– “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 kisim sample ting ting.
Why I wrote This
If there was a cost effective way to do something, wouldn’t you want to know?
– I would.
Quick Things Before I Begin:
First. I find it useful to jump back and forth between currencies,l – PNG Kina, US Dollar and one other, depending on whether I am trading internationally. One of the earliest lessons I learnt was to think in terms of US Dollars because most of the free-market world (unfortunately) tie their currencies to the US Dollar (think of commodity prices).
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. This is an assumption I am making that you already have one. All the leading banks in PNG have this facility available.
I highly recommend BSP Visa Debit for the startup. Westpac and ANZ have similar facilities, but in terms of ease of service, I would recommend BSP for their Visa Debit facility.
Lastly, a laptop. I think a laptop is a basic necessity to assist you in business. While it is expensive, I think it would be more costly to try do business without one.
And because we are proud Papua New Guineans, I assume that you have registered your business with the PNG Investment Promotion Authority (K400-K600).
If you have a Visa Debit Card, you should be able to register a business name and business online.
When you get all your documents in order and are registered, you should go to the IRC to sign up so you can pay your taxes like a proud Papua New Guinean.
So This Is My Story…….
I want to share with you a simple hack. This is how I organised the look of my business for under K200. The IPA and IRC stuff could have come before or after this, but I chose to do it before.
It all started after a conversation with a friend on Facebook earlier this year where 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 really 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 on to 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 be enough.
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 my hustle – a logo, being key to that.
Now this is perhaps where I decided to do things a little differently. In stead of using some image from MS Windows or Google Images, I decided to do some information gathering.
I purchased a K6 Night-Pass on Digicel and decided to go to work that night after the house had gone to sleep.
I was going to use that 1.2 Gig of Digicel data to make sure I had a logo and a template to use as the basis for my business profile to her.
After midnight, I went to work on Google. Searching the terms “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, I found something I could use.
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 versions of the designs but I ended up choosing one.
This here is key. I couldn’t save the file onto my desktop so I did the next best thing – I screen-shot it.
I then went through a similar exercise for the business profile to find one to use as a template.
Into the early morning hours, I realised the image of the logo appeared a bit too blurry when I scaled to fit it on the business profile. 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. It told me to use a freelancer service called Fiverr.
I signed onto the platform and immediately started searching for a freelancer on the Fiverr to fix up the image.
Eventually I found someone from India who was online to do it for me. After describing what I wanted and agreeing to 2 options to edit the image, I paid him 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 twiligh 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 and 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.
Stands to say that 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 the benefits from that small 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.
So that is my story of how I was able to organise a part of my business for under K200,
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. If I could do it, you can do it too.
– Hans Lee