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We have been connected to trading used cars (buy and sell used cars) for more than 20 years. We also offer other services such as preventive maintenance of vehicles, painting and restoration, and van rentals. During the pandemic, we bought a tow truck, so that we can help our customers with free towing service.
Our current initiative, the EMC Care Pack, has been designed to build more loyalty and trust, which have become our top priorities during this pandemic. We understand that our customers don’t want to come to us in person, so for every inquiry, we make sure they don’t have to leave their homes. For example, having to file paperwork for registration at the LTO doesn’t seem like a pleasant thing to do right now, but we’ll do it for you and deliver your registration papers right to your doorstep. Our EMC Care Pack offers free preventive maintenance, disinfectant service, free transfer of registration, and ownership. The tow truck is also part of our EMC cares program – we use it to showcase our cars directly in the homes of interested customers.
33:26 A type of customer we have is a retired senior citizen who loves buying cars from me. He likes to lurk around our site and if he sees something he likes, he’ll trade his previous car for it. What worked for him is the VIP treatment that we give him. That’s just one person but I can name many more customers like him. The used car business is not like it was before – they will look at your site and when they see the car that they like, the next step is to see it. We immediately ask them if they want us to bring the car to them.
31:16 A challenge for us is funding. Right before pandemic, our inventory was high, but we still had cash flow issues. For me to be able to go through this breakthrough, I needed funding, marketing materials, and training. We went through a week of training, and we came up with all the stigmas and came up with things we can fix or improve.
1:01:57 It’s a good idea to think of the next pandemic. How to fight loneliness and mental health. If you can connect people to specific vehicles, sites, maintenance, it will give them happiness. A car guy will connect with someone with the same car or who likes the same car.
Long before the pandemic in 2013, my restaurant closed down. My previous customers were still asking me if they could order food from me. One thing led to another, and now I run a home-based business specializing in party trays that were present in kiosks and food bazaars.
Studying the market, I realized that no one caters to people who live in condominiums and to people who live alone. Because my party trays are good for 6 people at the minimum, how will these people be able to order my party trays? My breakthrough is to cater to people who live in condo units or by themselves, where they can order frozen food from me along with delivery. I strongly believe that these frozen ready-to-eat meals would be great for this market.
I am still refining my business before I launch it – most of my friends are my current customers. I have a single mom friend, and nowadays single parents have to take on the responsibility of teaching their children through online classes. She’s also busy doing work from home and it became a pain for her to think about cooking. There are times she’d have to leave work to cook dinner. When I started my service, my friends were my trial run so I could see what I could improve on. So far the concept has worked for her and she worries less about the constraints of cooking.
Although fast food is convenient, one can only consume so much fast food. If you’re someone concerned about their health, fast food is not the best option to go for on a consistent basis. My friends like that they can enjoy a home-cooked meal without having to cook the meal themselves.
My main challenge right now is in logistics. Because my village has gotten very strict about letting helpers come in or out, it’s just a two-man show at the moment. Additional staff would’ve been a big help to my operations but I understand the limitations due to the pandemic. Therefore, I have to ask my customers to place their orders at least a week in advance. My sister and I do the purchasing, cooking, and packaging, on top of marketing and connecting to customers. It’s a lot for just two people to do. On the side, I use TikTok to share quick cooking videos that would inspire people while serving as a marketing tool for my food business.
We need to clearly define the why of what we want to do, because understanding who we do it for and why we do it for them are the foremost agendas for any business endeavor.
Once again, my hyper imaginative and creative mind fell into the trap of jumping into ideas and what not. I had to pause, step back and review the why of the business. It’s so easy to think of ideas, but if it is not deeply rooted on something that is of utmost relevance to the stakeholder, chances are, it won’t build customer loyalty.
Going through the hurdles will help you think of the right process on how to solve the problem. It’s normal that we tend to focus on the solution we have in mind, jumping into the conclusions by not being considerate on what are the real needs of our target stakeholders.
In Ignite, we believe that questions, not ideas are the most fundamental unit of innovation. When we ask to learn or ask the right questions, we get to see our stakeholders’ zones of opportunities. We get to understand their specific pains and the opportunities that our stakeholders can innovate around. With this, we are truly helping them INNOVATE.
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