By Judy Lorenzo
Young, driven, and ambitious. Judy Lorenzo is 20-something tech-entrepreneur in the Philippines whose new startup company, myBOSS, helps SMEs thrive through streamlined back office shared services. Having experienced the challenges that solo entrepreneurs face, Judy is on a mission to fuse online automation with offline collaboration so that SMEs can focus on the big goal: grow their companies.
This is her ambitious journey.
With my first startup, I personally experienced the challenges of being the only one to manage everything—operations, marketing, handling and training people, customer service, and even site oculars. I need to ensure that I have a proper filing and documentation of my sales and expenses. I also need to file and pay my business owner obligations on time.
As a start-up, it was even more challenging to find a professional (yet affordable) to whom I can delegate these tasks. Based on experience and feedback from many entrepreneurs I talked to, they also encounter the same concerns. So I came up with the solution.
myBOSS was established last August 15, 2018. I invited key people—an entrepreneur guru, an accountant, an HR-entrepreneur, and a tech-entrepreneur—and asked them if we can work together to build a back office shared services company. Technically, I am the founder and general manager of the company.
myBOSS provides back office services such as accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, recruitment, and compliance with government reportorial and tax requirements. All files will be digitized and made accessible through a real-time software and mobile app.
myBOSS services will be accessible to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Through a monthly retainer’s fee, these businesses can avail of an enterprise financial (ERP) and human resource (HRIS) solutions that will ensure complete, updated, reliable, and accurate financial and HR information that will help entrepreneurs and company officials make immediate and appropriate decisions.
Without the necessity of setting up a full accounting, HR, and admin department, company transactions are digitized and made accessible through the web and through an artificial intelligence gadget that is handy and portable to enable immediate access to company files and up-to-date information including compliance with government requirements and obligations, which is a function that often neglected by many MSMEs. Through this service, entrepreneurs can focus on the company’s core business and be assured that its financial operations are comprehensively being managed.
myBOSS is not an accounting firm, a recruitment agency, or a software company. myBOSS is a back office services provider that efficiently uses technology and artificial intelligence to ensure operational effectiveness and stability of enterprises in order to bring about growth and sustainability.
The “BOSS” in our business name stands for “back office shared services”. And since we want our shared services to feel personalized for the client, we added “my”. It’s a simple name but it’s also easy to remember and understand what our company offers. Our office is located at the corner of Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. (formerly Buendia) and Jupiter Streets.
What do you believe makes your business stand out?
myBOSS offers full back office support services including accounting and financial services, payroll, HR, admin, and files and reporting transmitted real-time through software that can be accessed through the web and an app. Others officer one expertise only, myBOSS offers a full spectrum of back office services.
How did you build your customer base? What form of marketing has been most effective for you so far?
As a startup, the most effective way of marketing is expanding your network. Be out there where your target market is, create relationships with them, and find ways how you can collaborate instead of just selling. You need to give the right quality of customer experience that will be spread through word-of-mouth. You can only claim your branding once there are people who testify how true it is.
What kind of company culture are you implementing / would like to implement? What are your core values?
Talent and skills are very important in building a team. However, I strongly believe that an individual who is persevering, humble, and a team player in his/her work will contribute more to the company.
In my watch, each employee is being trained to be effective leaders of the future. Humility, gratefulness, and high integrity are the core values that I have been implanting to any of my companies. They help ensure that employees are molded in a holistic and competitive approach not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
What skills do you believe are necessary in handling the business?
The patience to build the business, which is not an overnight success. An appetite for hitting rock bottom and failure. The ability to make a turnaround immediately and work with plan b and plan c. You need grit.
Was there ever a time you felt afraid that this might not work? How did you manage this fear?
The entrepreneurial journey is like a rollercoaster ride. Today, you may be a winner. The second day, things may seem falling apart. You should never be complaisant. Create alternatives if the original plan doesn’t work. Fear is a state of mind but do not be overconfident. It is okay to have big dreams but be realistic as well. Create a project timeline where you know if it is still manageable to pursue or if you already need to change your directions.
What sacrifices have you had to make to get here?
For me, it’s having some extra precious time with my family and loved ones that I need to skip so I can able to finish my work that seems at first, never ending. But I believe that once I have created the right flow of the business operations, I can already have more time for family, leisure, and travel the world. It’s true what they say—that entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so they can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
What motivates you?
I get motivation from reminding myself of the purpose that I have created. I ask myself, “Why I even started? What am I trying to achieve?” My primary purpose is to build businesses that will contribute to the inclusive growth and nation building. The startups I build are not necessarily my expertise. But my passion for creating a concept that will provide unique and disruptive products and services prove to be very useful and beneficial for a specific market.
For example, my first startup, TDES Sanitizing Services, has a very different approach. We’ve seen a lot of cleaning services with very affordable pricing, state-of-art technology equipment, and even customized services. But for TDES, the company aims to provide cleaning and sanitation plus germ-proofing solutions to ensure maximum protection and hygienic cleanliness. We only use organic and all-natural cleaning solutions with affordable pricing, which make it acceptable and affordable for clients to book the service on a monthly basis. The concept was born to disrupt the ordinary cleaning services. It enables the market to afford the use of high-quality cleaning equipment and organic solutions all in one service provider.
Next, myBOSS.asia Inc. was born to support our fellow SMEs grow their businesses while ensuring they their back office tasks are updated and organized. I am not an accountant and I barely understand how coding (IT) works. However, I am eager to learn and get key people on board to able to provide an efficient and transparent back office support to the market.
And as an expansion of myBOSS, we are building our own innovation and incubation hub called JupiterOne, which, with the help of the partners, will become a different type of co-working space and our gateway in building relationships with our clients to use our back office shared services.
On the side, I also brought a Moonleaf Tea Shop franchise to help create more cash flows. To ensure getting a franchise, I studied the market of franchised businesses and found a competitive location. My next challenge is to study how I can work well with the franchisor and help grow Moonleaf Tea Shop, particularly on how to differentiate it from its competitors.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years? What is your vision for the business?
I aim that myBOSS will be part of the startups’ and SMEs’ success in the future—that we have grown together as partners and created an impact on for the things he/she wanted to contribute to the society. You can call yourself an entrepreneur not inclusive growth and nation building.
What piece of advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
An entrepreneur is made through compassion for the things he/she wanted to contribute to society. You can call yourself an entrepreneur not because you have the money to put up a business, but finding a deeper purpose of why and how your business will exist and impact the lives of many.
There is true freedom in entrepreneurship if you have planted things right after tumbling many times. The real profit is that you have been able to gain extra money in creating more amazing products and services to offer.
Do you consider yourself an ambitious person?
Absolutely! Yes. When I was in high school, my initial goal was to save a big portion of my allowance. I aimed to open three different bank accounts. I was able to use the money for emergency situations and for my dream to create a business.
When I started earning for myself, I realized that saving alone, despite the amount coming in, will not be enough. And money earned can be lost easily. I need to circulate the cash to make it flow. I nurture my entrepreneurial ambition by trying to explore different things. I worked as a part-time coffee barista during my third year in college. I worked on small marketing, graphic designing, events, and research projects. I even tried work on side hustles for my friends who have already ventured in businesses.
The jobs may be in different industries, however, I know the common goal I want to achieve: to learn how to manage, run the operations, market, handle different customer behaviors, and be versatile as much as possible without messing things up.
When I pursued my real career as a marketing professional, I landed a job as a marketing officer in a Master’s degree program for real entrepreneurs. It was a dual opportunity since I was able to enhance my expertise in marketing and be nurtured in an environment surrounded by entrepreneur gurus and different kinds of business people.
Today, being a full-time entrepreneur gives me time to learn and improve myself more. It enabled me to create a better working environment, develop and create opportunities for people, and build disruptive businesses.
I feel that I am still unstoppable.
Edits: Kath C. Eustaquio-Derla | Image Credit: Judy Lorenzo, myBOSS, TDES Sanitizing Services
Judy Anne G. Lorenzo is a graduate of BSBA Marketing and Advertising Management at the