GETTING STARTED WITH BUSINESS SKILLS

By Mohammad Suyanto

You can start a business with the skills you have, such as Soichiro Honda. Starting from his expertise as a mechanic, Honda eventually succeeded in his business . After leaving school, he found his first job at Tokyo auto service in 1922 . He only studied at school only for eight years. Being a 15-year-old child who was from a small town, he was proud of being able to repair about 10 cars a day particularly when he had a lot of customers to serve. He was appointed as an assistant mechanic, but he more often baby-sat the son of the owner of the shop. Honda dreamed to become a real, car mechanic but had never got the chance to do so. Being frustrated, he then packed his bags and quited his job and left the big city. Six months later, his former employer required him, and he was called to be a true car mechanic whose work was to repair the car, and it was an opportunity for him to realize his dream.

Like other countries, Japan was hit by a large depression in the 1930s. In 1938, Soichiro Honda was a student when he started to open the workshop and developed the concept of ring-shaped piston. He planed to offer the idea to Toyota. He worked day and night and often slept in the garage. He always believed that he could refine the design and produced a more useful product. Then, to start a business, he used stood capital in the form of jewelry that belonged to his wife. When the the design of the piston was made as the sample offered to Toyota, it did not meet the standard. The technicians laughed at his design. Despite the failure, he remained firm to his standpoint. After keeping improving his product for about two years, eventually he won a contract from Toyota. Then, Honda built a factory to meet demand for Toyota, but the factory was bombed twice during the war until it became messy. He remained determined to fulfill his dream to build a factory, but no sooner was it rebuilt than it was destroyed by an earthquake.

After the war was over, there was a fuel shortage forcing people to walk or use bicycles. Honda made small engines that could be installed on bikes, but the engine material was so difficult to find that it did not meet the demand. Honda wrote a letter to 18,000 bicycle shop owner, but the result was that he just got a little money. However, with this makeshift money, he made small engines for bicycles. The first model he made required a more spacious place in order to work properly; therefore, he developed and adapted it constantly to the place where it was installed until he could produce a smaller engine, namely ‘The Super Cub’, which came true and became successful. Having succeeded in Japan, Honda began exporting his products to Europe and America.

In the 1970s, fuel scarcity happened everywhere, so in the United States large vehicles that consumed more gas were shifted to smaller ones. Honda quickly captured this trend. Then, Honda Corporation, which had more than 100,000 staff members in the United States and Japan, and had 43 businesses in 28 countries, was one of the largest vehicle businesses in the world and became a business ranking 26 of the most amazing in the world in 2003.