Tales of Filipinos’ resilience amid almost any type of challenge are nothing new; regardless, these stories are never anything short of inspiring. Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve found unending ways to cope, survive, and even come out stronger. One of the most admirable feats we’ve witnessed during the pandemic: countless Pinoys who’ve decided to take control of the situation and learn how to start a small business — with or without any prior experience.
These new business owners range from budding entrepreneurs to those who never before imagined starting their own small enterprises. One thing they have in common? They all zeroed in on the fact that despite today’s difficulties, many developments have made starting one’s own business much easier during this time. Thanks to social networking sites, online shopping platforms, and courier services like Victory Liner’s Drop & Go, it’s now entirely possible to start a small business from one’s own home.
Signs you should start your own small business
In the past year, we’ve seen a variety of small businesses pop up in the midst of the pandemic: hobbies and passion projects that turned into profitable business concepts; unique and innovative products and services; and even ideas so simple, you wish you’d executed them first.
Thinking about taking the plunge and starting a small business of your own? We’ve rounded up some surefire signs that it’s time to make it happen!
1. You have a product or service that you believe in
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. After all, why take the time to start a business based on a product or service you wouldn’t bother availing of yourself?
Maybe you love baking or cooking for your loved ones and consistently receive excellent reviews; or, perhaps you enjoy whipping up beverages that your friends have deemed restaurant- or cafe-worthy. You might be really skilled at drawing, painting, or digital art; or maybe your talent lies in curating collections of products that you’re able to make available all in one place. Basically, the possibilities are endless — sometimes, the ideas come to you in a lightbulb moment, while other times, they require you to put your thinking cap on.
2. There’s a market for your product or service
Not only is it important for you to believe in your product; it’s important for others to be interested in it, too. Are you offering something new and unique? Or, are you putting forward something that would make your potential customers’ lives more convenient? Do you think your product is something that other people would be excited to learn about?
In addition to this, you should take reach — both physical and virtual — into consideration. Fortunately, distance no longer poses as a hindrance when it comes to reaching potential customers. Expanding your market geographically is now a whole lot easier, thanks to social media and cargo delivery services with coverage areas that go beyond one’s immediate vicinity.
Drop & Go is the perfect example, as it offers the widest coverage across Mega Manila, Central Luzon, and Northern Luzon. Through this delivery service, your cargo can safely get from point A to point B within just 48 hours; you even have the option to avail of door-to-door provincial delivery via their DGMan. What’s more, with the help of Victory Liner’s partnership with Bicol Isarog, customers from parts of Visayas will be within reach!
3. You have, or can source, the necessary funds
Of course, you can’t start your business without one of the ultimate essentials: capital. Whether it’s money you’ve saved up specifically for this purpose, your life savings, or a loan from the bank or an investor, funding is key to get your business up and running.
Some things you should consider when it comes to funding: expenses for raw materials, necessary tools, and packaging; salaries for manpower if you plan to operate with a staff; expenses for branding, design, and marketing if you plan to outsource these; plus, extra funds for any miscellaneous business-related expenses.
4. You’re willing to invest your time and effort
Your investments don’t stop at the monetary level. When it comes to starting your own small business, it’s vital that you are ready to put in all the time and effort it takes to run it.
If it’s a product that you’ll be making with your own two hands, are you willing to dedicate as many hours as necessary to create quality products? Another thing to keep in mind, especially if you’ll be running a one-woman (or one-man) business: Are you ready to put in the hours needed to cater to taking orders and other customer service-related matters, along with marketing your product on social media?
These are just a few things you might need to spend your time and effort on. The list will keep on going — and the important thing is that you are prepared to deliver.
5. You’re ready to take risks
Sure, we all want our businesses to become successful; it’s always the goal. But the fact of the matter is that businesses fail, too. Is this something you’re ready to handle?
Maybe you’re starting your business just for the heck of it — because why not? You just want to see if your idea will take off; and if it doesn’t, then that’s a lesson learned. You’re ready to risk losing your investments (time, money, and effort), especially because it beats not trying.
But then if you’re putting your life savings into this or are taking a loan for it — are you really willing to risk it all? Do you have a backup plan in mind? Or, is this money you’re ready to possibly lose?
6. You’re prepared to be patient and keep learning
When running any sort of business, improvement is something you should constantly seek. This being said, you should always be up for learning — whether it’s studying how to start a small business, collecting customer feedback, or researching new products and services to offer. And given that learning will always be a part of the process, it’s essential that you be prepared with lots (and lots!) of patience, too.
How to start a small business in the Philippines
So, did all signs point to yes? If so, then now’s the perfect time to get started! To help you out, we’ve put together a few tips on how to start a small business of your own.
1. Find the most cost-effective quality resources
Have you entered the research and development (R&D) stage of planning out your business? If you haven’t yet, then one helpful tip would be not to settle for just any raw materials. There are actually a lot of places that sell the very same products, so it’ll definitely be worth it to take the time to look for those that offer the best prices.
You don’t need to worry if you happen to learn that the best quality resources are found in a whole other city or region, either. With the help of cargo delivery services like Drop & Go, you can easily source materials from Mega Manila, and even as far as parts of Luzon and Visayas! Learn more about sending cargo here.
2. Keep proper track of your finances
When it comes to running a business, monitoring your finances is of utmost importance. Do you have enough funds to keep the operations going? Did you finally get a return on your investment? How much are you earning?
Create a spreadsheet where you can keep track of how much money goes in and out of your business fund (and don’t forget to make backup files!). You’ll find that this will definitely be helpful, as you’ll get to determine how to move forward with your business — say, whether you can afford to level up or have to cut down on costs.
To help minimise spending, it also helps to sign up for rewards programs like that of the Victory Liner Premiere Card. This particular program lets you earn points every time you book Drop & Go’s cargo services — a nearly effortless way for owners of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to get more bang for their buck!
3. Scope out the competition
Chances are that there are other businesses selling the same, or at the very least similar, products as you are. So, here are a few important questions to ask yourself: What sets you apart from them? Why should consumers choose your brand?
Study not only their products, but their rates, customer service, and how they operate as well. Take notes: Learn about what your competitors are doing right, and what they can improve on. If you can deliver where they come up short, then that’s an additional point for you!
4. Make things as convenient for your customers as possible
As a consumer, what are some of the things you look for when transacting with a particular business? It’s important to take this point of view so that you can provide your potential customers with a smooth and pleasant transaction.
To paint you a picture, here are some of the best practices by small local businesses:
- Being responsive to inquiries and other customer matters
- Making the menu accessible to potential customers (no to “PM is key!”)
- Sharing aesthetically pleasing and true-to-life photos of their products
- Putting together an easy way for customers to place their orders
- Offering convenient payment options
- Providing hassle-free delivery options
The common thread between all these practices? They make the customer experience as convenient as possible. Here are a few things you can do to offer convenience from the get-go:
- Open an order form on a trusted platform like Google Forms or Cococart.
- Register for mobile banking apps like BPI and UnionBank or e-wallets like GCash, GrabPay, and Coins.ph.
- Partner with a trusted courier service like Drop & Go in order to reach customers across Luzon, including Mega Manila, and even parts of Visayas at affordable rates. This cargo service can not only expand your business’ reach; it also makes provincial deliveries much more convenient through their fit-all-you-can boxes and door-to-door DGMan courier!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
One of the simplest yet most important tips on how to start a small business? Ask for help when you need it — don’t be afraid or stubborn to do so. The sooner you ask for help, the more quickly you can end your problems or challenges.
Looking for tips from more experienced business owners? Hoping your friends can lend a hand and spread the word about your business? Need recommendations on how to improve your brand? Don’t hesitate to ask for help. You’ll thank yourself later!
It’s undeniable that the pandemic has created countless obstacles for us all. But as the saying goes: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Now that our new normal is marked by staying at home, getting goods delivered via courier, and dealing with transactions virtually, it’s the ideal time to start a small business from the comfort of your own residence. If you’re ready, why not get started?
Brought to you by Victory Liner.