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Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Old Jun 19th 2015, 3:32 am
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Default Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Greetings to one and all from Sipalay!

Thought I would start a new thread on this important subject to search for ideas.

I have been here for two months and I would like to fill a bit of my free-time (of which there is much) on a small business. Not to make a fortune, but as a hobby maybe and bring in a small profit each month.

Now, I know there will be a sharp intake of breath on this subject but I would be fully "hands on". I am aware that a foreigner cannot own a business here and I need to have full trust if I employ anyone. I would prefer to be a one man band.

I have had a quick look at pig farming on a small scale, but start-up costs seem quite large. My gf said first we must dig a big hole.... Sounds simple but there is more to it than that I guess.

Bridging loans to Govt Employees between pay days was mooted. But I see problems with that.

Maybe something on the internet from home?

Spoke to a Swiss person who owns a beach resort near here reckons best bet would be to buy a house and then rent it out. I see obvious problems with that. A foreigner cannot own property.

His beach resort is not earning a meaningful profit but basically provides jobs for various members of his pinay wife's family.

Anyway.... Suggestions would be welcome.

Regards

Pete M

Last edited by Philosophical 11; Jun 19th 2015 at 4:36 am.
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Old Jun 19th 2015, 5:33 am
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Originally Posted by springsteen11 View Post
Greetings to one and all from Sipalay!

Thought I would start a new thread on this important subject to search for ideas.

I have been here for two months and I would like to fill a bit of my free-time (of which there is much) on a small business. Not to make a fortune, but as a hobby maybe and bring in a small profit each month.

Now, I know there will be a sharp intake of breath on this subject but I would be fully "hands on". I am aware that a foreigner cannot own a business here and I need to have full trust if I employ anyone. I would prefer to be a one man band.

I have had a quick look at pig farming on a small scale, but start-up costs seem quite large. My gf said first we must dig a big hole.... Sounds simple but there is more to it than that I guess.

Bridging loans to Govt Employees between pay days was mooted. But I see problems with that.

Maybe something on the internet from home?

Spoke to a Swiss person who owns a beach resort near here reckons best bet would be to buy a house and then rent it out. I see obvious problems with that. A foreigner cannot own property.

His beach resort is not earning a meaningful profit but basically provides jobs for various members of his pinay wife's family.

Anyway.... Suggestions would be welcome.

Regards

Pete M
prior to starting anything, always remember one truth here where there are rare exceptions.

''want to make a small fortune, arrive with a big one''

I am not sure that you are allowed to do anything that you will have any say or control in as you are on a tourist visa. You are in effect giving your money away in the hope that you will not be let down.

Suggest that you take 12 months over this, investigate what you would like to do and then consider applying fora SRRV. this will allow you some flexibility.

In the meantime if you are minded you can follow stock markets and invest etc, on line etc

The Swiss guy is probably a very good bet on what the reality is like for may expats who succeed!! There are rare exceptions, they will have some form of permanent residence visa status..
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Old Jun 19th 2015, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Mike is right in what he says. Keep an eye on the opportunities for the next 12 months and keep taking the water melon, by the way what is the female equivalent of water melon.

Business basis should be
1. Cash sales only, no credit
2. Loan is spelt 'gift' in Tagalog, I am still trying, half heartily, to recover P500k in loans
3. 24/7 management by yourself
4. Deal only in items that have no ( or very long ) shelf life
5. Be under no obligation to pay out if there are no sales on sale or return items.

Not too sure of your background, but I occasionally ( for no charge ) manage/design houses and house modifications. There is a shortage of people who know what they are doing when it comes to house, plumbing, electrical design/installation/construction.

Education is another possible way of keeping yourself out of trouble. Weekend school offering subjects that are not available or lacking at school/college, again I offer this free for family members that I believe that will benefit from my effort and are not just turning up for the free coke and lunch.
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Old Jun 20th 2015, 6:38 am
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

No just turning up for the free coke and lunch, not sure about that. The payday loan business is very easy to get into and looks very attractive. Very easy to come out of again in a box.
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Old Jun 20th 2015, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Payday Loans ? You want to be a MONEYLENDER ?
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Old Jun 20th 2015, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Payday Loans ? You want to be a MONEYLENDER ?
Stay clear life expectancy is very short
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Old Jun 21st 2015, 3:26 am
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Thanks one and all for your comments so far. The money lending idea I kicked into touch because of all the obvious pitfalls associated with it. I really do not need the hassle of non-payers and possible trouble that can follow.

Prior to coming here, I had a small business involving car engine tuning and diagnostics. It was a one man band and packed it up to come here after 25 yrs in business.

I was wary of the pig farming idea because the proposed site is about 2 hours bus ride away. I have heard stories of sacks of feed going missing and piglets "dying". We would have to employ someone to look after them and that I found a problem being so far away.

I have dabbled in stocks and shares in the past but that is normally a long term investment and therefore would not keep me busy.

I have also over a period of about 2 months "Betting to Lose" on the horses which can be nicely time consuming but the time difference of 7 hours makes it difficult.

Thought about continuing on p/t basis of my car diagnostics business here. But quickly found out that those few who own a car here are not particularly interested in minor detail such as a misfire or warning lights flashing..... as long as it goes, its ok.

Anyway, I am keeping my eyes and ears open.

Thanks again.

Regards

Pete M

Ps. No idea what the female equivalent of water melon is to have the "desired affect". I might just start looking for something which has the opposite effect. I need a rest. :-)

Last edited by Philosophical 11; Jun 21st 2015 at 3:35 am. Reason: Ps
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Old Jun 21st 2015, 6:35 am
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

The female version of water melon, the smell of greenbacks.
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Old Jun 21st 2015, 7:46 am
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Originally Posted by springsteen11 View Post

I have dabbled in stocks and shares in the past but that is normally a long term investment and therefore would not keep me busy.
Maybe you could try day trading of stocks or currencies? Problem is that you need to have a very reliable internet access wherever you may happen to be.
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Old Jun 21st 2015, 1:08 pm
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Several of my colleagues did in all their hard-earned savings by speculating on currency futures.
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Old Jun 21st 2015, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Speculators who lose are in a very non-exclusive club and I'm a founding member
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Old Dec 27th 2015, 1:45 am
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

I have met several expats with Filipino wives who have financed local businesses and failed. A friend of ours started a computer shop and then a hairdressing salon that both failed and was forced to sell off the equipment at a loss. The expats are persuaded to fund these businesses and employ the staff from the families who are not trained to do the jobs but assume that money will “roll in!” Because they are family, they cannot be sacked and make a poor effort at making money.
A Canadian friend organized a carenderia business close by a school and financed the purchase of cookery equipment and tables etc, but in time the money disappeared and it had to be sold off.
It seems that when money is placed in Filipinos hands it gets used up for “other” things. Stealing is not used and the word is “used”. We are the treasurers for our subdivision because all the previous people “used” the funds for personal things. The security guards issue visitor tickets for delivery vehicles and “use” the proceeds for themselves. Because the tickets are numbered we know where the money has gone and deduct it from their salaries. Even a member of the Land registry “used” BIR cash payments for lot purchases for her own benefit to help with the death of her mother……..AND SHE REMAINS EMPLOYED! Occurrences such as these would be theft in the West and jail time could result, but not in the Philippines.
We know a Uk chap that has spent up all his savings in various family enterprises and is marooned within his wife’s compound. The wife is working back in Aylesbury and rumored to have found a new man in her life. Another chap we know had to abandon the new luxury house near to the family because his wife found another man and back in the UK she emptied their joint account and opened another account.
YOU REALLY HAVE TO BE CAREFUL………LOVE CAN BE BLIND.
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Old Dec 27th 2015, 3:15 am
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Good advice Sunnydays. I must admit I had forgotten about this thread and I am pleased it has resurfaced to give an insight into trying to run a business in the Philippines. I am still pondering on what to do if anything but there is no rush aet the moment. Also, I am not sure about my financial situation yet until my separation process is complete.

However, a true story. A Hungarian friend of mine came here as a millionaire. Not sure if he meant that in the sense of Hungarian money, peso or GBP. He started slowly and over a number of years he bought himself 5 properties to rent and a resort here at Sipalay. Sounds good? But in fact he owns nothing. Everything is in his wifes name. She installed her family and friends into the jobs at the resort which is not making money. The relatives and friends constantly fall out with each other and there appears to be no harmony there. She collects the rent. What about him? He is now an alcoholic and does not seem to care anymore. He is locked in the house most of the time whilst his wife takes care of business. He is locked in because once he has drank everything in the house, he was out drinking at the local bars and restaurants here. He never paid his bills simply because he had none and his wife had to pick up the bill. When he is let out, he has a minder and we sometimes meet on the beach here for a chat. He is allowed one beer. Last time I saw him he told me he wanted to go back to Hungary. He cannot. He has lost his passport. I wondered to myself as he left with his minder who had stolen it. Obvious really. Who do I blame? Sorry, but I blame him.

Best regards

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Old Dec 27th 2015, 4:02 am
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Nearly forgot...

My gf has been trying and thinking about various business here. Not asked a penny from me to finance it. Nothing has really worked yet, from pig breeding to selling prawns. However she has a bit of success selling gold jewellery to her fb friends and I think has secured 5 sales from Canada, Australia and Philippines. But I can only see a limited future in this because her customer base is small although she has about 1100 face book friends. We tried the on-line Ensongo (sp) but that seems a waste of time and effort. I will try and get her to use E-bay but she is baulking at the costs involved. Also, her jewellery is not competitive in price which is something she needs to work on. But I applaud her efforts....

Regards

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Old Dec 27th 2015, 4:45 am
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Default Re: Starting a Small Business in the Philippines?

Most of have to remember - we came here to retire.

Having said that nearly all of us have thought it might be a good idea to start something to keep us from getting bored, pay the beer bill and help out the family. Well I don't know anyone who that has gone well for them, at best they just lost their money, a couple of guys I knew lost their lives.

If you are asked to invest in an existing business - it will be a basket case that has huge loans and everything it owns is pawned, you money will be used to either pay off the loans ( unlikely ) or once you are a fully fledged partner it will be used by your new partner to make a run for it and start a new life somewhere else ( most likely ), leaving you with the loans and useless equipment.

If you are asked to start a company , this is generally to give the unemployable members of the family high paying jobs for which they don't have to do much or anything right. 'Open All Hours' comedy got this one right in 1973 when David Jason said that he wanted to live in Asia with an Asian wife and when he comes home from work see her standing on the veranda with a smile, Ronny Barkers reply was "With 87 members of her family all on the borrow"
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