Majority of business owners and entrepreneurs in the Philippines are micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) owners. They are the ones who are responsible for contributing more than two-thirds (69.9%) of all jobs in the Philippines. MSMEs also account for 32% of the total economic output of the country. But although considered as the backbone of our economy, MSMEs still lack adequate support from our government in terms of access to finance, technology and information.
I wish I am a multi-billionaire to support Filipino micro, small and medium business owners in terms of finance and technology, but I’m not. I can only share information and knowledge that I think could help them acquire better business styles and strategies to be more competitive in the market here and abroad. So without further ado, here are 5 tips for micro, small and medium business owners in the Philippines:
1. Get yourself trained with accounting and taxation. Don’t expect that the government will go easy on small business owners when it comes to taxation and accounting compliance. Many small business owners are discouraged by the burdensome taxation and business regulation in the Philippines even for those small businesses that are just starting. You can wish now for tax holidays for infant businesses in our country, but that is not happening yet in the very near future.
Every business owners in the Philippines, whether small or big, have to deal with the hassles of business registration, taxation and other compliance. Thus, if you want to survive and achieve your goals, you have to increase your knowledge in accounting and Philippine taxation, regardless of whether you have a background in accounting or you don’t have. Fortunately, there are accounting, taxation and BIR compliance short training available for non-accountants. To grow your knowledge in doing business in the Philippines, you have to attend these types of seminars even if it costs you money and time.
2. Leverage Internet and social media. MSMEs in the Philippines have to be competitive locally and globally. They have to penetrate their target market to be able to leverage it. And with most of the people already spending time on the Internet, online marketing should become one of the most important marketing strategies for MSMEs. Small business owners should see to it that their businesses have online presence. They have to revolutionize their marketing strategies and adopt Internet marketing techniques, like utilizing a company website, blogging, search engine marketing, and social media marketing. You can check out these 10 types of Internet marketing to learn more about the different online marketing strategies you can implement for your business.
3. Value your customers. Doing business is not all about making profit and getting yourself rich. Doing business is more about serving people and providing value to them. When you sell goods and when you provide services, remember to always be in a win-win situation. In other words, always make sure that both of you and your customers are happy, not only in the short run, but also in the long run. And how you can do that? The answer is too basic and fundamental – ensure quality on your products or services to satisfy and even wow your customers. With your happy customers, you can expect that your business will thrive in the long run.
4. Learn how to influence people. MSMEs employ more than two-thirds of all workers in the Philippines. To be a competitive business organization, MSME owners should not only learn how to deal with customers to increase their sales, but they also should learn how to manage and lead their workers to boost production in their business. If you want your business to achieve its goals, you have to learn how to influence people in your organization to help you reach those goals. Thus, don’t just focus on marketing and selling to boost your revenue, but also give great attention on your human resource management, teamwork, and production.
5. Follow the rules. The government set rules to regulate businesses in the Philippines. Also, as the owner of your business, you set rules and policies inside your organization. All of these rules have to be followed to maintain the smooth operation of your business. You have to obey the laws to maintain your business’ integrity. You also have to follow your organization policies to serve as a good role model to your team. The only rules that you should break are the rules of impatience, greediness, indolence, procrastination and other negative qualities that rule your life as a business person.
With all the hardships faced and the lack of support experienced by Filipino small business owners and entrepreneurs, the life expectancy of MSMEs in the Philippines is low. Many MSMEs don’t survive after 5 years. However, that figure should not discourage every Filipino who aspires to become a successful business person or entrepreneur someday. Remember that micro businesses and SMEs are the backbone of our economy. Therefore, to save our country, we have to learn how to depend on ourselves. You have to learn how to survive and actually succeed even in the absence of significant support from the government. We also have to learn in helping each other even just in the form of sharing knowledge and important information.