Published: June 1, 2018 | Updated: January 9, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Personal Finance
Having your own time, being your own boss, and working from home – too good to be true? Not when you’re a business owner or a freelancer. There’s a new paradigm shift as more people are working freelance and starting their own businesses.
According to a report by Rappler, 2% of the current Philippine population are part of the freelance market. Small enterprises, on the other hand, take up over 9.50% of the total businesses in the country. The number is greater if you include those who use Facebook and Instagram as e-commerce avenues.
With the self-fulfillment working for yourself provides, more Filipinos are grabbing the bull by the horns. Everyone wants a slice of it, but many ask, “I don’t know what I’m good at. Will people pay for my services? Financially, is it possible for me to put up my own business?”
Know your options so you can decide. We rounded up eight small businesses you can start with PHP 50,000 or less. See them below.
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If you love kids and enjoy studying, pair the two together and start tutoring. Assuming you already have a trusty laptop and a printer to create and produce worksheets and handouts, a budget of PHP 2,000 will get you the needed school supplies (pen, paper, etc.) and a few textbooks. Even if your expenses increase the more resources you need, you’ll be able to charge extra for additional services, such as in-home tutoring or one-on-one sessions.
“Since the business is very time-dependent, planning is key,” Mica, a private tutor for grade-school kids, advises. “Especially during busier weeks, you need to plan in advance and consider unavoidable circumstances such as when your students come late or change schedules at the last minute.”
If you have a knack for getting kids to listen to you, and you’ve excelled academically, consider tutoring as a business.
“There are so many options to choose from when it comes to monetizing a blog,” says Jason Acidre author of kaiserthesage.com, a blog that discusses SEO, link building, and content strategy. “Consider affiliate marketing, ad displays, or selling products and/or services when blogging.”
When asked what it takes to start a successful blog, Jason points out, “research and writing skills, knowledge in building traffic and your personal brand, building relationships with your network, and identifying opportunities.”
As for the finances, PHP 2,000 can get you a personal domain name and a three-month hosting plan. You would need to inject some cash to start monetizing your blog since most free blog-hosting sites do not allow advertisements.
Remember that you need to stand out when starting a blog. With so many influencers and vloggers monetizing their reach and skills, you have to put your best work every time.
“If you want to start selling accessories, then online channels are your best bet for distribution,” Pat of Bahia Accessories begins. Bahia Accessories is an online store selling unique, handcrafted goods from rope, fabric, and other scrap materials. “Not only is online the cheapest means, but you’ll be able to reach a wider audience through social media.”
PHP 10,000 is a good starting capital, but it can increase depending on factors such as expensive materials. The use of leather can raise your starting capital to PHP 30,000. The initial amount though is enough to cover labor, materials, overhead costs, product development, and even website design for accessories such as small pouches, bracelets, and drawstring bags.
Upon establishing your small business, you can also join tiangges and craft markets to further expand your reach.
If you have a penchant for playing with words, you can turn your writing hobby into a business. Be it writing online articles or the next Harry Potter saga, there are numerous ways to generate income through writing. PHP 15,000 will get you a standard laptop, and you can type away on Microsoft Word.
You can be a contributor for online blogs and websites; you can look for writing gigs via Upwork, Elance, and Freelancer; or you can write your own full-length novel and either be a ghostwriter or self-publisher. Of course, if you want to self-publish, there are additional costs – book design fees, marketing and promotional expenses, and getting an editor are some.
“You need the passion to last. It’s exciting at first — starting a clothing business — but once the thrill dies down and the responsibilities set in, you have to keep going,” CJ, an online retail entrepreneur, narrates when asked about the ins and outs of starting her store. “I started with PHP 20,000. That was enough to cover expenses for materials, labor, and photo shoots for marketing and promotional purposes.”
“Aside from passion, you have to accompany that with innovation and financial knowledge,” she continues. With the rapid pace in which trends are set, you need to keep your client base interested. This does not only encompass the designs of your clothes but other initiatives as well. As for financial knowledge, it’s important to do the math. A cost-benefit analysis will allow you mathematical proof whether your venture will be worthwhile or not.
OLX and Shopee are two websites you can use to set up shop. There’s also the Lazada Marketplace, a program you should consider if you want to play with retail giants.
Apart from clothes, consider selling shoes/sandals and beauty products too as these items are currently favored by millennials.
A food cart franchise allows you to learn the ropes of business with a system in place. Food carts offering one or two products start at a franchise fee of PHP 35,000, which includes equipment, training, and customer support to name a few. If you want to invest in larger franchises, the fee is much higher.
A word of caution though is additional costs will arise. Make sure you have an emergency fund when unforeseen events come up. In relation, also consider your monthly rent for your cart as this will eat up a portion of your earnings. Placing a PHP 35,000 food cart in a mall might not be a good idea if you will be paying more on rent than what you’re earning. Make sure to take all business costs into consideration before taking the plunge.
From weddings to private lessons, there are numerous ways you can monetize your talent with make-up. A professional brush set will cost around PHP 4,000 while a set of high-quality products can cost up to PHP 28,000.
“When I was starting out, I didn’t have enough money to buy foundation in a variety of shades,” Rai, a make-up artist, says. “One beauty hack I did was to buy the lightest and darkest shades and mix them to match various skin tones of my clients.”
One of the key things to success is tapping your network. You may start out small with only a select group of clients, but if you deliver well and let your work do the talking, your network will organically grow through referrals.
You can also post tutorials and make-up videos on YouTube, which can help grow your network.
There are numerous ways to monetize your knack for capturing people’s special moments or picturesque scenery. You can offer your services during events or sell your photos online. PHP 20,000 will get you a DSLR, which offers superior quality compared to point-and-shoot cameras. However, if you want to turn your hobby into a business, you will need more equipment to widen your scope of services. Apart from a dependable camera, you will need extra lenses depending on projects (wide angle versus zoom lenses), extra batteries and SD cards, and lighting equipment, to name a few.
Have a portfolio ready and sprinkle your social media pages with your photos to show the quality of your work. Make sure to tap your network, especially when landing your first gigs. If your clients are happy, they won’t hesitate to refer you to their family and friends.
Competition, finances, and registration are three challenges to overcome when starting a business. More distribution channels open up more opportunities for businesses and consumers alike, but that also means competition has increased. Keep in mind there will always be competition, and what’s important is to find your strengths and niche.
As for finances, lack of capital can limit you. Consider this a challenge. Being tight on finances will allow you to maximize what little you have.
Lastly, whether you’re a freelancer or a small business owner, it’s important to pay your taxes. This is for your benefit and enables you for SSS, Pag-IBIG, and PhilHealth benefits and loans. In addition, if you plan to buy a house or a car and need to take out a loan, you’ll need to show your income tax returns. Registering with the BIR is not only for employees but includes those who are self-employed as well.
The risks and challenges of starting a business on your own are high and many. The key is to keep going. Never be discouraged. As Kim Lato, founder of Kimstore, said in an interview with MoneyMax.ph, “Take the risk. You won’t be on a high all the time. Sometimes there’ll be lows. The only thing that makes me different from another person is that they didn’t try.”
With a goal to help Filipinos lead healthier financial lives, Moneymax regularly publishes tips and tricks on personal finance and lifestyle, among many other topics. For more finance-related news and articles, follow Moneymax on Linkedin.