Doing business and pursuing your entrepreneurial dream through the Internet could give you a lot of advantages, such as the comfort of working at home, having flexible working hours, and enjoying more moments with your family members and loved ones. But of course there are also some cons of having a home-based business, like the lack of social contact offline and the requirement to have a higher level of discipline to manage your flexible time and balance your business and family affairs at home. However, it’s normal to start a small business at home and face the tough challenges of a startup business. Besides, as you grow your small business, you could always expand it and have your own commercial office apart from your home. If you are really determined to start and succeed in an online business, here are 12 online business opportunities you can start in the Philippines:
1. Internet marketing services
You can provide online marketing services to various clients or companies in the Philippines, US, UK, Australia, Canada, and anywhere in the world. Internet marketing services can include the following specialties:
– Search engine marketing / PPC marketing or Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
– Social media marketing
– Email marketing
– Online reputation management
– Viral marketing / content or video marketing
– Affiliate marketing
– Online marketing consultancy
– and others
2. Online publishing
You can be an online publisher by developing a website or blog that contains rich information and attracts online readers. As an online publisher or blogger, you could earn revenue from ad placements coming from your advertisers, ad networks or sponsors (e.g., Google AdSense and ads from affiliate programs) on your website or blog. To succeed as an online publisher, skills in blogging, content creation, writing, and online marketing may be required.
3. Website design and development
If your expertise is web design, web programming and development, there are several ways to make it a business. You can make money online with the following ways:
– Develop websites for your clients and earn money for your professional services.
– Develop websites for your own use and make money from them through ad placements and other monetization schemes.
– Develop websites for sale and earn profit by selling them at a price more than your cost of development and cost of selling.
4. BPO and virtual assistance services
Business process outsourcing has been one of the most popular industries in the Philippines. BPOs and virtual assistants provide services to clients worldwide, such as accounting, finance, human resources management, transcription, data entry, and customer support. These services usually require equipment and facilities like computers, reliable Internet connection, server, backup system, telephone, and communication software and applications.
5. Reselling and merchandising
With the many online marketplaces on the Internet nowadays, reselling digital and physical goods online is becoming more convenient. The following are some of the reselling and trading business ideas you could try online to make profit:
– Buying and selling products at eBay.ph, Sulit.com.ph, AyosDito.ph and other top online marketplaces
– Selling products on your own e-Commerce enabled website
– Web host reselling
– Buying and selling websites at Flippa.com and other website and domain marketplaces on the Internet
6. Affiliate marketing
By becoming an affiliate marketer or publisher, you can earn commission for every customer you bring to a merchant through your own marketing efforts, like promoting the merchant’s product or service on your website, blog, social media pages or through email marketing. You can directly sign up as an affiliate on the merchant’s own website or you can also join affiliate networks (e.g. CommissionJunction and CPALead) and choose a number of affiliate programs listed from different merchants for you to promote.
Freelancing lets you offer services of your expertise to various clients or companies based on short-term contracts. If you are into freelancing, you can join and list your services on top job marketplaces online like oDesk.com, Guru.com, Elance.com, and Freelancer.com. The following are some of the freelancing services you can offer to clients:
– Writing and editing
– Graphic design
– Virtual assistance
– Programming (software, web or applications)
– Tutorial services
– Consulting and advisory
– Review, research and survey
– Business and customer support
– and others
8. Online entertainment
Today, the entertainment industry is booming in the online world. With the rise of YouTube, Facebook and other social media, everyone can earn an instant fame or stardom using their pure talent and creativity. You can create your own channel in YouTube just like having your own TV channel where people can watch videos or shows you promote. There are already a number of people who made money from YouTube ads because their videos became viral and got millions of views. If you think you are talented, creative, and can pull millions of audience, you can join YouTube Partner Program for free. As a YouTube Partner, you will join a global community that includes musicians, filmmakers, comedians, athletes, and more.
9. Online membership and subscription
Another online business opportunity is creating an online membership and subscription business. This is done by building a website, creating useful content and resources (e.g. articles, eBooks, videos, podcasts, forums, and webinars), and building a community of people who will pay you on a membership or subscription basis to access and use your resources.
10. Online advertising brokerage
Website owners and bloggers (publishers) need advertisers who will buy ad space from them to generate advertising revenues and cover their expenses. However, finding direct advertising clients is not an easy task. There are even publishers who wait for many months just to receive an advertising offer. Some of them don’t even get a good price. Another online business opportunity for you is to serve as the ad broker between a publisher and an advertiser. Your job is to find good advertisers for publishers or to find good websites for advertisers. You can earn money through commission or by charging a percentage of the ad income earned by publishers.
Aside from advertising brokerage, you can also use the Internet to promote your real estate brokerage if you’re a licensed real estate broker or agent. Take note that the real estate industry (residential, condo, etc.) is also booming in the Philippines.
11. Online investing
There are several ways on how you can invest online. You can invest your money on stocks or equity securities through online stock brokerage firms like Citiseconline.com / COLFinancial.com – or you can also invest money on promising entrepreneurs and startups online. As an investor, you will acquire share of ownership and can also earn dividends or share of income from the companies you have invested. When investing on startups, make sure that you will only invest your money on startups that are feasible and profitable in the long term to avoid losing your money. You can always ask for a business plan and feasibility study to effectively analyze your investee and make the right decision.
12. Multi-level marketing (MLM)
MLM marketing or network marketing is already popular in the Philippines. Avon, Aim Global, Usana, UNO, Amway, VMobile – you name it – you will hear about them from your friends, officemates, family members, and even from your Facebook friends. MLM marketing lets you earn income not only on the products you sell to customers, but also from the products sold to customers by the people (downline) you have recruited. Honestly, I have not tried any MLM business yet since I’m more interested into formulating my own product or service rather than promoting other products I have not yet proven or tested.
There are scams or bad news about MLM or networking, but there are also good news and inspiring stories about them. There is no harm in trying this online business opportunity. However, make sure that you will only associate yourself with legitimate MLM marketing companies. Also, make sure that you will only promote or sell a product that you have actually tried, tested, and proven so that you can maintain a good reputation as a networker and preserve a good relationship with your customers, especially those customers who are your close friends and family members.
There are still many other online business opportunities for Filipinos that are not included above. Just don’t stop learning and discovering new things. Remember that in order to find the best business opportunity for you, you have to start asking and assessing yourself first. Are you passionate with that business? Do you have the required skills, talents, knowledge, and expertise on that business? Do you have the financial resources, human resources or team of people that will help you succeed? Can you provide solution and satisfaction to your clients or customers? Finally, can you compete or be the best among the rest? Find the best business opportunity within yourself first – know yourself.