According to Bloomberg, the Philippines is the strongest and brightest economy in Asia. With a growing GDP and an agile workforce, the country has much to offer in terms of exploring opportunities for business especially for aspiring entrepreneurs. In fact, new entrepreneurs are steadily entering the scene as technology and social media make it easier to attract a viable market and promote products online.
Having a business idea is essential but also knowing what to do is crucial when entering a market. So here are few dos and donts for aspiring entrepreneurs on starting a business in the Philippines:
1. Do your research
There’s so much about the Filipino that you can find out once you get to know them. For example, Filipinos love to eat out and try out new food trends. So if you’re planning to set up a restaurant, make sure you have something cool on the menu. They will be willing to wait in line for a worthwhile dining experience.
You can do market studies or get advice from consultants, but one of the best sources is also asking friends or acquaintances about their interests. You might be surprised with their answers but that would give you meaningful insights on what they would like to see more in the market.
2. Don’t forget to register with the BIR
One of the first steps in establishing your business is registering with the Bureau of Internal Revenue for tax purposes. For more information on the application, you can log on to: http://bir.gov.ph
3. Do get online
The Philippines spends 4 hours and 17 minutes on social media, the highest in the world according to the latest study by Hootsuite and We are Social Ltd. Knowing this, it will be beneficial to have social media pages for your business to acquire a large following and faster reach your desired market. Creating an account is free, and with the number of Filipinos glued on their screens just a few boosts can get you (hopefully) viral in no time.
4. Don’t be afraid to get creative
Filipinos are known to be creative, especially with puns and catchphrases for their business names. A quick search on Google will show that they have created business names from blockbuster movies or TV shows. Some examples are Harry Cutter- for a barbershop, Star Wash- for a laundry shop, and Income Taxi for a taxicab company.
A catchy name not only gives your customers free laughs but also gets you the best kind of marketing.
5. Do invest in people
The Philippines is proud of its hardworking and competent workforce. Aside from being proficient in English (like a second language), they are also known for their warmth and hospitality making them preferred agents in the service industry. Knowing this strength, you can make use of this opportunity to train your staff and provide benefits that will make them want to contribute to your business’ growth.
6. Don’t give up
Bringing your idea to life is not devoid of challenges. There will be challenges along the way but don’t let this discourage you from pursuing your aspiration or dream. It may be hard at first but it will be worth in the end!