On the last edition of ESEI´s Entrepreneur´s circle, we sat down with Fabrizio Cetto owner and founder of Maya gold trading and Easydummy for packaging. Fabrizio is a current ESEI student, enrolled for the top-up year with the University of Derby as well as the master in Marketing & Communication. The school also offers Fabrizio a small office in our building to manage his business as we foster our student´s entrepreneurial projects.
The session started with Fabrizio telling us about his first business/job. Back then his father had given a loan to a person who wasn’t able to pay back in cash but paid instead with boxes full of Champagne bottles. At that time Champagne wasn’t very available in Mexico, Fabrizio told us. That´s why he started selling his dad´s Champagne going from house to house. Fabrizio then explained how that wasn’t such an easy task and how some people were nice and friendly while others gave him a hard time. On the other hand this experience taught Fabrizio one of the most important lessons of his life, trial and error is the way to get anything done. Fabrizio believes that the product or service itself is a very important aspect in the success of a project, but also having the courage to fail and learn from your fail is critical to every start-up. As Fabrizio says “Everything will go wrong first before it goes right”.
The next step in his entrepreneurial career began when his father sold him agave syrup on credit and Fabrizio took on the mission to sell it. He then started by creating his company online , according to Fabrizio this is the easiest way to start a business as the internet is a huge market and it doesn’t take a lot of resources to be present online . “Get a domain, an e-mail registered to this domain, a logo that with the help of a freelance designer and get out there!” he says. Then Fabrizio started to market his agave syrup with cold calls from his house then travelling around visiting exhibitions and trade shows and getting to know people. Fabrizio advised anyone who wants to start a new business to keep the overhead as low as possible, be creative with the resources available and to negotiate everything! Fabrizio explained that if you don’t negotiate you´re being ripped off. Fabrizio then managed to expand his business with other products like Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil and establish Maya Gold Trading in the Netherlands. The entrepreneur told us that especially with start-up; profit is not the only measure of success. Actually with a new business it takes 2 to 3 years to start generating real profit and that´s why as a manager of a start-up you need to consider other measures of success like getting yourself known in the market, building a proper database and networking with suppliers and providers. According to Fabrizio, seeking profit in the begging is choking yourself and your business as you will raise prices seeking profit your clients will be driven away. Focus on getting the client and establishing the business relationship first as trust has a price! It took Fabrizio a 3 week tour through Indonesia and other countries to find his suppliers. On the other hand Fabrizio stressed out on the importance of research, “Do your homework” he says. Finding the potential clients and suppliers and approaching them in the right way is a key to success. Another secret he gave away was not to waste time with intermediaries and going straight to the decision maker. We asked Fabrizio about raising capital and how he managed to get the resources to start Maya Gold Trading. He told us that to start a business you need to have at least 20,000€ euros. These can be collected from family and friends. He tells us that if you ask someone for 20,000€ you will probably be turned down, but if you ask a 100 people for 200€ you have better chances. Another thing to take in consideration while building capital is crowd funding , nowadays very common and there are several website on the internet that can help you collect the money you need for your project from different sponsors around the world.
When we asked Fabrizio to tell us 5 tips for every entrepreneur he told us:
1- Seek the early fail, actually plan a microfail and learn from it
2- Adapt! Make sure you are flexible enough to overcome unexpected problems
3-Don’t make moves you can´t afford as a small business
4-Don´t make a firm plan, because things don’t always go according to plan
5-Don´t put all eggs in the same basket, try to distribute the risks