Good Morning! I am Noel Pla, I am the proprietor of Know-well Office Systems, and more than 3 years ago, DOST helped us expand our business when we shifted from a computer shop to printing business that it is now. The decision to change the business was in time for the 2013 elections. In addition to the tarpaulin printer we had, DOST-SETUP financed our proposal to purchase a high-end digital printer that we used to print posters, product labels, magazines, souvenir programs, yearbooks, brochures, stickers and the like. And from that time on, our sales doubled, even tripled as we have expanded our printing capability, allowing us to acquire additional printing equipment.
In God’s grace, from the P460,000.00 we got from DOST-SETUP, when we started in 2013, our assets at the moment already amounted to P5.8 million.
From only 3 employees when we shifted to printing 3 years ago, now our small enterprise has already 14 dedicated personnel. Our employees are also receiving just wages with Philhealth, Pagibig, SSS, 13th month pay and quarterly performance-based bonus.
Last July, we opened a branch in Caraycaray, Naval, Biliran, and soon in January, if God permits, we will be opening our 3rd branch in Carigara, Leyte.
Know-well Office Systems have grown significantly in just 3 years, maximizing the support of DOST-SETUP. We also attribute our success to our financial strategy. And if you allow me, let me share to you in few minutes how we made it. I hope, I will be able to inspire you and be able to help you, in one way or the other, through this sharing.
Our financial strategy is actually simple and practical: one, we put God at the center of our business operation; two, we Control our cash flow; three, we simplify our lifestyle; and four, being generous at all times.
The first step was to change our attitude towards money and our business. That is, to accept that we do not own anything, and that everything is owned by God, including our business. I am only a mere manager and caretaker of the resources He entrusted to me. And because I am God’s manager I have to make sure that the business and its finances are in order. That is why, for me, it is a “mortal sin” to utilize the resources of the business for my personal and family expenditures. What I use for my personal and our household expenses is the salary I received from the business. I am fully aware that Noel, myself, and Know-well, the business, are two different entities.
The second strategy is to “Control our cash flow”. We make sure that there is more money flowing-in than money flowing-out everyday. To get hold of the daily operation, I maintained a daily cash flow report using Microsoft Excel which I personally input. I see to it that it is balanced before I get to sleep. By increasing our positive cash flow, we were able to increase our capability to pay our monthly payables, including that of SETUP.
The best way to maintain positive cash flow is to decrease fixed expenses and avoid variable expenses. And as I told you earlier, never use the cash from your business for your personal and family expenses.
The third strategy is to simplify our standard of Living. I hope you agree with me that our personal character and our family’s living standard greatly affect our business operation. That is why; my wife and I only spend for things that are essential. It is our habit to prepare a list before going to the grocery or the wet market, or whenever we go to a mall. We stick on the budget and make sure that all our expenses are properly recorded on a daily basis. And also it is our policy as couple not to buy on credit. If we are not yet capable of buying the things that we desire, especially kung wala pa sa budget, magtigom una (to save first). We learn to delay gratification.
And lastly, we realized that by simplifying our standards of living and by controlling our cash, we are able to allocate more from our family income to those who need our help.
To make sure that our family finances are in order, my wife and I used this formula: Family Income (ang sweldo namong duha – our salaries) – Tithes and almsgiving (para sa simbahan ug sa mangayo ug tabang) – Savings (for the future and untoward incidents) = Expenses (ang puede ra gastohon sa among personal ug sa balay). Not the other way around nga unahon una (give priority) ang expenses, because if you do, you will never be able to allocate for tithes and savings. At the moment we allocated 15% for tithes and alms-giving, 15% for our savings and 70% for expenses. We only live within the 70%. As more blessings come, our aim is to maintain if not reduce our expenses by maintaining a simple and austere lifestyle, so that bigger percentage can be allocated for the church and those who need our help.
In summary, we firmly believe that God used DOST-SETUP to prosper us. So that in return, we give back to God by sharing this prosperity to others. Each day we lift up to Him our business as the channel of His Divine providence for us. Our business is just a means to an end, and that end, we believe, is to be able to serve and glorify God. With this mindset, my wife and I are just contented with what we possess right now. We are happy with our life with God as our provider who has given us more than enough. And with God as our boss, we can say we and our business can be in good hands.
Thank you very much for your time. God bless our endeavors.