Colette’s Buko Pie at Pasalubong and the 3 Types of Entrepreneur

In the workplace, industry experts say there are three kinds of employee: the Passive, Reactive and Proactive employee. In the world of business, the same is true for business owners. Let’s explore each type in the context of a very popular pasalubong place: Colette’s Buko Pie at Pasalubong.

A Brief Background

Colette’s Buko Pie at Pasalubong opened in 1989 with one store in San Pablo City, Laguna. Owner Plaridel “Ed” Dela Cruz started out with just buko pie as his product. Ed named his store after his daughter, Colette. Today, Colette’s has more than 60 stores all over the country, including outlets, branches, and franchises.

The Passive Entrepreneur

A passive business owner is a person who waits for things to happen, instead of making them happen. He waits for customers to notice his business. He waits for sales to materialize. He waits for inquiries to turn to actual transactions. Unfortunately, a company, no matter how generous its capital, is bound to fail if management tends to wait.

When Colette’s was new, Ed and his wife were content with only 20 boxes sold per day.

The Reactive Entrepreneur

The second kind of business owner is the reactive type. Not every business runs smoothly. Occasionally, you encounter hiccups. Your business depends on how you tackle these obstacles to growth and success.

If you’re a reactive entrepreneur, you’d respond to situations as they arise. Business consultants, however, do not recommend this, as you diminish your chances of succeeding when you don’t plan or anticipate hurdles.

Technically, Colette’s was a reactive business. Not an original idea, it was born as a response to trends. Before Ed opened his store, buko pie was already a favorite pasalubong of local and foreign tourists in Los Baños. Ed told local show My Puhunan, in an interview, that his daughter, Colette, was attending high school in Los Baños at that time, and the family found themselves frequenting the place because of this. They saw how popular buko pie was in Los Baños and recognized the business potential in it.

The Proactive Entrepreneur

This kind of businessperson does not just notice opportunities; he/she creates them. He also does not stand on the sidelines, waiting for growth to happen. He looks for alternative or additional revenue sources, goes out to find his market, and makes his product or service accessible to more people.

Colette’s amplified this proactiveness in quality control, production, and sales. Ed is a “hands-on” owner. He said it was necessary so he could monitor his business, especially when it was starting. His first shop now sells more than 200 boxes of buko pie a day, and he has more than a hundred employees. But he remains “hands-on” to sustain the quality of pies and processes.

The entire store network has diversified by selling other pie flavors, such as mango and pineapple; cassava cake, pastries, and rice cakes. It retains buko as the carrier product. The company also opened its doors to franchising to reach more locations and customers, thereby expanding access and raising profits.

No business is immediately a flop or a pop; most of the time, it depends on what type of entrepreneur leads the business. If you’re only starting, you may be a passive entrepreneur now, but you can be a proactive one sooner or later. Success doesn’t happen overnight, so never stop improving and expanding your craft.

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