Globalization, together with technological progress, has shortened distances, reduced cultural gaps and also improved economies and trading. Entrepreneurs have made the most of easy access to new digital tools to reinforce their businesses and reach new clients, who go from being local, to national and often even international.
The arrival of ICTs (Information and Communication technologies) has also made it possible for stores to go online and for salespeople to become manufacturers, administrators and publicists of their own brands. A store or an office can consist of a mobile phone, making it possible to serve clients from anywhere in the world. Communication has become efficient, thanks to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and online sales webpages. Technology and entrepreneurship go hand in hand to help entrepreneurs develop innovative, creative processes so that they can improve, reduce their costs and optimize resources.
We are celebrating World Creativity & Innovation Day, and we wanted to share the story of Jimena Sandoval, entrepreneur of Fondo Esperanza, BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s Chilean institution. She sets an example for her peers: her successful business and the creativity with which she handles it have enabled her to establish her brand, which she hopes to patent in the future.
Jimena has a degree in business administration, but above all she is an entrepreneur. She resells market brand beauty products. She started selling door to door in her neighborhood, and over time she saw that her business had significant possibilities for growth. “In personal sales you need a lot of time to visit people and tell them about your products. Since people more or less know the products I offer, I decided to optimize my time and maximize my earnings, so now I have an online store, called ‘Jime Belleza’”, she explains.
As to her personal life, she shares that she has been living with her partner for seven years, and they do not have children. Despite her qualifications, she decided to go down the route of working for herself, because she wanted to be her own boss. “I felt the need to be independent, to make the people close to me see that you can live from sales, which is my great passion. Thanks to my business, I feel that I am an asset to the household, because I can help cover the costs. I don’t depend on anyone, I feel confident, I am a reference for other saleswomen and I have learned a great deal. Now I can achieve the goals I set”, she says.
The opportunity to cut her costs and reach customers further motivated this Chilean entrepreneur to do some research and find out about https://www.zoco.cl/, a platform that helps entrepreneurs to improve management and administration of their businesses, posting what they offer online. This allowed her to position herself with an online sales catalog. “With this tool, I can post my products easily and add automatic messages in case a sale comes through and I’m not online. The steps are very straightforward, and the page tells you everything you need to do so you don’t get confused”, she continues.
Jimena tells us that technology has completely changed her enterprise. “It’s an important part of my business. Since what I do is sales, I have to use everything available to get myself out there and reach new customers. In the tool that I use, there are trained professionals who provide support whenever I need it, notifying me when I don’t have much stock left. It adapts to each business and I recommend it wholeheartedly. In the future I hope to formalize my business and become a leader. I want to patent my online store and also my logo”, she ends.
Just like Jimena, many other entrepreneurs can access these options, most of them are for free, so they can take their businesses to the next level. The key lies in research, observation and acquiring new skills that can help you be more efficient and improve the experience in delivering a product or service.