65 Best Small Business Ideas in the Philippines for 2017


51. Generator Rental

The Philippines will continue to have a power deficit. You should expect more blackouts to happen in the summer months when water supply runs low and hydroelectric plants may operate at low capacity.

Generators are quite expensive. The size would depend on the number of appliances to be connected to the generator. For sure you should have the air-conditioners, a few fans, the computer, the refrigerator and the wifi router included.

Homes and businesses will be looking to rent generators for summer. It is worth the price rather than experience work disruption and inconvenience. Start out with a big sized one good enough to run a household and a small one that can power a small office.

52. Caregiver Home Services

The Philippines’ population is not aging as fast as China and Japan, but we’re getting up there in age. Filipinos do not want to leave their parents at the care of homes for the aged. We prefer to look after our parents as they took care of us.

I’ve been hoping a well-meaning entrepreneur would start out mobile caregiver services. Put aside the monetary goals but view this as an honorable venture that could help many families care for their elderly.

The cost of taking care of the elderly is more than the cost of raising a child because of the expensive treatments. Households are dual income, but some couples require one to quit work to stay home with the elderly.

This kind of business will address both problems. The parent can keep working while the caregiver watches over the elderly.

53. Domestic Helper Recruitment

Ask your neighbor about getting domestic helpers, and he or she will tell you that it is not easy. Many are working in other countries and the ones left behind are very picky with the available jobs. They will leave as soon as a better offer comes along.

You can start out a domestic helper recruitment business that not only qualifies every candidate but also ties her in with the homeowner for some months at a time.

54. Ukay-Ukay

Tough times don’t make you quit; they make you buy clothes from the ukay-ukay!

An ukay-ukay for those who don’t know is a store that sells used, second-hand or even third-hand clothes. These are very affordable, and you can even find apparel of still fine quality.

You can set this up at your home or flea market. This would be a good business opportunity if you could regularly get a supply of used clothes from the United States.

55. Business Liaison Services

Many aspiring entrepreneurs want to set up businesses and have them registered at the DTI or SEC, but it takes a lot of time. Government agencies can be very inefficient.

With Business Liaison Services, you will attend to all the business requirements from registration to procurement of all the necessary papers and permits. This is very time-consuming work where patience dealing with government agencies is an absolute must.

But it pays well. A friend of mine charges anywhere from 35,000 to 100,000 depending on the amount of work required.

56. Money Changer

With everything that’s been happening on the local front and the international community, money changers must be having a field day. Your captive markets are the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), BPO companies and expats who are looking for a better deal than what banks offer.

There are requirements that you have to meet with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or BSP. But if you know how to read currencies, this could be one of the best small business ideas in the Philippines for 2017.

57. Lotto Retailer

For the last two decades, Filipinos continue to be enamored with lotto and sweepstakes. Our fatalistic nature still influences us to leave our fate or fortune at these games of chance.

You will have to comply with some requirements from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office or PCSO. Two of these requirements are location and ability to generate at least 300,000 Pesos per month in ticket sales.

Margins are quite low. I believe you will only get 5% to 7% of total sales, so you have to be located in a high foot traffic area.

Related: How to Become a PCSO Lotto Agent in the Philippines

58. Children’s Day Care Services

There are more Children’s Day Care centers coming up, but I think we need more. The population continues to grow, and families remain dual income. They will need to entrust their children to a center that will look after their emotional and intellectual well-being.

If you want to set up a Day Care facility in your home the first thing that you need to do is clear this up with your village association as there may be zoning restrictions. Then you have to confer with the local government health and safety office for the design and construction requirements of the center.

Finally, you will need good, accredited teachers who have no history of mistreating children.

59. Counseling Services

Social media, text messaging and other online tools are popular outlets for people to vent their frustrations. The truth is, they can even exacerbate the situation. Rants or vents at social media should be considered cries for help that need the expertise of professionals.

If you have a degree in Psychology and have experience working as a counselor, counseling could be a valuable service in 2017. Keep in mind; many market analysts are already trumping (pardon the pun) 2017 as potentially worse than 2016.

More people may need counseling help to get over very difficult times ahead.

60. Clothes Alteration

With the rising costs of fuel and commodities, Filipinos are trying to save as much money as possible. Instead of buying new clothes, many just use clothes alteration services.

If you have a good cutter, an experienced tailor and a steady supply of clothing materials, this is a stable business to start in 2017. It is low capital and not labor intensive. You can even run it from your home.

61. Furniture Restoration

Say what you will about the different styles of furniture. But at the end of the day, people just want to be practical. Furniture can be very expensive which is why for many first-time homeowners, they are just happy to get hand-me-downs.

Furniture restoration is one of the best small business ideas in the Philippines for 2017 because there are a good number of first-time homeowners who need old furniture look good as new.

You will need good artisans and carpenters who have experience working with furniture. It is very important to have people on board who know how to re-upholster old sofas and chairs.

62. Candle Making

With the expected return of rotating blackouts this summer, candles would be one of the best small business ideas in the Philippines for 2017.

In addition to providing light during power outages, there are other uses for candles. You can make scented candles which people buy for therapy. You can even make blessed candles which were particularly popular during certain times of the year.

63. Gardening and Landscaping

In the Philippines, you see many houses with gardens. It is not easy to maintain one more so turn them into a work of art. The garden frames your home; it should always look trim and beautiful.

If you have a green thumb and creative in working with plants, this could be the small business for you. But it is important that you have a network of suppliers for plants, grass, stones and other materials used for landscaping. You should also have good people who can help you out.

In addition to homes, you should also offer your services to hotels, sports clubs, and resorts.

64. Retailer of Indigenous Products

The Philippines is a wonderful resource of indigenous products that are of world-class quality. If you’ve been to any one of these trade shows, you would know what I mean.

As a retailer of indigenous products, you provide a distribution channel for these items that not many people should know about. Why not even try to export them to other countries? Consumers are growing more health conscious, and many of these products do not contain preservatives.

A good idea would be to export Civet Coffee to North America. In some coffee shops, Civet Coffee is sold for a $100 per cup! I can buy a 200gm bag of ground Civet Coffee from the Cordilleras for only 250 Pesos!

65. Travel Agency

A travel agency is a good small business idea because Filipinos love to travel. But many would-be travelers are always looking around for the best offer.

If you want to set up a travel agency, try to comply with the requirements of IATA or the International Air Transport Association. This way, you can issue tickets yourself and not have to get from other agencies that are members of IATA.

It will be difficult to offer competitively priced tickets if you’re merely acting as a middleman. However, the requirements for IATA can be tedious and expensive.

If your budget is limited, offer other services such as passport renewal and visa assistance.

Related: 10 Steps on How to Start a Small Business in the Philippines

Start your best small business idea in 2017

Despite being an expanded list, I may have overlooked other ideas which may interest you. The point is this: if you have a small business idea that you want to pursue in the Philippines for 2017, by all means, go for it!

Conduct research on its feasibility and keep an open mind. If the numbers are good, then set your plan into motion by legalizing your business entity. If the numbers aren’t good, pursue your next idea!

Entrepreneurship can be hit or miss. Every idea sounds and looks good until you’ve launched it. That’s where you have to deal with a myriad of factors that will influence your level of success.

But the worst thing you can do is not to pursue your entrepreneurial dream. We all can’t be winners. Entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Elon Musk all had gone through their share of failures before they struck it big.

Failure is a painful experience that we all dread. But you should not be afraid of failure because it makes the taste of victory even sweeter once you’ve accomplished your goal!

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Past article: 54 Best Small Business Ideas in the Philippines for 2016

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