#41 How I Organised My Business with under K200. You can too!

 – “If you don’t know- find out, if you know, share”.

I’ll share this in the form of a story with the aim of giving some information to the liklik bisnis man na meri husait laik ridim na kisim sample tok skelim.

Why I wrote This

I saw some dude charging between K300-K700 for a logo and I was quite taken back. It was great. What a great idea to cater to the blossoming group of entrepreneurs in PNG. I wasn’t about to criticise his hustle. 

But as much it is fair hustle, if there was a cheaper way, wouldn’t you want to know?

– I would. 

Three Quick Things Before I Begin:

First. As a disclaimer, I don’t often do two at least two sets of calculations, PNG Kina, US Dollars and one other depending on whether I am exporting or importing.  One of the earliest lessons I learnt was to think in terms of US dollars because most of the free-market world (unfortunately) are hedged on to the US Dollar (think of commodity prices or goods on Alibaba, Amazon, Ebay)

But, noken bisi lo disla hap tok. Em olsem mi laik stretim tasol olsem I will be jumping between USD and PGK indiscriminately.

Second. Get a Visa Debit Card to facilitate online payments. I’m sorry to say this but if

Visa Debit Card is vital to your startup. I recommend BSP.

you aren’t already actively trying to find out how you can grab yourself a Visa Debit facility, you should probably consider quitting now and not even read on. You obviously do not have the fire in your bones to take your liklik bisnis to another level.

Mi tok tru, noken giamanim yu yet.

But if you want to find out, I highly recommend BSP Visa Debit for the startup. Westpac (not sure about ANZ) have similar financial technology facilities, but in terms of ease of service, I wouldn’t go past BSP for their Visa Debit facility. 

Last, before you read on, I assume that you have registered your business with the PNG Investment Promotion Authority (K400-K600). If you have satisfied my second disclaimer, you should be able to register a business name and business online. After 2-3 weeks when you get all your documents in order and are registered, you should go get it registered with the IRC so you can pay your taxes like a proud Papua New Guinean.

This Is The Story…….

So I want to share with you how I organised my business under K200. I’ve done what I mentioned above which has given me access to opportunities that would otherwise have been out side of my grasp.

It all started after a conversation with a friend over Facebook earlier this year, she asked me to send her a business profile the following week.

I had my business registered and ready to begin, but I lacked the parts of a business that made it ‘look’ like a business. I didn’t have a logo or a document to hand over to her. Business is sometimes about faking it till you make it but how would I fake it?

I was in Lae and she was in Port Moresby, so between my own unpreparedness, the looming opportunity, and the mountainous logistical challenge of getting the documents  to her the following week, mi ting osem maski em bai hat yah.

My aunty, who I was living with at the time, a small business owner herself, with a tonne of hustle, caught heed of my dilemma and told me to think it through carefully, advising me that I didn’t need to submit a physical copy to my friend. An electronic copy would suffice.

Tru yah, hau na mi lus tingting lo Email. 

But an email only meant that I needed to flesh out a document that looked presentable and had to be a representation of what I was trying to emulate – a logo being key to that.

Now this is perhaps where I decided to do things a little differently. In stead of using some shitty image from MS Windows or Google Images, I decided to do some information gathering.

I topped up a K6 night-pass and went to go to work that night.

I was going to use that 1G of Digicel data to make sure I had a logo and a template to use as the basis for my business profile to her.

Later that night when everyone had gone to sleep, I went to work on google. “Free Logo Services”. “Free Business Profile Template”. I google and googled then used Youtube to learn and learn.

I picked up on some key pieces of information and went in search of making it work.

Fake it till you make it ,and when you make it, learn as much as you can to keep you there for as long as you can. 

Thanks to the power of Google, a 5 second optimised search generated exactly what I needed. A free logo making service that enabled me to type in the name of my business that would intelligently generate samples of logos. There were several iterations of designs and I ended up choosing one.

Right-Click Save Image As .PNG 

I then went through a similar exercise for the business profile.

However, there were irritating issues that littered the process I was going down.

Into the early morning hours, I realised the image of the logo appeared a bit too blurry. Attempting to remedy the problem, I asked google, ‘what should I do about this’.

And in a matter of seconds Google helped me find a solution. I ended up using a

One of many Freelance Websites that can help you optimise your startup in PNGs high cost environment.

freelancer on the website Fiverr.com to fix up the image. I had to sign up of course using my gmail, it took me about 10 minutes. I then went about searching for someone to fix up my image. I eventually paid someone in India USD7.00 (K25.00) to do up my logo properly using Illustrator, a process that he delivered in an hour! A whole hour!

K25 for a logo in several formats in 1 hour! That is a deal!

Inspired, I looked for someone to do up my business profile based on the template I had found. This time I tendered the job on Fiverr.com. USD50 (K160.00) to put together a business profile for me in 4 days including revisions. Within the hour I had about 3 people from around the world crazy enough to take the job. As long as I provided the writeup and logo, they could do up something basic but attractive enough to make it feel as if it was done professionally (what ever that means).

I was now K191.00 in. K160 for the business profile. K6 for the Digicel Night Plan. K25 for the logo in one hour!

It was nearing early in the morning and I had achieved what I thought was impossible. But it would have almost been impossible had I not had my Visa Debit Card and access to a mobile phone that could tether internet for me to use on my laptop.

Several days later, I was able to get my business profile done looking like I had spent too much money on a graphic artist to make it look like amazing. I ended up revising it twice but at no extra cost to me.

Safe to say then when I sent it through to my friend, she commented on the professional image I was presenting. 

Little did she know that I had spent less then K200 and was about to reap some very big benefits from that investment. 

There are two points here then that I should share.

  • One is that, there is always a way. Taim ting ting igo sot, askim Google.
  • Second is that, there is always a cheaper way that gets you the best quality possible.

So that is my story of how I was able to organise my business for under K200, and I should also add that I did it all in one morning. I hope it has given sampla liklik bisnis man na meri some tips on how to do things a little bit easier in these hard economic times because if I could do it, you can do it too.

Love PNG.

–  Hans Lee


I am now working on my business website and outsourcing my accounts bookkeeping using Fiverr.com.

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