4 Common Mistakes Committed by OFW Entrepreneurs

Being an OFW is not easy. In fact, there is no certainty. You could be sending dollars this month and then the following month, you are on your way back to the Philippines. This is why here in Balikbayad, we constantly push for financial freedom to help OFWs like you become sustaining even after your stint abroad.

There are many ways to do that. Investing your money is one way to grow it, but if you really want to sustain the lifestyle, then putting up your own business can be your ticket to success.

Here’s the thing: not all OFW entrepreneurs are successful in business. In fact, there are many who fail even before they reach their first year – and don’t blame it on time difference or distance between Philippines and whatever country you are assigned to. A lot of factors could attribute to such failure, including these five common mistakes:

Mistake No. 1: Unable to identify skills, talents, or something you love to do. 

They say pursue your passion while others say focus on something you are good at. Regardless, your business should also be a reflection of you, which is why you are encouraged to identify first what it is that you really want instead of just jumping in the bandwagon.

Keep in mind that the most successful people are those who love what they do. Identify that one thing you want to pursue and work on from there. You will be able to enjoy what you’re doing if you love your business from the beginning.

Mistake No. 2: Getting into a business you are not familiar with. 

There is a reason why OWWA requires Enterprise Development Training before you proceed with your OWWA Loan application. The EDT helps you determine the viability and sustainability of your chosen business and at the same time, give you an idea on what to expect and how to handle various business situations.

Therefore, don’t go into a certain business you are not familiar with. There are many training courses you can enroll at to give you an idea on how a certain industry works. Make sure to read tons of articles and watch videos about your chosen field to give you an idea on what to expect once you start your business venture. The more informed you are, the more capable you will be in handling the business.

Mistake No. 3: Lack of entrepreneurial spirit. 

Getting into business can be promising, but the question is how serious are you in handling it. The more important question is do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Having your own business is not easy. In fact, one of the reasons why many OFWs fail in their ventures is because they are not prepared for it not just financially but also mentally and emotionally. You need to have that spirit and drive going in order to make your business grow. Otherwise, you might have a hard time sustaining your business for long-term growth.

Mistake No. 4: Lack of to no motivation to make the business grow. 

You’re earning in dollars, your family is living a good life, and you are able to provide more than what they need. Why would you still want to risk your money and open your own business?

Well, for the simple reason that OFW life is not certain. Unfortunately, you don’t realize that – yet – because income is continuous. This explains why you are not motivated to make your business grow and become less aggressive in marketing it. This shouldn’t be the mindset because at the end of the day, there is a possibility that what you have might be lost.

We understand that there are financial constraints involved in opening a business. If you need working capital, Balikbayad is here to help. Send your application form online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

OWWA for OFWs: What You Need to Know about this Agency

In a previous post, we shared about POEA, its mandate, and the key services this agency offers to OFWs. Apparently, POEA cannot work alone. It needs another arm in ensuring that the rights and welfare of Filipino migrant workers are prioritized.

This is where OWWA or the Overseas Welfare Workers Administration comes into the picture.

Whether you are an existing Overseas Filipino Worker or an aspiring one, here’s what you need to know about OWWA and find out how they can help you.

Who is OWWA? 

Similar to POEA, OWWA is also an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment. The agency’s primary role is to protect and promote the welfare and well-being of OFWs and their respective families.

OWWA has two-fold mandate:

  • Delivery of welfare services and benefits
  • Ensure capital build-up and fund viability

Its main difference with POEA is that OWWA handles OFW concerns who are already working abroad.

What are the programs and services do OWWA offer? 

Social Benefits (can be availed during the duration of the contract)

  • Disability and dismemberment benefits up to P100,000 for injuries sustained overseas
  • Death benefits up to P100,000 for natural death and P200,000 if death is caused by accident

Education and Training Assistance 

  • Country-specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS), a mandatory seminar for all departing migrant workers,
  • Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP), which is for Household Service Workers
  • Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP)
  • Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), which is a scholarship grant for qualified OFW beneficiaries or dependents who plans to enroll in a four- or five-year course in any preferred college or university.
  • OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP), which is a scholarship grant for qualified OFW beneficiaries or dependents who plans to enroll in a four- or five-year course in a state college or university.
  • Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) for either the migrant worker or immediate descendants who want to enroll in any Science and Technology course.
  • Educational Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP), which is in the form of allowance. This is given in case of death of OFW-OWWA member.
  • Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) for technical or vocational courses
  • Information Technology (IT) Training Program

Workers Welfare Assistance Program

  • On-site assistance and services such as airport assistance, psycho-social counselling, mediation or conciliation with employer, and providing legal assistance among others.
  • In-country assistance extended to OFW families
  • Post-repatriation assistance such as temporary shelter, stress debriefing, transportation allowance, and referral.

Social Services and Family Welfare Services

  • Repatriation Assistance Program for distressed, physically or mentally ill, and of human remains of the migrant worker.
  • Reintegration Program or popularly known as OWWA Loan. The purpose of this program is to help OFWs find the most appropriate and sustainable business so you will no longer have to leave the country. Click here to know more about OWWA Loan.

Take note that OWWA membership is imperative to make sure you enjoy these programs and benefits. To become a member, you must pay a membership fee worth $25 (or its peso equivalent) once you apply as OFW.

Are you still curious about OWWA benefits? You can check this site to learn more about your benefits as OFWs.

What Every OFW Needs to Know about POEA and Its Services

Are you planning to work overseas? What about an Overseas Filipino Worker who just got back in the Philippines and seeking for another job opportunity abroad? Whether you are new, old, or aspiring OFW, you will have to go through this government agency called Philippine Overseas Employment Agency or POEA. 

Before heading overseas – and even planning to work abroad – here’s what you need to know about POEA:

Who is POEA? 

POEA is a government agency under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Its official mandate is to manage overseas employment programs by securing the best employment terms for Filipino migrant workers. At the same time, the agency is tasked to protect the rights of all OFWs and ensure fair and ethical recruitment practices.

Keep in mind that POEA is different from OWWA, especially in terms of purpose. POEA helps aspiring OFWs to achieve legal status through proper documentation before they leave the country while OWWA handles the concerns of OFWs who are already working overseas.

What does POEA do? 

Overseas Employment Facilitation

  • Accreditation of foreign employers who hire OFWs
  • Conduct pre-employment orientation seminars
  • Approve job order or request for Filipino workers
  • Evaluate and process employment contracts

Anti-Illegal Recruitment and Protection of OFWs

  • Issue recruitment licenses to private recruitment and manning agencies
  • Monitor and supervise manning and recruitment agencies
  • Provide repatriation assistance for displaced OFWs
  • Ensure that the countries allowed for deployment protect OFW rights (which must be certified by the Department of Foreign Affairs)
  • Supervise anti-illegal recruitment programs throughout the Philippines
  • Provide legal assistance to illegal recruitment victims
  • Disseminate information about illegal recruitment, job scams, and other employment-related concerns and matters

Uphold Philippine Migration and Overseas Employment Laws

  • Hear and decide on complaints and cases, except money claims, against various entities for alleged violation of POEA rules and regulations
  • Institute disciplinary actions against employers and workers who violate Philippine migration laws and regulations

Aside from these functions, POEA provides four key services for aspiring OFWs, which will be discussed in the next section.

Key Services of POEA for Aspiring OFWs

Verify Status of Recruitment Agencies

Every OFW have various reasons why they want to work abroad. The end goal is to provide a better future for the family. Sadly, illegal recruitment is still on the loose and many Filipinos are still falling for these empty promises.

This is why the POEA aims to minimize illegal recruitment practices, starting with the checking of a particular agency’s status through its website. Make sure to check the status of the recruitment agency you are eyeing for before you submit an application.

Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar

This is different from OWWA’s PDOS where all departing OFWs are required to attend.

Also known as PEOS, this seminar is part of the government’s drive against illegal recruitment, which aims to educate all Filipinos who plan to work abroad. It is a free online learning tool composed of eight modules such as pros and cons of working overseas, legal procedures and required documents in applying for a job abroad, and tips on how to avoid illegal recruitment.

Take note that PEOS is a mandatory requirements, which means you have to go through this. Don’t worry. It’s online and free.

Frontline Services

This is the part where you need to go through several processes in order to be legally documented. The frontline services are for registration and documentation among others.

If you want to file an illegal recruitment case against an agency, the frontline services can also assist you through the Docket and Enforcement Division.

Overseas Employment Certificate Processing

One of the important documents you need to secure as OFW is the Overseas Employment Certificate or OEC. It serves as proof that you are a documented OFW – and POEA is the agency responsible for processing that.

READ: Overseas Employment Certificate

For further information, you can check POEA through its website. 

Smart and Effective Ways on How to Use Loan to Boost Your Business

You finally took a leap of faith and opened your own business. Congratulations! We know how challenging it could be, especially if you are still working overseas, but in Balikbayad, we believe that you can do it. That is why we are here because we want to offer a loan facility specifically for OFWs like you to help you grow your business.

We know how much negativity surrounding loans, but believe it or not, borrowing money can be helpful for your business – as long as you use it the right way.

Here’s how you can use loan to boost your small business:

Additional Working Capital

You will never run out of ideas on how to promote and grow your business, but at the end of the day, what you need is money to make those dreams realize. There is also a constant need to replenish your inventory or introduce new products, but do you have sufficient cash to cover for it? Apparently, you are on tight budget and using your emergency fund to keep your business afloat is something you don’t want to do.

In that case, loans can help. It helps your business stay afloat to make sure you are still up and running.

Additional Supplies in Inventory

In line with working capital, you always need to have products to sell to keep the business going. If you’re always out of stock, how do you expect customers to keep coming back at you?

Apparently, cash can be an issue, which is why applying for a loan can be helpful for your business. Through additional working capital, you can add more supplies or products in your inventory and eventually convert it into sales.

Set Up a Website

The digital world can do so much for business. Decades ago, you have to rely on word of mouth and old-school advertising such as flyers and ads to introduce your business to the world. At present, you can do that with just several clicks. If you want to boost your business, then setting up a website can be your solution. After all, Forbes reported that consumers rely heavily on the Internet to learn more about a particular seller.

Setting up and maintaining a website can be costly. You have to purchase your own domain name and set up a shopping cart to make transactions easier and more convenient. You might even hire a website designer to make the website more appealing to customers. This is why loans can be helpful because the money you could borrow can help you finance these expenses.

Purchase Equipment

This will depend on the kind of business you are running. Let’s say you opened your own mini grocery or restaurant. You will need certain equipment to keep your business running. Apparently, the cost that comes with equipment purchase can be too much for your pocket.

This is where loans come in. It could help you buy the equipment your business needs to make it even more thriving.

Pay for Unexpected Expenses

Life is uncertain. Business is likewise uncertain. There might be unforeseen events such as leak issues, short in cash to pay for the rental, calamity that affected your products, and the list goes on. You might want to use your savings and emergency fund to cover for these unexpected costs, but one of the cardinal rules in business is to NEVER mix personal and business funds.

This is how loans can help. It could be your lifesaver in instances like this while minimizing the risk of going out of business.

Build Your Credit Score

Lenders, especially big banks, look closely into your credit standing. They need to know whether you can pay the loan on a given time. If you want to enjoy perks such as lower interest rate or lesser documents to be submitted, they need to see that you are a good borrower in your Credit Report.

What you can do is to apply for a loan with private lenders like Balikbayad to help you build your credit score. Don’t worry. We make loan processing and repayment convenient for you because at the end of the day, all we want is to help you and build a good financial relationship with you.

Are you ready to apply for a loan? Submit your loan application now and let Balikbayad help you in making your entrepreneurial dreams happen.

What You Need to Know about Overseas Employment Certificate or OEC

This was heard everywhere: President Duterte issued a deployment ban against Kuwait while suspending the processing of Overseas Employment Certificate or OEC for all Kuwait-bound OFWs.

Before the year end, the Department of Labor and Employment ordered a temporary suspension for processing of OEC to give way to investigation related to illegal recruitment activities and practices. Thankfully, this suspension was lifted.

What exactly is OEC? How important is this document in your life as an Overseas Filipino Worker? Read on to find out.

What is an Overseas Employment Certificate? 

Also known as travel exit clearance, OEC serves as a proof that an individual is a documented OFW. This signifies that you are allowed to legally leave the country and work abroad. Take note that this document is only valid for 60 days from the date the OEC was issued.

The OEC is something you present at the airport before you leave. This will exempt you from paying travel tax and terminal fee. It will also serve as your exit pass and clearance at the airport.

In case you plan to apply for a loan or open an account with banks and be tagged as OFW for additional benefits, make sure you present your OEC as well. In fact, this is among the required supporting documents by lenders.

How can I apply for OEC? 

You need to submit the following documents:

  • Passport, with at least six months validity from date of departure
  • Verified Contract of Employment or Offer of Employment
  • Completely filled out Balik Manggagawa Info Sheet. You can access it here.
  • Valid work permit, work visa, or any equivalent document

Take note that POEA requires other documents aside from the above-mentioned depending on what kind of worker you are (professional workers, low-skilled workers, workers heading to US or Canada, or household service workers). You can check this post to learn more about the additional requirements list.

Aside from the documents required, you will also be asked to pay fees, which includes:

  • POEA processing fee – P100 per OEC
  • OWWA membership fee – USD 25 or its Peso equivalent
  • Philhealth contribution – P2,400 for one-year coverage
  • PAG-IBIG contribution – minimum P100 every month

How to apply for OEC:

Agency-hired workers means you don’t have to worry about this. Still, what if you were hired directly by your employer? This means you have to apply on your own, either through walk-in or Balik Manggagawa (BM) Online System.

If you prefer walk-in, you have to apply directly at POEA Main Office in EDSA cor. Ortigas Avenue. You can also apply through POEA Regional Offices.

Online application would be easier. Simply register and log-in at the BM Online Appointment System to set a schedule and assign a venue for processing. On your scheduled appointment, make sure to bring two copies of accomplished BM Information Sheet, required documents, and money for payment of fees.

Is it possible that you don’t have to apply for OEC? The answer is yes. If you are a returning worker with the same employer or job site, then you don’t have to apply for OEC.

Don’t forget to log in to you BM Online account and click “Acquire OEC or Exemption.” You will see a confirmation message together with BM Exemption Number, which you must present upon departure.

Tips in Applying for OEC:

  • Bring both original and photocopies of the documents required. File them separately so you won’t get confused.
  • Arrange the documents according to the POEA list. You can check this link as a guide.
  • Make sure to pay for the corresponding fees. We know how heavy this could be on your budget, but non-payment would mean you’ll forfeit your opportunity to enjoy services such as medical insurance or housing loan.

6 Best Money Management Apps You Should Have on Your Phone

How many times have you heard of the terms “budgeting,” “money management,” or “saving?” Even here in Balikbayad, we always stress the importance of these terms because we want to see every OFW succeed even after your contract.

To help you with that dream, we listed money management apps you might find useful to help you achieve financial freedom.

Your Bank’s App

Banks like BDO, BPI, and Metrobank have their own app that allows you to access your account anytime, anywhere. Make sure you download your bank’s app because aside from being free, you can easily check how much you have and if there were withdrawals made.

You can check this POST to learn about banks with online banking facilities.

Ipon: 52 Weeks Challenge

52 weeks challenge is popular every start of the year. It gives you an idea of how much you can have at the end of the year when you set aside a specific amount every week. In case you are having a hard time sticking to your saving commitment, then this app could help.

Available to Android users, this app helps you set your financial goal and make sure you stick to a schedule. It also helps you keep track of how much you have, shows you a progress record, and sends you reminders in case it’s time to set aside the amount you promised to save. Don’t worry. This one is free as well.

You Need a Budget

From the name itself, you can easily tell that this app is designed for people who, well, need a budget. Apparently, budgeting is not that easy. This is why this app promises to make budgeting easier for you by providing features such as Goal Tracking, Debt Paydown, and Bank Syncing among others.

You Need a Budget is also free and available for both Android and iOS users.


Are you sharing a house with fellow Filipinos? This can be a good way to augment rental expenses, but how sure are you that everyone is paying their dues?

The good news is Splitwise can help you with that. Available for both iOS and Android users, this app track a particular expense shared by multiple individuals to ensure that everyone pays equally and on time. You can even keep track of those who owe you money and you can also note how much you owe someone.

Home Budget

Every OFW spouse must have this app. Home Budget is designed to track bills, expenses, account balances, and everything else related to home budgeting. There are also graphs and charts to show you whether or not your spouse is exceeding the monthly budget you set.

Similar to other apps, Home Budget is also free and available to iOS and Android users.

Daily Expenses

Let’s face it: keeping track of your daily expenses is challenging. Nonetheless, you have to do it because you need to see where your money goes and make necessary adjustments in your budget for bigger savings. The good news is this app can help to help you become smarter with your money.

The key here is to update the app as soon as you spend, otherwise, it won’t be much useful to you. Unfortunately, Daily Expenses app is only available to Android users.

What are you waiting for? Start downloading these apps as your first step towards financial freedom.

5 Small Businesses You Can Try this 2018

How many times have you heard of the term “financial freedom?” Surely, several times, Here at Balikbayad, we always emphasize the importance of attaining this because we want every OFW to live comfortably even after life overseas.

There are many ways on how you can achieve that. Investing your money in UITF, mutual fund, or stocks is a good option. In case you want something that is more sustainable, you might consider opening your own business.

Check out these business ideas you can try this year, both in and out of the Philippines:

1. Online selling of RTW clothes

Everybody needs clothes because everybody needs clothes to wear. Why not capitalize on that by selling clothes that you can find in the country where you’re working? You can stick to basics – shirts, shorts, skirts, or dress in basic colors. Ask your customers for suggestions and look for them. Who knows, this could lead to something bigger.

Tip: Consider selling clothes and shoes for kids. Mothers are more willing to spend on their children than themselves.

2. Discounted authentic perfumes

Unfortunately, perfumes can be expensive in the Philippines. Malls are taking advantage of the people’s need to smell good, so they charge a higher amount since people will always buy. This can be a good business to start with by offering perfumes that are more affordable.

It would be great if you can find a supplier in the country where you’re working. Otherwise, you can buy perfumes in stores and sell it online for a slightly higher fee (but make sure it is still cheaper than the ones sold in malls).

3. Food catering 

Do you love to cook? Have you perfected several dishes that people can’t stop raving about? If yes, then use your skill and turn it into cash by starting your own food catering business.

You can start by sponsoring food during your get-togethers with the Filipino communities or parties. Leave your contact details so that people can reach out to you. Post your food offerings If you find food catering a bit overwhelming, you can try packed lunches first and sell it to your colleagues. This can be a good start to grow your catering business.

4. Handicrafts

There is something about homemade products that makes it appealing for customers. The idea of turning “junk” into something useful or products crafted by hand will always have a special place in people’s hearts. If you have that skill of making something out of scrap, then go ahead and give handicrafts business a try.

Keep in mind that when you start this business, the burden, time, and effort will fall on you. Maximize your downtime and post your finished works on social media. If the company allows it, consider selling your items to your co-workers. Make sure you leave your contact number so people will know who to call when they want to buy more.

5. Food cart

Let’s face it: starting your own business from scratch can be overwhelming and stressful. If you don’t know where and how to start or still figuring out what type of business you should try, then consider franchising a food cart.

Here’s the thing: people will eat – all the time. Maximize on that by selling food and/or refreshments. Known brands like Potato Corner offer franchise to start-up entrepreneurs like you at an affordable price. Still, the key here is to find a location with high foot traffic so people can see you easily. The best part is your family can manage it even if you are abroad.

READ: What you Need to Know about Franchising

What business would you like to try this 2018? If you need additional working capital, Balikbayad is here to help. Submit your online loan application now and we’ll be happy to assist you with your cashflow needs.

OFW’s Guide to Getting Your First Credit Card

Credit card can be essential these days. Instead of bringing cash, you can pay for your purchases using a credit card (and promise to pay them in full!). Apparently, not everyone can be given a credit card. Credit card companies are closely looking at your background and credit score to make sure that they will get paid no matter what happens. Some companies have even stricter requirements.

Still, this doesn’t mean you won’t be given a credit card. All you need to do is to ensure these three things to boost your chances of approval:

Have a stable source of income. 

This is a must. For credit card companies, it’s not enough that you have a job. What they need is a credit card holder whose income is both stable and steady.

How can you show that?

Your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is enough proof since most overseas work requires two years. Present your employment contract as well since it will show how much you will earn every month. Presenting your remittances can also help you get a credit card approval.

If you have other sources of income such as business or earnings from your investment, then go ahead and present it. Credit card companies will appreciate that.

Open a deposit account.


It’s not just enough that you opened a deposit account. Credit card companies need to see that there is regular deposit going on in your account and preferably, with minimum withdrawal.

What you can do is to have a deposit account dedicated for remittances and another account, which could serve as your Emergency Fund. Present your Emergency Fund account since this is always increasing and with little withdrawal happening. Consequently, go beyond the maintaining balance through regular deposit. It is a sign of being financially responsible, which is a big plus. If you can, don’t go below P20,000. Don’t worry. You can do it.

Go for secured credit card. 

You have the option to prove yourself to credit card companies through your income and deposits. If you want the easier way, you can always go for a secured credit card. Mind you, this requires more money because a credit card company will require you to open an account (savings, checking, or time deposit account) and pledged deposit. This pledged deposit will serve as a guarantee for the credit card. The credit line will also depend on your deposits.

Whether you go for secured credit card or just the regular one, you will still be required to comply with the following:

  • Between 21 and 65 years of age
  • Billing statement reflecting your Philippine address
  • Overseas Employment Certificate
  • Certificate or Contract of Employment
  • Work permit or work visa

Tips in finding the right credit card:

  • Go for the bank where you course through your remittances. This will make it easier for you to get approved.
  • Look for a credit card that you can use overseas.
  • Compare annual fees. This could eat up your savings since some credit card companies charge higher annual fees. If you can go for free annual fee, then go for it.
  • Ask for and compare credit card interest rates. There are instances when you won’t be able to pay in full (although this is not advisable!), and high interest rates can be heavy on your budget.
  • Learn about the credit card’s special features such as reward points or rebate.

Despite the convenience and features, handling a credit card requires discipline and responsibility. Take it easy on credit card usage. If you use it, make sure you can pay in full. Remember that a credit card is not an extension of your salary. If you can’t afford to pay the item in cash, then it is best to leave your plastic card behind.

Financial Milestones OFWs Must Attain Before Retirement

OFW life is never easy. Despite earning more (and in dollars too!) and having an opportunity to live and work abroad, you will long for your family and always willing to take the first flight back to the Philippines. At the end of the day, you still want to go back to the country and be with your family.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. You might not even consider retirement and willing to work for as long as you can.

Here’s the thing: you can’t work forever. At a certain point in your life, you need to slow down and relax. Before that day comes, make sure you are able to attain these financial milestones:

Milestone No. 1: An emergency fund that could sustain you in times of need. 

Emergency situations – flood, fire, medical surgery, or typhoon – are everywhere and most of the time, these situations will surprise you. Even if you have pension to sustain you, it won’t hurt if you have a fund that could help you last for up to six months. This all-cash fund must also be easily accessible to you, so you don’t have to worry about anything in case of unfortunate events.

READ: Tips on How to Put Up Your Emergency Fund

Milestone No. 2: Living a debt-free life. 

Who wants to live in debt? No one, right? Apparently, debt is like a ghost that will continuously haunt you even in your sleep.

When you retire, you should be able to pay all of your financial obligations or at least set aside a specific fund for that. Keep in mind that an indication of happy retirement is being free from financial obligations. Pay as much as you can while you still can. Avoid borrowing money for the wrong reasons and when you are already close to 60 years old. Consider consolidating your debts so you’ll only worry about one once you are nearing retirement. This way, you can truly enjoy life by the time you cross 60.

Milestone No. 3: A house you can call your own.

A house is a culmination of all your sacrifices and hard work. In fact, it is one of the many reasons why you decided to seek greener pastures and work overseas because you want to make that dream home happen.

Still, a house should be an asset and not a liability by the time you retire. If you decided to buy a house with the help of housing loan, you should be able to pay the loan in full by the time you retire. Make sure that the payment method corresponds to your retirement age so that you don’t have to worry about amortization when you are in your 60s.

Milestone No. 4: A passive yet stable income. 

Many people who retire experience drastic changes in their lifestyle because they don’t have steady income that could sustain them. Don’t let it happen to you. You can still live a comfortable life even if you are 65.

How will you do this? Through investments.

When is the best time to start this? Now.

If you want to retire comfortably, you need to start investing your money in facilities that will provide you a source of cash. You can try mutual funds or UITF for starters since there are fund managers who handle your account. If you are willing to take a risk, investing in stocks is another option. If you are really willing to take a bigger risk for higher return, consider opening your own business.

What are you waiting for? Start working on these goals before it’s too late.

Interested in Franchising? Read this First Before You Invest in One

Let’s say you have a one million in your bank account. How do you plan to use it?

Shopping for your family might be the first thing on your mind, but have you ever considered investing it? Stocks or UITF is a good option, but what about having a business that your family can manage even if you are away? While this is a good idea, starting something from scratch can be overwhelming.

This is where franchising comes into play. Before you say yes to the idea, read this post first to help you decide if this is the right one for you.

What is franchising? 

Franchising is where an individual (like you) or small companies practice and use other people’s perfected business concept. In a franchising relationship, the franchisor or owner of the business concept gives the franchisee the right to use the brand, distribute and sell his products, and implement business techniques in exchange for a franchise fee.

The franchise fee is usually good for one to three years and can be renewed thereafter after payment of renewal fee.

Why franchise?

  • Higher success rate – This is because a franchise is already a proven business model at minimal risk.
  • Recognized brand – The target market is already identified and the brand is recognized by the public.
  • Support is provided – Franchisors have perfected not just the business concept but also techniques and practices that will make the business model effective and profitable. Most franchisors also offer strategies and advice, which they can pass on to their franchisees. Training is also included to help you prepare on how to handle a business.
  • Advertising is included – When you franchise, you also get to purchase, or at least have the right to use the franchisor’s advertising capabilities in order to market the brand. This is essential because most start-up entrepreneurs have no enough money to afford extensive advertising techniques.

In other words, you get to save time and your own money building a business since all you need to do is to follow the already proven business concept. There are no more trial and error, thereby reducing the risk and failure in handling a business.

Any risks or downsides of franchising? 

  • No full control – You need to follow the business model and cannot divert from this anytime you want to. You also cannot easily introduce “gimmicks” to induce more customers, unless your franchisor allows you.
  • Costs to maintain franchise privileges – Apart from the franchise fee that you have to pay, there are franchisors who require payment of additional fees such as royalty fees or a certain percentage from your monthly sales. There are also franchisors who require payment of advertising costs.
  • Success is not guaranteed  – Yes, there is a proven business model, but once it is handed to you, it doesn’t mean you’re all set. The likelihood of success still remains in your own hands and in the amount of time and effort you put into it. Commitment is important, so you have to be prepared.

Despite the benefits of franchising, you still need to be ready since success is not automatic. You have to be prepared because a business is still a business.

Tips on How to Franchise:

1. Choose a franchise. Similar to starting your own business, find something that you are passionate about and suits you best. Identify the kind of product or service you want to offer, check your possible competition, and find out the franchisors offering such product or service you are eyeing for.

2. Go for a brand. Name recall is important in business. This will make it easier for you to market the franchise without paying for expensive advertising costs. Still, more is not always better since you might have a hard time penetrating the market.

3. Legitimacy is important. It is imperative that the franchise is registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). There are also legitimate franchise groups around, so check if your chosen franchisor is a member of one.

4. Look into the business model. This is important. You are buying the rights to use an established business model. Therefore, ask about support, research and development, and training schedules, and whether these are included in the business model.

Now that you finally decided to franchise, make sure you provide the following documents upon application:

  • Franchising application form
  • Letter of Intent to franchise
  • Site location proposal
  • Business documents like Business Name Registration (from DTI), barangay clearance, and business or Mayor’s permit
  • Payment for Franchise fee, which varies per franchisor

With this information in mind, are you ready to get into franchising? Give it a try. Don’t worry. Balikbayad is here to help.