8 Golden Rules for Starting a Small Business in the Philippines

Published: May 29, 2019 | Updated: October 5, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Personal Finance

How to Start a Small Business in the Philippines | Moneymax

To start a business, you need to be driven, patient, hardworking, and knowledgeable. But it takes more than that to succeed as an entrepreneur.

There’s no definite formula for success. However, there are rules that beginning entrepreneurs live by. Here are the eight golden rules on how to start a small business to guide you through this tough yet rewarding journey:

1. Create a New Market or Benchmark

potato corner franchise as a small business in the philippines

Be innovative! You have two choices for deciding what business you want to venture in.

First, offer something that is not yet in the market. How can you make your business stand out? Think creatively and identify an innovative product or service that can satisfy the needs or provide a solution for your target customers.

Second, benchmark successful businesses. Observe what they’re doing right and create something greater.

You can also apply at PhilGEPS wherein you can have government agencies as clients. This allows your business to grow by expanding your network.

2. Validate Your Small Business Idea

You may have something in mind that you believe will be a big hit. But does your business idea really have the potential to succeed?

Conduct market research before you start a small business. Find out if the product or service you’re considering to sell is something people need and would be willing to pay for. Check also if other businesses in your area are offering the same product or service and how the competition is like.

Read more: 15 Small Business Ideas in the Philippines You Can Start Even With Low Capital

3. Plan Your Business Finances

calculating your finances before starting a small business

While starting a small business in the Philippines doesn’t generally require a lot of funds, it will involve some capital. You need money to buy equipment, tools, supplies, and materials, as well as to cover ongoing costs for six to 12 months before you make a profit.

Start with listing down all the required expenses for starting your business. Group them into two categories:

  • One-time startup costs: Market research, branding, licenses and permits, initial inventory, grand opening event, etc.
  • Ongoing costs: Rent, marketing, employee salaries, taxes, etc.

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It’s also important to have backup funds. When you start a business, you have to allocate backup funds (aside from your initial capital) that will sustain your business. It will take time for your product to be known. When you’re starting out, it’s normal to suffer some loss. If you don’t have backup funds, how will you sustain your business?

4. Pick the Right People

look for the right talent and people before opening a business

You need a pool of talented, hardworking, and trustworthy people driven to grow your business. They are your greatest asset, so you have to also take care and grow them. With the right people, you can serve your customers better.

Identify the positions to fill and the core skills, competencies, and responsibilities for each. These will guide you through screening applicants and hiring the right ones.

If you’ll run your small business alone without any employee or contractor, you still need people you can run to for support. These could include your family and friends, a trusted mentor, or a fellow entrepreneur who can provide you with advice and motivation during the highs and lows of managing your startup.

5. Choose the Best Name for Your Small Business

Your business branding starts with a name. Make sure to pick a name that not only describes what you have to offer but also will have an easy recall among consumers.

Once you’ve come up with at least three potential names for your business, verify if it’s trademarked or another business is already using it. If there’s none, register your business name with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) if you’re a sole proprietor.

Read more: DTI Business Registration Guide for Entrepreneurs in the Philippines

6. Apply for Licenses and Permits

permit application for new business setup

Instagram photo by @raqz_jotojot

In the Philippines, small business owners still need to acquire documents to prove that they’re running a legitimate enterprise. This is one rule you shouldn’t ignore before starting your business, lest you’ll get into trouble with the law later on.

After your DTI business registration, you need to get the following permits from the local government where you plan to build your business:

  • Barangay clearance issued by the barangay hall
  • Mayor’s permit/Business permit issued by the municipal or city hall
  • Tax Identification Number and BIR registration documents
  • SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG registration as an employer and for new employees
  • Special permits depending on the nature of your business, such as registration with the Food and Drug Administration for food businesses and with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for pawnshops, remittance centers, and other financial institutions.

Read more: Guide to Registering New Employees with BIR, SSS, Pag-IBIG, and PhilHealth

7. Take Advantage of Social Media and Free Website Builders

You can cut down on your marketing costs by tapping social networks and free website builders such as Wix and Shopify to promote your small business. This rule is especially important if you’ll start an online business. You have to be where your target clients are. So if they’re frequently on a particular social networking site, you have to build your presence there.

8. Be Resilient

As a beginning entrepreneur trying to propel your business forward, expect several bumps along the way. There will always be setbacks to deal with. But these should not discourage you. Instead, have the resilience needed to get back on your feet after any challenge that comes your way.

Final Thoughts

A lot of Filipinos nowadays want to start a small business of their own. However, many disregard the importance of the science of business. Instead, we rely solely on intuition. Before you start a business, you need to carefully study and forecast a lot of factors to ensure that your business will succeed.

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