2017 figures out to be a challenging year for many businesses, especially for small-scale enterprises and start-ups.
Economic fundamentals are not at a point whereby conditions are ideal for business success. The Peso is deteriorating, and petroleum costs are rising. This means the repercussions for an import-dependent country like the Philippines will be more difficult. That is why we have offered more small business tips in the Philippines in 2017 compared to 2016.
Top 15 Small Business Tips in the Philippines for 2017
1. Make Decisions Based on Right-Fit
For some time, many of the entrepreneurs and company heads I knew placed too much emphasis on the details of the Curriculum Vitae. What they failed to recognize is that – given the right program and environment – anyone can excel.
But a person who cultivates behavioral patterns that disrupt productivity and creates dissension within the organization should never be tolerated. It doesn’t matter how intelligent or accomplished he or she is, sever the ties that bind.
If you associate yourself with people who are not aligned with your values, you will lead your business down the road to ruin.
The same goes for clients and customers. If you meet a prominent prospective client who shows no genuine concern for your interest and is averse to adapting a win-win proposition, halt the pursuit.
Antagonistic business practices are outdated; they died with the Cold War. Globalization is about opening new doors of opportunity. It is about bridging differences and forging strategic alliances not creating new barriers.
Right-fit will help you find stakeholders with shared interests. Whether they are employees, business partners, clients or end users, everyone pulls each other up.
2. Focus Only On What You Can Control
The last six months have not been kind to the Philippines:
- Political instability
- Increasing social discord
- Depreciation of the Philippine Peso
- Increasing prices of petroleum
- Worsening traffic conditions
- Increasing prices of commodities
- Collapse of the equities markets
Other countries in Asia have recovered, but the Philippine markets are moving on their own, unfortunately in the opposite direction.
Readers have been asking me what the outlook of business would be if circumstances continue to get worse.
My answer to them is to focus only on what they can control: their business.
Engaging people in political discussion is a waste of time. You cannot influence foreign exchange or the equities market. Traffic, gas and commodity prices can only be solved by the right combination of fiscal and monetary policy which is not your forte.
Focusing your energy on these issues is a waste of time. While you’re ranting or arguing with a dissenter in Facebook, your business is calling you. It needs you. Give it your full and undivided attention.
3. Diversify Your Investments
There are opportunities everywhere. You just have to know where to look. The collapse of the Philippine stock market to below 6,800 points opens up opportunities for bargain hunting. Focus on blue chip companies but keep yourself well-informed of developments.
Prices of real estate have also stabilized especially in Southern Metro Manila. Look for development projects away from the metropolis which is overly saturated. Even worn down areas can be gentrified to attract more investments.
You should also consider the US Dollar as the US Federal Reserve is planning to hike its lending rates. Expect a stronger dollar when Donald Trump becomes President.
Try to maximize the returns on your money. It’s not a good idea to keep business revenues only in savings accounts. Find ways to make money work for you.
4. Study Your Numbers
You don’t have to be an accountant to appreciate the value of numbers. Don’t just keep track of your income. You should also closely monitor your expenses.
You may want to hire an accountant on a retainer basis. Some self-employed accountants charge 5,000 Pesos per month to maintain your financial records and provide you monthly reports.
To keep track of your money flows you need the following:
- Projected Income Statement
- Cash Flow Statement
- Balance Sheet
Your accountant can help you understand and interpret the numbers on the spreadsheet. In time, you should become proficient enough to do the accounting on your own.
Understanding your company’s financial position will guide you in designing business development strategies.
5. Work on Your Strengths
The usual advice you probably get is “Set aside your strengths and focus on your weaknesses.”
However, in business, time is a valuable commodity. If you have to allocate valuable time to shore up your weaknesses, you are diverting attention from the key functions that will make your business profitable.
In business, it would be best to dedicate your time on your core competencies. This way you would be able to increase productivity and improve the quality of products or services.