Manila has its fair share of famous streets when it comes to business and commercial centres. Ayala Avenue, Ortigas Avenue, and Rizal Avenue to name just a few, not forgetting world-famous Commonwealth Avenue and Quirino, a major commercial artery heading north in Luzon. Location is an incredibly important fact for our budding entrepreneurs. Many of our top international companies and businesses and elite firms have started from right here as small then-unknown enterprises.
So, with that in mind, I was a little taken back when I started as my own entrepreneur with, Intellipest Control Inc in 2016, would investors and the business people I needed take me seriously? Would they share my enthusiasm for starting up a modern, efficient and environmentally aware pest control business? In such a complex, super busy multi-cultural metropolis like Manila, would I even be able to open an office!
However, something quite unexpected occurred, in the coffee shops, meeting rooms and business centers, I heard the same five word phrase over and over;
“How can I help you?”
Some of the busiest people in the City offered me time to chat, the powerful and knowledgeable of Manila would talk of their experience, suggest connections and pass on their know-how to me, a new person on the block, with no real great experience at all.
It made me think, what is so good about that phrase, “how can I help you”? Why do some of the people with the very least spare time use it? Then it clicked, in business one of the main assets is knowing people, if that is going to work then that beautiful and simple phrase is a golden key, the ultimate tool to building business relationships and important and valuable connections. It allows the opening up of true communication, it’s the start of a trusting relationship, a way to build a foundation and open the lines of communication for many possible future interactions.
A part of these people’s success in their field is their ability to harness the power of that phrase. It is not just that of course, it works in equal measure with the ability to follow through on promises and a host of other personal skills and qualities but it’s still a major factor.
For those more spiritually minded this still fits. I personally believe it is the opening of a door to building a successful business career, helping others. The concept sits well with other more karmic ideas and statements such as; “what goes around comes around”. Like the balance idea, the ying-yang philosophy of “what you give is what you get back”.
The business world would see it in more matter-of-fact way of course, that using that particular phrase is, in actuality an investment, in many cases once used, you may need some patience. It may be some time before you see any returns on your investment, and you may even have to invest more time and assistance, but often there will be a valuable outcome in equal measure, and in ways you really do not expect. For example, in the creation of further new connections, opportunities or relationships, personal or business, you just never know.
This was laid out to me first hand with the creation of my own creative computer work developing intellipest.net. I built this website myself for my business, Intellipest Control Inc. Realised I had some good skills in web design abilities and in the written word. Once up and running, people noticed and not only did I create a pest control business, other people asked for a dot COM Website of their own! So in that vein Keysinee.com was born. I may not be the most experienced web designer but if there is something people want I will make sure I do it. NBM Rice trading for example, one of the leading suppliers of wholesale and retail organic Philippine rice in Manila, said they loved it, while we chatted one day, I asked “how can I help you?” they told me exactly what they needed for their internet presence and well, the rest is just easier to view.
The upshot of all this? Well I thought at first the business world was just going to be cold and hard-headed, now I believe that that kind of attitude will only carry a person so far.
The short phrase “how can I help you?” can carry you much further and in a more pleasant manner for everyone concerned. This is something I will practice for the rest of my career.
Please share my article, let’s make Manila great!