by Venus Zoleta, on category "Personal Finance"
June 27, 2019
Thinking of starting a cellphone loading business as a sideline? It’s one of the cheapest small businesses to start in the Philippines, with a capital of less than PHP 2,000. Anyone—including housewives, students, kasambahays, sari-sari store owners, and office workers—can easily earn money as a prepaid load retailer.
An e-loading business may not be very profitable, but it’s still a good opportunity to earn extra income on the side. With almost 130 million mobile prepaid subscribers in 2018, the Philippines has a huge market for e-loading services—and it will keep on growing. Customers will keep coming to loading stations to buy prepaid load for calling, texting, or surfing the internet.
Ready to become an e-load retailer? Start your loading business with these six easy steps.
Where and how will you operate your e-loading business? Who will you sell load to? Determine these things first before you become a load retailer.
The best thing about setting up a cellphone loading business is its flexibility. You can add it to your business, like a sari-sari store or internet cafe, especially if it’s in a location with good foot traffic.
If you don’t have an existing business, you can still sell load to family, friends, and neighbors from your home. Employees can sell to their officemates while at work, while students can do so in their school.
Any basic mobile phone released from 1999 onwards, preferably a dual-SIM unit, can be used for selling prepaid load. You can buy one for cheap at around PHP 1,000 or less.
However, you don’t have to buy a new phone if you have an old and unused phone that’s still working. You may even use the unit you have right now if you’re okay with changing your personal SIM card to a retailer SIM.
You have two options to start your loading business. One is to become an exclusive reseller for a telecommunications company like Globe, Smart, or Sun. The other choice is to become a member of a third-party distributor (the most popular ones being LoadCentral and LoadXtreme) that enables selling load from all telecom companies.
Here’s a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of the two e-loading methods.
The better type of cellphone loading business depends on your target market. If you’ll be selling mostly to Smart subscribers, for instance, being an exclusive retailer is the sensible choice.
If your target customers subscribe to different networks, it’s better to sell load from multiple telecom companies. However, make sure to transact only with a legitimate distributor. There are many distributors that offer all-in-one retailer SIM, so be careful when choosing one.
Visit the nearest Globe Business Center, Smart Wireless Center, or Sun Shop where you’ll fill out an application form and submit requirements (usually valid IDs, proof of billing, and ID pictures). If you want to sell a Smart prepaid, you can apply as a load retailer online.
You’ll also have to purchase a retailer SIM card that costs around PHP 300 to PHP 600 as well as an initial load balance worth PHP 1,000. The telecom company may refer you to a local load distributor in your area where you’ll buy the retailer SIM and reload your load wallet.
Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an agent code and prepaid load reseller kit from the telecom firm.
Visit the website of your chosen independent load distributor and register for a membership account. Registration requires filling out and submitting an online application form.
Once your account is registered, the third-party company will send you a confirmation message through email or SMS.
Read the manual that comes with your reseller kit to know everything about starting your cellphone loading business.
Pay close attention to these critical details:
Now’s the time to put your marketing skills to good use.
Make your cellphone loading business known. Start by sending a text blast—tell your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors that you’re selling load. Encourage them to spread the word, so you can get more customers. Also, use your social media accounts to advertise your e-loading business for free.
If you have a business location, ask your distributor to provide you with flyers, posters, tarpaulin, or any marketing materials. These are usually given for free upon request.
As soon as you’re done with all the six steps, you’re all set! You can already start selling prepaid load and earning a commission for each transaction. A modest monthly profit would range from PHP 1,000 to PHP 3,000—not bad for a side business that’s easy to start and operate. Some e-load retailers even earn around PHP 1,000 daily from their loading business.