15 Business Ideas to Earn Extra Cash at Home in the Philippines


Financial independence is a great thing but remains elusive if you are banking only on a monthly salary. If you are unemployed, the challenge of generating stable income is much harder but not impossible. Innovation is a precursor to becoming wealthy.

If you want to generate wealth, you have to be creative. Take control of your financial future by considering these 15 innovative business ideas to earn extra cash at home.

15 Home-Based Business Ideas to Earn Extra Cash in the Philippines

1. E-Commerce

The globalization of business, the evolution of digital technology and the increasing influence of the Internet have resulted in the tremendous growth of e-commerce.

In 2014, worldwide e-commerce sales topped $1.5 Trillion. The industry is projected to grow at a rate of 20% per annum. E-commerce sales in the United States are expected to hit $550 Billion in 2016.

If you plan to start an e-commerce business at home, all you need are:

  • Reliable, industrial type PC
  • Headset, printer/scanner
  • Minimum 3 MB Internet Bandwidth

If you plan to sell products, I suggest that you set up a corporation. To get the best prices, you will have to deal with manufacturer’s accredited wholesalers. They prefer to deal with corporations instead of sole proprietorships. You can register your business online with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Among the hottest e-commerce trends are:

  • Active Wear or “Athleisure” – Gym clothes that you can wear anywhere
  • Baby Products – Environment-friendly products like Jessica Alba’s “The Honest Company.”
  • Educational products – e-learning or digital products
  • Furniture and Home Décor
  • Pet Care Products
  • Specialty Foods- Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo Diet

2. Tutorial Services

This is a type of business that gives you a number of options:

  • Home-Based Tutorial Services – Students come to you for assistance in specific subjects
  • Online Based – You can also cater to the international market particularly to countries that want to improve English proficiency. The Philippines’ strongest markets are South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and China.
  • Off Site Tutorial Services – You go to the house of your students to render tutorial services

If you plan to open a Tutorial Services Center, you should be a licensed teacher or certified to provide instruction. If not, you should hire qualified teachers.

Your house should have the facilities to carry out instruction. You should have multiple computers, individualized workstations and different hours of instruction per grade level.

Again, it would be advisable to register your business as a corporation. Parents would prefer to entrust their children with duly registered and legal Philippine entities.

3. Cell Phone Loading

Is there a village or subdivision in the Philippines without a cell phone loading business? With a cell phone loading business, you already have a captive market inside your village.

All you need is to sign up as cellphone load vendor with a carrier such as Smart or Globe or an All-In-One SIM card supplier, and you’re on your way! You can use your cell phone or PC to send load electronically.

The start-up capital? 1,000 Pesos for the initial load.

The majority of mobile users in the Philippines are pre-paid because they can manage their phone expenses. In a nation of more than 72 million mobile users, you will always have a market for the electronic load.

The commission rate on the cell phone loading business averages 7%. Not bad considering that if you place your money in a savings account, all you will get is 2.5% per annum!

4. Sari-Sari Store

The quintessential home-based business! The Sari-Sari store is everyone’s favorite neighborhood grocery store.

First off, you should register your business to avail of tax benefits and better terms with suppliers and wholesalers. Merchandise in Sari-Sari stores is typically higher than the supermarket because it does not have the advantage of economies of scale.

Thus, if you want to have an advantage over your competitors having better wholesale prices will allow flexible retail pricing.

Second, sell diversified products to keep customers coming back. Offer cell phone loading services, school supplies or have a small canteen nearby.

Third, manage your store well! Keep track of inventory. Customers will not patronize stores that are frequently out of stock. Implement the practice “FIFO” or First-In, First-Out rotation of inventory. Make sure products are of good quality.

Remember the saying, “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Lastly, do not condone the practice of credit. This is the single reason why many Sari-Sari stores are shuttered up. If they can’t pay for your merchandise, direct them to a Sari-Sari store that accepts credit.

For a basic Sari-Sari store set up, the minimum investment is estimated to be 50,000 Pesos including 25,000 Pesos for initial inventory.

Related: Top 10 Sari-Sari Store Business Tips in the Philippines

5. Coffee Shop

I have seen some houses in the Paranaque area create an extension on the ground floor for a coffee shop. The places are very elegant, and the coffee is excellent. Some of these establishments sell home baked cakes and pastries which are among the best I have tasted.

A coffee shop is a low volume business. It takes people half an hour at least to finish a cup of coffee. Of course, what goes better with coffee? Internet service! Students and business people gravitate to coffee shops to study or conduct meetings. Unlike the high-end coffee franchises, Internet service in these home based coffee shops is free.

The set up looked expensive. You cannot use a home style coffee brewer for a coffee shop. You need commercial grade equipment, and the main item is the espresso maker. It must have at least two espresso stations and a steamer.

What you should do is explore a lease to own arrangement with the supplier of the espresso machines. If the supplier does not agree, try to negotiate for friendly terms.

This is the advantage of being registered as a corporation. Supplies are more flexible with their terms if they are dealing with a corporate entity. Other financing options to consider include:

  • Capital loan
  • Boot Strapping
  • Getting venture capitalists on-board
  • Getting partners or investors

Finally, you must have great quality coffee beans. The best coffee beans come from Brazil, Costa Rica, Africa, Jamaica and of course, the Philippines! The good thing about a coffee shop is that you do not have to worry much about spoilage.

Related: 5 Hot Reasons to Own a Coffee Franchise Not Named Starbucks

6. Internet Shop

Another standard home based business idea is the Internet shop. Personally, it is one of the first business I’ve set up when I was 18.

Despite the availability of Internet services almost everywhere and the popularity of smartphones, people still heavily patronize the Internet shop.

The biggest markets are the children and young adults who like to play online games. Many kids stay for up to 4 hours per day playing games like DOTA, LOL, and other popular titles.

You also have office people and students who want to have their documents printed and scanned.

This is a capital intensive business. You will need at least 5-10 computers for starters plus durable keyboards, headsets, speakers and workstations. Some companies offer lease to own programs on computers. Some include repair and maintenance services in their package.

At the end of the term, you can pay for the balance and own the PCs or enter into a new agreement. The advantage is that you don’t incur depreciation costs.

7. Day Care Center

For as long as I can remember, many residents have converted areas in their homes as Day Care Centers. Keep in mind, however, that if you plan to set up a Day Care Center, this will be closely scrutinized by the city government. You have to adhere strictly to their guidelines.

A Day Care Center is a viable business idea because the majority of young parents hold a full-time job. They will need to entrust their child or children to a center that can provide education as well as great care. You will need to hire licensed and experienced teachers. Make sure the people you hire have no criminal record.

Safety is a big issue in a Day Care Center especially if you are handling toddlers. City health inspectors may routinely pay you a visit to make sure the center is not hazardous to the children.

8. Barber Shop and Beauty Salon

I have also seen houses in the same Paranaque area convert their ground floor into a barber shop and beauty salon.

I decided to visit one of the establishments. There were only two barber’s chairs and one barber working. The place was air-conditioned, and the different hair styling certifications were posted on the wall.

I noticed the barber was very skilled in cutting the child’s hair. I had just gotten my hair cut a few weeks earlier, but I would not mind entrusting my head to this barber. The cost of a haircut? 60 Pesos! This is about 1/3 the price of a haircut in a fancy salon.

If you know of good, highly-skilled barbers, hair stylists, pedicurists and manicurists you can be a successful owner of a barber shop and beauty salon. All you need to do is build a loyal network of customers. Think about it. On the average, a person gets a haircut every month. You’re assured of regular business every month.

9. Virtual Assistance Services

One of the fastest growing careers is in virtual assistance. These are skilled individuals who work online and are contracted by businesses to manage a project or a set of responsibilities.

Virtual assistants are no longer just virtual secretaries or personal assistants. Because of the high demand for outsourced services, you can find a virtual assistant for just about any skill. These include more technical or specialized disciplines such as:

  • Transcription
  • Customer Support
  • Translation
  • Spreadsheet Creation
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Graphics Design
  • Content Creation

In the United States, it is estimated that 30% to 45% of the companies’ workforce are made up of virtual assistants. It is estimated that in 2020, 50% of the workforce will be composed of virtual assistants.

Outsourcing services lower cost of business without compromising productivity.

If you want to become a Virtual Assistant you must have a reliable computer, headset, good Internet connection and have the following qualifications:

  • Proficient in MS Office
  • Good English
  • Familiar with Project Management software programs
  • Good Writing Skills
  • Highly Organized
  • Flexible Working Hours

Virtual assistants earn from $3.50 to $10 per hour depending on the level of experience and skill set. The ones I know earn 35,000 Pesos per month.

10. Accounting Services

The majority of small businesses and startups fail because of money mismanagement. An accountant is a valuable asset for every business, especially for startups. But not many can afford the 50,000 Pesos salary an accountant makes.

The best solution is to hire accounting services on retention basis. If you are a CPA or know someone who is, you can charge businesses based on their need. For example:

  • 5,000 Pesos per month – Bookkeeping, General Ledger, Payroll
  • 10,000 Pesos per month – Basic services plus Benefits Management, Cash Flow and Income Statements, Balance Sheet reporting
  • 20,000 Pesos per month – Add Inventory Management, Financial Reports, Random Audits
  • Premium services; extra cost – Tax Filing, Tax Accounting, Business Registration, Internal/External Audit

Most businesses will subscribe to your basic package. You can also adjust the rates based on the number of employees. Many companies outsource their payroll services, and they pay the accounting company a percentage of total payroll.

11. Computer Repair

Another great business idea to earn extra cash at home is starting a computer repair shop.

PCs, laptops, notebooks, tablets and other forms of technology are subject to wear and tear. It is expensive to buy a new computer every few months. Having it repaired or upgraded is a better solution.

Home computer repair services are becoming increasingly popular because of its convenience. You don’t have to go to the mall. The computer technician can go to your home or have it fixed from a remote location. Of course, you can also go the technician’s home.

Another advantage is cost. A home based repair service does not factor in rent in their pricing. You only pay for transportation and if you need to buy replacement parts.

This business idea is also one of the first business as a service that I had setup in my small town when I was still a teenager.

12. Car Repair

If you’ve ever experienced your car stall just before leaving the house or worse, in the busy metropolis, you will understand why a home-based car service is another great business idea.

They can either go to your home, or if you’re stuck somewhere, they can send a mobile mechanic to troubleshoot your car. Compared to the “casa”, they charge much less, and the service is just as good if not better.

Depending on the extent of car trouble, they could recommend having your car brought to their place or have it fixed at your home over a period of time. If they cannot handle the problem, they will refer you to a good repair shop.

They are valuable when it comes to making small repairs such as removing dents and scratches. Some can even re-paint or do detail work on your car.

If you plan to start a car repair service the most important investment is on having a reliable, trusted group of highly skilled mechanics.

13. Bake Shop

Filipinos love carbohydrates. And after rice, bread could come in a close second to pasta. If you have the necessary skills and training to bake bread, cookies and other goodies, a great business idea for you is to start a bake shop at home.

You can either have a customized baking service which delivers goods or have a standalone shop outside your home. Either way, you will have to do minor renovations in your kitchen.

You should consider an industrial type bread baking oven which can handle more products. These types of equipment are made for commercial use. They have the necessary features to ensure product standards are met. You will have to expand your prep area to accommodate one or two more bakers.

Cakes are in demand year-round. There are birthdays, anniversaries and weddings every day. You may find yourself booked 365 days a year if your products are consistently good and highly recommended.

If you want to sell baked goods in your store, make sure you have a display case with air-tight sealing. Nothing is more unappetizing that seeing ants and flies on brightly colored cookies!

14. Laundry Services

A good friend of mine converted a section of their family home into a Laundromat. She started out with two machines and one dryer. Recently she expanded the area to bring in 1 more laundry machine. So yes, laundry service is a great business idea!

There is a captive market for laundry services because people are working more and have less time to do errands. Most of the patrons are call center workers who work graveyard, students who dorm and of course working moms.

Recently, there have been more self-service Laundromats opening. These are cheaper than the standard Laundromat because you run the machine yourself.

If you plan on starting a self-service Laundromat, make sure your area is in a high foot traffic location. The lower price means you have to depend on volume to generate good sales.

The largest investment here will be the machines. An industrial laundry machine may set you back 250,000 Pesos to 500,000 Pesos. You should try to negotiate terms with the supplier of the machines. Propose a lease-to-own arrangement or favorable terms.

Given the size of the investment, suppliers may be willing to give you payment terms of up to 6 months. The idea is to allow you to build your market for the first two months.

A capital loan from the bank should be your last option because the interest rates could be on the high side. This may impact your ability to pay off the machines and affect your cash flow at the same time.

Remember, you also have to buy industrial dryers. You will also need to stock up on detergent and other cleaning solutions.

15. Clothes Alteration Services

Another good business idea to earn extra cash from home is to offer clothes alteration services. Filipinos want to look good but at the same time, clothes can be very expensive.

We like to buy clothes from thrift stores and flea markets. But many also save money to buy branded apparel or formal clothes which cost ¼ of the average monthly wage.

Were you invited to stand in a wedding only to find out your jusi barong no longer fits? You can have your jusi barong altered for 500 Pesos or less. An altering service just saved you 10,000 Pesos for a brand new jusi barong!

Instead of buying a new pair, having these clothes fixed or altered is a smarter option.

You don’t need a big area for a clothes alteration business. But you would need a good sewing machine, supplies of assorted materials and of course, good sewers and cutters. The most popular clothes for alteration include:

  • Jeans
  • School uniform
  • Skirt
  • Jackets
  • Slacks

Your sewers must be fast and efficient. Most people need their clothes altered within 3 to 5 days.

Further reading: 33 Best Home-Based Business Ideas in the Philippines

Pick and Start a Business Idea to Earn Extra Income at Home

If you have a full-time job, you can still run any of these great business ideas to earn extra cash. An online based business idea such as e-commerce will run without you. If you plan to become a virtual assistant, you can set your schedule to accommodate clients.

As for the other business ideas, you should hire people to work for you. Consider hiring friends or family who may agree to help you out without pay just to get you started. If Mark Zuckerberg did it to start Facebook, why shouldn’t you?

With a home-based business, 24 hours may not seem enough time in a day. But as business gains traction and your bank account start to fatten up, the effort will be well worth it.

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