3 Apr 2020, 10:00 — 7 min read
Instead of calling it quits after experiencing a series of failures, Rebecca Topacio, president of Jimbec Food Products under Silver Ace Franchising, chose to persevere. After all, it was no longer only about her anymore, but also for her children and family.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Rebecca Topacio (RT) shares her business journey on how she transitioned from working in the corporate world to managing her own business. She also highlights how her mother’s advice has helped her to face all challenges, setbacks, and failures in running her franchising company that has now over 1,500 franchisees all over the Philippines.
GL: How did you start your business journey?
RT: When you have a career and married life, somehow along the way you have to choose. What legacy do you want to leave for your children? At the end of the day, you can’t leave everything legitimately if you are working in a company. That’s the truth.
You should ask yourself: What is my investment after I retire here? Do I retire and my children earn my spot (corporate position) here? What’s in it for them that you are doing in your career life? When that question posed at that time of my life, I knew that I have to decide. Do I now continue on a different road and take the business route?
(When entering the business world), you have to be very calm because it’s challenging. (Starting a business) is a life decision. If you know how to do the right thing or right decision, then embark on such. But is there a right or wrong decision? I think there is none.
GL: When did these thoughts and questions strike you?
RT: When I started my family. You really have to decide — if you want to leave your career and start on your own. If you’re a career person, I tell you, it’s a hard decision.
Also read: 6 tips for mompreneurs
GL: So do you consider yourself a career person?
RT: Yes. That’s why it’s hard to decide and leave everything behind to start on the road (business) alone. You will fear for your life. You will have a fear of failure, but you need to take the first step.
GL: What made you decide to take the risk?
RT: I had to do it for my children. The limelight will no longer focus on me (but on my children).
It’s one thing that you tackle the challenges and the business, but it’s another thing to stay in the ball game. You should know due diligence, how to save, how to spend, and how to be crazy (innovative) because you will experience everything — it’s a rollercoaster ride.
GL: How did you enter into franchising?
RT: I’ve had a lot of business before (Silver Ace). I should say, if there are 50 (businesses), I’ve done 49. From those 49 businesses, none of which succeeded. Why? Because I turned my back. Whenever I would be facing temporary challenges, I would turn my back. I’m afraid because I used to be a career person. What I only know is success. (In the corporate world), when you talk to people, you just need to sign (papers) and it’s a done deal. But when you’re on your own, and the finances are dwindling, it’s a different road.
GL: How did you manage all those failures?
RT: My mom would tell me: If you start on one thing, you should finish it. Because you’ll never know that the one you started can be a big company in the future. So why do you back out? These are only temporary challenges. You must move forward even if there are snake pits. You need to bravely face it. If you’re not up for the challenges, you will really lose.
GL: What made you decide to face the snake pits after all your failures?
RT: I just have to decide if I will continue or not. Can I just decide to (continue) for a change? So I decided to continue. It’s either win or lose. And after a lot of failures, we were able to win!
When you are trying to swim and you’re losing your breath, you just have to stay calm amidst life and death situations. After that phase, in just one stroke, you can survive it.
GL: What is the unique selling proposition of your business?
RT: We create our own brands. We do the nitty-gritty standard in the kitchen. We do testing. We do our homework on what brands will sell the most. We have a field of experience in terms of food and retail, so we bank on that. These are things you can’t learn in a snap of a finger. You need expertise through experience. We are very lucky to have gone through that. I could say we are one of the pilots in terms of food kiosk since we started in 2007. We started from scratch; we do our own menu and we do it with innovation.
GL: What are the top challenges that SMEs like you are facing?
RT: Capital and people. Because in doing business, you need to sustain because it’s not always that you have cash on hand. So it’s also important to have banks that offer a loan for business owners like UnionBank. You also need to work with the right people. In my company, we are a few, but I have everything that I need.
See offer: Secure your funding needs here
GL: What’s your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
RT: To all budding entrepreneurs, it’s one thing that you tackle the challenges and the business, but it’s another thing to stay in the ball game. That’s the fear of almost all businessmen and companies; it’s to stay on top. You should know due diligence, how to save, how to spend, and how to be crazy (innovative) because you will experience everything — it’s a rollercoaster ride.
GL: What can you say about partnering with UnionBank GlobalLinker?
RT: We are very happy and excited. It’s not about us anymore. It’s about the whole new generation of entrepreneurs who will benefit from this (partnership).
To explore business opportunities, link with Rebecca Topacio by clicking on the 'Connect' button on her profile.
Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the members
Posted byAiramae Algentera Guerrero
I shine the spotlight on business owners who are doing exciting and innovative work by featuring them as part of our 'SME Inspirations' series. Connect with me and share...
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