, and the result is a proportioned reflection of an individual’s personality. But with the hectic life that the metro provides, dressing to impress has become a dilemma of every woman. The woman of today is career and goal-oriented; she works hard and plays on how she feels she deserves, and this woman is in search of clothes that will cater to her very needs, from coffee to cocktails, from office to a night of social interaction. And ForMe, the country’s premiere female fashion brand, strives to provide. A staple in the retail industry since 2004, ForMe has recently made significant improvements to not only its latest collection but overall brand image. Currently known for its classic, laid back pieces, new initiatives of ForMe focus on “Celebrating Women” as the brand expands its merchandise to deliver more diverse and stylish pieces.

For more information, visit http://www.forme.com.ph.

 

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Back to School with Omnicom

(Originally published on Wednesday, July 10, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)

The Omnicom Media Group (OMG) Philippines resumed its “U@OMG” classes earlier this month. This is the third consecutive year that the agency, known for its insight driven and pioneering business solutions (through its media outlets, OMD and PHD), opened its doors to a new batch of hopefuls, who have the makings demanded of a successful career in advertising.  Initiated back in 2009, U@OMG was the brainchild of the company’s  CEO and President, Hermie de Leon, who envisioned it to be an in-house scholastic mechanism anchored on the principle of continuous education, wherein promising young talents are instructed, rigorously trained, and immersed into the insides and depths of the media industry.

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