How has your business been during the pandemic? Read about how Marvin Agustin faced his challenges as an entrepreneur during these difficult times.
What you can read in this article?
- How Marvin Agustin’s business is coping in the pandemic
- Maxicare health care plans
Last September 10, 2021, health insurance companyMaxicare launched their new campaign – SME Healthcare Plans: #GrowthStartsWithCare with celebrity entrepreneur, Marvin Agustin.
During the event, Marvin talked about his struggle on keeping his business afloat during the past couple of years.
The pandemic really took a toll on small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs). A lot of businesses had to close down. One of the industries that suffered a big loss was the restaurant industry. As a restaurateur and entrepreneur, Marvin Agustin’s business was affected. But instead of giving up, he took this new setup as a challenge.
How the pandemic affected Marvin Agustin as a businessman
When asked about how the pandemic affected his businesses, he admitted that his restaurants encountered some major setbacks due to the threat of Covid-19.
“Ang laking changes, ang laking challenge and disruption na nangyari sa food scene. We encourage people to come to us and enjoy the food in our dine-in service, but all of those were shut down at walang pwedeng pumunta sa restaurant.
We all have to follow the safety protocols and at the same time the threat of Covid-19 is serious,” he shared.
Marvin added that the safety of his employees was his priority because their restaurants would not be able to operate if everyone would get sick. The only business model that was left in the food business chain was delivery mode.
One of his famous restaurant is Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. It has branches at the Newport Mall in Resorts World Manila, Bonifacio Global City, and The Podium. The celebrity also owns Sumo Sam, Johnny Chow, John and Yoko, and Tai Koo Hong Kong Roast in Salcedo Village, Legaspi Village, Podium and Serendra.
How his fear led to two new businesses
Image from Marvin Agustin’s Instagram account
Because his restaurants suffered due to the lockdown, the former actor began to experiment and try new things – from baking to making his own brand of lechon cochinillo. Now, he was able to successfully venture into two new businesses – Mr.VinMunchies and Cochi.
“Good thing, I experimented. Good thing, out of fear, ang naisip ko ay just to be creative and challenge myself to learn something new.
Because of that I was able to learn quickly. I was able to adapt on the cloud kitchen business model that anywhere, wherever you are, as long as you have a kalan, pwede ka makapag luto, pwede ka makapag tinda,” he shared.
With the help of his sister May, Mr. VinMunchies now offer pastries such as the Agustin family’s version of Queso De Bola Ensaymada, classic cookies, and their best-selling Kerot Cake.
And because of his craving for crispy roast pork, a video of Marvin cooking cochinillos went viral. That gave birth to Cochi, his cochinillos, and the roast pork belly business.
Image from Cochibymarvin Instagram account
Based on his belief that you can enjoy good food wherever you are, the celebrity turned entrepreneur was able to create his own cloud kitchen brand called “Secret Kitchen” during the pandemic. They offer not only his new babies – baked goods and lechon, but also the sumptuous products from his restaurants that his patrons missed.
They sell frozen handmade dim sum, sushi platters, and even his favorite homecooked meals.
“Bagong bago ang mga challenges na hinaharap natin, but I guess kailangan natin siyang harapin with caution and with a right perspective,” he said.
Because of the situation, the entrepreneur was determined to keep his businesses afloat by experimenting and making bold decisions not just for his sake, but also for his employees.
Marvin Agustin on taking care of his employees
Despite his success, Marvin believes that his food brands wouldn’t be a success if it weren’t for his staff.
“Idea is only one percent, 99 percent is execution. I don’t think- especially in the food scene, in the food business, hindi kaya ng isang tao, hindi kaya ng dalawa, hindi kaya ng lima, marami ang taong involved.”
According to him, teamwork is very important. It’s the employees and the staff that makes up the organization, so it is important to make your staff and employees feel valued and part of the bigger picture your business has.
“I think very important kasi kung hindi nafe-feel ng tao na masaya siya, (kapag) hindi nararamdaman ng empleyado mo or ng staff mo na they belong to your organization or they feel valued, they feel respected, and heard, I don’t think you’d be able to succeed.”
As an entrepreneur, Marvin Agustin is good at taking calculated risks for his business. However, there is one thing he doesn’t like to risk – the safety of his people. This is the reason why he partnered with Maxicare, a proven name when it comes to medical insurance for enterprises.
HMO: Why it is important to sign your family up for a health plan
Prepaid Health Card Philippines: The HMO Plan For You And Your Family
Free life insurance for expectant parents and their baby!
Maxicare Healthcare Corporation is a pioneer in the health maintenance organization (HMO) industry, founded in 1987 by a group of outstanding doctors and business people whose vision is to provide a better healthcare system.
For over two decades, Maxicare has become consistently the number one HMO in the country, continuously providing comprehensive health plans through its extensive medical provider network and ever-increasing customer support.
In this campaign launch, they talked about the affordable and reliable Maxicare SME healthcare plans for enterprises.
These are the Maxicare health care plans they offer to small and medium-scaled businesses:
- Maxicare Plus – a comprehensive HMO plan for small enterprises. Good for 10-99 employees.
- Maxicare Starter Plan – a comprehensive HMO plan for micro-enterprises. Good for 3-9 employees.
- Maxicare Business Essential – the most affordable HMO plan with clinic-based outpatient care. For 3-99 employees.
For more information on these plans, you may visit their website and talk to an account specialist.
Business tips during the pandemic
Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels
Because a lot of people lost their jobs during the pandemic, a lot of Filipinos decided to do what they’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time or motivation to do so before- pursue their passion and start a business.
If you’re one of them, or if you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, you need to remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. Add to that the challenge of being a business owner during a pandemic.
To help you achieve success, here are some business tips you might want to adopt:
1. Develop a good digital marketing strategy
A strong digital marketing strategy can help support your new business in uncertain times. Transparent communication and online loyalty to your brand are two important ways to build customer loyalty during the pandemic and beyond.
2. Connect with consumers on social media
Social networks are a great way to bring new customers and share updates with current ones. Of course, you want to promote your business and any event (virtual) you are having, but you shouldn’t sell, sell, and sell. Use your social accounts to sincerely get your customers engaged with your brand.
3. Create a recession-proof business plan
Adapting the business model to your current situation is fundamental. This includes an eye on the costs so that it can avoid excessive expenses. Try to start your business as soon as possible.
4. Consider your customers’ perspective
To make the most out of social media, identify your customers and pay close attention to what they say and do online. At a time when everyone feels focused on health and the economy, addressing the current needs and concerns of customers and solving problems from their perspective can help you stand out.
5. Be flexible and stay positive
A pandemic can really bring us to our lowest times, but staying positive during these times can make you move forward. If things don’t go as planned, learn to adapt. You can also find other ways because there are millions of resources available online.
Adaptability is the key to the success of every entrepreneur and his company. Have a plan but be flexible to respond to changes.
Just like how Marvin Agustin challenged himself, you can also do the same to survive and even thrive with a new business venture this pandemic.