Getting into business straight out of college may not be a popular idea among young people in the country, given how Filipinos have been wired to become employees after school. But while other fresh graduates may find the challenges involved in a start-up daunting, Scott Kho, who now has his own printing shop at 24, saw but great opportunities in a business idea borne out of his interests and family influence.
“I got into the printing business by accident. [When I was in college], my mom was into flexographic printing,” said Mr. Kho, a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. In addition, his job as a photojournalist for Matanglawin, an Ateneo student publication, got him interested in the latest printing technologies.
One machine particularly caught Mr. Kho’s attention and after some more Internet research, he decided to meet with the supplier. “We talked and somehow ended up making a counter-offer for the machine. Everything fell into place and we ended up purchasing the equipment,” said Mr. Kho, who needed to borrow money from his parents to put-up a small printing venture.
Getting the first sale, he recalled, was the most difficult part since he still didn’t know how to pitch his business and which clients to approach. However, he found his first customers right within the campus: Matanglawin and fellow students working on business class projects.
He then officially set up the printing shop at home in Valenzuela and named it Gutenberg Print Pack Philippines—after the inventor of the printing press—which prints books, flyers, packaging materials, and business cards, among others.
Since Gutenberg Print Pack’s registration last year, Mr. Kho said the business has evolved in many ways. “A number of business ideas last year seemed great but they turned out to be quite useless. There's been a lot of reformulation of ideas, approaches, and products,” Mr. Kho said, adding that the small firm has constantly sought ways to standardize the processes, reduce errors, and minimize workplace misunderstanding.
He has also tapped measures to lower communication costs and to speed up coordination between him and his staff. “I’m on the phone with our staff at least five hours everyday, coordinating the production and other concerns. We use the Internet to transfer clients’ files and [the] approval of layouts. Job orders are also sent through the Internet,” said Mr. Kho, who’s also the shop’s main sales and marketing man.
Running one’s own business is not easy, but Mr. Kho found it’s not that difficult either. “It's important to plan a business but the plan must be flexible. We only come to a lot of realizations once we are in the thick of things, when plans begin to fail,” said Mr. Kho, adding that resourcefulness, creativity and innovation are essential in his line of business.
Gutenberg Print Pack Philippines can be reached at (02) 383-8904 or email@example.com.
Raul L. Locsin Building I
95 Balete Drive Extension,
New Manila, Quezon City,
Extensions: 706, 709-711
Direct Line: (632)535-9923
Fax No.: (632)535-9925
Email: New Media Group