By Kenneth Ng
Ruthcelyn Aceron is the owner and operator of the Marcela store, which sells feeds for livestock and rice grains. The store is located inside the market of Jagna, Philippine.
(Photo showing the shop owner Ruthcelyn Aceron and her shop)
The shop sells an array of grains, feeds and some other daily supplies. The presentation of its commodity was quite nice and neat. We talked to the shop owner for several times to get more understanding of the business, Ruthcelyn is nice and willing to talk to us and share her views. Yet, the store was quite busy so we only get short conversations as there will be customers waiting.
Ruthcelyn’s uncle handed over this business to her one year ago. She told us she did record the sales when she first started this business. But soon the accounting system was discarded as she thinks it was not convenient, especially if the store was flooded with customers, she would be too busy to record the transactions. Therefore, she doesn’t know which product generate the most revenue nor how much does she earns every month. When we asked for the pricing method for the commodities, she told us that the pricing is done by her mother via comparing the prices of other stores.
To better monitor the progress of the business, an easy accounting system could be introduced to Ruthcelyn. It should be fast to record, easy to use and be sustainable. By this, the owner could know which product was not making a good revenue and hence seek for replacements.
When we went to visit the store, occasionally, there were people helping with the store. She told us they are her relatives. She also said that every day the guy next door would help her to move the rice bags. Yet most of the time she manages the store herself. The store is small but packed, she could manage the store by herself.
(Photo showing feeds and grains Marcela store sells)
In the market, Marcela store is surrounded by competitors. There are a lot of stores selling grains and feeds in the market, and the prices are similar. To analyse the situation, we did a competitor analysis, so that we would know the price and variety of feeds and rice. We drew a map to locate stores selling similar products. Then, we record the prices of grains and feeds in other stores by taking photos, in bid to make a price comparison. The variety of the products were also recorded. In the analysis, we found out that Marcela store sell some rice that is unique to her store, but didn’t sell some other popular rice species. For feeds, Marcela store sell products from several suppliers. And Greenhills and Purina feeds is unique to Marcela store, as we didn’t see other stores selling products from these two suppliers. So, in the upcoming weeks, we could devise a plan by making use of this advantage.
(Photo showing another rice store in the market)
As we were walking in the market, we seldom see advertisements or tagging of the products. Therefore, we asked Ruthcelyn would it be a good idea to tag your products and attract more customers. Ruthcelyn seems to be reluctant towards implementing this idea, as she thought it would undermine other’s effort. But she accepts the idea to reallocate the products in a neater way, like arranging the products according to its brand.
The mode of business of Marcela store is kind of sustainable but Ruthcelyn knows only a little about her own business. It is important to introduce a system to let her understand how much she earned. So, in long term, when there is a change in the market, the store would not be impacted so severely. Understanding the current business would also provide the owner with more opportunities, like replacing commodities that is not making profits or maybe able to expand their business.
Having education in university is a privilege. By teaching them business and marketing strategies, as well as letting them understand the importance of having a systematic mode of running the business, could hopefully make their business run in a more successful and sustainable way. By jointed efforts, i hope the business of Marcela store would improve.