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Dreaming of setting up your own business in the Philippines but don’t know where to start?
You’re in luck—here’s our massive list of small business ideas to kickstart your vision into reality.
Why is it a good idea to start a business this year?
Answer: The Philippines is experiencing some serious economic growth right now making this a great time to ride the wave.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) projects a growth of 6.8% in 2018 and 6.9% next year, a bullish momentum that ADB country director Kelly Bird describes as “a golden age of growth” for our country – which is primarily driven by robust domestic demand.1
It surely is the best time to start investing to build your own business.
What is a Business?
An entity or an enterprise that is committed to providing goods or services in exchange for some form of payment. In its most basic form, to do “business” is to make a living through commerce.
Types of Businesses
A business whose output/product is not an actual physical or tangible product is engaged in the service business.
Banks, accounting firms, law firms (and other types of consulting firms), review centers, training facilities, gyms, barber shops, salons, kids play centers, arcades, are some examples since their “product” takes the form of some kind of service/action.
It’s a business that operates under the “Buy and Sell” concept.
Typically, they will buy their merchandise or product at lower prices from wholesalers then sells it at a markup, for profit.
A merchandising business does not make any changes to its supplies or products. They simply act as a gateway for people looking to purchase products.
Examples are groceries and malls, resellers and suking tindahans.
An enterprise or company that is involved with the creation of a product is engaged in the manufacturing business.
They buy raw materials in order to come up with a product they can sell.
For example, an ice cream business needs raw materials like milk and sugar in order to product their ice cream.
The same can be said for companies producing processed foods or a furniture business who needs raw timber to create beds and chairs.
Forms of Business Organizations
If Service, Merchandising, and Manufacturing refer to how an organization or company conducts business, the following refer to how a business is formed or managed.
A business owned exclusively by a single person is called Sole Proprietorship.
While this is the easiest type of business to set up, it also presents the most risk since the owner is open to unlimited liability.
The owner will need to surrender personal assets to creditors if he goes into debt and can’t pay.
Exactly what you think it is. But not strictly tied to just two owners only.
A partnership can be composed of two or more parties who combines resources into setting up and running the business.
A partnership can have unlimited liability (like sole proprietorship) unless the owners specifically set up a limited-partnership (LP) type of business.
If you think that a corporation is a big company/organization/factory which produces goods or services, think again.
What many people realize is that a corporation simply refers to a business that is ran by a separate legal entity (can be in the form of shareholders) that is distinct from its owners.
It enjoys most of the perks and responsibilities like a normal individual has, like loan and borrow funds, sign contracts, and even sue (or get sued).
Limited Liability Company
A Limited Liability Company, or LLC, are considered a form of hybrid type of business that merges traits of a sole proprietorship and a corporation.
It is not, however, considered a corporation since LLCs cannot be incorporated. In general, LLCS are easier to form versus corporations since it allows small groups of people to easily build a company.
An LLC enjoys the limited liability feature of a corporation and can elect to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation as the owners/members see fit.
If you’ve been to the province, you probably noticed that their water and electricity is provided by some sort of electric or water cooperative. These are perfect examples of this type of business.
In a nutshell, a cooperative is a business wherein members and owners benefit from the process of running the business.
If a corporation offers stocks to shareholders, a cooperative sells its shares to members.
These members have the some form of leverage in terms of their opinion in affecting the course of running the business.
A business that is made with the intention of promoting a specific goal or purpose. For example, charitable institutions.
Any revenue earned by a non-profit goes to paying the operational costs of running the company.
This means that there are no shareholders earning income from the company itself.
All the money earned goes back into funding operation and pursuit of the company’s mission and vision.
Best Small Business Ideas in the Philippines [Editors’ Picks]
1. Online Selling
Capital: P5,000 – P10,000
Monthly Income: P10,000 – P200,000
Requires (Skills): Design, Technical, and Marketing.
It can be very lucrative to sell your products online because it lets you operate your business without a traditional shopfront.
What’s more, your customers can purchase your products any time and from anywhere. In the Philippines, there are popular shopping platforms like Shopee, Lazada, and Facebook Marketplace where you can sell your products easily.
You just have to create a seller account. If you lack the funds to start an online shop, you can try dropshipping. In dropshipping, you receive an order, you forward the order to the supplier, and then the supplier fulfills the order.
2. Digital Marketing Services
Capital: P1,000 – P5,000
Monthly Income: P30,000 – P500,000
Requires (Skills): Technical, Marketing, Networking, Sales, and Communication.
Having online presence and making sure people can easily see a company’s website online can make or break a business. Digital Marketing services offer solutions to website owners who want to reach a wider audience and generate more potential customers/revenue.
As a provider, you can sell your expertise in SEO, Social Media, Content & Email Marketing to businesses looking to grow their brands online.
You can easily find clients to work with through freelancing websites such as Upwork, Freelancer.ph, and Manila Craigslist. And eventually scale by starting your own website where you can promote your services, and by building a team who you can delegate tasks to complete your projects.
3. Vending Machine
Capital: P10,000 – P20,000
Monthly Income: P1,000 – P20,000
Requires: Good location & maintenance.
If you’re looking for a business with minimal supervision, this one’s a good choice. Regular maintenance and re-stocking will be your prime tasks here, virtually no manpower for day to day operations is required.
4. Street Food
Capital: P5,000 – P10,000
Requires: Good location
Is there anything more classic than the fish ball stand?
For decades, the classic favorites: Fish balls, kikiam, squid ball, isaw, barbecue, tenga, betamax, balut and others have been a part of the Pinoy’s daily culture.
5. Manufacturing or selling ready-to-assemble furniture
Capital: P80,000 – P500,000
Requires (Skills): Logistics, Management, Sales, and Marketing.
Thanks to the natural abundance of wood, our country is home to skilled woodworkers who produce world-class furniture for local and import. With the right channels, you can set up a business by sourcing (or through consignment) from a local manufacturer while you focus on logistics/delivery system and marketing.
6. Storage Rental Services
Capital: P300,000 – P700,000
Requires: Management, Logistics, and Marketing.
With living space becoming such a premium commodity these days, having a dedicated area to safely tuck away your important stuff or memorabilia is important.
You can start small by renting a small industrial space or warehouse where you can build several storage units you can rent out.
7. CCTV installation
Capital: P20,000 – P50,000
Requires (Skills): Technical, Sales & Marketing.
As prices of CCTV systems went down and became viable outside of business and commercial use, more and more people are getting one for the security of their homes.
You can take advantage of this growing user base by getting trained as a certified installer and offering services to these folks. You can also upsell other relevant products such as car dashcams, and other home security systems.
8. Smart home & automation services
Capital: P100,000 – P300,000
Requires (Skills): Technical, Programming, Sales & Marketing.
For engineers and techies who are abreast with the latest in smart home tech and automation systems, this is one practice you can excel at.
We’re a bit behind in terms of these types of modern conveniences (like smart locks, smart security systems, appliance control, and pet care) and it’s about time that we catch up.
You can start small by offering consulting services at first, and having your clients buy the necessary equipment while you take care of the technical side for installation and maintenance.
9. Junk Shop
Requires: Good location, Accounting, Management, and Sales.
Junk shops earn money through buy and sell. Scavengers sell them junk which they buy per kilo. The shop will then sell it to partner recycling agents who will convert the junk to recyclables.
10. Home & Office Furniture rental
Capital: P200,000 – P500,000
Requires: Tracking systems, Sales, and Accounting.
This is a niche market for those looking into leasing their products instead of selling them. I’ve seen ads online where they offer short and long term “contracts” depending on the client’s needs.
Why rent furniture?
Like renting apartment houses, vacationers who stay in the places they visit for longer periods of time (a few months to a year) can make their living spaces feel more at home with rented furniture.
Definitely saves on money and effort versus importing their own furniture from abroad.
Entrepreneurs can use this same concept when building their companies from scratch. Instead of buying furniture for their rented office space, they can lease them for a year and just renew as they see fit.
They’ll save on start-up costs and can easily “dispose” of the furniture should the business fail. Aside from furniture, you can also choose to lease out computers and other office equipment to business owners (or even offer rent-to-own options for all your products).
11. Business & Company incorporation services
Capital: P10,000 – P20,000
Requires: Technical, Networking, Management.
Building a business is no easy task. With all the legal paperwork required, you’ll probably need professional help to make sure all bases are covered and with zero loopholes.
Incorporation services make the process streamlined and easy for clients. If corporate and legal matters are your thing, this is a potential business venture.
12. Videography business
Capital: P40,000 – P100,000
Requires: Equipment, Video Editing Software, Design, and Marketing.
We Filipinos love documenting our lives. From a baby’s christening to its 1st birthday, graduation, debut, wedding, reunions, and pretty much anything else.
Videography services can be a lucrative business if you have the skills and a creative team behind you. Outside family events, there are also other opportunities you can delve into that would pay lot more, such as covering conferences/conventions, producing online video commercials, as well as live recordings of concerts and festivals.
13. IT & Network consulting and training services
Capital: P5,000 – P20,000
Requires: Standard Equipment, Technical, and Marketing.
Modern businesses that rely on computer systems to operate need regular maintenance and management – which makes the business idea lucrative as most clients will pay on a retainer.
Offices run on a bunch of computers networked together (including servers), groceries have an always-on surveillance and PoS system, and your friendly neighborhood coffee shop needs its WiFi always running for its customers.
All these require IT and network expertise. For additional revenue, some even offer training services to companies, freelancers, and enthusiasts.
14. Moving Company (lipat-bahay)
Capital: P5,000 (if you already have a Truck or Van)
Requires: Customer Service, Marketing.
Moving from one place to another is best done with a lipat-bahay service. I personally recommend it against hauling stuff yourself as it will save you countless trips and prevent potential damage to your properties.
And with younger families constantly moving to be near their work, there will always be potential clients in this type of business. Starting one has also been made easier with apps/marketplaces like Mober, LalaMove, and Transportify.
Capital: Spare Room or Space
Monthly Income: P20,000 – P60,000
Requires: Customer Service, and Marketing.
I heard from Tim Ferriss’s interview with AirBnB co-founder Joe Gebbia that they initially rented out Airbeds for their paying guests, hence the name, Air Bed & Breakfast or AirBnB.
Cool. For the uninitiated, AirBnB allows owners of houses and condo units to rent out their spaces to guests for a fee. They are significantly cheaper versus staying in a hotel that’s why popularity has been steadily rising in the past few years. If you have the space, you might want to check this one out.
Out-of-the-box & Creative Negosyo Ideas
We know you want more, so we’ve created this guide for the more creative thinkers out there looking for maverick business ideas.
Sleep Capsule Hotels
Image Credit: Booking.com
Have you ever seen those “Sleep Pods” in Japan? These are tiny “rooms” that people book solely for sleep because that’s all you can really do inside given the miniscule space. Cute concept, huh?
Around the world, the concept transformed itself into full-blown relaxation havens called Sleep Capsule Hotels that combine sleeping amenities with relaxation options to make it more enticing to guests.
Electric Bicycles (Retail & Repair Services)
Image Credit: Business Insider
This New York times article reported that Electric Bikes (E-Bikes) are getting a significant boost in adoption worldwide. Sales of these battery-powered bicycles are starting to reach new highs that numbers are projected to grow to 35 million in 2018 worldwide.
What makes E-bikes an interesting business proposition? For starters, units costs a lot less versus owning a car/motorcycle dealership and more people are starting to love the concept of an electric-assisted bike.
3D Printing Services
Image Credit: Big Think
What is a 3D Printer, you ask? It’s a device that turns a design into an actual, physical prototype.
Cool, huh? So if you ever wanted to design a plastic keychain of your head, (not sure why that’s the first thing that came to mind) this is what you’ll use.
These things are pricey but prices have actually gone down significantly since they were first introduced years ago. Aside from manufacturing stuff from scratch, you can also customize or improve existing items for your customers.
Image Credit: ICO Pulse
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the last 5 years, you probably heard about Bitcoin and other types of these so-called Cryptocurrencies. Yes, it is really happening.
Globally-recognized companies have already started investing in these and even governments and banks of some countries are starting to test the waters of this digital mode of payment.
This rising adoption translates into a steady increase in Cryptocurrency owners.
That’s where Crypto ATMS come in. Aside from being a hub for existing owners to buy and sell cryptocurrency with cash, it makes the process of getting into cryptocurrencies for newcomers easier due to the physical nature of transacting with a machine they are familiar with.
As an owner or a Crypto ATM machine, you’ll earn via transaction fees.
Citywide Prepaid Wifi HotSpot Service
Image Credit: Turbo Future
Don’t let its name intimidate you. It’s essentially an internet-cafe business sans the shop and computers but with boosted WiFi coverage area.
If you’ve ever tried connecting to a public wifi network and got routed to a web page asking you to log-in, that is basically it. But before you can do so, you’ll be asked to buy credits so you can connect and surf using that wifi connection.
Simple enough, right? Citywide Prepaid Wifi Hotspot Services aim to do the same thing—but at a much, much wider scope.
Smart Home Automation & IoT Services
That’s pronounced “Ay-o-ti”, silly. The “Internet of Things” or simply IoT, was the term coined to refer to the network of connected devices that are equipped with its own identifier (think IP address) so each device can “talk” to each other.
Samsung was very bullish in the concept of IoT that Samsung co-CEO B.K Yoon announced in 2015 that all Samsung devices will be IoT-enabled by 2020.
And when it comes to adoption, perhaps no other segment comes close to IoT-use than Smart Home Automation.
As a Smart Home Automation business proprietor, your goal will be to provide installation and maintenance services of these devices.
For example, thermal sensors can be installed around the house so that the AC will automatically adjust itself based on the client’s preferred settings.
Agency for Influencers
Remember that scene in the movie, “Jerry Maguire”? Cuba Gooding Jr was talking to Tom Cruise (his agent) over the phone when he started yelling “Show me the Money!” As an agent, it’s Tom’s job to find and land a great contract for Cuba.
If pro athletes, movie stars, authors, celebrities, etc., hava agents, then perhaps the same concept can be used for “Influencers” , right? These are the people who command a gigantic following in social media.
Their thoughts, opinions, and even the stuff they use greatly influence their followers.
An agency or talent management for influencers (or even video game streamers) can serve as their own agent that will handle contract negotiations, business and legal deals, and finding more clients.
Modern Jeepney Franchise
Image Credit: Yahoo! News
As of 2017, there are 220,000 registered public jeepneys nationwide but 90 percent of these are in service for more than 15 years.
A modern jeepney franchise will allow you to operate a fleet of new jeepneys that are approved by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). And while one might argue jeepneys numbers are slowly dwindling, they are never going away.
There’s a need for this type of transportation so demand will always be there.
Image Credit: Dota Buff
Did you know that some Dota 2 players here in our country consistently bag millions of pesos from tournaments?
That’s right, millions. And we’re not talking about 1-million peso team winnings here, but multi-million pot earnings that when totaled can reach almost the hundred-million peso mark. Google “TNC team earnings” and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
TNC is a local Dota 2 Pro team.
Given the right players and resources, an esports team can start winning tournaments local and abroad and cash in on the big bucks. Who knows?
E-sports ain’t like basketball, you don’t have to be tall and be blessed with basketball genes to be a serious competitor (companies like TaskUs also started investing to start their own esports team).
And teams like TNC proves that we can compete and win tons of pot money in a competitive arena.
Fleet for Sharing Economy Business Models
When Grab and Uber started catching fire in the Philippines, thousands of car owners started driving their own vehicles as a side hustle. Others had bigger plans in mind, so they started buying multiple cars and hiring drivers similar to the concept of owning a fleet of taxis.
Ride-sharing platforms like Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It are steadily becoming an essential part of the lives of thousands of commuters in the metro today.
All three are modeled after Uber, and the same core concept of fleet ownership can be applied (own multiple Angkas licenses and hire several riders, for example) with you running the whole thing as the operator/owner.
The concept is not only limited to a ride-hailing platform like Grab. You can apply the same core structure to other business ventures.
Sharing economy platforms like Raket.PH, Gawin.PH, CleaningLady.PH, and MyKuya, serve as online marketplaces where you can hire professionals and freelancers to do tasks.
Others, like Transportify and Mober.Delivery offers logistical services allowing you to hire vehicles to transport your stuff.
Applying the same framework, you can create your own fleet of service professionals or transport vehicles and provide service through these online marketplaces.
Rage rooms are places where people can come in and start smashing stuff up with the goal of venting out pent up anger.
Some say it’s therapeutic, because the actual physical act of destroying things lets off steam and stress. Rage rooms (sometimes called smash or anger rooms) have been around for a while now and can be found in various cities around the globe.
These are essentially soundproof tiny offices, about the size of a typical office cubicle, that can be installed anywhere. The purpose is to give users a space where they can work and have privacy.
In Japan, these are commonly known as Telecubes, and can be found in hotels, buildings, and even convenience stores. It provides a convenient and decent space to get things done whether it’s for work or personal stuff.
Mobile IV Therapy Services
“IV”, which stands for intravenous, is a method for delivering fluids to the body through the veins. IV therapies are administered by healthcare professionals to ensure proper procedures are followed.
The actual IV solution will vary depending on the customer’s needs. Some IVs contain different types of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and even antibiotics.
A Mobile IV Therapy business can function as a per-session service (can come visit the patient) or serve as a kiosk for walk-in customers.
ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit)
Although a relatively new concept, ADU is another investment Filipinos could look into. These auxiliary apartments serve as secondary houses or spaces shared with the primary home for affordable alternatives.
According to statistics, CALABARZON, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas are three of the most prominent migration places in the Philippines in 2018. Individuals over 15 years old have experienced migration (regional or local) in the Philippines primarily for educational pursuits.
With these insights, ADUs will likely thrive in areas where there are offices or colleges nearby. It will be a plus if your location is situated near a tourist spot too! These economic accommodations provide a win-win situation for the business owner and those who are looking for accommodations at competitive prices within the metro.
You can go eco-friendly and check for container van suppliers nearby. There are pre-fab ones that you can check to make the transition more accessible and convenient.
In its October 2020 issue Labor Report, the PSA cited that the employment rate has risen to 91.3 percent from 82.4 percent back in April of the same year. The current economic outlook is optimistic, with more vaccine roll-outs given to the masses.
With the economy slowly opening up, businesses may soon resume the usual working environment. And when this hits, you need to be poised to take the opportunity.
For this, you basically need to search niche markets and check those that are highly in demand. Search Google and job boards to see the kind of skills you’ll be offering to the market. From here, you can provide training materials to help these individuals to succeed in their chosen industry.
Edu-ployment such as Acadium has already established itself as a dominant player in this expertise. Using apprenticeships, the business serves as a platform to link an apprentice to a company. You can also take advantage of local Facebook groups and use them as a job board to train potential apprentices.
Draw inspiration from influencers of your chosen niche. You can then start providing valuable content through Youtube—or even start a podcast. These mediums could serve as a lead generating machine to help you network and find potential individuals to teach the skill.
Work from Home services
We are no strangers to a work from the home set-up. From a study done by Lenovo, there’s a 72 percent shift in the workplace environment from offices to work-from-home set-ups in 2019. The potential demand for this could spell M.O.N.E.Y for you.
A workplace should provide as much comfort as possible. Find furniture, office accessories, and gadgets that promote health optimization. For example, you can look for equipment and other accessories that promote better back alignment, better hand rest, and even better headsets. The key is to provide optimum quality of work-life—even from home.
Architects may also find a good pool of clients in this niche if they offer home interior design for home workspaces. You can act as a consultant in helping them utilize even a limited space.
NFT Games Business
NFT means “Non-Fungible Token”. They are unique tokens in cryptocurrency which represent a one-of-a-kind asset or good. Blockchain technology creates these tokens, which can be bought, traded, or sold.
When you use these tokens, you can earn cryptocurrencies which can be converted into cash in the real world. An NFT game that you can try is Axie Infinity, where you can earn cryptocurrency called Small Love Potions (SLP).
Players of the game can earn money by exchanging SLP for other cryptocurrencies and real money, by breeding and selling Axies to other players, and buying land plots which can be sold for a higher price. You don’t have to be a player yourself. You can choose to invest in e-sports players/gamers. The minimum initial investment for Axie Infinity is Php40,000 – Php60,000.
Mobile Coffee Shop
Many Filipinos love drinking coffee, so it is no surprise that mobile coffee shops are growing in popularity. If you have no idea what a mobile coffee shop is, it is basically a food truck or food cart that sells coffee.
Needless to say, you will need a vehicle of some kind to start this type of business. With a mobile coffee shop, you can “open” your shop at one location and then transfer to another location the next day. Some people think this is an advantage because you can go “where the people are”.
Freelancing Business Ideas
Web Design & Development Business
It’s almost a requirement these days for businesses to have their own website. If you know how to build and design websites, there’s an ever expanding market both local and abroad.
App & Software Development
These days, we use apps for different things: to order food, to pay bills, to watch shows and movies, and many others. While app development can be lucrative, you will need to invest plenty of time and effort upfront.
However, if you believe that you have a great idea for an app and you think the app will be a financial success, then go for it and develop your own app.
If you have no idea how to develop an app, you can hire individuals to design, develop, and deploy it for you.
Offering your camera skills to capture memories (weddings, birthdays, etc) or for professional purposes (businesses, commercial use) makes great use of your creative skills while generating a handsome fee.
Ever wondered how your friend pulled off that amazing aerial shot of an island in that video he posted in Facebook?
Thanks to drones, you can produce footage that were only previously achievable through professional and expensive video equipment. Offering drone services for a variety of purposes (creative video, security surveillance, filming, etc…) can be a unique way of generating income.
Virtual Assistant Services
Did you know that the most popular online job in the Philippines right now is Virtual Assistant? Filipino VAs are popular to clients abroad thanks to our natural capacity to handle tasks and assist in a variety of ways.
Hair & Make-Up Services
If you love making other people look good through styling, hair and make-up services can be a cool way of earning extra bucks.
Graphics, Animation, & Multimedia Design Business
Put your creative juices to good use! Companies and clients pay a handsome fee for services that produce rich and amazing multimedia content.
Editing skills will always be in demand as long as content for both print and the web is produced.
Content Writing & Ghostwriting Services
If you love writing, you can write content for websites (blogs, articles, product reviews, etc) and get paid for it.
Writing e-Books as a Ghostwriter commands a much higher fee that easily goes beyond more than a few thousand pesos.
Translation, Transcription, & Data Entry Services
If you’re interested in producing written content from audio and inputting data in systems or spreadsheets, this is another potential income source.
Translation services typically command a higher fee due to the expertise required on a certain language(s).
Tutorial Services (Academic, Arts, Music)
if you have the passion for teaching others, you can help while earning money at the same time. So whether your a Math savant or a Voice coach, get out there and earn while helping someone be good at something!
You can share your skills by tutoring students online. Some of the things you can teach are language and different school subjects.
In case you didn’t know, there are websites where you can post your resume and where potential clients can contact you for lessons. It is usually free when you make an account on these platforms, but there are those that also offer paid premium plans that let you promote your profile or contact possible clients directly.
In love with beautifully-crafted lettering? Lots of people appreciate the exquisite art of calligraphy and are willing to pay you to teach them how.
Spying on someone can be a good thing, and you can even get paid for it. If you’re up to the demands of the job and have the skills, you can set up your own private security firm and charge a fee for detective work.
Telemarketing & Customer Support
With our natural capacity to speak and write in English, telemarketing and phone support is a solid way of earning moolah.
And you can do this at home! Talent sites like UpWork and Freelancer allow contractors like you to find clients who are willing to pay for your phone skills.
Does Apo Whang Od ring any bells? Yes, the booming tattoo industry is sought by many (if not thousands) Filipinos looking to get inked.
The latest style and trends range from minimalist wave tats to hard-core realistic designs. It’s a definite tell-tale sign that this industry is going to fly high.
Take advantage of the current demographics to start your tattoo business this year. Look into popular trends and ride the waves. Do your research diligently and snoop around forums and social media groups to see what your potential clients would go for.
With a little bit of creativity and a few thousand pesos to buy for materials, starting a tattoo business will only require you to follow health protocols mandated by the Department of Health. If you have a passion for teaching, you can begin a course targeting those who might be interested to learn the trade.
Niche down if you must. You don’t want to be labelled as a ‘so-so’ tattoo artist. You can specialize in specific tattoo designs such as minimalist, text, cover-ups, and many more. Once you’ve chosen a niche, look into other artists doing the same and follow what they do. You can start building a portfolio using your social media accounts (hello, Tiktok!).
Food & Beverage Business Ideas
Cake Making & Baking
Love to bake? Folks love a good cake and other baked goodies. Whether it’s a creamy red velvet cupcake or an Elmo-inspired birthday cake, there will always be demand for rich, delicious bakes
Rice Retailing Business
Buy them by the sacks, sell them by the kilo. With rice as a Filipino food staple, there will always be customers.
Water Refilling Station Business
Demand for a good source and delivery service of drinking water will never run out. And with more Filipinos opting to live in condominiums, snagging a whole floor or building of customers for water delivery sounds very profitable indeed.
Filipinos love events. And what does an event needs to make sure attendees are happy? Good food. You can start by catering your neighbor’s birthday party and then move up to more commercial events like weddings and small corporate events.
Restaurant, Canteen, or Carinderia Business
The family that eats together, stays together. Filipinos love eating out. So whether its a simple neighborhood eatery or tapsilogan, you can always count on FIlipinos’ love for good food for demand.
Merienda & Palamig Business
My favorite is Sago’t Gulaman. I’ve seen Palamig stands in MRT flocked by thirsty commuters for their Buko Pandan and Pineapple coolers.
And there are also many local delicacies to explore, think about all the “kakanin” you have craved over and over again – because most likely – you’re not the only one craving for them.
As an ingredient used on a wide variety of foods and a breakfast must-have, eggs always had strong demand from both household and commercial customers.
Pork chops, beef strips, whole chickens, and a whole lot more—meat shops are one-stop stores for customers looking to stock up on their meat supplies.
From moms looking to cook her kids caldereta to the cook buying chicken wings for his food stall, expect customers to score their favorite cuts by the kilo.
Food Cart or Food Stand
The boom of Food parks in the last few years is testament of the Filipinos craving for a good spot that serves a variety of food. If you have a good product, you can sign up for a spot on a food park.
Even the classic Buy-1-Take-1 burger joints and siomai stands are good alternatives if you prefer to take the solo route.
Have the know-how to brewing beer? Thanks to the internet, having access to the equipment and ingredients to start brewing your own servesa has never been easier.
If you have a winning product, you can start offering it to bars to spread the brand name or sell it on your own online.
Organic Food Business
Health aficionados helped drive the sales of organically-produced food in the recent years. And with more Filipinos becoming conscious about their health, you can target this demographic and get yourself a solid customer base.
You can also sell your products to restaurants of course.
Food Delivery Business
Online food delivery services like Foodpanda and Grab make it easy for Pinoys to order their food online. Others cook and deliver home-packed meals to busy working Pinoys who don’t have the time to leave their desks for a delicious meal.
Craft Beer Pub
Opening a craft beer pub attracts other folks with the same passion for craft beer. It’s akin to finding a niche product and having a solid base of enthusiasts willing to be paying customers.
Also commonly known as food trucks, Mobile Kitchens are essentially customized vans/mini-trucks equipped with cooking equipment.
It provides plenty of flexibility and mobility in terms of when and where you want to set up shop.
More importantly, it possesses a certain charm that makes it very popular among food fans. In the US and other parts of the globe, food trucks are a part of the culture, and a thriving business niche on its own.
Aside from being valued at USD 140.3 billion1, anyone who is into health-related niches will find themselves in a sweet spot.
A study shown in Rakuten Insight showed 68 percent2 of the Filipino respondents have taken natural supplements more often after the COVID outbreak. The current health expenditure in the Philippines account to 47.9 percent3 on household out-of-the-pocket cost.
So, what does this tell you?
Health is becoming a priority among Filipinos, and joining the health supplement bandwagon is a no-brainer.
Start with research. Look into trending supplements in the local market and see what consumers are looking for. You can check Google Trends.
Start researching manufacturers and look for product lines that are predominantly purchased by your target market. And finally, you can talk about these through your social media and even set up an e-com platform where your clients can check out the products.
Retail Business Ideas
Clothing Boutique & Garage Sales
Got an eye for fashion? You can source your inventory directly from clothes makers/printing shops or buy in bulk at Divisoria and set up a boutique to house your products.
If you and your family have a bulk of used-but-not-abused items you can run a garage sale and profit from your second hand stuff.
Buy & Sell
A core business strategy. Buying and selling stuff is an age-old business model that covers almost every possible item imaginable.
From gadgets, clothes, food, real estate, commercial space, and others—having the skill to buy low and sell for a profit is what most businesses are all about.
Similar to buying and selling but with one key difference—you’ll act as the agent for selling the goods by the owner.
A bakeshop, for example, can offer their goods for consignment at a lower price (usually with a minimum bulk amount). Consignees can then sell the baked goodies with a markup or earn from commission.
Even with the advent of online communication platforms, texting and calling is still an essential part of the Filipinos daily life. You can apply for a load retailing business and earn from a mark up from each transaction made.
You could also expand to selling various products such as RFID reloading (for EasyTrip and Autosweep).
Plant Selling Business
Plants not only make spaces look good, they’re also doing a positive contribution to the air around us. If you are passionate about plants, you can grow your own or buy it low from cheaper sources then prop them on pretty vases and sell for a profit.
Retailer of Local Produce
Earning while supporting your community at the same time is a noble act. For example, you can source freshly-ground kapeng barako from coffee bean farmers then re-pack and sell in the metro. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.
Online Clothing Store Business
E-commerce sites like Shopify allows individuals to easily set up an online clothing store with minimal fuss.
The classic Filipino “convenience store” is still alive and kicking throughout the years. Unlike western countries, we tend to buy things per piece or retail due to economic reasons and ease-of-access.
Thrift shops or “Ukay-ukay” are popular because of the uber-cheap prices of its merchandise.
Baguio and Bambang, for example, are well-known hubs for thrift shops and resellers flock here for items to buy inventory to sell in the metro.
And according to iMoney PH – thrift shops’ daily profits range from P1,000 – P10,000 per day4 (and can earn as much as P15,000/day during peak seasons, which is December and January).
Collectibles trading depends on a community of like-minded individuals looking to swap, buy or sell various items ranging from action figures to trading cards.
If you’re a collector, you can use your extensive knowledge of your item and look for deals that you can profit from.
Candle Making Business
Candle products have found a niche market in the form of spas and other relaxation spaces. It’s especially strong during Halloween/All Saints period. You can start learning how to make them yourself or get merchandise in bulk for reselling.
Selling Used Books
Selling pre-loved books is a nice way of earning money on the side. You can do a one-time “garage sale” of your personal collection or become an actual trader or buyer of used books for reselling.
Sell Homemade Products
Does your Embotido always get the thumbs up from relatives during reunions? Why not share the gift of your delicious creation by selling it?
Start small by selling them to your neighbors and office mates. To expand your reach, you can join trade shows or food bazaars. Note that this applies to all homemade products and not strictly always about food.
Ever seen those T-shirts with the wearer’s actual name or face in front? Or those laptops and gadgets covered in bright skins and glitters? If you love DIY or have the knack at adding a personal touch to a product, you just might have a potential business at hand.
Some customize cars, adding parts or making it look like a completely different beast via car wrap.
Fashion Accessories Business
If you have a good eye for design and you are good with your hands, you might want to try starting your own fashion accessories business.
You can start small and make the accessories you sell yourself, or you can source the products online and resell them. There are several fashion accessories companies in the Philippines that export their products to other countries. This means that there is potential for this kind of business to grow.
Consulting Business Ideas
As more Filipinos get financially smart and realize the importance of preparing for the future, the higher the demand for financial advisors who can explain and match them with a plan that best suit their needs.
Digital Marketing & Social Media Consulting
For a business to thrive and get a wider customer base, it needs to tap on the power of the internet and social media.
Digital marketers and social media consultants prepare and manage marketing campaigns for businesses so they can reach the right audience and build brand authority through online presence.
Personal Fitness & Crossfit Trainer
Just look at the number of participants at a running event and you’ll have an idea how many Filipinos are into health and fitness. Gyms have steadily risen in popularity in the last few years.
Crossfit trainers don’t even need a dedicated space: they can operate in public places without any equipment.
In line with the rising interest in personal health, a lot of folks seek professional nutritional advice to be on the right track. Nutritionists asses their patients health and lifestyle and come up with a plan to achieve the results they want.
If you’re an expert on something, you can help others and earn at the same time.
Coaching services cover a wide range of interest, from golf newbies to professionals seeking career advice, budding entrepreneurs needing business advice to shy individuals who want to master public speaking.
Most of us can use some guidance and shared experience to better our current circumstances and this is where coaching services come in.
Image & Advertising Consulting
Building and maintaining a reputable name and brand is crucial in today’s connected world. Image and Advertising consultants take care of the grunt work required to keep a person or a business’ image untarnished.
The practice typically involves public relations, marketing and reputation management. They also spearhead all initiatives and projects to build a following and a loyal fan base.
You can find bill payment facilities at malls, convenience stores, and commercial buildings, among others. Bills payment centers like Western Union & Bayad Center also offer other services like money remittance, e-loading, money exchange, and airline ticketing.
Perhaps you have seen long queues at different payment centers before and thought it was a good business to invest in. The estimated total franchise investment for one of the more popular payment centers in the country is Php 475,000.
This amount doesn’t include the costs for equipment and site renovation, though. A return of investment is guaranteed within 2 years.
Computer Repair Services
If you know your way around computers and geek out on building them, you probably have a good amount of knowledge and experience in fixing them as well. A computer crash or malfunction is inevitable, and people will be willing to pay you to get their beloved workhorses up and running again.
Coin Laundry Business
In 2017, I realized there were a total of 5 coin laundry shops around our area. Why are they popular?
The answer— convenience. I personally find it indispensable as it saves on time (as you can get your laundry done the same day) and effort versus doing the laundry at home via washing machine or leaving it for a couple of days on other laundry service shops.
And if you live in a condo or small space (read: nowhere to hang your wet clothes), this makes it a no-brainer.
The long customer queue on the shop I visit every weekend is proof of strong demand for this type of service.
This is another way of earning from a skill you already have. And with summer upon us, expect a surge in demand as people flock the pools and beaches.
The benefits of Yoga to one’s health are undeniable. And with today’s hyper-busy workforce, more people are seeking the calming effect of Yoga to their frayed nerves and tired body.
Home Massage Services
Nothing beats a relaxing massage after battling a week of overtime and deadlines. But what could make it even more better? Simple: Just pull out your phone and book a home massage session.
No need to prep yourself and brave the traffic, save on time and energy. These are the main draw of home massage services, and thanks to these you’ll never run out of potential clients.
I’ve seen some online services that do specific tasks like sending someone to buy your groceries. Similar to that, getting paid to shop and buy stuff can be an interesting and fun experience.
As a personal shopper, you’ll get asked to look for and buy specific things, so it helps if you already know your way around malls and where to buy stuff.
Dancing knows no limits when it comes to age. I’ve seen kids as young as 5 years old shake it and grind it in dance studios to prep for contests and events.
Teens and young adults flock these studios to learn the techniques and improve their craft. Heck, even our Titas and Lolas make the occasional visit to a “D.I” for some serious old-school dance session.
Day care Services
As a father of a 3-yr old, having a safe space for him to learn and interact with other kids is essential.
Young parents of today are both working full time to keep up with the demands of an ever-increasing cost of living, and having trained-professionals to look over their kids is of great help to ensure they’re on the right track.
Personal Concierge & Errand Service
Offering to be someone’s go-to person for personal tasks and errands is another way of earning extra bucks. You have to be clear and offer guidelines on the nature of the tasks that can be performed to make sure you and your client are on the same page.
House & Pet Sitting
Need to leave your place for an important business meeting? Don’t have someone to look over your pet while you’re away? By offering house and pet sitting services, you get to help your clients remove these worries away and get paid at the same time.
Car Wash Business
With the rise of car owner numbers in the past few years, more and more Filipinos avail of car wash services. And you don’t even need to set up shop if you’re starting from scratch with zero capital.
Here’s a thought: Be unique (and resourceful)—offer to visit their homes instead to do the cleaning—ala home service.
Auto Repair & Maintenance Shop (Talyer)
In lieu of car wash services, you can set up an auto repair shop. Filipinos are known for finding the best bang for their money, and sometimes car owners find regular maintenance through “Casas” (official car shops) just too expensive.
Auto repair and maintenance shops typically offer the same services at a lower price that’s why places like Banawe St in QC are popular to car owners and enthusiasts.
Find auto-repair shop capital a bit too much for your wallet? Why not try setting up a vulcanizing shop instead? As long as there are cars on the street, the occasional flat tire is inevitable. Most drivers also drop by to pump some air in their tires and pays a small fee for it.
Whether it’s every few weeks, monthly, or just every once in a while, men need to get their hair cut short. Barber Shops tend to develop a loyal customer base if services are good. Tips are expected almost always for your barbers as well.
Dry Cleaning Business
Have a tux that needs cleaning? Evening gown to look fresh for the party tomorrow? Regular washing methods just won’t work with delicate clothing—and this is where dry cleaning services come in.
Whether you’ll drive it yourself or have someone do it for you, Grab services (GrabCar, GrabFood & GrabExpress) is still a popular way of earning money on the side.
Plus there are several other platforms that you can also utilize to provide these services, such as FoodPanda, Lalamove, and Angkas.
Tour Guide Services
If you have a passion for history and teaching but not within the confines of the classroom, take it outside and be a tour guide. Get paid for showing unique and historical places to others and sharing the stories behind the place.
Depending on the delivery vehicle, you can set this business up for almost any kind of item. Think of those old-school bike messenger services and you’ll have a basic framework how this business runs.
Tailoring, Alteration & Seamstress Services
“Clothes maketh the man”. A tailor-fit suit trumps more expensive wardrobe that was bought off the shelf. Why? Because the custom fit is what makes it look perfect—no matter how simple it is.
More fashion-savvy customers know this and they will always look for these types of services for their needs.
When it comes to pets, here are a few ideas you can use.
- Pet Shop & Pet Grooming services – For selling a wide variety of pets like dogs and cats, birds and fish. You can also offer grooming services for dogs and cats.
- Pet Sitting – If the owner needs to get away or be someplace where pets are not allowed, pet sitters can charge a fee to take care of the owner’s beloved animals.
- Pet hotel and Daycare – Same concept with Pet sitting but with an actual place where the animals can hang around. Clients are willing to pay a premium for making sure their cute little pets experience the best service while they are away.
- Selling Pet clothing and accessories online – You can source these or make them on your own. Put up a website or sell them via FB or other sites like Shopee.
- Dog obedience trainer – Requires genuine knowledge in training dogs. You’ll need to undergo the training program for this to get certified.
- Dog walking service – While the term “walking the dog” is probably more popular in Yoyo, its roots take from the literal meaning of the phrase. Walking your pet dog is both healthy for the owner and animal and people who don’t have the time to do this themselves can pay you to do it on their behalf.
The Filipinos’ love of the concept of “tingi” is what made the Pisonet popular when it first came out. It allowed customers (mostly students and teens) to connect to the internet for as low as 1 peso per minute.
I still see a couple of Pisonet shops around high foot traffic areas near schools and public places, proving there still a market for this type of rental business.
While not as plenty as they used to be, Internet Cafes are still around and can still be a profitable venture if yox u do your due diligence.
I’ve always thought that it all boils down to the experience—when I was in college, we looked for shops which offered the best bang for our buck.
We prefer those which had a nice balance of computer graphics power, internet speed, peripherals (mouse, keyboard and chair), comfort and price.
The rise of freelancers, home-based workers, and “Digital Nomads” paved the idea for Co-working spaces.
What is it, exactly? It’s essentially a shared workspace that houses various freelancers and small businesses to serve as their “office” – and often, students use these spaces for studying as well.
If you have the space and amenities to run this type of business, it can be a self-sustaining venture.
Van Rental Services
We’ve rented out a couple of vans in the last few years for trips to provinces or team buildings. Services like this can be a good way to put an otherwise underutilized family van to good use.
Recording & Band Rehearsal Studio
Back in high school and college, I joined some bands. Since we didn’t have our own gear, we practiced our stuff at music/band studios. You call in advance to reserve your slot and pay by the hour.
I noticed that back then, the owners were musicians themselves or former musicians. They probably felt that setting up a venue where bands and budding enthusiasts like me back then can practice was a great idea. And it was!
Mobile Billboard Service
Ever seen those trucks with ads plastered around its whole body? Or the buses with huge ads roving around the metro with a picture of your favorite makeup brand?
Let me clear though, you don’t need to buy big-sized vehicles for this endeavor. I’ve seen plenty of private vehicles promote products and services via car wrap. Ask around, you might just get a decent pay for doing mobile ad service.
Formal Wear Rental Service
Filipinos love hosting and attending formal events. I should know, I probably rented more than a dozen “coat and tie” during my younger days. It’s not unusual for a kid to not own a decent pair of Tux or suit, at least in my day.
I argued that I don’t really need to buy one if I’ll only be using it once or twice a year. While this thinking might be flawed, the existing Formal wear rental shops serves proof that there are some out there who had the same reasoning.
Logistics, Trucking, & Hauling Services
There will always be a demand for these types of services. Simply because not all Filipinos have cars to do it themselves or the stuff that needs to be hauled is just too large.
Try fitting a fridge in a sedan and you’ll see what I mean. If you have the capital, you can buy a truck brand new or second hand. Make sure to do your due diligence first though and test the viability first before purchasing equipment.
Parks are a great example. If you live near one or know of a place where you can set up shop, renting out bikes can be a good way to earn a buck.
Photo & Video Equipment Rentals
Photo and video equipment rentals can also be a good source of income because there are people who although skilled in this field, there are those who opt not to buy or can’t afford to buy certain gear.
The initial investment for this type of business can be pretty steep, but the return on investment is worth it.
When renting out your equipment just make sure you have a contract with your client that will detail your responsibilities in handling the equipment as well as what will happen in case of damage or loss.
This will help you cover the costs of any possible loss and protect you and your customer.
Although seasonal, costume rentals can be a good source of income as well. If you have sewing skills, you can create the costumes you’ll rent out on your own.
You only have to be resourceful in finding the right materials to make your costume close to the original. The initial capital will vary depending on the quality of materials you’ll buy and your target market.
No need to worry as you can increase or lower the price your costumes for rent according to those criteria as well.
If you are going to buy the costumes you’ll rent out, it will usually take five to six rentals before you earn back your initial investment. After which, you’ll be able to continuously make profit out of them.
Are you an artist who’s got a flair for designing shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, pillows, and more? You can try setting up your own print-on-demand business. With this business model, your products will be sold online through a platform, where customers can place orders for them.
The POD platform is the one responsible for printing, packaging, and shipping your products. The demand for your product will determine the revenue, so no demand means no production.
Also, someone else will process your product, so you don’t have to worry about having a physical inventory. If you are not good at designing shirts, you can still start your own POD business. Just hire someone to do the designing of your products.
T-Shirt Printing Business
From witty one liners to over the top graphics, there’s always a design for everyone. You can go the traditional silk screen route or the more modern heat press operation.
I’ve seen heat press machines online being sold for as low as Php10K to as high as Php100K. From T-shirt you can also expand to printing mugs, caps and even ID laces.
Posters & Tarpaulin Printing
Tarp printing machines command higher prices compared to heat transfer printers. But if you’re interested and have the capital, there’s still a steady demand for large-format prints.
Both personal and corporate events avail of this type of service, not to mention potential tie-ups with advertisers for your clientele.
Photocopiers are a staple around schools and public places. A quick search online revealed prices hovered around the Php30K to Php50K mark. If your place is near a school or within commercial areas, this is one potential business venture.
Note: You can also upsell other relevant services, like taking and printing Photo IDs, to maximize the business’ potential profits.
Business Cards, Flyers, and Brochure Printing
More niche than photocopying in terms of customers but still a promising business idea. Also, most mid to high range inkjet printers allow you to do this so if you already have one, you can easily set up shop without shelling out significant capital.
Home Repair & Improvement Services
Solar Panel Installation
Several players in the solar panel industry have popped up in the last few years. If you’re keen in getting in on the action, you must get certified first as a professional installer.
The uptick in sales of condominium units proves that the trend in living in smaller but more convenient/prime locations is going strong. And what do homeowners do to spruce up their small space?
Hire an interior designer! A pro interior designer’s mission is to bring their client’s vision into fruition, transforming an otherwise drab space into a cozy, dream home.
General Cleaning Services
Modern families with dual-working parents are typically pressed for time to do some serious home cleaning. They would rather spend their precious weekends hanging out or going out for some quality time.
To make sure their space is well kept, they hire professional cleaners to save on precious time and energy.
Cable, Internet, & Telephone Line Contractors
You see them everywhere. Propping up make shift stands to hawk their products, these contractors earn a commission for each successful service installation.
If you have the gift of gab and know how to promote yourself and your product’s benefits, this can be a profitable income source.
Plumbing, Electrician, & Handyman Services
I’m a full grown adult male but I’m not embarrassed (well, maybe a bit) to admit that I’m no handyman. My wife can’t depend on me if there are problems with our home’s plumbing or electrical system.
I always say, better leave it to the pros than mess it up even further. And trust me, there are a lot of folks out there who have the same dilemma and are willing to pay for professional handyman help.
Electronics & Cellphone Repair
I once read in an article that our smartphones have become extensions of our bodies. And like injuries in our bodies, we rush to the nearest technician to get our precious smartphones fixed.
Same with other gadgets—in this entertainment-driven world fueled by short attention spans, customers always need to get their devices fixed ASAP.
Shoe Repair & Locksmith
If you’re like me, you never let go of a loyal pair of shoes that easy. And with each torn sole or trashed stitching, it’s an automatic trip to the shoe repair shop for me.
And you probably visited a locksmith once, if it’s anything related to padlocks and keys best to have these professionals do it.
This serious problem requires a serious solution from the pros. Exterminator services cater to home and commercial space owners who fell victim to pest damage.
Urban Farming & Gardening Services
Urban farming and gardening is the act of growing and producing plant-based food within the city or metro.
It lets people grow and develop their own plots of land for vegetable and fruit production. Some urban farms are built for both personal or commercial use, leveraging tiny to medium-sized plots of land.
A business that helps people set up, manage, and maintain an urban farm could be a viable business since novice urban farmers will likely need help with the whole process.
Economy-proof Business Ideas
When entrepreneurs get asked, which came first, chicken or egg?
They will probably reply, “It doesn’t matter, I’ll just take them both”. If you have the space and capital, a poultry business can scale well and bring in some serious bucks.
Modern Jeepney & Tricycle Franchise
As an undying relic of Pinoy commuting culture, Jeepneys stood the test of time thanks to its cheap rates and availability (and should soon become more of an interesting business venture when Jeepney modernization gets implemented).
The same can be said for tricycles, which were the Uber and Grab of our childhood when we need to go from one spot to another within the subdivision or barangay.
While they are no longer considered the king of the streets and highways, it can still be a profitable business provided you will be prepared to all the stuff and issues that go along with managing this type of franchise.
Whether it’s making custom sofas and furniture or restoring old and worn out cushions, Upholstery services can take care of it and more.
You can probably start with re-upholstery services to keep initial costs down then start making your own sofas and furniture sets once you have enough capital.
Travel Agency/Group Travel Package
Open Facebook and it won’t take more than a minute to see a friend’s post of their vacation or trip somewhere. What does this mean? People nowadays treat travel like a part of their lifestyle.
And with this boom, you can capitalize and set up a small travel firm to cater to the growing demands of this market. Alternatively, I’ve seen “joiner” packages online where trips will be initiated by a group or a person and the joiners will pay a fee for the whole package. Similar to paying for a field trip.
Depending on the product, you can try going the import/export route. Both have selling as its core concept and revenue generator. It’s all about how smoothly you can set up and run the logistics.
Once you have that figured, it’s just a matter of finding buyers and a target market.
Agribusiness is one of the growing industries in the Philippines.
According to Dr.Glenn N. Baticados, director of Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship at UP Los Banos, the rise of the middle class along with the increase of population in urban areas that are making the demand for more nutritious and varied food higher.
And nothing is more nutritious than food that’s naturally cultivated and grown. Getting into agribusiness allows you to take advantage of this demand for profit.
Manpower for agribusiness is also easy to come by, especially in rural areas where people naturally possess farming and other agriculture-related skills.
There are various agribusiness areas that you can explore such as mangoes, rubber, coffee, bananas, palm oil, coconut, and cacao.
The fishing business spans a wide array of categories, but it mainly involves growing or catching fish for the purpose of selling them.
Depending on your location, you can either own a few boats and hire fisherfolk to find and catch fish.
The other route is to build fish ponds for the purpose of cultivating and growing a particular breed of fish (or maybe more).
This type of venture is of course more viable in places outside of the metro where there’s larger parcels of land to accommodate fish ponds.
Real Estate Business Ideas
According to Wikipedia, “It is the operation, control, and oversight of real estate as used in its most broad terms”. As a property manager, you’ll be the owner’s PoC for handling all related stuff to managing and maintaining their property.
You’ll act as the middleman if potential buyers (if an owner is selling) or lease offers come in to bid.
Nobody likes a shabby, tumbledown space. As a building maintenance provider, you’ll take care of keeping the building in tip-top shape.
Real Estate Broker
Finding clients and landing a deal are your main responsibilities. Licensed real estate brokers earn a healthy commission for setting up deals between the buyer and seller.
Home Staging, Land Surveyor, & Landscaping
All three have common goals—make land and spaces livable and looking good.
If you have a background on any of these three, you can start by marketing your services to small scale projects like homeowners looking to sell their house or folks who want to renovate their front and back yard spaces.
Whichever it may be, grab the opportunity. It will jumpstart your business until you gather enough skills, resources and capital to move to bigger projects.
Building Safety & Inspection Services
Building safety is of utmost importance and is required to be met throughout the building’s lifetime. Starting this type of business will require accreditation and proper certification.
Once running, you can offer your services to both government units and private building owners needing regular building safety certification.
Waste Management Services
Nope, I’m not talking about waste treatment plants. You can probably start by developing a system for collecting and segregating waste from residential units.
Trust me, residents will be more than willing to have you collect their garbage and even pay for easy and convenient waste disposal. Once you’re done with the collection and segregation, you can sell to junk shops or perhaps straight to recycling agents.
Demolition & Wrecking Services
Another interesting business idea. Heavy machinery and manpower will be your main start-up costs.
Construction Business (for Renovation)
Same with above, initial capital will be allocated to machinery and manpower. You can start with small residential projects then move to commercial spaces once you build enough traction and capital.
Business Services [B2B]
Accounting & Bookkeeping
You can go the freelance route and start by offering your accounting and bookkeeping expertise as a side gig. Depending on your skill level and experience, you can target high-income individuals and small business owners.
You can begin hiring a contractor or two once as you get more clients and from there expand as an actual firm.
Human Resources Services
If you have friends who have Corporate, Labor, Compensation & Benefits, headhunting and executive backgrounds, then perhaps a Human Resource firm is a viable business idea.
You will manage the company’s organizational structure, records management, payroll and benefits, and talent acquisition.
Security firms provide businesses with the necessary personnel for ensuring safety of their operations and assets. You’ll set up a firm which will act as an agency for hiring and assigning security personnel to clients.
If you have a gift of gab and have no qualms about constantly networking with people, then a sales business may be for you.
The great thing about a sales business (ie: life insurance and real estate) is that if you have no employees, you get to keep all the income to yourself.
The downside is, you have to be disciplined and self-motivated during hard times when you encounter a problem in your sales business. Also, you only earn as much as you sell, so you need to work extra hard, maybe even during weekends and holidays to reach your desired income.
However, if these qualities come naturally to you then you’ll have no problem making profit and staying in this business.
Legal Document Processing Services
If you have a legal background, you can build a small team of legal experts for preparing and processing legal and/or business-related documents for clients.
These could include drafting contracts, paperwork for setting up a business/corporation, notarization services, and other legal matters.
HVAC stands for Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning —- and the goal of HVAC services is to provide thermal comfort (either to cool or warm) and acceptable indoor air quality.
Most HVAC companies in the country specialize in the repair and management of airconditioning and refrigeration equipment. In the Philippines where the weather can be very hot and humid, airconditioning systems are important, so services that can maintain and fix these systems will be necessary.
Disinfection Services (Covid-19)
Keeping ourselves clean during these times (pandemic) is crucial and of utmost importance. That’s why companies that provide professional cleaning and disinfection services are in demand right now. They can ensure that places, equipment, and other items and locations that require continuous usage are adequately cleaned to prevent the spread of the virus.
Before you throw this idea out the window for being too ludicrous, did you know that the minimum capital to start a rural bank in 5th or 6th class municipalities in the Philippines is just 5 million pesos?5
That’s right. However, there’s a catch. The process of establishing a bank in the country is tedious6. Aside from the massive amount of paperwork that needs to be accomplished, you will have to comply with many requirements.
What’s more, a rural bank has to be opened for business within 8 months of the receipt of the notice of approval from the Monetary Board/Governor. Otherwise, the authority to start a bank will be revoked automatically.
Basically, a broker solves their client’s problems for a fee. They also lend clients money for margin transactions and provide support by giving information about what’s happening on trading platforms. There are different types of brokers.
Different types of brokerage firms:
This form of digital investment interacts with the client online. The main advantages of this type of brokerage are availability, speed, and low commissions.
A stockbroker, they buy and sell orders but they charge a reduced commission rate.
This type of brokerage offers different professional services to clients, including tax tips, equity researching, investment advisory, etc.
A customs brokerage firm is well-versed in international and local tariff laws, trade laws, and regulations for clearance of exported and imported goods. A customs clearance broker can provide assistance in filling out forms as well as gathering the necessary documents for clearance.
They can also help with computing taxes and other fees. A customs clearance broker coordinates with government offices and agencies on their client’s behalf, and complies with regulations to facilitate a fast and smooth customs clearance process. They help ensure clients can receive their cargo or have it shipped on time.
Event Planning Services
Wedding Planner & Coordinator
A wedding planner/coordinator is crucial to the success of a wedding. Logistics, guests, wardrobe, accessories, church visits, invites, and everything else— a great coordinator will keep things running smoothly before, during, and after the wedding.
Though peak sales are seasonal, there’s a constant demand for flowers. If you have the eye and know-how for good presentation, you can provide arrangement services.
Or you can go the supplier route instead and get product from sources and resell them to shops and customers.
If you love throwing parties, why not earn from it? Like a wedding coordinator, a party planner will manage all tasks and details necessary to throw a kick-ass and unforgettable day of fun.
Party Supplies Business
A great party requires the right stuff—balloons, tables, chairs, decor, etc. And with Filipinos being fond of throwing celebrations left and right, you’ll always have clients willing to pay to give their events the full party treatment.
Lights & Sounds Equipment Rental
Concerts, parties, corporate and private events and more. Lights and sounds are what elevates events to a whole new level and gives it a more classy vibe.
With the right equipment, you can set up a lights and sounds rental business for clients looking to spruce up their happenings.
Fun Run & Fundraising Events Organizer or Consultant
If you have the passion for running, you probably attended your fair share of marathons. Ever thought about setting up one yourself?
It may sound hard at first but with enough research and due diligence you can organize a fun run and earn a profit from it. You’ll help your clients in setting up the location, dealing with sponsors (if they have it), security, race details, promotion of the event, budget allocation and more.
Mobile Bar & Bartending Services
I’ve attended a lot of events featuring a mobile bar and I admit, it added a touch of class not to mention the (much needed) booze. Your initial capital will cover the vehicle and initial inventory of drinks as well as bartender services.
A staple in almost all events. The long lines never cease to amaze and wear me down at the same time. Filipinos just love having their pictures taken, ‘nuff said. And you can capitalize on this by setting up your own photobooth.
I’ve seen basic setups (DSLR, Laptop, printer) to more high-end ones complete with complicated lighting setups, backgrounds and accessories.
Online & Home-based Business Opportunities
Online Reseller (Dropshipping & Ecommerce)
Being an online reseller can mean two things:
(1) You have actual inventory and you use the internet to promote and sell,
(2) You serve as a middleman (dropship) who sets up a virtual shop online where your customers can place and process orders and payment. Once the order is confirmed, you will then have your product source deliver it directly to the buyer.
It’s like a consignment business but here you mainly handle marketing and promotion of the products and running the website.
Start a Blog or a Niche Website
There’s a ton of ways you can profit from a website. You can earn from Ads, affiliate marketing, and selling your products and services. Whatever your strategy is, the goal is to get a good number of people visit your website.
You have a lot of options here. You can provide website creation and development services, teach English online, do data entry work, Ghostwriting, Virtual assistance, App development, graphics and animation work, voice talent, and so much more.
Highly Recommended: 7-Figure Online Business Ideas: 6 Ways to Make Money Online
Vlogging or Live Streaming
Vlogging used to be purely recreational. Now, you can use vlogging to make money online. Just set up your account either on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, decide on your gear setup, shoot, and upload.
Of course, for you to grow your followers, you have to keep them engaged so spend time coming up with your content calendar as well. There are tons of ways you can earn from vlogging.
In YouTube for instance, your income in commensurate with the number of advertisers that place ads on your videos. If you reach influencer status, you can start charging companies who want you to post something about their products or go to their events as well.
Hobbies, Crafts, & Other Business Ideas:
Soap & Lotion Making
I’ve seen local entrepreneur shows feature regular Pinoys who built a business empire from selling a product or service that was born out of a hobby.
If they can do it, so can you! Soap and lotion making, scents and perfume, require only a small capital to begin with. If you don’t have the expertise yet but interested in knowing more, you can attend trainings and workshops to develop your skills.
Yup, Vape is alive and kicking. If you are a Vape owner yourself, you probably know which products are good and which ones suck. Why not put this experience and knowledge to good use?
You can probably start low-key by in-person deals or sell online and send products via shipping.
Well, somebody has to do it—no matter how stressful this business sounds like, it’s really all about asking someone to pay their dues. It’s that simple. So get over your worries and start being open to the potential income this business will generate.
Weekend Business Ideas
Sell on Food Expos
Love hanging out on Food Expos and sampling the products? So do I! On a serious note, if you have a great food product, expos are a fun way of showcasing them and attracting potential re-sellers and buyers.
Not to mention, it can provide you with the first-hand feedback from customers to help you adjust and improve your product.
You see them almost everywhere, especially around Christmas season. Why? Because bazaars are chock-full of interesting stuff that you don’t easily find in malls. And it’s usually cheaper!
Bottom line is, Bazaars are pretty popular. If you have stuff you want to dispose of or simply interested in some weekend buy and sell, simply register and set up shop. Or you can organize it yourself!
If you’re the type of person who finds joy in planning and running events, perhaps organizing seminars or webinars can be your thing. You’ll manage everything: From inviting speakers, discussing fees, marketing, location and logistics, equipment, attendees, and more. Basically everything from start to finish.
Cooking Class Instructor
I can’t remember the number of times I watched the “Panlasang Pinoy” channel in YouTube. It’s a lifesaver for those rare moments when my wife asks me to cook at home.
Mind you, I’m a complete noob. But if you’re someone who actually knows their way around the kitchen, why not share your skills and teach clueless novices like me how to do it, Gordon Ramsay-style? Ok, maybe not Gordon Ramsay—but you get my point. There will always be people like me who want to learn how to cook and are willing to pay for it.
Music & Craft Lessons
I may not know which is “kangkong” and which is “talbos ng kamote” at the supermarket but I know how to play a guitar. If you have music, crafting, drawing, or any other artistic skills, you can offer tutorial services.
This is especially popular during summer, where kids have a lot of free time. Teaching others while earning at the same time is a great way of sharing your talent.
How to Validate your Business Idea
“The most important thing is a hungry market. Not a brilliant burger.” – Gary Halbert
Legendary direct mail response copywriter Gary Halbert points out that the most important thing that determines the success of a campaign (he sold products via mail) is not the brilliance of the product itself, but rather, if you’re able identify a hungry market who is already looking for the type of product you’re selling.
Think about it.
We might think we can create a better burger than McDonalds (I know most of us seriously can). Does this mean we will be as successful?
And here’s why: McDonald’s’ success was not the result of the taste of their burgers.
Rather, they were successful because they found a huge demand for cheap food that can be served very quickly.
That was their market. People looking to buy cheap, fast food.
Figuring out and identifying your target market is perhaps the most important step in validating a business idea.
Why the need to validate a business idea in the first place, you ask?
Well, without it, you’re basically throwing a hail mary pass—launching a product or opening a business simply because you can—without necessarily knowing if people will be there to buy it.
Here’s a personal example. There’s a small spot along road 3 in Project 6 that I noticed seem to change stores/businesses every few months.
The first time I saw it I think it was a computer shop.
A few months back, it was a barbeque store. Now they changed businesses again and are selling cupcakes.
I won’t be surprised if it folds up too and gets replaced by a laundry shop next week.
The moral of the story? Doing certain steps to test the viability of a business is crucial to its success.
What are these steps, exactly? Here are the top 3 ones to help you out.
Step 1: Come up with a business that you’re genuinely interested in and determine if there’s a hot market for it
A lot of successful businesses were born out of a passion for something. Michael Dell was into computers.
He loved building them from scratch.
Back then, most desktop computers were sold pre-built (IBM, HP, Compaq) and were pricey.
Word of mouth through his college brought him plenty of customers, students looking for a cheap, custom built desktop. So Dell continued building PCs which eventually turned into the global brand that it is today.
A perfect example proving that merging passion and identifying a willing market to buy it is crucial to success.
Step 2: Observe and talk to your target market
Once you’ve zeroed in on a niche and identified your target market, it’s time to do some old-school survey and research.
And by survey I don’t mean have random people answering 10 questions about your product.
No. Rather, ask potential customers what service or product they are currently using and what do they wish it did more/better?
What would they like to see more of?
Are they price-sensitive?
Ask them if they will be willing to pay for a product like you’re planning to sell.
The more information you can have, the better you’re idea will be of what customers truly want and willing to buy.
Where can you find potential customers for feedback? When building a physical store, perhaps you can ask the people who frequent the area.
Observe how they conduct business with surrounding or nearby stores. Does the place get plenty of foot traffic?
Or you can visit and join Facebook groups or communities that seem to be a perfect fit for your product.
Say you’re planning on creating an advanced digital course on Adobe Photoshop. You can frequent online groups made for digital graphics artist and the like.
Your task will be to spot pain points and problems and see if your product can address them.
You can even ask them directly if what you are planning to build is something they will be willing to purchase.
Step 3: Create your prototype
Once you are certain that there’s a demand and confirmed your potential audience’s pain points and needs, it’s time to do a “trial run”.
You can create a rough version of the product with all the key elements built in based on your market research. Distribute samples to potential customers, then wait and ask for feedback.
Some forms of businesses might not be able to perform this step and that’s understandable.
The main takeaway behind this concept is to get actual feedback based on a prototype of a product without burning through capital and going all in right away.
In the tech startup world, this first prototype is referred to as “Minimum Viable Product” or MVP.
Let’s take smartphone apps, for example. Let’s say Instagram’s first iteration (MVP) was an app with a strong focus on photo sharing and a few filters.
After the beta release, it was found out through feedback that people loved filters and wanted more types of it to be incorporated.
Taking this into consideration, they added more, better filters which served as its main advantage over Facebook.
After polishing the MVP using feedback from users, the creators were able to launch a near-perfect product that is far better than what they could have made if they didn’t have the insights from the initial feedback.
While this is not accurate and merely an example, this proves the importance of launching an MVP before going all-out to creating the actual product.
It allows you to quickly (and cheaply) build a prototype customers can use and provide crucial feedback on.
It’s no different to someone who got praised for his barbeque but was advised to adjust the spiciness a bit to suit the preferences of a larger audience.
After heeding their suggestions and feedback, more people liked his barbeque which lead him into thinking, “Ibenta ko kaya to? Parang madaming may gusto”.
A thousand barbecues later, Andoks was born. Just kidding, but I know you get my point.
For a more comprehensive guide on validating your business idea, also check Foundr’s step-by-step guide to find your startup idea.
Tips on Starting a Small Business in the Philippines
Regardless of size, starting a business entails a lot of hard work and determination. Here are some tips on starting a small business in the Philippines to guide your way:
1. Register your business
Also, see to it to register with BIR and secure your mayor’s permit from the city you’ll be operating your business from.
If your business needs any other relevant form of registration in relation to the product or service you are offering, make sure you get that covered too.
2. Prepare yourself
Don’t haphazardly jump into a business without first studying all its pros and cons. Make sure to have a business and marketing plan ready along with a SWOT analysis to ensure you get all bases covered.
It pays to know the industry you are venturing into. Attend seminars/trainings, read books, and do everything you can to immerse yourself in the market before taking the plunge.
3. Learn how to manage money
Managing the cash flow of a business is no easy feat. While you can enlist the help of an accountant, it’s also wise that you learn how to handle your personal and business’ finances first.
In small businesses, you only got yourself to rely on at the start. So make sure you know how to sustain your cash flow and manage your books as well.
4. Be mindful of taxes
Make sure to understand your taxes and be aware of the times wherein you’ll have to pay them. This will prevent you from falling out with the BIR, and ultimately the Philippine law.
If you find the computation and payment of taxes overwhelming, consult with an accountant or an expert when it comes to tax.
5. Invest in digital marketing
Consult someone regarding how you can best utilize digital marketing channels like websites, social media accounts, and the like to promote your brand. If you have no time, you can hire an expert to manage your accounts for you.
Digital marketing will increase other people’s awareness about your brand and allow you to reach a wider yet more targeted audience which in turn can increase your sales.
How to Fund your Business in the Philippines
Need ideas on how to fund your business in the Philippines?
Don’t have enough savings to fund your small business or don’t have much time left to wait for money to come around? Here are some methods you can consider:
1. Sell your assets
If you have a house, a piece of land or perhaps a car, under your name, you might want to consider selling them so you can have starting capital for your business.
2. Borrow money from a friend or family member
If you don’t have any personal means to produce the money needed for the capital of your business, you can borrow from a friend or family member.
Be careful though as things can get messy among close family and friends when money becomes involved. So be careful not to let this be the cause of any misunderstanding.
3. Consider a partnership
This is another option you can explore if you just need a bit more money to complete funding your business. But since you’ll be dealing with additional investors in your business, make sure to give their shares accordingly to avoid conflict.
4. Get a Bank Loan
If you want to avoid the risk of ruining your relationships with close family and friends when asking them for a loan, you might want to consider asking from the bank (or other lending institutions) instead.
Each bank has different terms and conditions so choose one that best fits your needs.
5. Borrow From the Government
You can also borrow from either SSS or GSIS, provided that your business qualify for the criteria they set.
6. Try P2P Lending and crowdfunding
Alternatively, you can look at P2P lending as it allows you to borrow money at a lower interest rate, making it a cost-effective option to fund your business.
So there you go, several ways to fund your small business in the Philippines.
The Entrepreneur’s Checklist
If you’re reading this, you’re probably keen on building your own business now or in the near future. But aside from having the courage and discipline to kick start a business, what are the other traits most commonly found in the most successful entrepreneurs?
What are the usual challenges and factors to consider before taking on the entrepreneur’s path?
To help you answer these questions, here’s an Entrepreneur’s Checklist to give you a better idea of what it takes to get a better shot at success in running your business.
Passionate about their idea
Some of the most successful businesses were conceived from a simple idea. But as simple as they may have been, it served as the catalyst for some of the biggest brands in the world today.
However, ideas are but mere thoughts unless acted upon. What’s more important is the driving force to push that idea into fruition, so it can ultimately reach its best form and become a real business that has a very strong chance of succeeding.
That driving force is passion. Some of the richest men in the world right now owe their wealth to a simple idea, but it was their passion that set forth a series of actions that actualized that vision into an actual product or business.
Jeff Bezos saw the internet as the future for selling books. He devoted time, money, and even turned down lavish job offers to passionately pursue his idea which eventually developed into one of the biggest businesses in history.
You’ll see similar paths taken by other world-renowned businessmen: Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, to name a few. Your confidence and passion in your idea will go a long way and carry you, especially through difficult times.
Ability to adapt
Before creating PayPal, its founders were in the business of developing security software for handheld devices but did not find success. They switched gears and decided to focus on creating a digital wallet, and PayPal was born.
As it was gaining traction, the company decided to terminate its other online banking operations and focus on PayPal. In two years, the company went public and sold over $61 million worth of shares. eBay eventually acquired the company a few months after its IPO, buying it from the founders for $1.5 billion.
The lesson of the story? Don’t be afraid to adjust your game plan and always be on the lookout for potential opportunities that may offer better leverage. PayPal founders realized it was failing in the security software industry, so they looked for other viable concepts which led them to online banking and eventually to the creation of PayPal.
And after realizing that PayPal was their main moneymaker, they adapted yet again and dropped its other businesses to focus on PayPal. In another example, Apple was mainly in the business of creating and selling Macintosh computers and iPods. But seeing opportunity in the mobile market, they adapted to the trends and found atmospheric and financial success with the iPhone.
Successful entrepreneurs know how to identify opportunities and use their adaptive nature to leverage their potential.
Have the necessary financial IQ
One underrated trait that most successful entrepreneurs have in common is their “financial savviness”. Knowledge and understanding of how money flows (expenses, revenue, and anything else in between) throughout the entire endeavor is a critical part of running a business.
Professional in managing each aspect of the business
Contrary to what some people might think, business owners themselves don’t take it easy when it comes to running their business. In fact, it’s usually the other way around, because they understand that true and continuous success can only come if they treat each aspect of their business with a certain degree of professionalism and care.
Making the most out of what they have and leveraging creative ways to solve problems is another common trait among entrepreneurs.
In running a business, you’ll encounter all sorts of bumps and issues, and you won’t always have the best means to get around them. In these situations, being resourceful is especially helpful, and that’s why it’s an important skill to develop.
Knows how to make the most out of their time
Running a business isn’t easy, because if it was, everybody would be doing it. And those who are successful at it are people who can leverage the most value out of their time.
With everything that needs to be done (especially when you’re just starting out), time management will be crucial. Effective and efficient use of each minute can spell the difference between a business running like a well-oiled machine versus one that runs on squeaky wheels.
Effective people skills for properly dealing with employees and customers
Leaders understand that the success of the company will depend on the people running it, which is why having the right people skills is essential.
Grit and focus
If you’ll read the biographies of some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, you’ll see a common pattern: they are laser-focused on their goals and endure hardship with indefatigable perseverance.
It doesn’t mean that they are doggedly stubborn though, it just means that they understand that success requires an immense amount of effort to achieve.
Willing to take calculated risks
Risks are an inevitable occurrence in running a business. As an entrepreneur, it is your job to develop critical thinking skills and be proficient in taking calculated risks.
Strong sense of personal control
People with a strong internal locus of control tend to be more successful than those who don’t. They firmly believe that results are dictated by their thoughts and actions, and rarely use external factors as scapegoats for failure.
How to Future-proof your Business Idea
Stay up to date with the latest developments
Keeping yourself abreast with the latest developments in your industry enables you to quickly adapt your strategies and methods to remain profitable and competitive.
Countless companies all across the globe have been forced out of business simply because they were too focused on existing methods, failing to recognize the new patterns and trends of the ever-changing market.
Check out the competition
In combat sports (boxing, MMA, etc.,) part of the training involves analyzing their competition. Knowing the opponent’s strategies and tendencies will help in developing a well-planned strategy for the victory.
In a similar vein, entrepreneurs should always be on the lookout for their competition.
What are they up to? What are the current trends? What’s the general direction of the market? How are my competitors adapting to changes?
These are but a few of the questions successful entrepreneurs ask themselves to stay competitive.
Get expert advice
Businesses hire all sorts of consultants to help them solve problems and improve existing methodologies and strategies.
Why is this important?
Because having a fresh set of eyes to review and provide a more transparent analysis of the various aspects of your business will keep it in tip-top shape and a better position to innovate.
Not having any problems doesn’t mean the company’s A-OK, as being satisfied with past success and doing nothing to achieve new ones could lead to stagnation.
Don’t rest on your laurels
Remember Nokia and Blackberry? Three decades ago, they were household names all across the world when it comes to mobile phones. Then out of nowhere, Apple dropped the iPhone. Google launched Android.
All of sudden, the titans of the mobile phone industry saw their market share crumble faster than a child eats a cookie.
The moral of the story? There’s always someone out there looking to improve existing ideas, technologies, and methods. Strive to improve and develop existing strategies and products to help secure your company’s future.
Learn to adapt
Continuing our train of thought from the previous pointer, learning to adapt to trends and changes is crucial in the survival of your business, especially if you’re in a very competitive niche. What if Nokia or Blackberry used Android as its OS earlier?
They probably would have maintained a significant market share, especially during that time when they were seen as two of the biggest names in the industry.
Samsung identified this shift into improved software and touchscreen tech and launched new products with Android OS. They identified the direction of the trends and adapted faster and their actions helped establish Samsung as a premier mobile phone brand years later.
- How to Fund Your Dream Business in the Philippines.
- How to Buy a Business in the Philippines
- How to Sell a Business in the Philippines