BLK 513 is one of the fastest-growing frozen startups in the Philippines! As it grows quickly in the growing health-conscious market across the country, the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) couple behind the brand shares the secrets to their success.
Stand Out from the Competition
Kim Sy and Abi Fernandez worked for 5 years in Singapore before coming back in the Philippines in 2015 to start a business. And while there’s already a lot of brands selling healthy food products or sweet treats, they realized that there’s none offering something sweet that had health benefits.
So, they opened BLK 513, selling an alternative healthy dessert product for the growing health-conscious market. They use activate charcoal to improve the quality of their frozen yogurt.
Validate Your Business Idea Before Expanding
When they opened their business, it was during Christmas season. So, their sales exceeded their expectations by three times! At first, they thought it was because it was Christmas season but as their sales remained strong in the coming months, it was validation enough that the brand is strong on its own.
“So we thought maybe it was because it was Christmas but when the first quarter came the following year, our sales were even stronger. That was the time when we asked ourselves if we needed to expand or not, like do we need to stay at Megamall? Do we really need to scale?” shared Fernandez.
“We thought that if we didn’t expand now, someone will just copy our concept tomorrow. A lot of people told me that if you click in Megamall, you will click everywhere else. So when we decided to expand, we had to expand our backend as well. We had to look for people to work for us.”
Continuously Improve Your Products
Just because everyone loves the products you offer it does not mean you stop there. Innovate and improve.
The couple admitted that when they started out, their products had a grainy texture but they managed to eventually find a way to make their items smooth and creamy. They also added new flavors.
“We also invest a lot in product development. Before we have flavors as simple as milk and chocolate, but today, we have so much R&D happening in the commissary. We now have strawberry cheesecake turned into a sauce, or a chocolate sauce as good as Ferrero,” they told Esquire.
Define Roles and Responsibilities
In business, you can’t do everything. Learn to define roles and responsibilities, delegate tasks, and ensure that everyone is doing what he or she is supposed to do.
Value Everyone’s Talents
While the owners are the ones seen as successful in the business, but Fernandez pointed out that it’s actually a group effort. Learn to value everyone’s talent because human capital plays an important role to the success of any business.