Top 10 Most Recommended Business Ideas for Beginners


As a lifelong serial entrepreneur, I do my best to help people achieve their dream of running their own business. It is my advocacy to encourage people to follow through with their plans of becoming entrepreneurs. In the countless business forums that I have spoken at, one of my favorite questions is to cite the most recommended business ideas for beginners.

The truth is there are many great ideas beginners can capitalize on. All it takes to come up with an idea is a moment of inspiration. The challenge is to make that idea come to execution. Inevitably, that comes down to how committed and dedicated you are to becoming an entrepreneur.

In my case, I routinely come up with these ideas in the course of my work. In addition to my experiences and research, I meet many interesting people who share their experiences and of course, ideas on what may constitute as a viable enterprise in the Philippines.

The business ideas outlined herein are just a few good suggestions you can consider to launch your entrepreneurial career.

Top 10 Most Recommended Business Ideas for Beginners

1. E-Commerce Retailer

This business idea is a bit more extensive compared to the rest but becoming an e-commerce retailer can be a successful venture for a beginner.

I know where I am coming from because I started an e-commerce business early in my entrepreneurial career.

Filipinos are not just voracious shoppers; we are great buyers! We know quality and best value when we see one. This is why shopping is one of the most popular pastimes in the country. It doesn’t matter if our funds are tight, we’ll always know where to find the best deals.

As an e-commerce retailer, you are bringing the merchandise to your customers. They no longer have to leave the comforts of their home to purchase goods and services. And neither will you!

Having an e-commerce business this day makes shopping convenient, offer better deals, and could help you earn higher profit margins with just a computer and the internet

More and more people worldwide shop online. In 2013, global online market sales totaled US$ 1.25 Trillion, and this was before mobile gadgets became the dominant medium for online traffic.

Platforms you can use to start your e-commerce shop are Shopify and BigCommerce.

2. Transcription Service

Transcription is one of the growing segments of outsourcing. Medical transcription is a worth US$15 Billion industry in the United States alone. Of this amount, US$40 Million has been outsourced to the 20 medical transcription service providers in the Philippines.

This number is expected to rise as more Filipinos are becoming freelance medical transcribers.

For service providers and clients alike, hiring home-based transcribers to offer the following benefits:

  • Lower cost option
  • Higher volume of work
  • Better quality of work

In a 2010 study I conducted on the transcription business, I interviewed some transcribers who transitioned from office-based to home-based operations.

They said they were able to earn more money because their volume of work was higher. Most of them would transcribe an hour after they woke up and would average 1,500 lines per day.

At the reported rate of US$0.04 per line, they were making an average of US$1,800 or Php81,000 per month! All while staying in the comforts of their home.

Quality was also higher because home-based transcribers are less stressed. They don’t have to deal with the problems of traffic, flooding, and office politics.

Your investment would include a desktop PC, a good quality headset, a foot pedal, and Internet service of at least 3 Mbps.

3. Virtual Assistance

Virtual assistance is one of the fastest growing in the world. Whether you refer to them as freelancers, home-based workers or telecommuters, virtual assistants are people who work online from a remote location and contracted to render specialized service by a client.

From a few hundred thousand virtual assistants in the 1990’s, today there are millions of virtual assistants worldwide. Online job community Elance-Upwork reports that the Philippines accounts for 1/8 or one million of their eight million freelancers.

A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur engaged in the business of selling virtual assistance services. As such, he is accountable for all his expenses. Clients only pay them a management fee. Thus, a Virtual Assistant is a low-cost option especially for businesses with limited income.

By delegating non-essential or highly specialized tasks to a Virtual Assistant, the business can focus more on the core functions of the enterprise. Thus, a Virtual Assistant will improve productivity.

Finally, a Virtual Assistant provides flexible business solutions because he or she can work during different hours of the day. Businesses can have their operations managed 24/7 simply by hiring virtual assistants and assigning them to end-of-office hours.

4. Blogging / Writing

Blogging is fast becoming a popular activity for first-time entrepreneurs because it is in high demand. Need convincing? Take a look at some of the statistics on blogging:

  • 77% of Internet users read blogs.
  • 23 minutes of Internet time is spent reading blogs.
  • Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads.
  • 61% of consumers are influenced by a blog.
  • 81% of consumers trust information from a blog.

Blogging has become the centerpiece of content marketing. Even though content can be delivered through videos and podcasts, delivery through blogs remains effective and important for an inbound marketing campaign.

Keep in mind though that blogging isn’t just about having the ability to write. To become an effective blogger you must write content that is relevant, unique and engaging enough to compel the reader to action. You should also know how to incorporate keywords in your blog.

Keywords are the most searched words or phrases when launching a query. Strategically incorporating keywords will help your blog get found on the Internet.

You can make money in blogging through the following ways:

  • Blog as a freelancer and vie for jobs at popular online job networks such as Elance-Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer.
  • Advertising banners.
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising.
  • Affiliate Sales.
  • CPM Advertising.

As a blogger, you can get paid US$0.015 per word. If you have three clients that need 30 articles with a minimum word count of 1,000, you can potentially earn Php63,750 per month!

Related: How I Earned 190,957 PHP (US$4,062.93) on a Single Blog

5. Food Delivery Service

I cannot write a business idea article for the Philippines without mentioning food retail. Filipinos love to eat! There is always opportunity in food.

However, given the rising cost of rent, utilities and salaries, it would be better to run a food delivery service from home. You save up on rent and other expenses. You only have to pay for gas, power, and water. Rent is one the big expense items in the food business.

There are commercial spaces for rent that calculate rent at 34% of gross revenue. This is too much considering food cost may average 50% and salaries at 10%.

Come up with meals that are easy to prepare, have good profit margins and taste good. With lower overhead costs, you can give customers more value by using fresh ingredients and increasing portion sizes.

6. English Tutorial Service

There’s an excellent reason why the Philippines is growing as a popular destination or source for English instruction.

Our English proficiency rating is among the highest in the world. In fact, a study by  Global English Corporation in 2012 ranked the Philippines as number one in business English; higher than the United States!

English is regarded as our second language, but it seems more like our primary language considering the importance our educational institutions bestow upon it. There are some schools that post signs that read “This is an English-Speaking Campus.”

I have friends who have quit their regular office jobs to work as English tutors from home. They have to pass courses and attain a level of proficiency to become an English tutor.

Most of their students are South Koreans and Japanese. According to them, they average Php30,000 per month. But the hours are short; most only spend 4 hours a day online. They could earn more if they took in more students.

7. Computer Repair Home Service

One person who is on my speed dial is my computer repair man. Every time I encounter problems with my PC, laptop or tablet I just give him a call and within two hours and Php500 later, everything is as good as new.

He says business has never been better. He has been getting more clients from referrals and because people are becoming fearful of having their computers serviced at commercial centers.

There are horror stories of important information and confidential files being stolen and unnecessary repairs being conducted. He believes this is because these proprietors have to make more money to cover rental charges.

Business is so good, and his demand is higher that he advised me of a price increase next month of Php800 per visit! He says he averages three clients per day, and he works seven days a week.

At the adjusted rates, that’s equivalent to Php72,000 per month! He shared he wanted to hire 1 – 2 more technicians to help him cover additional clients.

If you have the skill and the knack for fixing computers, home computer service could be the business for you.

8. Professional Consultancy

Many businesses need back office support and other specialized services, but the cost of doing these in-house will be expensive.

Among the most in-demand services include:

  • Accounting
  • Website Design
  • Social Media
  • Interior Designer
  • Real Estate

If you are licensed or certified in accounting, interior design and real estate why not come up with your practice?

In accounting, all you need are accounting software like QuickBooks and a few encoders. Many businesses are outsourcing accounting and payroll services to limit spending only on direct costs of operations.

An interior designer probably has her team of assistants and contractors while a real estate agent who has a good-sized listing and network of connections can have a lucrative career helping people buy and sell a property.

Meanwhile, many businesses need a website but have no idea on how to go about it or the costs. There is a large market of opportunity for web designers. Given this day and age of digital technology and the Internet, only 42% of businesses have websites. Unless your business has a website, it would be difficult to maximize your online opportunities.

Similar to blogging, social media marketing is another powerful tool to build markets and convert leads into paying customers. But social media marketing isn’t just about posting content on Facebook. You need strategy and implementation. If you have a solid background in social media marketing, your skills will be in demand.

9. Event Planner

If you talk to friends who got married and did arrangements on their own, they would probably tell you that in hindsight, they should have hired an event planner.

Weddings are beautiful occasions. This is one of the life’s greatest milestones because ideally, we should only get married once. But the planning can be very stressful for the couple. We all want a “fairy tale wedding” but the time and resources needed to pull this off can be daunting.

An event planner has the resources, connections, and experience to help you achieve your dream wedding. They have a network of suppliers and contractors for flowers, invitations, food, photography and other services your wedding would need.

So with an event planner onboard, the couple can go about their daily lives and meet only a few times a week to discuss details.

An event planner is also in demand for birthdays, anniversaries and corporate events. You can have so many offers to plan events that you will be busy 12 months of the year.

10. General Cleaning Services

Many households are dual-income meaning both husband and wife either hold down a job or run a business.

Recent developments in labor policy have discouraged Filipinos from hiring household help. I know of families who no longer employ maids, cooks or drivers opting to do these chores themselves.

What they do is contract general cleaning services once or twice a month to keep their homes looking tidy and new. The cost for these services ranges from Php35 to Php55 per square meters. A house with a floor area of 250 square meters will take approximately two hours to clean excluding carpets and other fabric materials.

Your investment would include cleaning supplies and equipment although some families only require the manpower. Make sure you contract people you can trust to work in these households.

Entrepreneurs are the global engine of growth

Statistically, 98% of all new business registered all over the world is categorized as small-scale enterprises owned and operated by entrepreneurs. Small businesses generate employment and stimulate aggregate spending which is good for the economy. Thus, entrepreneurs are the global engine of growth!

Go ahead and pursue your dream of owning and managing a business. If you have an idea that is not on this list but you feel strongly about it, by all means go for it! It is a noble pursuit that can transform your life as well as others.

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