(The road going to Vicky’s Cookies)
Today is the second day we work in Vicky’s Cookies. Though the time is not long yet, we have gone through so many things, and our work with the business is gradually on the way.
The First day
This Monday exists for us since we are going to start our work very soon. Our business is a little bit different in the gathering time, so we waited for the whole morning to go there. We took a tricycle to Vicky’s Cookies, and it lies between the place we live (Tubod Mar) and the market.
(The ocean seen from Vicky’s Cookies)
Vicky’s Cookies faces the ocean so the view there is pretty fantastic. The owner of the store now is not Vicky, instead, is her daughter, a kind woman named Mallu. She is the mother of three girls, and her husband does some fishing to maintain the daily expense. In the first day, we try to gather the information of the store as much as possible so that we can know what we can help with.
(Mallu and her youngest child)
Starting from the accounting issue, they don’t account anything for their business nor life, so there is not an existing accounting system for our reference. And Mallu’s profit is from selling the cookies only since she buys ready-made cookies from her sister’s family. One more thing to mention is that there are nine to ten similar cookie shops nearby, which make the cookies in the same way and sell them at the same price. Mallu also told us that they use woods to bake the cookies in the past now they use gas. However, cookies baked with gas have some special flavor and taste. What’s more, June is not the popular season of cookies so during the afternoon we stayed there, we didn’t see many customers. The popular season of the cookies is May, September, and November. During that time, they can even bring the cookies to the market and sell at higher price.
We set down all the information and summarized it. After that, we began to know that we can do for them. Maintaining a regular accounting system is the basic thing. We asked for the sale amount of cookies that day, corresponding cash flows, cost and selling price of the cookies. With these data, we begin the accounting for them. To make it easy for Mallu to continue it after we leave, we decide to do it by handwriting rather than on the computer. But we will still maintain an Excel table to set down the data and maintain a balance. I and Vish major in Statistic and Accounting respectively, so it will be a nice cooperation to do the accounting with Excel. Since Mallu counts nothing for the business even the sell amount, we will start with counting sell amount of cookies. It is easy for us to do it, but we can only do it for her for twenty days. So we want to form a habit of counting sell amount with Mallu together. We came up with the idea that we can use a counting machine to count it. Every time Mallu sells a bag of cookies, she just presses once on the machine. Besides the machine we use to count the sale amount, we will also have an extra counting machine. Since during the popular season, the stock of cookies is always less than the demands. Mallu knows that this is a chance to earn more profit but she does not know how many she should but more from her sister. Therefore, we will set another counting machine, every time we meet the situation that we don’t have enough cookie to sell we press once. In this way, we can get to know how many bags of cookies we should buy more every month.
Another long-term plan is to make more promotions for Vicky’s Cookies. The tastes, price, location, and a package of cookies of cookie store around are the same. Therefore, we think the one with a better promotion that can attract people’s eyes will win. Other plans such as making more sizes, more tastes of the cookies will also be implemented step by step.
The first day goes quite well, and Mallu is so friendly. Hope we can have a nice cooperation and make the business better!
The Second day
∆ Vertical or horizontal?
People is willing to see that a shop is popular and sells things very quickly. That indicates that the merchandise they buy is pretty fresh (Of course the cookies are very fresh already!). We changed the arrangement of the cookies in the window to make it look like a lot. Surprisely, a Sweden man who has lived here for five years noticed our change and said it makes people really want to buy it. We will try our best not only to set up the accounting system but also improve some details in the shop.
(New arrangement for the cookies in the display window)
∆ Small Size or Large Size?
(The originally large size and small size)
Yesterday we found that the size of the bag of cookies is too big, which may prevent some people who want to eat but not much from buying the cookie. To sell more, we suggest Mallu asking her sister to make the smaller size of the cookie. And we help her to settle the price and calculate the profit rate. After understanding the principle, Mallu was very happy since, in this way, the profit per piece of cookies would be doubled. The Smaller size does attract more people to buy, and it is quite popular. This makes us easier with our future work since yesterday Mallu’s brother thought we were just here to have fun so they should not trust us.
It is nature, and common for people feel it is difficult to change. But once we got the first step, we can go further and further naturally. We also believe that we can win their trust with our hard-working effort! Moreover, I feel very grateful to meet Mallu, a woman who is tough, smart, kind and full of execution. I will try to know more about her and learn from her at the same time.
This part is just our special experience in Vicky’s Cookies. Mallu’s husband hunted a lizard that day, and he showed it to us. This is the first time I got so close to a lizard and touched it. This would be an unforgettable experience in my life!
The third day
I arrived at Vicky’s Cookies at 8:40 am and started the day. I asked the sale amount of yesterday from Mallu to do our accounting work. After that, I began to do some preparations for the promotion. As we planned, we are going to make two posters for Vicky’s Cookies. The small one is in the show window, and the big one will put by the side of the road.
Today I measured the size of the display window and planned its layout. We will put the small poster in the position one, and put the Permit of Vicky’s Cookies in the position two. The Permit is to show that the cookies are clean and healthy, and use the poster to show the characteristics of Vicky’s Cookies such as Homemade, Since 1980 and Open for 24 hours. We need to show these shining points to people so that we can make Vicky’s Cookies unique and different from the cookie shops around.
(The places we plan to put the Permit and the small poster)
Visit the places making cookies
Although Mallu is only responsible for selling the cookies, we still think it will be very useful for us to visit the place they make the cookies and meet people who make them. Today Mallu and I went to her sister’s house and saw how they make cookies. The cookies were handmade from the mixture to the bakery. Mallu’s sister makes the cookies, and her husband bakes it. Finally, Mallu’s sister will pack it and sell it to Mallu.
(The first step, to shape the misture)
(The oven used to bake the cookies)
(The woman who packs the cookies)
What’s more, we also visited the cookie shops near Vicky’s Cookies, Babie’s cookies, and Liza’s cookies. They make the cookies in a similar way.
1. Most of bussinesses in the Phillipines just run thier bussiness without accounting. They will feel enough as long as the money made can feed the family. This also makes people difficult to change.
2.The small bussiness will not die but it is also hard to make it big. People who run the small bussiness can make money but hard to become rich. Their ideas have some limatations. Therefore, for small bussiness, ideas and changes are important and small changes can really make a difference.
3.Men and women are pretty equal here. In most situation, women will run the business and manage the finacial circumstance for the family. So persuading them is the most crucial thing to do when we want to get into the bussiness.
4.One thing prevents people from starting small bussiness is the capital. People here do not save money for future use so they don’t have enough money to start a bussiness. They reply on the governemnt fund or borrow money with high interest rate, which might lead them to a poorer situation. Therefore, it is definitely meaningful to help them build the consciousness to save money so that they can use the capital to earn more money in the future.
The first three days go quite well and we feel so luck that we meet Mallu. She is different and we can see the eager in her eyes, which longs for changes. We are not afraid that people is hard to change, we are only afraid that people themselves do not want to change. So it must be a wonderful experience to work with Mallu!