60 Best Small Business Ideas in the Philippines for 2017


As we approach the tail-end of 2016, many businesses are beginning to close their books and prepare for 2017. Whether your enterprise fared well this year or not, remember that there will always be an opportunity for business. You can choose to switch enterprises or diversify to improve or change your value proposition.

The key is to have an open mind so you can find opportunities when they present themselves. Here are 60 small business ideas in the Philippines which you could consider for 2017.

Best Small Business Ideas in the Philippines for 2017

1. E-Commerce

Global sales revenues from e-commerce are expected to grow from US$1.9 Trillion to US$2.5 Trillion in 2017 and US$4.05 Trillion in 2020. Filipinos spend 29% of their Internet time shopping online!

The top selling e-commerce items are:

  • Fashion apparel
  • Books
  • Music CDs and Videos

If you want your e-commerce business to be successful, you must be prepared to invest in a high-quality website that will give your visitors an amazing User Experience. Shopify is a complete e-commerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods.

2. Virtual Assistance

Virtual assistants are also referred to as freelancers, home-based workers, and telecommuters.

In the US, 37% of workforces are composed of virtual assistants. It is estimated that by 2020, more than 63% of workforces will be employing virtual assistants.

If you have an excellent organizational and management skills, companies across a wide variety of industries are looking for virtual assistants.

Related: How to Start a Small Business at Home in the Philippines

3. Website Design

Despite the popularity of the Internet and social media, only 24.8% of small businesses have a website. More shocking is that only 9% of these websites are mobile responsive!

There is a large market for website design and development that you can tap into. With 65% of online traffic already originating from mobile sources, it should only be a matter of time before more people demand websites.

4. SEO Services

Unless your website and content are optimized, hardly anyone online will find it. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is fast becoming an in-demand skill because search rankings are increasingly competitive.

If you are familiar with keyword research, link building, and web development, you could have a career as an SEO professional.

5. Social Media Marketing Services

Of the 3.3 Billion people who surf the Internet, 2 Billion are on social media. Filipinos spend 47% of their time on Social Media which makes it their number one online activity.

Companies are catching up on the power of influence of social media, but many do not have the budget for an in-house marketing team.

If you have the experience and track record for designing social media campaigns, you could offer your services to several interested clients.

6. Blogging and Writing Services

Content marketing is fast becoming the preferred process of many online marketers. And while there are many tools available for content marketing, blogging remains its main arsenal.

23% of Internet time is spent reading blogs. Keep in mind that on average; people spend 5 hours online. So 23% is 1 hour and 15 minutes of content exposure!

Similar to social media, companies do not have the budget for bloggers. They prefer to outsource these services to save up on costs. If you have the writing chops, there is a huge market for you to explore.

7. Accounting Services

Many companies are outsourcing various services to streamline costs. One of these services is accounting. But businesses need reliable accounting services to keep track of the finances.

You don’t have to be a Certified Public Accountant or CPA to put up an accounting services business unless you want to offer auditing or preparation of financial services.

You would only need an accurate data encoder and an accounting graduate who understands basic bookkeeping.

8. Human Resources Management

Companies in the Philippines are starting to utilize third party service providers to manage human resources. In addition to reducing overhead, this transfers the responsibility of hiring to another entity.

You can conduct hiring and testing functions online. There are software programs that can help you with the qualifying process such as TalentSorter. Be prepared to do a lot of legwork and networking as a 3rd party recruiter.

9. Real Estate Agency

Real estate is an investment that will eventually pay out over a period of time. There are many growth areas in the Philippines, particularly in the undervalued Southern Metro Manila.

You need to be a licensed realtor, and you should be updated with property developments. Other services you can include would be for property evaluator and mortgage agents.

10. Translation Services

It’s not just Filipino, but if you have a high level of proficiency in other languages, you can find a lucrative career as a translator.

Among the most in-demand translation jobs are for Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish. You should have achieved at least Level 7 proficiency in a foreign language to ensure quality in translation services.

11. English Instruction

There’s a reason why there is high demand for Filipino English Instructors. And it’s the reason why the Philippines were ranked number 1 in the world in Business English by software maker GlobalEnglish.

If you want to become an English Instructor, you should pass TOEFL, TESL or TESOL courses to build up your qualification to prospective students. Or you could set up a company and hire English Instructors.

Your time will be spent marketing your services to clients from China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

12. Tutorial Services

Even in this age of the Internet and the vast diversity of YouTube, there will always be a market for tutorial services because nothing beats shared space instruction.

You do not have to be licensed teacher to provide tutorial services. If you have patience working with students and have the academic credentials to prove your excellence in specific subjects, you can make a good income as a tutor.

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