We may sound like a broken record here, but it’s true; working overseas is not forever. There will come a time when you need to go home and continue your life in the Philippines.
“What about my family? How will we survive if I don’t work abroad?”
The truth is there are many ways to help you attain financial freedom. Aside from investing in the right and sustainable products, putting up your own business, no matter how small it is, can be another way to succeed. Take it from these former OFWs who are now entrepreneurs.
You might say that you know nothing about business and that there is no assurance that you will make it big. Fine, these are legitimate concerns, but these tips could help you give a headstart to help you succeed eventually:
1) Know what type of business to start.
There are many business options available worth trying. The challenge now is finding the business you can focus on.
Here’s the secret: there is no right or wrong when it comes to business. On the other hand, what will set you apart from the thousands of entrepreneurs is your passion for that particular brand or product you are selling.
To determine the business you will start, look into what you are passionate about, say a skill or hobby. You can also evaluate your experiences as an OFW and see if you can get something from there, which you can share with other people and turn into business.
2) Be updated.
So much has changed while you were away. More so, the culture you were used to in the country where you worked is more likely different than how it is done in the Philippines.
Before you rush in opening your business, make sure to update yourself first about the latest. By knowing what’s in and out, you will be able to determine the right target market and how to sell your brand among others. You might even use the trends and techniques you learned from living abroad and apply it in Philippine setting.
3) Prepare the requirements.
You know what type of business to start. Through observation and immersion, you were also able to identify the latest trends, which you can use to market your business.
This is just the beginning. You need to comply with tons of requirements to make your business legitimate to avoid hassle. This includes but not limited to:
- Business registration with DTI (for sole proprietorship) or SEC (for corporation)
- Business permits, both from the City Hall and barangay where you plan to put up your business
- BIR Clearance
- Business TIN, for tax purposes
- Appropriate licenses
4) Prepare the capital.
You need money or capital to start or run your business. You have two options to secure funding: you can use your savings or borrow from lenders like us.
Should you decide to borrow, make sure that you avoid these common mistakes to increase the possibility of loan approval.
5) Make sure you involve your family.
Starting a business and making it grow will never be easy. You will need all the help to manage your business since you can never do it alone. Give each member of your family a responsibility to grow your business. Make them feel that they play an important role to keep them motivated.
Tip: If you have kids who are knowledgeable about computers and social media, assign the number seven tip on them.
6) Be seen.
This is the beauty of doing business these days. You don’t need a physical store just to inform people that your business is existing. You don’t even have to pay for billboards for ads. More importantly, you can send your brand’s message across various channels and reach out to potential customers.
To succeed in business, make sure to use online platforms available such as Facebook and Instagram. If budget permits, put up your own website, especially when you are selling multiple items. Building an online profile will make it easier for people to find you.
Tip: Focus on one platform first then build on it. This will make it easier for you to manage and maintain your online profile instead of using several social media channels at the same time.
7) Build a relationship with your customers.
And potential customers as well. This is where the importance of social media comes in. Aside from marketing your product for free, people can easily reach out to you and inquire about what you’re offering.
Be respectful and answer the queries, no matter how annoying or repetitive the questions may be. Keep in mind that one bad review could potentially cause harm on your business and you don’t want that to happen.
With these tips in mind, are you ready to start your own business?