How to Start an Online Business in the Philippines


For first-time Filipino entrepreneurs, starting an online business in the Philippines is the best option to gain experience in managing an enterprise. It does not require much capital, and the risks associated with running an Internet-based business are manageable. As with all businesses, there is great potential for income, and this directly corresponds with your productivity.

The conditions are perfect if you want to start an online business in the Philippines. In fact, these conditions have significantly maximized the benefits of running an online business:

  1. The Growth of the Internet. The year 2000 was the first jump off point for technology. Accessibility to the Internet grew from 16 Million in 1995 to 304 Million in 2000. Today there are 3.3 Billion people or 45% of the world’s population on the Internet every day.
  1. The Influence of Social Media. 66% of the 3.3 Billion people on the Internet on a daily basis are on some social media platform. Chances are 75% of those people are on Facebook. In a survey by Dimensional Research, 90% of consumers say a positive review influenced their decision to purchase. 44% of those positive reviews are from Facebook.
  1. Business Has Grown Mobile. Since 2014, mobile has been the predominant medium to access the Internet supplanting the PC. Mobile devices particularly the smartphone accounts for 60% of online traffic. It is estimated that there will be 6.1 Billion smartphones by 2020.
  1. Convenience Carries a Premium. In the local scene, Filipinos are getting frustrated with the government’s inability to solve the traffic situation. Businesses lose an estimated Php3 Billion per day due to traffic. Online solutions are becoming more viable to offset the drop in productivity.
  1. This Is The Trend. In the United States, it is estimated that 30% to 45% of the workforce is composed of home-based workers. According to Bejan Douraghy, CEO of Artisan Talent, 33% of their roster is made up of freelancers. Bejan estimates this number will go up to 50% by 2020.

All of these factors and data validate the viability of starting an online business in the Philippines. Demand for online business is fueled by need and influenced by the shift to the mobile lifestyle by consumers. It presents a more efficient avenue for running a business and connecting with customers.

Small business owners are characterized as having limited sources of funding. Managing an online business presents a low-cost alternative for owning a business but carries tremendous potential for high earnings.

Did you know that an online business owner earned Php7.5 Million in one year? That is Php625,000 a month for 12 months!

How many regular office jobs do you know that will pay you that kind of money in total compensation for one year?

Comparatively, an online business owner generates higher net income than a regular full time employee or FTE assuming both workers earn the same amount of money per month:


Item Online Business FTE
Gross Income 18,000 18,000
Deductions 1,800 5,400
Direct Costs 1,300 6,600
Total Expenses: (3,100) (12,000)
Net Income: 14,900 6,000


The reality is an online business can earn higher gross income than an FTE because he/she can manage as many clients as their schedule allows. Secondly, an online business is open 24/7. It doesn’t close shop, unlike a brick and mortar establishment.

Have I stroked the entrepreneurial fire within you? Now, let’s begin.

How to Start an Online Business in the Philippines

1. Identify Your Business Idea

Every business starts out with an idea, and the root of every idea is an inspiration.

Many entrepreneurs find ideas during moments of inspiration but somehow fail to turn these into reality. When inspiration hits you, capture the moment and transpose it to paper. Don’t stop at one idea. If inspiration hits you like a tsunami, write down as many ideas as you can think of.

The next step is to pinpoint the most viable business idea. Your criteria should be as follows:

  • Level of interest
  • Level of expertise
  • Level of experience

Keep in mind that when starting a business, you are not doing this to service yourself but a target market. In other words, just because you like it does not mean your target market will.

Once you have narrowed down your list of business ideas, do Keyword Research to make your final selection. It will give you an idea of how your target market views your business ideas.

Google Adwords is an effective tool for keyword research. Simply type in the business idea and check the keywords that are highly competitive. Choose the less competitive keywords to give yourself a better chance of positioning yourself in the market.

Keyword research will help you identify the product and the brand for your business. Make your final selection and commit to focusing your energies on this concept moving forward.

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