Written by imoney
Dare to be your own boss? Well, now is a good a time as any. The fast-growing economy of the Philippines presents a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs. That said, it is important to know the viability of your planned venture based on trends and your available capital. You can generate business ideas on your own or you can check our list of ready solutions below
To help you out, this article shall provide a couple of ideas for businesses that require a range of capital infusion from below twenty thousand pesos to above five hundred thousand pesos.
Business capital: Below ₱20,000
1. Online freelance services
Thanks to the Internet, opportunities for freelancers can cross borders, oceans, and continents. Depending on your expertise, you can start an online company that provides freelance services.
With so many available types of work in the market, the first thing you need to do is to find out which type of service you would like to offer on a freelance basis – either for full-time or part-time position. There are several niches to choose from. Some of the most popular are writing, graphic designing, or working as a virtual assistant. And there’s always a demand for people who can provide these services at a lower cost. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to put up with the harrowing daily commute and you can work practically everywhere.
Pre-operational requirements: All you really need to put up this business is a good Internet connection, a computer, and a simple website. You can create the latter at a later date and get your start by using free accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn to showcase your services. This will lower your initial operational expenses to the cost of your monthly Internet connection if you already have a computer at home.
Income: With freelancing, you are a one-man company. You are the manager, the CEO, and you manage all the work. Your pay depends on the kind of work that you put in. Employers pay for as little as ₱1,500 to a high of ₱20,000.
Opportunities: Having a strong network of connections is critical to becoming a successful freelancer. Remember, that the most successful freelancers know how to use their network. While joining freelancers’ groups and joining conferences and events will help you make good connections, you should first leverage your personal network (family members, friends, neighbours, former bosses and co-workers, and acquaintances) to help spread the word for you. Once you get established and the projects coming in are more than you can handle, you can outsource work to your network and earn from them by charging an overriding commission.
2. Load retailer
The Philippines is one of the countries with the most number of active mobile users. That said, only a small percentage have mobile plans attached to their phones while the rest are using prepaid SIM cards.
There are two ways to get started:
- By acquiring an individually issued retail SIM cards from telecom companies (Globe, Smart, or Sun Cellular) and using separate phones for each, unless you’re using a dual SIM phone.
- Or by simply getting an All-in-one SIM Card from a third party seller (which would enable a retailer to sell prepaid load for all networks using just a single, special SIM card) and would only require one phone to use. Also, this type of SIM card extends beyond providing e-load for cellular network users. All-in-one SIM Cards can also re-load pre-paid cable subscriptions, Internet cards, and eCredits.
Pre-operational requirements: The capital and requirements are very minimal. All you would need is a mobile phone, a retailer SIM card, and around ₱500–₱1000 as starting balance.
Income: As an e-load retailer, you get your earnings through commission and the rate from each telecom company ranges from 3% to 13%. You earn your commission as the amount subtracted from your eWallet/eMoney account is less than what your customer pays for. To illustrate:
|Customer’s reload amount||Deduction on your load wallet||Total profit|
|₱30||₱27||₱30 – ₱27 = ₱3|
On average, this business can net you between ₱1,000 to ₱2,000 per month if you can sell a total of ₱10,000 to ₱20,000 worth of load.
Opportunities: Remember that e-load retailers are the ‘front liners’ of the e-loading business, above them are the sub-dealers, dealers, distributors, and the telecom company. For individuals who have more start-up capital available (around ₱4,000–₱7,000), a sub-dealership can provide a larger income through an added commission from the retailers you get to join your network.
If you’re in urgent need of cash and getting a loan from traditional banks will take too long, then your next best option would be to apply for an online cash loan from reliable and reputable financial providers. Go over the list and compare loan details such as rates, tenure, application requirements, and other important factors that can assist in getting that needed funding. What’s best is you can use it for any purpose without any credit card or collateral required.
Business capital: Less than ₱100,000
1. Ukay-Ukay/Thrift shop
Filipinos are generally thrifty and the search for the cheapest and most affordable but useable second-hand goods is not just something that everyday people practice. Even fashionistas/fashion bloggers are on the look-out for unique one-of-a-kind items that can only be found in ukay-ukay stores.
Ukay-ukay products normally consist of used clothes, shoes, bags and accessories which are usually imported from other countries and are sold at a very cheap price, depending on the quality and type of product.
Pre-operational requirements: Aside from your stall’s rent and registration, other initial operational expenses include racks, hangers, shelves and storage boxes. You should also consider your customers’ comfort by installing industrial fans and an air-conditioning unit if you can afford it. Maintenance for your goods would also require the use of a dehumidifier to prevent the formation of mold.
Ukay-ukay are sold in bales which usually weigh 100 kilos by wholesale traders. A bundle may contain 150 to 1,000 different pieces of clothing sorted into specific kinds such as pants, underwear, kid’s wear, jackets, women’s blouses, shirts, formal attires and shoes.
Price range for the bundles ranges from ₱4,000 to ₱15,000. The cost of a bundle generally depends on the number of clothes it contains and the quality and type of the products.
Most of the listed prices however are based on single purchase only, so the more bales you buy, the bigger the discounts you can get.
Income: An ukay-ukay store owner can easily earn between ₱1,000 to ₱10,000 per day, to as high as ₱15,000 during the months of December and January.
Opportunities: It is generally recommended to start marking down prices (20%-80%) of remaining items three to five weeks after initial display. You should also change your stocks every 45 days to ensure that your customers have new products to choose from. Once you’ve established your store and acquired back your ROI, it would be a cinch to expand your current store or to start another branch in another part of your town or city.
2. Rice retailing
In the Philippines where rice is a staple food, starting a rice retailing business is always a profitable venture. Customers buy it practically daily for sustenance while food establishments orders them in bulk.
Pre-operational requirements: You can start this business with a capital of about ₱80,000 to ₱120,000. You would also have to secure a license from the National Food Authority (NFA) and to acquire the necessary government registration and permits.
The location you choose should have the right target market and has heavy foot and vehicle traffic. The downside of selling rice is that it can spoil easily, and its quality will deteriorate in three months. So implement a first-in, first-out inventory method to optimize the shelf life of your rice and maintain its quality.
You should also have a clean and sanitized storage area to ensure that bugs and grain weevils do not infiltrate your stockpile. Get tips from your rice supplier on how to prevent infestation.
Income: Estimated total weekly income can range from ₱5,000 to ₱20,000 depending on your location and pricing.
Opportunities: As in any business, you can later expand your rice retail business once you get your ROI. You could even become a rice dealer and get retailers to sell for you later on.
If the business that you plan to get into doesn’t require a lot of initial funding, why not try to maximize the use of your credit card? If you need initial start-up items and equipment, you can purchase them on installment at 0% interest. Another option is to apply for cash advance with the use of your credit card.
Shopee 9.9 sale
There’s a handful of avenues and methods nowadays to sell stuff online for some extra income. While doing self-promotion through your own Facebook account may still work, there are more efficient ways to fully establish an actual store online – be it on Facebook or by starting your own website. Plus, you can choose to either sell your own stocks or re-sell without keeping an inventory of a single item (dropshipping).
In this case, we’ll focus on setting up your own store without any inventory (dropshipping), thus, needing only a minimal amount of money to get started.
Setting up a dropshipping store will only cost you $29 (roughly ₱1,500) a month – you only pay for the website host where you’ll set up your store. A big chunk of the cost will go to the marketing aspect of your store which involves Facebook ads, to say the least. It’s going to be a big learning curve, but it’s one that will definitely pay off. You can watch videos on Youtube on how to runs ads or hire a mentor which can cost you a lot more but will give you the right footing that you need to get started.
For your information
You can check out OJDM if you’re serious about starting a local e-commerce business.
A working laptopHere’s what you need to get started:
- A good internet connection
- A minimum of ₱50,000 budget to start a business (product sourcing and ads)
- A budget of at least ₱25,000 to enroll in a 3-week training session (optional)
- Willingness to learn
The total cost to start this business: ₱75,000 to ₱100,000
As a rule of thumb, e-commerce players generally mark-up their prices by twice their suppliers’ price (commonly Alibaba or Aliexpress). The profit will be around 25 to 50 percent, depending on the cost of your Facebook ads, because it can vary depending on your target, product, and the season. Many of the successful local dropshippers earn a minimum of ₱100,000 a month, and 25 to 50% of that is their profit after taking into account their ad and inventory (if they are sourcing supplies and paying for the inventory) cost.
It may take some time to learn the trick of the trade-in e-commerce, especially if you’re new to this concept. The rewards will be exponential though as it can lead to other opportunities – on the side, you’ll learn how digital marketing works and you can start a freelancing career out of it. While self-learning is not uncommon in this industry, hiring a mentor will definitely give you the boost that you need to start on a high note in e-commerce – a huge chunk of investment will go to that, but it’s one that you can never go wrong with.
Since the e-commerce scene is rapidly and relentlessly growing in the Philippines, now is also the best time for businesses to adapt it into their brick and mortar businesses in order to keep up with the competition. Many e-commerce stores that first started online were able to expand it through a physical store later on. You can do that too!
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Business capital: Less than ₱500,000
1. Co-working spaces
Many professionals are shifting towards freelancing because of the high returns and low stakes it offers. With more and more freelancers in the market, there is an increasing demand for more co-working spaces where they can work for longer hours without having to rent a full office.
Unlike traditional offices, co-working spaces offer ultra-short office leases that can be anywhere from a day to a month. It is also seen as the solution to bridging the gap between start-ups/SMEs and landlords since it allows the former to maintain offices in central locations without the need of a high starting capital.
Pre-operational requirements: To start a co-working space, you would need an initial capital that would cover the cost of renting a space in a central location that is safe and easy to find. Look for a space that has been vacant for a while, particularly in older and underutilized buildings where you may be able to secure an inexpensive lease.
Though being very contemporary and stylish is an added appeal, your co-working space should primarily have high-speed internet, fully fitted workstations, and office amenities.
Income: Estimated monthly income can range from ₱50,000 to ₱100,000 depending on your location and pricing.
Opportunities: To make the most out of your rented space, you can offer other services such as a small coffee shop for added income.
2. Laundry shop
A laundry shop business has proven itself to be more than just a fad. The steady growth of condominiums and apartments in the city, coupled with the ever-increasing workload of most people, have made laundromats a stable business to own.
Pre-operational requirements: This depends on the size and type of target market. If you are aiming for the industrial market, you will be needing millions. On the other hand, if you plan to cater to individual clients, you may be able to start with only around ₱400,000 for a simple set-up. You would also need to acquire the necessary government permits and registrations to get started.
For this type of business, it is very important to try to be as near your market as possible. If the desired area’s rent is extremely high, you may opt to put up a pickup station and locate your cleaning operations in a low cost area or in your home. In this case, you will need only three to five square meters. If you want to clean the clothes onsite, it will take at least 25 square meters of floor area.
Also, it is important to design a systematic washing process for the business, and have the proper materials and equipment for operation. One key to good income for a laundry shop business is to find that balance between cost and quality in choosing products to use.
Additional services that you can offer will mostly depend on your target market. A free parking space will give you an edge over competitors if most of your clients drive cars. Providing a door-to-door pick-up and delivery service has become an essential part of the business as well.
For your rates, it is safer to just go with the current market rates and to compete on quality of service instead. Also, try to allocate a budget for promotional expenses to get and retain customers.
Income: Income will depend on location and size of operation, but on average it ranges between ₱30,000 to ₱100,000 per month.
Opportunities: You can provide dry cleaning, ironing and other related services for additional income.
Avoid dipping into your savings when trying a business venture. Its success is never certain, and if the risk is high, it would be wise to rather apply for a personal loan instead of using your life savings. If in case it doesn’t prosper, you still have your savings intact.
Business capital: Above ₱500,000
1. 24-hour convenience store franchise
24-hour convenience stores are popping up everywhere and that number is still growing in lieu of call centres, hospitals and other industries that maintain a graveyard shift. Both Ministop and 7-Eleven provide a long list of assorted merchandise, this includes newspapers, magazines, soft drinks, fruit juices, sport drinks, hot and cold snacks, a limited number of grocery items such as canned soups, ready-to-eat meals, condiments, bread, cleaning supplies, paper products and toothpaste.
If you have the funds but does not have the experience nor know how to run a business, then this is one of the more viable options available for you. Having a franchise with a recognizable name and branding would get you an immediate stream of clients and you will be receiving operational support from the franchisor.
Pre-operational requirements: Both 7-Eleven and Ministop now offers a PhP1,000,000 franchise which includes operational rights of the store, equipment and facilities, furniture and fixtures, air-conditioning system, signage and initial inventory. However, as a franchisee, you still have to spend more for the rental space and the crew that will work the store for you. All in all, you might need to shell out a total of ₱1,500,000 in initial capital.
Location is key in this type of business and you would need a space with a floor area between 100-120 square meters to get franchise approval.
Income: Income will depend on location and size of operation, but on average it ranges between ₱40,000 to ₱60,000 per month.
Opportunities: You can expand your operations by opening a new store once you’ve recouped your ROI.
2. Drug store
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most promising business sectors in the Philippines, as the industry revenue estimates grow by about 6% to 8% every year.
Pre-operational requirements: The initial capital outlay for this type of business is about ₱500,000 to a few million pesos.
One requirement in the pre-operating stage is getting the needed certification. You have to obtain a Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration; permits from the Department of Trade and Industry, the mayor’ office, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR); and license from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Then you have to find a space of at least 15 square meters to house your drugstore and a storage room for medicines. Conduct research on the nature and classification of drugs and begin by stocking up on each category of medicine (i.e. antibiotics, anti-hypertensive drugs, or vitamins). Inventory will take up most of your expenses, as this can be anywhere from ₱100,000 up to ₱10 million for a full stock. Keep in mind that each medicine must be stored in its particular recommended environment and temperature.
As with most of the businesses we listed here, location is key in this venture. You have to consider the volume of the consumers in the area you’re targeting.
And lastly, you must have a Registered Pharmacist working for you. Without one, your drugstore business will not operate. He or she must be licensed by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
Income: Income will depend on location and size of the operation, but on average it ranges between ₱50,000 to ₱100,000 per month.
Opportunities: Growth depends entirely on the area you are covering and the range of products you are carrying. But if you get the right mix, you can start another branch or franchise out your drug store.
With advanced progress in technology, communication, and the advent of the internet, the world has indeed become smaller thus making it easier to reach and transact with a wider audience anywhere in the world. There are still open opportunities and it takes a lot of creativity to find more business ideas that can provide solutions to your target market.
All businesses require diligence and dedication. Do your homework, conduct thorough research and create a business plan. These will be your entrepreneurial blueprints and your guide in navigating the exciting path of working for yourself.
If you have already gone through a lot of thinking and planning, and led you to a firm decision of putting up your own venture, the next challenge is getting the initial funds to start your business.
You can compare personal loans and get the best rates with our online loan calculator to have an idea on the loan amounts, terms, and interest involved. Once you have decided which bank, but still unsure on how the actual process goes, check out our first time borrower’s guide to getting a personal loan. It will give you a bird’s eye view on the do’s and don’ts in applying for a personal loan.
This article was first published in April 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.