Career & Money

7 Ways to Become a Small Business Owner in the Philippines

Practical ways you can get started

Deciding to pursue your own business is a leap of faith. As an entrepreneur, you have to wear many hats: owner, accountant, secretary, and messenger, among others. Daunting as this is, however, becoming your own boss does grant you a great form of flexibility. And today, there are plenty of ways to set up a business—even from the comforts of home.

Ahead, find seven ways you can become a small business owner in the Philippines.

Open an online store.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to what products can be sold online. This includes everything from used or pre-loved products to handcrafted goods and wholesale items. This only makes an online business a viable option for aspiring entrepreneurs. A popular format, for example, is the online ukay-ukay or thrift store, where entrepreneurs sell everything from vintage clothing to second-hand camera lenses. 

If you take this on, make sure that once you’ve landed on key products to sell, you search for a reliable, trustworthy supplier. Be prepared to repair or refurbish items, of course, before selling them to get a better price.

Asian guy in front of the camera showing off products
Social media platforms can help you when starting your own business. Photo: Shutterstock

Create content and work as a media influencer.

Do you enjoy being in front of the camera? If this is the case, you may want to consider becoming an influencer that highlights your already-existing expertise. This form of business can be a lot of fun—though it goes without saying that patience is key. Influencers must first grow their follower base before they can begin earning from their content. On that note, remember that quality and accurate content is key.

While you’re at it, think about which platforms to turn to for your business. Facebook is still an effective platform to earn money, as are Instagram and TikTok.

Are you into gaming content? Then try Twitch. Do you have a lot to say about a subject matter you’re knowledgeable in? Try blogging or recording a podcast. Enjoy giving reviews or have a knack for creating visuals? YouTube may just be your primary platform, with a bit of TikTok and Instagram thrown in for teasers. Cross-posting on different platforms is also a good idea to see which social media channels work best for your brand.

Smiling business owner in front of laptop holding boxes
There’s something fulfilling about working for yourself. Photo: Shutterstock

Start a food business.

Food will always be a point of interest for Filipinos, so you may want to try your luck out in food services. For those who love to bake, selling homemade cookies, bread, cakes, and pastries is a viable option. Happen to be located near offices, parks, or leisure establishments? You could open a food cart that might just be a hit in your area. You can also consider opening a franchise business. For this, do some research on local franchises or go to a franchise expo to see which best fits your interests, capabilities, and budget.

Start a consultancy service.

Consultancy services can run the gamut from professional fields such as strategy and compliance to fashion styling and video production. If you have years of experience and expertise under your belt, you can set up a business around your knowledge and know-how, offering these to clients or organizations as a freelance consultant. Just make sure you stay updated on the latest trends and practices in your field. Taking some online classes to keep you sharp won’t hurt either. 

Rent out your space on Airbnb.

Have an extra bedroom or apartment? How about a vacation house that you don’t get to visit that often? You may want to consider short-term leasing.

Airbnb, the online marketplace for lodging, has transformed the way people vacation and has become a platform where homeowners can augment their income. Take advantage of it by listing the property you’re willing to rent out. Construct your page wisely; make sure you have good, clear photos and that the space you want to rent out is clean and neat. Input as many practical details in the description and be active on the site. 

Become a creative freelancer.

Freelancing can take many different forms, depending on your skill set and talents. This is a good business option for creatives like writers, photographers, and graphic artists, among others. If you’re planning to work freelance, start by creating a portfolio of work to present to potential clients. In addition, a website or social media account with your profile and details can help drive customer traffic your way. Creative freelancers can use their social media platforms to introduce themselves and their businesses, advertise what they can offer potential clients, and even post customer feedback. 

Become a content developer.

Content creation can be done by freelancers, but there are also several mid-sized to large businesses that produce content for single clients or companies. Developers here create content that engages their client’s audience and brings in new viewers. This may be in the form of audio and video production, blog articles, and social media posts. 

It’s good to note that content creation is one of the biggest growing businesses in the world today. Many companies, especially smaller businesses, find the need to outsource the creation of informative yet entertaining pieces of content for their social media platforms and websites. 

Woman photographer with camera, looking at laptop smiling
Let your creativity shine through. Photo: Shutterstock

What You Need to Open a Business

It’s important to follow all the rules and regulations carefully when opening a business. By officially registering your new venture, you will also gain more trust from the customers, and you can avoid legal problems in the future. With that, here are the four essential business requirements in the Philippines to keep in mind and sign up for:

  1. Business Name Registration

  2. Barangay Business Clearance

  3. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Registration

  4. Mayor’s Permit

First, check whether your business name is taken by visiting the Business Name Registration System. Once done, fill in the online registration form; this will then be submitted to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Second, bring your DTI certificate, proof of address, and two valid IDs to the barangay hall. If your business is online and doesn’t have a dedicated office or store, you may register a certificate of a property that you own.

Third, visit the city hall aligned with your business address. Submit your DTI certificate, Barangay Business Clearance, proof of address, and two valid IDs. You will then be asked to fill in an application form.

Lastly (and this is the most extensive step), proceed to the BIR website and fill in three copies of BIR Form 1901. Submit all three of your business requirements, including proof of address and two valid IDs, to the Revenue District Office (RDO). An officer will guide you through the process.

How You Can Upgrade Your Tech for Business

When you need to communicate with your vendors or partners via online meetings or phone calls, you can always opt to activate VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi), which is free with Globe Postpaid. This tech upgrade lets you make phone calls using your WiFi connection instead of a cellular signal. 

With VoWiFi, you can enjoy crystal-clear connections even with weak, indoor cellular signals. There’s no need for you to download an app and there are no additional charges to your bill. VoWiFi is free for all postpaid accounts, too. Visit the Globe website to see if your device is VoWiFi-ready.

On to other tech upgrades: collecting payments and getting financial support have also become easier with GCash and GGives. GCash, which you can download from the App Store or Google Play, makes online payments smooth and fuss-free. Your customers can pay you through this app and you, likewise, can use GCash to pay your suppliers. 

GGives is another nifty feature worth looking into. This is GCash’s installment loan product that allows you to shop for items you need for your business at partner merchants. You can pay for these through light and flexible installment plans that make such transactions easier on your wallet and bank account.

Art Matthew Fetalver

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