It’s not uncommon to hear of an entrepreneur who started his own business out of frustration over the quality of existing ones. That’s exactly what happened with Eileen Juan, founder of The Picture Company.
More than a dozen years ago, Eileen took her firstborn son to a photography studio. At the time, the idea of a studio dedicated to children’s portraits was unheard of, and so Eileen and her son had to make do with the traditional photography studio which wasn’t exactly child-friendly and a photographer who didn’t know the first thing about taking pictures of little ones. Sorely unsatisfied not only with the quality of the pictures, but with their general experience, Eileen thought that things could be so much better.
When Eileen put up The Picture Company, she paved the way for the birth of an exciting industry. Because she had no benchmarks to follow, Eileen made her own rules. She got school teachers as photographers, for example, because she knew that they’d work well with children. Today, the players are many and the industry exciting, but Eileen and her company continue to be a step ahead of the game.
At the 3rd Mompreneur Summit organized by Mompreneur Manila, Eileen shared with mompreneurs and aspiring business owners the secret of The Picture Company’s success.
Stick to your unique competitive advantage. From the very start, Eileen positioned The Picture Company as a creative portrait business. She was in the photography business, yes, but what sets her company apart from the rest is its strength in producing creative portraits.
Find your magic. Eileen encouraged the mompreneurs to find their ‘why.’ In her case, she says, “I share magic moments. I don’t sell portraits… It’s about playing. We are funmakers and storytellers; happy people capturing happy memories.” She adds, “Your ‘why’ comes from your heart. If your heart is speaking to you, then it must be good. If your heart is nagging you, it’s going to happen.”
A brand is a promise. Mompreneurs must always keep in mind that their brand is not just a logo, but a promise. Their product must thus fulfill the values promised by the brand each and every time. She says, “A brand gets stronger when you deliver what you promised each and every time.”
Create a corporate culture aligned with your vision. Since The Picture Company is in the business of creating happy memories for its customers, it makes sure to create happy memories for its employees too. Its office is a happy space where employees are encouraged to make their corners fun and bright. Out-of-the box activities make meetings and brainstorming sessions lively; and recognition events are transformed into parties complete with themes and costumes.
Last but not least, Eileen exhorted mompreneurs to be clear about their values as these would determine the company’s present path and future direction.