iRent Mo Wins Most Impactful in the Recent QBO BootQamp
Last September 2020, QBO hosted a program called BootQamp: From Idea to Fruition. QBO is a company whose name is inspired by our very own bahay kubo. As we Filipinos know, the bahay kubo is a symbol of our strength and hard work because of its strong structure and the effort placed into each bahay kubo. With this, QBO turns the idea of a bahay kubo into a modern space for Filipino start-up businesses, especially in the digital world. The BootQamp was a 5-week program for aspiring entrepreneurs that aimed to help them develop their start-up businesses in the Philippines.
It was inspired by the challenge that entrepreneurs are currently facing today which is: “How can I be a successful business despite the COVID-19 pandemic?” It’s been harder for businesses to function as they did before the pandemic. However, it also brings in an interesting challenge for entrepreneurs to step it up and find a way to adapt and function especially as things shift online.
The program was partnered with the U.S. Embassy and consisted of a series of training and learning sessions for aspiring entrepreneurs that included: business model building, understanding consumer needs, implementing validating techniques, and communicating and pitching your ideas. This program lasted for 5 weeks and at the end of it, there was a pitching competition against the teams. Here were the teams that were chosen to go against each other in the finals:
Before announcing the overall winning team, there was also another category for the most impactful pitch. The winning team for most impactful was none other than iRent Mo.
What does iRent Mo do? And how did this group of aspiring entrepreneurs stand out from the rest of the other teams?
iRent Mo is a rental market for anyone looking to rent anything or offer their own items up for rent. They have an app out now that you can download to browse through the rental market much easier. You can download the app on the Apple Store and on Google Play.
Here are some notable things from iRent Mo’s pitch that you can learn from if ever you are also an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to do more by making an impact:
Identify a problem and let your brand be the solution to it
In iRent Mo’s pitch, they tackled a couple of problems Filipinos currently face. First is that the pandemic has made it difficult for the regular Filipino to travel from place to place due to the lack of public transportation. Since Filipinos have no access to public transportation, they are forced to walk from place to place no matter how far it may be. This is of course a challenge and an inconvenience to people. The alternative to public transportation would be grabs cars and taxi cabs. But of course, not everybody has the luxury to spend on these vehicles.
To address this problem, iRent Mo has decided to come up with an easier way for Filipinos to travel from one place to another. They did this by getting people to lend their bicycles to other people who may need them more. In the end, a total of 30 bikes have been lent out to a variety of people, mostly from the lower-class working citizens such as supermarket baggers, cashiers, security guards, nurses, janitors, hospital clerks, and even front liners. Lending bikes has directly catered to these people’s needs since it is much more affordable and more convenient than having to go and buy one’s bike on their own.
The second problem that iRent Mo has decided to combat is the ongoing environmental problems produced by consumerism. People continue to buy things that they don’t need – things that end up under the bed, around the house, and in landfills. To minimize this, iRent Mo has created an app that encourages renting as an alternative to buying. With just a tap of a button, we can now rent at our own convenience. So, you may be interested in renting but do not know where to look – Now there’s an app for renting any item under the sun. At iRent Mo, the items up for rent are mostly computers and bicycles but they also have a variety of other options such as cameras, property, vehicles, and more.
If you have thought of a solution to a current problem, here are 10 ways on how you can be a successful start-up business:
1. Finding your company’s purpose
This is not just about your literal purpose such as “I need to start a business to earn money to fund myself.” This is about your real purpose. What is your company’s “why”? Why is it that you started this company? How can your business help others? What need do you want to fill in the world?
2. Come Up with a Detailed Business Plan
It’s easy to come up with many ideas on how you want your business to look like. The challenge is in turning ideas into reality. Think about the goal of your business and all the smaller steps on how to achieve it. Making a business plan guides you in ensuring that your business does not stray away from its goal. A business plan includes all the important details about the business such as its mission, objectives, strategies, finances, and etcetera.
3. Know your Consumer
It is important to segment the market and find out who you really want to target. It is easy to say “I am for the Filipino people,” but who are you for, really? Which kind of Filipino are you catering to? What are their needs? Some things to take note of is the target market’s demographics, behaviors, and motivations. This is a good way to identify who your business is really talking to. It also helps you understand what their situation is and what problems they need to be addressed by your business. You can do this by observing the market or by doing market research.
4. Fulfilling A Promise
It’s not enough to only know your consumers. It’s also important to fulfill your promise to them by making sure that your products or services live up to their expectations. Even if you are just starting out and are not that well-known yet, good products and services always sell. This will also be beneficial to you because it means that good service = good reviews which will improve the reputation of your business.
5. Differentiate Yourself From Competition
There are already so many existing businesses that are out there and are similar to each other. What will make you stand out? What will make people choose you over other existing companies? Find out your business’s biggest strength and this could be the answer to it. Build on your benefits to the consumer. This will make them care about you more. Do not be afraid to do something that seems so different than what everyone else is doing. Sometimes the best ideas are the most creative ones.
6. Heavily Market Your Business
As a start-up, it will be hard at first for your business to boom since no one really knows who you are. This is where marketing comes in. Find ways on how to project your brand in such a way that it will attract potential consumers. There are several different ways that you can market. The most popular means today would be social media. Depending on your audience, choose the right channel that would best suit your business. It would also help to create a website for easy access information on everything one needs to know about your company. Another good strategy would be word of mouth. Build awareness for your business so that people will be intrigued with your business and word can spread out faster.
7. Build A Good Team
Starting out, you would most likely have just a small team to minimize expense. Maximize your team by choosing quality members. One suggestion would be to hire consultants and freelancers. These people could help you get the job done right away. It would also help to be mentored by people who have expertise on business. This will help you be guided throughout your business process.
8. Asses Your Finances
When starting a business, you need to be practical and think about what is worth and not worth spending on. Raise the right amount of capital but also set aside some money for emergency funds. You’ll never know when a problem could come up and would need extra expenses. Also, price your products and services fairly. This will benefit your business in the long run because more consumers would be attracted to the quality for a price that they pay.
9. Track Your Progress
You can track your business’ progress by measuring your KPI’s. KPI’s are Key Performance Indicators which are measurable values that benefit the business. Examples of this are the number of people who clicked on your website, the number of new followers on your social media accounts, the number of sales you have made in a month, etcetera.
10. Believe in Yourself and Your Team
Business doesn’t have to mean all “business.” Have fun with what you do in the process! The hardest part about having a business is always the starting point. Once you get through it, it gradually becomes much easier as long as you’re having fun and putting your heart into what you do.
In conclusion, creating a start-up business is definitely a challenge. It’s fun to come up with many ideas on how to solve worldly problems and to address people’s needs but it also takes a lot of work. With the right team and the right mindset, any business is possible and worth pursuing. Stay inspired by checking out QBO for future BootQamp programs that could help jumpstart aspiring entrepreneurs like you!
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Juetten, Mary. “Twenty Tips For Startup Success.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 23 May 2018.
Young, Rob, et al. “25 Tips to Make Sure Your Startup Doesn’t Fail.” Bplans Blog, 30 June 2018.
Shah, Dhiram. “Actroid DER2 Fembot from Japan.” Luxurylaunches, 29 Sept. 2020.