“Learning by doing”. It is a famous quote picked by Saxa Wiza Rayhan, the owner of Mark The Barber, to answer the question about what he gained from running a business. Last December, he launched a premium-class barbershop together with his friend, Christianto H. Putra, in Kaliurang Street. Began with their dissatisfaction over the service of many local barbershops, these class of 2013 Management students from Faculty of Economics and Business UGM (FEB UGM) then decided to build their own barbershop.
Another story came from Muhammad Furqon Putranda, a class of 2011 Management student. Also located in Kaliurang Street, his business, Cafe 360, was created due to a similar reason: dissatisfaction. He used to come to a cafe to study, but at the end he was just playing around because of its nonconducive ambiance. Along with his aim to be financially independent, finally he built a cafe with neat and calm ambiance. He hopes his customers can have fun but also be productive while doing their tasks in his cafe.
A good intention to build a good business was also showed by Bayu Nuswantoro, another class of 2011 Management student. Together with her girlfriend, he established Optimus—a Pre-School, Elementary, and Junior High School Study Course—in his hometown, Blitar, on the last February. The inspiration came from his teaching experience when he was doing Kuliah Kerja Nyata (KKN) in Bojonegoro, East Java. At that time, he met a sixth grade elementary student who was unable to read because his parents did not take care of him. Bayu wants to help this kind of children, thus he has an objective to evolve local children’s achievements so they can compete with children from another regions academically.
Bayu admitted that he started this business spontaneously. However, he can handle it because in FEB UGM he has learned a lot of knowledges that can be applied on his start-up. “Someone said ‘educational business is about trust’,” Bayu stated. “We have to convince the parents that our service can be trusted. According to Marketing Management’s theory, in this case while the children is the ‘user’, their parents are the ‘gatekeeper’. So the parents are the decision makers who decide what kind of education that their children should get.”
According to Bayu, he applies his knowledge of quality management, communication and bargaining, time-management matrix, and human resource management for his business. Bayu, who was a former barista in EB Cafe—one of business unit under FEB UGM—carries out a reward system named ‘Teacher of the Month’ which he adapted from ‘Barista of the Month’. “The learning that we got in FEB escalates our knowledge level about business. Because when we start a business, it cuts our possibilities of failure. Common businessmen may learned from their own former mistakes. Otherwise, we learn from the others’ mistakes, where we got from the theories and case studies in class.”
Christianto also applies the reward system for his employees. Everyday, his employees will get a bonus if they can serve more customers than their daily target. “The theory is proven. It increases our sales, and also makes our employees more diligent and pleased to work here,” said Christianto. That is why Mark the Barber keeps growing well.
Christianto also stated that besides their cooperation with many premium-class barbershops in Jakarta, Medan, and Bandung, they also cooperate with some of communities and events in Yogyakarta as one of their marketing strategies. For example, their instagram account (@markthebarber_yk) has reached more than one thousand followers due to their collaboration project with @explore_jogja. Mark The Barber was also selected to join Exposure Market, a pop-up market held by The 9th Management’s Events of FEB UGM in Ambarrukmo Plaza last March.
In addition to that, their success is inseparable from the support from FEB UGM students, especially their fellows. “We still remember how they motivated us to start this business,” Saxa and Christianto recalled. “We almost postponed this business, because we were misguided in something. But they were keep encouraging us to launch it, and at the day of Mark The Barber’s grand launching, all of them came to help us prepare everything.”
A similar story happened to Furqon. Far before Furqon runs Cafe 360, he had been going through many business trials and created a bundle of business plans. Unfortunately, all of those plans was failed to be carried out due to many factors: the lack of specific business knowledge and difficulty to find a proper business location. “It’s been a long time since the first time I intent to run a business.” said Furqon.
But then, when he was planning Cafe 360, the surrounding in FEB UGM was conspired to support him. Furqon got a team to build Cafe 360, which consisted of his fellows in campus. He also got a chance to consult his business plan to his lectures in FEB UGM, Amin Wibowo and Widya Paramita. “Our faculty has supported us by all of the facilities to build a business. It just depends on us whether we want to use it or not,” Furqon suggested.
Speaking of facilities, Bayu agrees since he joins the entrepreneur club in FEB UGM. “If you want to build a business, do some discussions with people who also have business or interested in business,” he also suggested.
There are more suggestions they stated. “If you want to take a business seriously, take it soon. Do not think too much. Because there is somebody out there who may also got that kind of business idea,” said Furqon. “If you got the idea, time, and capital, then just go on and be brave!” Saxa added. “Since your business runs, you may face some problems. But it will make you practice the real problem-solving,” Bayu completed.
Despite of many similarities of these businessmen raised by FEB UGM, they got different answers when BPPM Equilibrium asked them about their business’ future goals. “I hope Cafe 360 will not be a place to dine in only, but also to accomodate workshops and galleries,” said Furqon. In the other hand, Bayu stated, “I wish Optimus will be developed and sustained, by raising more students and making unit branches.” While Saxa and Christianto shared an answer, “We wish we can make business diversifications and unit branches.” Saxa then closed their statements by shared an expectation. “We hope our business will inspire another FEB UGM students to build their own business.”
Good luck, fellows!
(Meutia Azzura, Sofi Nabila/EQ)
Image by : www.shutterstock.com