Business Ideas That Require Small Capital Investment

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What Makes Small Businesses Thrive In a Small Community

I live in a very small community, categorized under urban poor with less than 200 houses.  Many of the men are blue collar job workers with no permanent employment and most of the women are unemployed housewives.  This small community located on a hilltop overlooking the city is about 30 minutes ride from the downtown area.  What is nice about this community is its rural setting, fresh mountain air, green trees and friendly neighborhood.

When you enter the neighborhood, you will observe a typical Filipino community – lots of small stores along the road.  I wondered sometimes, considering the total number of houses and the number of ‘sari-sari stores,’ who’s going to be their customers?  I just moved in and live in this community for 5 months but haven’t seen any of those sari-sari stores closed.  Instead, their number continue to increase.

Unlike where I came from, though a little more developed and belongs to average income earners with a few who are economically above average, the small stores don’t thrive very long.  As some sari-sari stores are opened, about similar number also closes.  Some operates in only a few months then closes, but will open again a few months after.  This community is about 10 minutes ride to the downtown area.  What is surprising is the goods for sale here are more expensive than those of the community in the hilltop.

A few things I observed which I think are the contributory factors in the survival of small stores in the hilltop community are the following:

Unique Product

All of them may be categorized under small sari-sari store but many of them has its own unique product.  One sari-sari store sells rice, and fresh and frozen meat.  Beside it is another sari-sari store sells fresh and frozen fish.  Fronting them is a sari-sari store selling fruits and cooked meals.  A few walk to the left are three sari-sari stores, one sari-sari store is also a cellphone loading station.  The other two are typical sari-sari stores with no unique product but almost all of the motorcycles park near them because of the shade of the big tree.  Motorcycle is the mode of transportation in this community.  If you walk to the right from the store that sells cooked meals is another sari-sari store that sells fresh vegetables.  In front is another sari-sari store that sells cooked meals but the menu is entirely different than the previous one.  Right beside is a big store that has it all (well, almost).  If you go further, you will find more sari-sari stores selling something different from the rest.  It’s a community of sari-sari stores.

Strategic Location

A few sari-sari stores in the community do not have unique products to offer but their location made them more accessible to many households in the community.

Customer Service

It’s quite normal in a small community with a rural setting that everybody knows everybody.  Good customer service is also quite expected.  I mentioned above that there is one big store in the community with almost has it all, from ice cream and frozen delights to construction materials like cement and nails but it’s not the first store that people go to.  Customer service sucks!  If only this store provides excellent customer service, it would probably killed all those little sari-sari store near it.


There are about 6 stores in the community that sells cooked meals.  One of these stores is located the farthest in a hidden location towards the community boundary.  I just learned that there is a store in that somewhat forested area when I saw people carrying packed meals every morning.  I asked one of my neighbors why they have to go there and buy when there are other stores nearby.  ‘It is very cheap and delicious,’ I was told.  I went to visit the store and found out that it is not a small store, it’s tiny.  You can see the middle-aged lady cooking.  The place is clean.  The shocking part is the price of its cooked meals.  Yes, ‘shock’ is the right word.  I was able to buy cooked vegetable for P10 which was enough for me and my brother to share.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why Most People Start Operating Businesses Without Permit and Licenses?

It is a common practice here in the Philippines.  Budding businessmen and entrepreneurs start their business activity without first acquiring the required permits and licenses.  Try to ask someone who has just started a business if he/she has business permit and licenses, majority of them, if not all, would say, none yet.

The '6-months Grace Period'

I really don't know where this '6-months grace period' for business start-ups to operate without business permit came to start.  Business owners purportedly given ample time to decide whether to pursue the business venture or not.  The period also would give enough time to assess whether the business is profitable or not.  It is a common answer everywhere I go.  This is not true, and nobody can tell where.  The reasons maybe valid but it has no legal support and it does not make your business legal.

Trial and Error Business Venture

Similar to the ‘6-months grace period’ and the lack of business plan, businessmen and women skip acquiring getting business permit and licenses on purpose.  Getting business permit and licenses here in the Philippines is a tedious process and moreover, costly.  If the business venture will not succeed, the cost of obtaining business permit and licenses is a deduction to would be losses.

Business Start-Ups Toward The End of The Year

When you apply for a business permit and licenses, you will have to pay a series of fees – from taxes to a growing list of regulatory fees, and incidental expenses incurred in going through the long and tedious business application process.  When you apply toward the end of the year, not all of those fees are computed equitably based on the remaining operating days of the current year.  Many of those fees are computed annually no matter which month of the year you apply.

Government’s Business Tax Mapping Activities

Most government agencies do not conduct tax mapping activities to verify information on businesses provided during application are true and to check whether there are businesses operating without the required permits.  Also, when government agencies conduct tax mapping activities, only on the first or second quarter of the year.  Business start-ups on the third and fourth quarter are spared from government monitoring activities.

Local Government Units Are Very Lenient on Business Permits

A good number of local government unit officials in the Philippines are not very strict on requiring business owners to obtain business permit and licenses for political reasons – votes.

Find out How to Succeed in Network Marketing If You’re Not Good in Selling

“You don’t have to sell, all you have to do is register, use the products and invite others to register,” I was told by a friend when she invited me to join in one of the more popular MLM companies.  I never realized that inviting others to register is also selling - selling the company, selling the system, selling the marketing strategy and selling the products in general as well.

Just like me, most of us, if not all, just want to make money by joining an MLM business, but just as many end up wanting to quit in the first few months of trying.  I registered as I was told, used the products that goes with the registration kit or package and invited a few to join but the money didn’t come as expected.  Many of us would like to believe that we were just disillusioned and regretted at a certain degree the decision to join our MLM Company, and gradually come to believe network marketing is a scam.

When you read and hear about the success of other people in network marketing, especially if you personally some of them, you may wonder what went wrong.  What did they do that you didn’t?  Most of us believe that our own lack of ability in this field is the key factor behind our failure.  But, when you know personally those who succeeded, you will learn the fact that to achieve network marketing success, you do not have to dip into in selling at all.

Make Sure You Are In The Right Business

You have to think hard whether network marketing is the right business for you.  If you’re a person who finds it difficult to draw people’s interest, then it might be good to step back a little bit and again think harder before dipping your hands into the business.  However, it doesn’t mean that you will never make it big in the business because I also know of people who succeeded in the business and simultaneously developing certain skills on how to attract their audience.  People skills can be developed and it’s never too late to any of us. 

A successful network marketer does not attract customers by merely selling the products and services, but also educating the customers as well.  If you are endorsing a product with which you cannot connect to yourself, you will never be successful in any MLM business.  How can you convince others to use a certain product if personally, you are not using it?  You have to believe the quality and effectiveness of the products you sell because if you don’t, there is little chance that others will believe in it too.  So, if you want to achieve network marketing success without doing any selling, make sure you find the right company and the right products to endorse.

Develop a Winning Presentation

Education is the key.  Educate the masses and you will enjoy success.  Don’t do presentations if you’re unprepared.  If necessary, make a good script when you talk to, or meet with an interested person.  Your presentation should be informative and focused on the product benefits so as to drive the right message to your prospects that can make them want to buy what offer.  Doing this may not be difficult if you are a user of what you are offering because you may just be sharing a personal experience and it will come out very natural and not forceful. 

It is also very important to be a good listener to what your prospect may want to ask.  Make sure to clear all doubts.  There may be instances when you will not be able to answer all your prospects’ queries.  Tell them that you will get back to them when you find the right answer.  Make this an opportunity for you to make follow-up in the next few days or weeks.

Educating Instead of Selling

If you want to enjoy success in MLM business, adopt a 'no selling' approach.  Uninterested people have the tendency to walk away when they feel you are selling something, but will stay a while when they think you’re just sharing information.  Educate people by using facts and figures, and make them understand the benefits of buying from you or joining your business.

Change your mindset.  You will not be hard on yourself if your aim is to educate.  You will feel that time was not lost even if the person you’re making a presentation will not buy or join your business.  It will also encourage you to learn more and do research to make your presentation better, more informative and convincing.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Things I Learned In Direct Selling Business

Many of us are looking to make extra income or dreamed of owning a business.  One for the most frequently offered business to start with is direct selling business - a business that lets you sell goods through one-on-one consultation or home parties.  Direct selling has become a big business in recent years.  They say that starting a direct selling business can be fun, it allows us to create flexible working schedule and take home percentage of our sales or percentage of the sales of the people we have signed up to be representatives.  But this is not the case for most of us.  I have tried and failed, tried again and failed again, i tried more and failed more.  Despite those failures, i have not given up yet.  I am willing to try it again, but this time i have to decide based on the learning experiences i had in the past.

Not all direct selling companies will work for everybody.  This is the first lesson i learned.  There are many considerations to make before joining a direct selling company:


The most important question to ask is whether you are willing to become its first consumer.  As a consumer, you have to consider the quality and the affordability.  If the product passed your quality standards but you're concerned with it's affordability, then you have think more than twice before joining, or better, not join at all.


Make sure that you are earning potential relies on product sales and not on recruitment.  Direct selling companies which depends on product sales tend to last longer in the market than those which depend on recruitment.  Many of us have seen direct selling and networking companies disappeared in the market after a year or two.


Make sure the direct selling company is legal and can present all the legal documents needed to do business in line with the nature of business as registered.  Let us help prevent scams by not being part of it.  Sometimes we turn our eyes blind because we are focused on the ridiculously high return of investment.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Direct Selling Companies In The Philippines

Below is a list of Direct Selling Companies operating here in the Philippines.

AVON Philippines
Products: makeup, skin care, personal care, fragrance and intimate apparel

Alliance in Motion Global
Products: Dietary supplements, personal care, beverages and cosmetics

Amway Philippines, L.L.C.
Products: Homecare Products

Boardwalk Business Ventures Inc
Products: Fashion Accessories, Branded Apparel

Classique Herbs
Products: Food Supplements

DXN International Private LTD
Products: Food Supplement

Dakki Classics Concepts, Inc.
Products: Apparel for men and women, bags, accessories, home products

Direct Shopping Inc.
Products: homecare, cosmetics, car care and hardware

Empower Marketing (The Peak Marketing Group, Inc.)
Products: Fashion Accessories and Food Supplement

Ever Bilena Cosmetics Direct Sales
Products: Color Cosmetics and Skin Care

Fern Inc.
Products: Vitamin-C (Fern-C), Dietary Supplement (Fern Slim) and coffee

Filway Marketing, Inc.
Products: Books and Educational Materials

Forever Living Products Philippines, Inc.
Products: Food Supplement

4 Life Research Philippines
Products: Food Supplement

Products: Fod supplement

GNLD International
Products: Food Supplement

Herbalife International Philippines, Inc.
Products: Food Supplement

Human Nature
Products: Mineral make-up, hair care, facial and lip care, hand and body care, baby care, kids care, protective care and merchandise (bags and shirts)

Lifestyles Asia Pacific Phils – Intra Philippines
Products: Food supplement

Mary Kay Philippines, Inc.
Products: Skin care, anti-aging products, makeup, body care, perfume, skin/facial care and cologne for men

Max International
Products: Anti-aging Supplements

MSE Marikina Shoe Exchange
Products: Shoes and Footwear

Products: Clothing, intimates, accessories and shoes for men, women and kids; cosmetics; fragrances with tie-ups with Robin Padilla and Jericho Rosales; skin care and hygiene products; and apparel by Reneé Salud

New Image International F.E. (Phils.), Inc.
Products: Food Supplement and Fuel conditioner

Nikken Philippines, Inc.
Products: Food Supplement and Health Care Prod.

Nu Skin Philippines, Inc.
Products: Skin care (cosmetics, facial and body care, anti-aging), health/dietary supplements (under the Pharmanex product line)

Personal Collection (Direct Selling Inc.)
Products: Home Care, Hair Care, Skin Care, Fragrance, Food Supplement and Apparel

Reliv Philippines, Inc.
Products: Food Supplement

Sophie Paris Philippines .Inc
Products: French Designed Bags, Wallets, Shoes, garments, Lingerie, cosmetics and watches

Stanhome World Philippines
Products: Home care products

Sundance Direct Sales
Products: Cosmetics, Shoes, Bags, Apparel

Sunrider Philippines Inc. (MLM)
Products: Food Supplement

Symmetry Phils., Inc. (MLM)
Products: Food Supplement

Triumph International (Phils.), Inc.
Products: Lingerie, silk lingerie, nightwear, swimwear and sportswear for females, and underwear, swimwear and casual wear for males

Tupperware Brands
Products: Cosmetics, Apparel and Intimates, Fragrances, Home Products, Personal Care and Skin Care)

Unicity Network Philippines, Inc.
Products: Nutraceutical Prod.

Products: Food Supplements

Waters Philippines (MLM)
Products: Water Purifier

World of Wellness Direct Sales
Products: Natural health, beauty, and wellness products


Enlist A Direct Selling Company!  Leave a comment below with the name of the direct selling comapny and website url.

Are You Ready To Start Your Own Business?

One of the most possible reason why you are here reading this blog post is because you want to start your own business.  I have wanted to start my own too but have never asked myself the question 'Am I ready?'.  I watched a TV show sometime in the past about starting a business and one of the questions raised was 'How would someone know that he/she is ready to start a business?'  This is what the guest financial/business adviser said:

If a person wants to start and business and doesn't know what business he/she want to go into, then that person is not yet ready to start a business.

I a person has a business idea and knows in his heart that the idea is going to work then the person is ready for business.  Contrary to what many people thinks that it's the business capital that makes a person ready for business.  If the person has the business concept, that person can always find a way to raise the funds needed to start the business. 

Now, are you ready to start your own business?