Tips & Testimonials
Discover how other entrepreneurs succeeded in bringing their businesses to life.
More Than Shear Enterprise
Since opening its doors to customers in 1990, Bruno's Barbers has, needless to say, made the cut in the barbershop business. Read on as two of its owners, Amy Manas and Karina Manas-Manapat, prove that running this kind of venture is not just for the machos.
Of all businesses for women like you, why a barbershop?
Amy: A personal need gave rise to the idea of setting up a barbershop business even at a time when the country's economic situation was slow, and the most conservative males were getting their haircuts in salons. In the area where I lived, I realized that there was no barbershop where I can feel comfortable and relaxed while waiting for my son to get a haircut.
Karina: Our concept then was to deviate from the ambiance of the traditional barbershops proliferating in every neighborhood by offering the same services, but in a relaxed and clean environment that started as a business partnership with my sister, Amy, soon evolved into a corporation in 1994 with two other sisters, Peachy Manas and Joyce Manas-Magpale, joining in the business.
How did you grow Bruno's Barbers? How is business doing at present?
Amy: As profits were coming in and the financial picture was becoming clear, we decided to open new branches, but at a very conservative pace. We made sure that we knew our cash flow by heart to adequately map the business expenditures and future plans. Applying hands-on policy and understanding our financial position assisted us in making sound and strategic decisions.
Karina: Financing the expansion became a major concern. We then took the bold step of getting a stand-by credit facility with BPI Family Savings Bank.
Amy: Today, Bruno's Barbers continues to improve and uplift the standard of living of close to 500 people and their families by providing jobs to the underprivileged, who are mostly non-degree holders and disadvantaged in the highly competitive job market. Through the years, Bruno's Services Corporation has expanded and now operates 24 full-service barbershops, including four franchised and two soon-to-open branches, conveniently located around the metropolis and nearby cities. From the initial concept, the business slowly evolved to give way to new and improved services and treatments amidst changing times while maintaining the quality of its traditional offerings.
Do you recommend making a loan as an option to other entrepreneurs when they need money to grow their business?
Amy: Yes. As we grew, additional capitalization was required to fund the expansion and sustain our growth. The decision to acquire a loan and establish a stand-by credit facility with BPI Family Savings Bank contributed greatly in facilitating our growth. With the availability and easy access of funds, we were able to make swift and strategic decisions that otherwise, could have been translated into opportunity losses.
Karina: Acquiring a loan oftentimes is a better alternative that may even result to bigger earnings. Most of us know that financial backing, either through a parent's monetary aid or a bank loan, is essential not only during the start-up stage when the main concern is to survive and prosper.
What Advice Can You Give To Aspiring Entrepreneurs For Them To Be Successful In Having A Business?
Karina: Cash management is very important to survive and prosper in business. Income and expenses should be recorded and organized so that the financial picture becomes clear. When things start to get better and there's a feeling of comfort, you are tempted to hire more personnel, get a bigger office, buy new equipment, and start paying for some non-essential items, etc. But, if you are not careful, all these gratifications go away in a jiffy when you can't pay your bills; thus, expenditures should be planned with prudence and caution.
Amy: In a thriving business, the owner sometimes has to let go of many tasks for the company to grow, which includes some functions like purchasing. Setting up procedures for tracking or approving expenses over a certain threshold to ensure that your expenses are not way out of line can be helpful in good cash management, which, in turn, can help a business secure a credit facility.