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Career & Money

5 Small Business Ideas in the Philippines and How to Start Them

We’re making it our business to see you thrive

Financial freedom through successful entrepreneurship is one of the best things that any individual can attain in this modern world. While not all of us can afford an international (or even local) franchise, we can always start small by taking stock of our resources and working up our way—slowly but surely. 

Take inspiration from entrepreneurs like Rosiell and Rudy de Leon. This husband and wife duo is the force behind the multimillion-peso Bianca’s Ice Cream empire, which started with a capital P20 back in 2011. 

Their small business idea for the Philippines began by selling ice candy that they froze in their home refrigerator at P3, from which they earned P300 on their first day. They then used those earnings as capital to sell fruit salad-flavored ice candy in the neighborhood and, soon enough, at their daughter’s public school. 

Before they knew it, Rosiell and Rudy were already supplying ice candy to other public schools in the cities of Antipolo, Quezon and Pasig.

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We make it our business to see you thrive. So take a look at these small business ideas for the Philippines we gathered to help get you started:

Online Selling

Capital: P3,000-P20,000

Possible monthly income: P5,000-P30,000

Setting up a buy-and-sell business online is relatively easy, since you can set it up on Facebook or Instagram—and it’s definitely cheaper than having a brick-and-mortar store since you won’t have to pay for rent, overhead costs or maintenance costs. 

It could be a one-man operation for starters. All you need are goods that will sell, some storage space, a laptop or mobile phone and internet connection. Some goods that sell well online include beauty products, gadgets, clothes and even food.

Pros: Easy and affordable. There’s no need for a physical store and business transactions can be done from your home. Nationwide reach is also a possibility thanks to social media and online marketplaces such as Lazada or Shopee. 

Cons: You may receive occasional, high public and negative feedback due to delivery delays and other such concerns. And there tends to be a lot of competition. 

Digital Marketing Services

Capital: P1,000-P5,000

Possible monthly income: P30,000-P500,000

You can get paid by helping brands grow online through your skills in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media management and advertising, as well as content and email marketing, web design and web development. You must think of your branding and then pay for your domain name and any ads you might run on social media. 

As your business grows, you can hire other professionals from different fields that will make up the team of your own full-service digital marketing agency. 

Pros: Work set-up and time flexibility are ideal for digital nomads. There are virtually unlimited types of industries to service and you can take on as many projects as you can accommodate, as well as set your own prices. 

Cons: This requires years of accumulated experience and technical skills in digital marketing; you can’t just jump into the field and expect to thrive. It may also be challenging to get clients on the onset. 

Food Cart Franchise

Capital: P30,000-P300,000

Possible monthly income: P50,000-P500,000

It is no secret that Filipinos love to eat, which means food carts will always be a great small business idea for the Philippines. You just have to pick the right concept, product and location to make the entire investment worth your while. 

Pros: You can start with low capital and potentially get your ROI quickly. There are various franchise options available as well, which would be cheaper and easier than setting up a full-service restaurant. 

Cons: Some franchise agreements may be too restrictive. Franchisors have their own prescribed processes that franchisees need to adhere to strictly—which means you might not have total control of your business. 

Property Rental

Capital: P100,000 (for renovations and furnishings)

Possible monthly income: P40,000-P50,000

Airbnb has revolutionized the way travelers seek accommodations worldwide. If you have unused property, you can earn income by renting them out via Airbnb or any other such rental listing services. 

Pros: Short-term rentals are a booming industry. 

Cons: There are regular maintenance costs and the risk of property damage—so make sure your contracts and/or agreements are locked down.

Laundromat Services

Capital: P250,000-P1,000,000

Possible monthly income: P50,000-P500,000

There are different kinds of laundry services: coin-operated, full-service and self-service. Laundromats are a hit in many Filipino residential communities, most especially in mixed-use developments where condominiums and business are located. 

The most profitable laundromats are those that offer services not just to individuals but also to commercial establishments like hotels, salons and restaurants within their vicinity. 

Pros: Depending on when you’re located, high volumes of customers are a definite possibility. And who wouldn’t want their ROI in 5-8 months after setup?

Cons: This requires a hefty initial investment, particularly because of the machines. And, of course, you’d have to find just the right location where no competitors are nearby. 

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Be your own boss

Sure, being an entrepreneur entails greater responsibility but the independence that comes with having your own business is priceless. Here are some of the perks of starting a small business:

You own your time. Since you’re your own boss, you will have more flexibility in terms of how you spend your time. You can scale down or put in more effort in response to major life transitions and fully focus on what truly matters at that point in time. Then again, you have to consciously keep your head in the game and keep yourself in check. 

You’re constantly learning. You will inevitably learn things that you might not without the firsthand experience of making that jump from employee to employer. It’s not just technical and business marketing skills you gain, either; you’ll be a better leader, communicator and decision-maker. 

You expand your network. You can widen your professional landscape and meet like-minded people in your industry if you choose to. Personal and professional development is achievable because of the many doors your business can open for you.

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They key to entrepreneurial success is to marry profitability with passion. Before you dive right into setting up your own small business, do your research on the type or products that resonate with you, as well as all the investments and moving parts involved in realizing dream. 

Get your business running with Globe’s budget-friendly solutions for SMEs. Stay connected with your future partners, suppliers, clients and employees with Globe’s high-speed internet plans!

Art Alex Lara

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