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PM is not the Key: Why Putting The Price On Your Post Matters       A few days ago, the Philippine DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) reminded those who offer their products online to post the price on their announcements and offers.  The DTI cited Republic Act (RA) No. 7394 or the Consumer Act which mandates all sellers to display prices of products. Goods may also not be sold at a price higher than what is stated. This was a warning to a lot of online sellers (especially on Facebook) who hawk that “PM is the Key”. Sadly, PM (or Private Message) is NOT the key. When you, as the seller, neglect to include the price on your posts, the comment section will often be flooded by the infamous “HM po?” (How Much). That’s really bad for your business. Here are few reasons why: 1. You want the PM to be the closing part of your sales funnel process and NOT the inquiry stage. You don’t want to waste time trying to deal with people who will be turned off when you tell them the actual price and suddenly they can’t afford it or think it’s not reasonable (remember, price is relative. More on that later). 2. You actually turn off a lot of customers. Personally, when I try to look for a good deal, I only engage with sellers who put the price on their posts. A lot of people, like myself, don’t want to waste their time to send a PM and then wait for the response when all we ever wanted was to know the price. This places the decision-making process hanging. In sales or marketing, this isn’t professional nor is it an acceptable practice. There’s a reason why there are price tags in a grocery or supermarket –  you want the consumer to make a decision “there and then” versus other products of the same category. 3. PM is not automated. You’re not awake or doing business 24/7. The fact that you’re limited as a human is bad for the sales funnel already. As stated above, you want your potential buyer to make that decision (to buy or not to buy) as quickly as possible. If I see the price and I think it’s reasonable, then the PM that you will get will actually be a positive one as you will be dealing with CLOSING the sale rather than funneling them one by one. 4. PM for the price is a wrong way of engagement. A lot of sellers will try to defend not putting the price as “I want to engage the customers and every...

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  ILAW NG TAHANAN: Local moms team up to brighten the light   (MANILA, Philippines 20 May 2020) – Local moms and a panel of experts, organized a free Facebook live webinar to share their thoughts and to help fellow mothers cope with the stress, anxiety and problems facing the household in these troubled times. Dubbed “Ilaw ng Tahanan: Keep Your Light Shining Amid The Pandemic”, the webinar was led by Louise F. Santos, our main speaker, a digital influencer, celebrity mom and owner of mommypracticality.com. The webinar was moderated by Jolina Kahn, co-founder of Kahndo Solutions and were joined by a panel of experts: Tina Jurado, a registered nurse and admin of Mommy Talk PH; teacher Nicole Inocencio of the Parenting Collective; Dr. Andrea Carag, Pediatrician of Solo Moms PH; and Dr. Nicole Tangco, resident psychiatrist of the NCMH. It’s okay to be not okay One of the key learnings shared by Louise and the other panelists was“It’s okay to be not okay”. With the current problems that moms are facing today, everyone in the panel agreed that mothers are not alone and they should talk about their problems with their husbands, kids and with family and friends. It’s also important to find support groups or “Find your tribe” as coined by Ms. Jolina via online chat groups, community pages or social media groups such Mommy Talk PH, The Parenting Collective or Solo Moms PH. In a poll conducted by Big Ideas, the top 5 main concerns from moms were the following: Staying safe from Covid-19 Child concerns such as education, etc. Health Concerns Budgeting and Money Fear and Anxiety And because of the poll submitted by our social media followers before the event, our main speaker and panelists were able to frame the discussions and answer questions and concerns from fellow moms throughout the webinar in view of audience needs. A pencil has an eraser because we’re allowed to make mistakes The quote above, shared by Dr. Nicole was one of the highlights. Dr. Tangco explained that mothers aren’t perfect and it’s alright sometimes to make mistakes and to acknowledge them. For those suffering from anxiety, one of the tips she shared was for them to acknowledge that fact and just talk about it with a confidant or someone you trust – your husband, for example. Just talking about it and communicating with someone is an important first step to feeling better and to recovery. There were also other tips shared by Louise and our panelists in the webinar on how to cope and make that light “shine brighter”. Some dads also watched and even shared their feedback and appreciation for their...

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WHY DO I FEEL MORE TIRED WORKING FROM HOME? (And ways to cope) – By Mon Macutay, CEO of Big Ideas Philippines     (Manila, Philippines. 6 May 2020) – – Because of the nature of my job and my businesses, I’ve been working from home for about 7 years now. My team, who are all freelancers doing outsourced work for our clients, are all working from home too. Which means, the ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) here in the Philippines did not affect us drastically. Some pundits have called these past few months of 2020 “The Great Pause”. And a lot of people were suddenly thrust into a planet-wide experiment to see if working from home was a viable alternative to the “butts in seats” way of thinking in the corporate world. Will it succeed? Well, we have to wait a few more months to find out. Meanwhile, a lot of my friends – who suddenly found themselves working on their boxers or “pambahay” (Filipino for ‘house clothes’) seem to wonder why they’re more stressed or more tired working from home rather than office? The answer, from my personal experience, is that those who are new to this work arrangement have failed to set up both physical and mental boundaries between “work time”, “me time” and “family time”. Let me explain;   1. ROUTINES AND HOW TO TRICK YOUR MIND There are certain “triggers” or “flags” that send signals to your body and brain that “Hey, I am no longer at home and this is the start of my work schedule”. For most of us, it could be as simple as getting into your uniform or business attire and heading off onto the dreaded commute. Our bodies (and mind) will instantly recognize the boundaries and condition ourselves that we will be focusing on work and I will be leaving all personal and family things at home. Working from a home environment may not set up the proper triggers, which means both your body and brain get confused as to when “work time” begins and “home time” ends. There are several ways to adjust and there are ways to condition ourselves for this. One of the easiest is to stick to a routine, get up on the same time you would on any other work day, take your shower, put on clothes (even if it’s just a nice shirt for your Zoom calls later), have the same routine for breakfast and get ready to “leave the house”. Of course, you CANNOT leave the house due to the Pandemic, so you just have to pretend (and allot some productive time) during your “digital...

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In cooperation with my friends and also through the help of Bounceback Philippines, I recently conducted a free webinar last April 21, 2020 and gave a talk on how small businesses can ask the right questions and adapt or change in these troubled times. It was called the “SME Immediate Response Playbook”. If you weren’t able to catch it, you can watch the replay here via Facebook. And for those of you who would like to get a PDF copy of the slides, just head on over here. Thank you! Hoping that this could help some business owners and leaders on how to adapt to the “New Normal”. Stay safe, everyone!   I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the following colleagues who helped made this event possible: Leo Castillo, Jolina Kahn, Adonna Tan, Rocky Chan and RJ Ledesma. Thanks...

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How To Setup Work From Home For Philippine Companies In line with the recent growing infections from the Covid virus, the Philippine local government has advised companies to see if they can offer some of their employees to work from home. Now, I am definitely aware that this setup isn’t for every company or every industry. But allow me to share some tips based on my experience. If your company can afford to send some employees to work remotely, here are a few ways and guidelines to do it: Identify core and skeletal employees and departments: Of course, there will be people with roles who NEED to be in the office. The first line of business is to gather your senior executives and department heads and then, together with your HR manager, figure out a list of who needs to be in the office and who can work remotely. If possible, you can also set up some sort of “shifting schedule” for this. Identify core tasks that can be done remotely: Obviously, simple tasks such as e-mails or attaching reports can be done from home. The problem lies if you have a proprietary app or tool that cannot be accessed remotely due to security or protocol reasons. If that is the case, see if you can discuss this with your IT managers or engineers and look for a way if possible. For other tasks, do an inventory of how to do this remotely using the Internet and some free (or paid tools) such as Google Suite, Dropbox, Intranets or file sharing tools or apps. Determine Shifts and Attendance Protocols: There are some simple, free tools to setup attendance and timesheets. We use WhenIwork.com for this. Even the free one is good enough. There are also manual ways such as spreadsheets or even other alternatives that your HR team can suggest. Other options are also available. Just Google them to see which ones can be used by your organization. Determine your communication protocols: What’s good in this day and age is that there are a LOT of tools and communications platforms out there. You can use chat programs such as Messenger, Viber, Whatsapp or for video conferencing, Zoom and Skype can be your go to options. Project Management programs such as Slack, Usana or Trello are also stellar choices. Don’t forget the ubiquitous Google Suites, it will get the job done for 80% to 90% of your tasks. Tell your managers and supervisors to check up on their teams: In this age of fear (and fake news) it will be beholden to your leaders to lead by example. They will be...

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Corona Virus Will Make Drastic Changes to Everything As of today, there are 20 confirmed cases in where I live, the Philippines. But even if our company’s business model is “work from home”, there are still precautionary measures to take which I advised our team. With the Department of Health’s admission of the lack testing kits in the country, it is quite logical to assume that we are under-reporting the confirmed cases of those infected. Which, for some, is cause enough to panic. This is in stark contrast to how developed countries such as South Korea used their tech resources and political will to “throw everything they’ve got” at the virus. Without worrying about costs, the South Korean government has used their internet, apps, SMS, and even CCTV tracing and algorithms to conduct their thorough tracing procedures. Yes, this produced a lot of positives in their country, but this is good since they tested a gazillion citizens and have far more accurate data than any other country. It’s also the reason why their death rates are so low. Meanwhile, man’s adjustment to his way of life is tested to the limit. Events have been cancelled, whole cities are in lockdown and there may even be a possibility that this year’s Olympics in Tokyo may be cancelled. Handshakes are slowly becoming a thing of the past but some alternatives, such as elbow bumps or feet bumps, are in place. Also, it is quite apparent that panic and fake news are far more deadly than this virus. Lies are everywhere and one can laugh at stupidity but sadly, it’s a far worse epidemic than Corona. Yes, this is a global concern. There is reason to be alarmed, of course. But there is also a call to be level-headed and not panic. Purchasing all the toilet paper at the store will not save you from infection. Human behaviour is baffling sometimes. We, as a species, will get over this. There is still hope. There are also a lot of reasons not to panic. We are, at this age, more equipped to prepare and deal with a Pandemic than we were 5 or 10 years ago. Governments, corporations and organizations must learn to throw away their differences and work together to come up with solutions. The virus will definitely not discriminate on your gender, race, beliefs or even wealth-status. Repeat after me – no one is immune (yet). Until we make a vaccine, things will have to change and we should all be adjusting. There will be changes on how we conduct business, how we travel, how we buy our food and supplies, how...

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