There’s money in helping small businesses to grow
HR experts find the right business mix in Purple Chalk venture
With Cebu’s booming economy, it’s not a surprise to see more and more businesses sprouting left and right.
But for some, especially the smaller ones, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to manage their own people and processes as they continue to expand.
Seeing this concern themselves, Mae Anne Yee and her partner Josiah Caare decided to put up Purple Chalk Philippines – to provide human resource development and consulting services as well as events organizing and production.
“For large enterprises, they can afford to hire HR managers and staff. But the thing is, small to medium businesses cannot afford to hire these people.
Most of the time, if they have problems, they just leave it. That’s why we see the need to be of help to these companies,” the 39-year old Caare told Cebu Daily News.
Caare and Yee
Although a graduate of chemical engineering, linguistics, and nursing, Caare never pursued a career in these three fields. Instead, he found himself wanting to work with people. He took up graduate studies in organizational development and human resource management at the Ateneo de Manila University in 2013.
Since then, he has worked as senior HR manager in different companies.
On the other hand, his partner, the 38-year old Yee, has a degree in mass communication, and speech and theater arts.
She spent much of her years working in production for a telecommunications company.
Caare, who is from Cagayan de Oro, and Yee, who is from Cadiz City, ended up settling down in Cebu 2003 and 2001, respectively.
Caare and Yee met in 2010 but it was only last year when the two of them decided to leave their former jobs and use each of their expertise in HR management and events and production to establish Purple Chalk Philippines.
“Purple is not just a color. It means Purpose + People. On the other hand, chalk is to represent learning,” Yee explained.
The firm, which is located in Mandaue City, opened in April 2017.
It did not take a lot for them to put up the businesses as the two’s main weapon is their vast experiences in their respective fields.
They only needed less than P1 million as capital to start the business. This was used mostly for the furnishing of their office space with tables, computers, air conditioning units, and advance payments for rentals.
Apart from the two of them, they have a lean staff of four people who do office and administrative work.
Purple Chalk’s services include HR consulting; training and development; recruitment, staffing, and background check; and marketing and events.
30 clients in a year
With their connections, the two started with only a handful of clients. But now, after a little over a year, they already have around 30 clients across different industries that include construction, business process outsourcing, food, telecommunications, finance, real estate, distribution, trading, and hotels.
Majority, or around 70 percent of their clients are from Cebu but they also have a few from Manila and other parts of the Visayas like Bacolod, Boracay, and Iloilo.
Purple Chalk is a member of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) as well as the Business Network International (BNI). Their affiliation to these two groups has also helped them network with other businesses and possible clients.
“For us, the secret of growing your business is in networking with the right people,” Yee said.
The company has been serving the corporate market, specifically the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“They are our target because what we do is we basically help these SMEs to give structure to their businesses. In Cebu, there are a lot of family-owned businesses that start simple. And then they grow. But sometimes, they see that they have difficulties,” Yee said.
She added that they usually encounter problems of SMEs who don’t have contracts for their employees, or don’t have company policies, manuals, or even something as simple as a vision, mission and core values.
According to Caare, the first thing they do when they engage clients is to do gap analysis in their business processes. Then, they would recommend solutions which are also implemented and checked by them.
Each client will have customized plan on how they would try to resolve their issues.
Their contracts could run from six to eight months up to one year.
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