5 Practical Tips to Keep in Mind when Starting Your Own Business

It’s not easy to start a business. Apparently, having a brilliant idea that could potentially save the world is one thing. Turning that idea into money is another. After all, the purpose of this idea is that you don’t have to go back overseas to work and provide a better future for your family.

That being said, what does it take to start a business after that brilliant idea came out? What are the things you need to do and remember before you jump into the world of entrepreneur? Do you have to fulfill certain requirements first?

Read on to find out.

Tip No. 1: Establish your capital funds.

This is important. Businesses need funds to make it work. You need capital to buy items for your inventory, pay for licenses and permits, and cover rental and utilities expense among others.

Where do you plan to get those funds?

You could use your savings while working overseas to cover for your business expenses. If you allocated those funds to something else, loan is also another option. You could borrow from family, relatives, or friends – and make sure you pay them back on time. Otherwise, banks and private lending companies could lend you money with interest.

Speaking of lending, Balikbayad is here to help. Fill out our loan application form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Tip No. 2: Location is key.

This is crucial. Even if you have a brilliant business idea, you won’t be able to yield the profits you want if people don’t see you.

Therefore, choose a location that has high foot traffic. This will make it easier for your business to be known since you are physically visible.

If the rent is too high for you, then opt for places where your products are appropriate. For instance, you want to put up a mini convenience store so the location should be near residential places or offices.

Parking space is another angle to look at. Most people these days have cars so make sure that your location has spaces for this.

One of the things you need to have are business documents. It not only makes your business legitimate but also, it could make it easier for you to expand it.

Tip No. 3: Make sure you are registered.

Business documents depend on the type of business you’ll put up. You can go for sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. For this article, let us focus on sole proprietorship since this is most common.

As a sole proprietor, you need to register with

  • Department of Trade and Industry for your business name
  • Barangay where your business is located
  • Mayor’s Office
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue for taxes and receipts

Tip No. 4: Make yourself available online.

Let’s say you can’t afford to rent a space – yet. That’s fine. What you could do is to establish your online presence.

This step is easier because you could create an account on Facebook or Instagram for free. Just make sure you take great pictures and choose the right hashtags to reach your target market.

Don’t forget to share your page to your friends and family so they could help spread the word.

Tip No. 5: Always take one step at a time.

Having your own business is not going to be a walk in the park. There are days when you have sales but there are also times when you can’t close a deal. That’s fine and it’s part of being a business owner. This is why it is important to take one step at a time.

First, establish your online presence. Then upload the best pictures, share your account and urge people to check it out and follow it. Focus on few product lines first instead of going big early on. Don’t aim for expansion when your capital is not enough to support it.

In other words, take it slow. You’ll get there eventually.

What You Need to Know about DTI Microloan Program

Let’s say you were able to put up a sari-sari store, thanks to the additional income you earned abroad. So far, it is going well until tragedy struck. You don’t want to let go of that store because somehow, it helps you in augmenting expenses back home.

What do you do then? You plan to borrow money.

Unfortunately, banks ask a lot of documents to prove that you are capable to pay. Some may not even accommodate you because you don’t have an account with them. Because you really need additional funds to ensure continuity of your business, you decide to borrow from 5-6 lenders.

Here’s the thing: 5-6 lenders could drown you in debt, no thanks to their sky-high interest rates and unreasonable loan terms. Since you need the funds, you can’t say no.

The good news the government could help. This year and per President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to replace 5-6 lending scheme, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched the P3 Program.

What is the P3 Program all about?

P3 stands for Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso. It aims not only to replace the 5-6 lending scheme but also and more importantly, to provide an affordable micro-financing facility to the Filipinos.

DTI’s P3 Program fund will be coursed through to business centers where micro-finance institutions (MFIs) and Small Business Corp. (SB Corp., which is an attached agency of DTI) may operate.

Apparently, not everyone is qualified. P3 Program prioritizes micro, small, and medium enterprises from the poorest provinces in the Philippines and have no or having difficulty in accessing credit. This means only those with asset size of not more than P3 million are considered as micro-entrepreneurs.

Who are considered as micro-entrepreneurs?

They are but not limited to:

  • Market vendors
  • Micro-entrepeneurs
  • Members of cooperatives, industry associations, or co-operators
  • Agri-businessmen
  • Sari-sari store owners
  • Stall owners

In other words, only micro-entrepreneurs engaging in a legitimate livelihood or business activity may borrow from the P3 program.

Terms of P3 Program

  • Loanable Amount: P5,000 to P200,000, depending on the lender’s capacity to pay and size of the business
  • Interest Rate: maximum of 26 percent per annum or 2.5 percent per month (5-6 lenders charge more than 20 percent per day, week, or month)
  • Loan Purpose: for business purposes ONLY wherein the funds will be used for expansion and/or purchase of additional suppliies
  • No collateral requirement, which means you could borrow money even if you don’t have an asset

P3 Loan Requirements

  • Duly accomplished loan application form
  • ID picture
  • Photocopy of any government-issued ID
  • Barangay Clearance, which must be issued at least three months prior to application
  • Evidence that the micro-entrepreneur is engaged in a legitimate business for at least one year such as Certification from the Local Government Unit
  • Proof of residence for at least one year
  • Business Name Registration from DTI (for loans above P50,000)

How to Apply for P3 Program

SB Corp. partnered with hundreds of micro-finance institutions

Save Money on Food with the Help of these 5 Tips

Do you know where a big chunk of Filipino families’ money goes to? Believe it or not, food.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, food and non-alcoholic beverages constitutes 42.8 percent of the total household expenditure. This is totally understandable because who doesn’t want to eat, right?

Apparently, whether or not you are here or overseas, food can be expensive. Don’t even get us started with the increasing prices of basic commodities, which explains why the money you sent from abroad are “just enough for day-to-day” living. Still, you can do something to save money on food without actually starving.

Here are some of the things you and your family back home could do:

Tip No. 1: Always schedule and follow a meal plan.

It may be tedious for many but creating a meal plan is the first step in helping you save money on food. This is because meal planning:

  • Helps you organize the dishes to prepare everyday
  • Allows you to maximize food ingredients left in the kitchen
  • Ensures that you buy food items that are only necessary, thereby preventing you from throwing leftovers

Tip No. 2: Make a (grocery) list and (always) check it twice.

Now that you have a meal plan, the next thing you need to worry about is grocery.

Admit it. There are instances when you buy more than what you actually need. If you are serious about saving, then you need to commit to that list and buy only the things that are necessary.

Additional tips when grocery shopping:

  • Compare similar items and choose those that are less expensive.
  • Generic items are always cheaper than branded ones.
  • Always buy regularly consumed items in bulk. This will save you more in the long run.
  • Don’t always settle in supermarkets, especially for meat and fish. Even abroad, food are generally cheaper in the market.

Tip No. 3: Bring your own lunch.

This is applicable if you are not working in a household setting.

Food can be expensive, especially when you buy yours everyday. If you are working in an office setting, then make sure you bring your own food. Preparing your own lunch may be time consuming and tiring, but this will help you save more in the end. The best part is you could allot the money saved on more important things like investment or your child’s educational fund.

Tip No. 4: Be creative and re-create leftovers.

Sometimes, you cooked more than what you can consume. Don’t throw that dish away. Instead, re-create leftovers, which could be your baon as well when you go to work or dinner as soon as you get home.

You can also try cooking base recipes like burger patties or pork chop and let your imagination run wild on how to eat these dishes in various manners.

Nonetheless, do your best to cook only what you can finish.

Tip No. 5: Learn to say “no” to eating out.

You might be asked to eat out with your colleagues or the Filipino community from time-to-time. That’s fine. You deserve a break and have fun after working hard for your family back home.

Here’s the thing: you should learn when to say no to every invitation. Eating out means spending money and if you do this regularly, then you might not be able to save money for the essentials.

The key here is to schedule your eat outs. You may also want to consider potluck every time there is a get together with the Filipino community.

This may be challenging at first but every sacrifice is worth it in the end. Establish your priorities and remember the reason/s why you are overseas in the first place.