Filipinos have always been good with trading since the early civilization. Filipinos used to do barter with their neighbouring countries even before the Spaniards came. As time passed, the form of trade and goods changed. Nowadays, Filipinos do not just rely on fishing or agriculture as the source of their livelihood. They have adopted and incorporated the tactics of the businessmen from the western countries.
Putting up a business does not mean you have to secure a huge amount for a capital. The amount of capital does not determine the success and failure of a business. Whether you are employed or unemployed, a college graduate or an under graduate, you have a chance to be a successful business person. The most important factor you just need to consider is your market. Get to know your customers. Find out what they want or need to buy.
Of course there will always be a competition, but if you are the first to start a particular business, you would usually have more patrons than those who just imitated your idea. Now, if you are living in the Philippines, here are 10 micro and small business ideas you can start:
1. Sari-Sari Store
If we are going to rank the most number of micro businesses in the Philippines, Sari-sari store would surely be in the first place because a lot of Filipinos open this business almost everywhere. I would still suggest this business for anyone who is unemployed because all you need is a small amount of capital to open a store. Another thing is, this kind of business usually succeed no matter how many competition you have because a sari-sari store offers a retail of the everyday needs of Filipino household. This business is good especially if your house is along the road. Just like most sari-sari store owners, you can open one right in front of your house. You can start with spices, candies, snacks and other daily needs.
2. Cellphone Load
Most people in the Philippines own a cellphone. Since most Filipinos are prepaid subscribers, they need a load to send text messages or make a call. They would be thankful if you start to sell load. All you need to start this business is a cellphone and of course a startup money to buy a reloader Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card.
3. Rice Retailing
Rice is the staple food for Filipinos. Everyday people eat rice so this business would surely be a success. With this business you would need to secure a permit from the National Food Authority (NFA), and a good capital.
4. Native Delicacies
Filipinos have this unwritten law that if you go somewhere, you have to buy native delicacies whenever you visit rural areas or provinces. And when we Filipinos talk about a “pasalubong”, it usually means native delicacies. There are lots of delicacies in the Philippines. Most places are known for a particular pasalubong. Example: Cebu is known for their Utap, while Bohol have peanut kisses. There are also delicacies that you can find anywhere such as various rice cakes (ex. Suman, puto, and biko). You can start this business even with a small amount but the challenge of this kind of business is how to sell everything within a particular time because they are perishable.
5. Internet Café
The Philippines is still considered as a third world country. Because not everyone can afford a computer set, some people with enough money to buy more than one computer set opens an Internet café. What you need with this business is a good internet connection, at least five computer sets and an air-conditioned room. In the rural areas or provinces, some Internet cafes operate with only electric fans and a wireless mobile Internet connection. What important is that your business can provide a product or service that nobody or only a few can provide.
6. Photo Copy Center
A photo copy center is one of the most profitable small businesses in the Philippines. Since, not everyone can afford to buy a book, most students would just borrow a book and have a particular lesson photo copied. To start this business you need is a computer set, photo copier and a small space. With this business you could also accept encoding jobs for students. This type of business would be a sure success if you put this up near schools.
7. Iced or Frozen Delights
This is another good business to put up near a school since young people love to eat sweet and cold stuff. An elementary, high school or college student would never say no to a cold or frozen delight. If you do not have a big capital, you may start with ice candy or cold drinks such as sagu’t gulaman then eventually as your business grows you can add more like halo-halo, fruit shakes or ice cream.
8. Street Food
One of the trademarks of the Philippines is the street foods, anywhere you go you would surely find a street food stand swarmed with customers. This business is good near schools, offices, terminal or plaza. You can either get a small space or a cart if you want to be mobile. With a small capital, you can already start a business.
Filipinos have a thing for imported goods. They seem to be more proud of what they are wearing if it is imported. At the same time, we also want to buy things with a reasonable price. And the best way for Filipinos to get an imported product without spending too much is through ukay-ukay.
10 Barber Shop or Beauty Parlor
Filipinos are conscious of their appearance. They always want to look good not only with the clothes they wear but also with their hairstyle. Most Filipinos, especially women would spend thousands of pesos just to get that smooth and silky hair. Men too are in to the latest hairstyles, some men are even more particular with their hair than women. With this business you would need not only a capital but the skill to do this right. Once you are able to provide the service people in your community need, you are sure to have a good income even if there may be other barber or parlors in your place.
I hope this article was able to help you choose the perfect small business for you. Just remember that putting up a business does not only require a capital. My father used to say that putting up a business is like a gamble, the risk of losing will always be there so if you are sure that you want to be an entrepreneur you must have the courage and passion for the business you want to venture in to. It is also like parenting, you have to be hands on to make sure of its proper growth. The success of your business relies on you.