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Your best business development ideas in the Philippines

Hi everyone,

As a foreign entrepreneur, launching a business in the Philippines is a fantastic project and an exciting challenge. Some ideas are likely to succeed. Some others are promising but may not work as well as intended.

In your opinion, what kind of business or industry is likely to succeed in the Philippines? What kind of industry or service currently unavailable or underdeveloped in the country would meet local needs?

On the other hand, what are the most common business types foreign entrepreneurs would be eager to launch in the country but with very little chance of success?

Thank you for your insights.
Priscilla

Hello Priscilla, Affordable housing has a lot of potential if done properly here. I was successful as a foreigner living in the country of Mexico where i was converting used shipping containers into durable, affordable homes. Biggest advantage here  is they are typhoon proof, mobile, and affordable. Great type of housing in developing 3rd world countries. The problem is your countries restrictive laws on  foreign land ownership and limits us to just condo ownership under certain conditions. In all my years of successful  real estate investing, the condo is the only type of investment i would not waste my money on purchasing.Remember, when buying a condo the only thing you own is the "air space", nothing else. I am currently working on one unit now more as a hobby than as a business opportunity. Until i see your President change his anti American rhetoric ways, i would not invest so much as 1 US dollar in your country. Also your countries limits and restrictions  on foreigners opening most types of small businesses  with out majority Filipino ownership as a partner makes no sense to me and stifles investments, creativity,  entrepreneurship,  jobs for locals.

hi priscilla and scott,

I am a humble local entrepeneur here in the philippines. May I know where you are from? Well, the food business has always been a bloom or gloom. As adventurous lovers, Filipinos always tend to try some thing new from time to time, as people tend to indulge less on american or local burgers.

Clothing, derm care and hair care are also good business that lasts. I have a unique idea on engineered casual clothing yet i still don't have the resources and time to begin it.

Scrap low cost housing but thumbs with typhoon proofing. Unless you have enough funds such as the Ayala's, Si's, Wei's or Villar's then I don't see going to that area would let you bite on the pie. The idea of converting metal containers to houses aint new here.

Hello Lou, I am currently living in Cagayan de Oro city and enjoying my stay here. I dont understand  and dont agree with your point of view when you state, "scrap the idea of  shipping containers" as an idea to low cost,safe housing in developing 3rd world countries. Personally i have had success in another 3rd world country producing shipping container housing.  When i drive through the many slums here in the Phil. i see all kinds of potential. I keep an open mind to your idea of engineered casual clothing. Everyone has a right to there personal opinion, but unless you have tried and failed at any idea, keep an open mind.Remember, they told Henry Ford that he was a fool to try and replace the horse and buggy. Best of luck in all your ventures.

Be smart given the current political environment invest elsewhere. live here fine. but keep your cash elsewhere

Scott1953,

It would seem that the ability for a secured container to withstand wind and rain it  would make them ideal for a small home if the containers could be purchased and  transported reasonably.

Some home building, carpentry and remodel skills coupled with some basic tools a cutting torch and a welder and I could see a nice little home as a result.

In the states they were becoming common as storage buildings in rural areas and  wiring in a couple lights and plugs took only basic skills.

I had a neighbor who had carpentry, woodworking and mechanical skills and a few of the aforementioned tools and turned a container into a great little workshop complete with windows, doors and Air conditioning. He paid about $2500 for the container and a couple hundred to have it delivered and rolled off onto a concrete slab he poured just for the container.

What can be done with one container or two or more connected is amazing.

Teejay

foreigners are not allowed any retail business in Philippines.
also many professions not open for them.
only few businesses are open to foreigners and they all need big capital. hahaha
so forget it !!!

your best option is to open a call centre... on a biz visa employ 10 people and have a product to sell...I live here now and have a biz license tell we what you want...?

there are many opportunities in the philippines

while retail businesses are not allowed for foreigners if you know a citizen you trust you can still work a deal out to take advantage of opportunities

Current needs from my perspective:

Pizza by the Slice (very few if not any)

Physical Therapy businesses where people can go and get therapy and home service

Jolly Jeep servicing more western influence foods like burgers / chicken sandwiches / etc

self service car wash / with millions of cars on the road i have only seen 1 or 2 of these.

High End Direct Bus Service starting with routes from all the high end hotels to Tagaytay

Health Care Membership card specifically for medicine

Helicopter service from airport <> fort <> makati <> Cavite <> QC that is affordable not exceeding 4K PHP

consulting service for clean air evaluating the air you breath in your condos / and then installing purifiers in the event the air quality is not satisfactory

Doggie pick up and delivery service to go to a doggie hotel servicing those who have dogs and want to take a break. customers should have CCTV access

Private air service to cebu/bacalod/davao/ from manila

consultancy serviced guiding those on all fronts who want to start a business in the philippines....
a) setting up all corporate docs correctly
b) drafting the appropriate employee manual identifying everything from days off to sick days to performance improvement plans to the many things which need to be in from the beginning.
c) selecting the right pi accounting firm
d) understanding what you can and can not go
e) understand how space is rented. many times the space you rent is not the same as what you are paying for. you may get billed for X space which is more than useable space. do your research
f) do competitive research on salaries and benefits to make sure you are competitive in the market
g) make sure you go with a solid HMO. this is very difficult. there is a new healthcare program called mariahealthph / this program may be very appealing
there are many things i am not mentioning as it could really be a short book. but a great consultant should be able to guide you and save you a lot of money and mitigate opportunity costs

I see the rapidly changing political situation in the Philippines as offering potential business opportunities for well informed expats.
I notice their fishing fleet is now allowed to enter disputed Chinese (?) waters without interference from the PLA and that is likely to herald a big shift in general business between the Philippines and China, probably Russia and the other BRICS nations as well.

To hell with politics, keep a close eye on the situation and grab any business you see.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/seasia/20 … hoal-.html

in tourism there is also a big potential,in small coastal towns as were i live i see a great opportunity ,i looked at what was not availebol and what was availebol and had an idea that i am now slowly working out ,i will not share what it is as i know others wood jump on it hahaha.but am sure it will work and as i am aiming on western tourists and i have the means to get there attention and give them what they are looking for ;authentic pinoy expieriance (whit western cooking if needed)and that piece of nature they are interested in .i speek french,dutch and german so comunication will not be a problem neether .
the bussenis will be in my wife's name so no wurys there .
and as it involves things which i love to do i wont get bored lol.

greets Dirk

you open a new business here and you will see many locals copy cat you in no time and you are done b4 you start it hahaha. locals here too smart LOL

mbhuller :

you open a new business here and you will see many locals copy cat you in no time and you are done b4 you start it hahaha. locals here too smart LOL

in my case i dont wory about copy-cat's as it involves technology and the use of it that is not used here and than there is the safety garantee wich my clients wil be looking for and the fact that i am not aiming for mass tourism but for a niece in the market.
this will create a few jobs only ,but the salary will be hihger than lets say a construction worker have .
the nature of the venture is such that it will be interesting for all who are involved ,clients will lurn about The Philippines and employees will lurn new skils.
i am not pressed for time ,i have the rest of my life to slowly build and establis,it will be a slowww growing no fast desissions or so hehehe,that's not my style.
compeeting against alredy availebol bussenis is an adventure that can go wrong easely .
and even if it woold not produce big game ,i dont care as long as i brake even and get a few ppl a deecent inkome am satisfyed.

greets Dirk

A precoated steel plant I worked in British Steel for over 20 years in a Colour coated steel plant,at the moment she product is mainly imported from China it is used in the Building trade for construction of factories and supermarkets and white goods like Refrigerators, cookers and washing machines

for those who want to do serious investing ,i think manufactoring and,or,asembly plants wood do fine to as there is a huge demand for jobs .
many of those are relocated out of western countrys as the wages are so hihg the parts become to expensive to produce there and make a profit there ,here wages are low and there's no lack of laborors.

Priscilla

I will encourage you to stop giving people falls hope of investing in the Philippines because the tax is much higher for foreign investors compared to local investors and your government encourage foreigners to marry your ladies just to get a better opportunity to invest here. Now I am going to ask you why is that your country is preventing foreigners from owning a land property or a house property? Tell me why is that if someone want to own a franchise restaurant like KFC which is originally an American company your government will prevent that person from having total ownership or even 50% of his own company? instead, they will make sure you partner with some locals here and forfeit 60% of your company to someone you don't know or have the same view with. Tell me why i can not own a land property or a house property here ? does it occur to you people that i might want to go into real estate ? CAN YOU EXPLAIN THAT ?

no one encouraged me to marry,we marryd becorse we love each other hahaha 
iff i did not feel good here or had manny complaints ,i wood not stay here.

greets Dirk

Josh Owoh :

Priscilla

.... your government .............

does it occur to you people that i might want to go into real estate ? CAN YOU EXPLAIN THAT ?

Just for your information, Priscilla is a senior moderator on this site and not in the Philippines.
This topic was started as part of a system to encourage valuable expat related topics onto the forums, and was started on every country's forum, not just this one.

That in mind, you're attacking the wrong person.

Also, please refrain from using caps lock as this is considered very rude.
Thank you.

Very nice of you, Fred. :)

Regarding business ideas, I would always choose any industry that is part of the basic necessities of each human, from food to shelter to clothing. Nowadays, transportation and communication are also part of the basic necessities.

Starting a business, you will need to study few essential details. First, what exactly would you like to do, something related to fashion or restaurant? Anything you're good at that you could match to the growing demands in this country. Perhaps you could study these five things about the country, your business plan or way, the weather of the area, the terrain, the government leadership (laws and practices) and the people (the behaviors, etc.). :)

You can not own a business here. Except for a few franchises.  Product introduction are most of those.  You can not compete with family here who will work for free to help build a business that will start across the street from you once they see you make a honest piso.   If you have family here one place that is overlooked is a expat business. Making specialty food to there own recipies.  Such as sausages & such.  But that by nature would need stay small. Depend on the expats only for customers.

Hi I am a reti
red caregiver so I know how to handle people with Alzheimers and Dementia also I enjoy Photography

I know what cap is, and saying your country, i think i should not have used that because you're not from the Philippines but i will encourage you guys to give people the right information and not falls hope, The Philippines is a nice place no doubt about that but business wise, it's not so much fair to foreigners, and i will also encourage you to stop being defensive, instead, try to explain much because you're a moderator and should have no sentiment whatsoever.

Regards

Josh

Josh Owoh :

I know what cap is, and saying your country, i think i should not have used that because you're not from the Philippines but i will encourage you guys to give people the right information and not falls hope, The Philippines is a nice place no doubt about that but business wise, it's not so much fair to foreigners, and i will also encourage you to stop being defensive, instead, try to explain much because you're a moderator and should have no sentiment whatsoever.

Regards

Josh

I think you're reading something into the OP that simply isn't there.
I'll try to explain.

The OP is asking expats about potential and actual business in the country, nothing more.
Business is a common reason for expatriation, a and something that's common for new expats when they arrive in a new country.

That's really it

dirk c :

the bussenis will be in my wife's name so no wurys there .
and as it involves things which i love to do i wont get bored lol.

greets Dirk

i am dutch to  will make business directly on my name 
dutch german french english no problem  just need to learn tagalog

I think Liter of Light has potential. Does anybody agree?

A well managed 100 head piggery can net 6 million pesos per year.

Even living here can be risky in the current political environment.

Pizza Hut sells by the slice here, 2 slices for 55 pesos.

Good point! Grocery stores make HUGE money!

I suggest you learn proper English before Tagalog.

Very good point! Grocery stores are cash cows here. A relatively small one can net a million pesos per DAY.

FortuneFavorsTheBold :

I suggest you learn proper English before Tagalog.

What do you mean ? no need of know proper English
soon the alternate official language is Chineese not English

FortuneFavorsTheBold :

Very good point! Grocery stores are cash cows here. A relatively small one can net a million pesos per DAY.

Yes if you employ enough people from ph to be allowed to do   this ,
then this  is for sure a good  milky cow !

just found out the best ever ! 

but then need to hire lot people !
need to check with department of finances

azertymanNLFRENDE :
FortuneFavorsTheBold :

I suggest you learn proper English before Tagalog.

What do you mean ? no need of know proper English
soon the alternate official language is Chinese not English

Language is an interesting issue when it comes to business, but as this forum is populated by many for whom English is a second language, correct grammar and so on isn't much of an issue for posting here.

However the point has validity when it comes to International trade when language proficiency could make a difference to the deal and the terms of that deal.
English has very obvious advantages, but you rightly suggested the advantages of Mandarin.
Whilst Mandarin is unlikely to become the medium for world trade in the short to medium term, a working command of that language could well be a major advantage as China is a massive world trading nation, possibly even the largest in the world at the moment, and very likely to be so in the very near future if it isn't already.

The clear shift from the US to China has increased the need to speak Mandarin, but China has been gearing up for trade with a massive English language program for many years now, so English remains number one at the moment.
Trade with China holds a lot of advantages for the Philippines both in direct trade and political interests, but with added bonus issues such as China allowing fishing in disputed waters, meaning good catches and more work for a lot of people.

I dislike getting too deep into the rights and wrongs of politics, but the long and the short for expats who are looking at business in the Philippines means a peek at trade with China might very well provide nice profits, and likely less red tape as the political atmosphere is pushing for closer trade ties.

Hello I'm interested in piggery too ,,,I didn't know the return on a piggery was that good ,that's a shock if it's true

I also invested in piggery; it was good

FortuneFavorsTheBold :

A well managed 100 head piggery can net 6 million pesos per year.

I highly doubt that. I think if the stars align in your favor, i.e. none of the pigs get sick or die, the price of feeds doesn't go up, the caretaker is an expert at what he does, the caretaker or neighbors are not stealing feeds, pigs, pipes, roofing, water, electricity, etc., the vet charges you cheaply, the price of pork doesn't go down when it's time for you to sell, then you might make a tenth of that.

If you decide to just not hire a caretaker and raise the pigs yourself, then you can make more than if you have a caretaker who has a share in the profits. But then again, it's a lot of hard work, and you'll have to endure and get used to the foul smell. And hopefully, all that handling of live animals doesn't make you sick or kill you.

before starting any business i woold advise the folowing ,
make a good busenis plan ,count for the overhead costs ,like in case of a pigey ,food ,care taker salary,vetrinairian costs,electricity ,posibol los of stock tru sicknes ,water and am sure i forgot to mension some .
make sure that the starting period were you will make no profits are acounted for ,if not the busenis wll die soon
make sure you have the nessesary contacts in place to build a client list .
depending of the busenis these things will be different but wil only show up in a different form .
many busenis get started but fail becorse of a lack of such a planning .
my personal view is this ,first yr no profits even a possibol loss ,second yr break even, third yr first profits .
i think many think once they start a business they gonna grab the cash from day one, and that's why the crahs.

greets Dirk

I agree with Dirk. You have to know what you're doing before you embark on any business, especially when there's a lot of YOUR money involved.

With the piggery business, you'll need to know the cost of the structure and systems (pens, septic system, water supply, troughs, lighting, ventilation, etc.), living quarters for the caretaker / raiser, gate / fencing for the land, city / business / environmental permits, among others. With any business, build a business plan / chart / map, with projected profits and costs, and at what point would your investment will turn in a profit.

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