The new year has just started, and for several of us, 2016 represents a new period of welcome change. You have 365 days ahead of you to make a difference in your life. Business is often regarded as an effective lever of transformation. How you manage your business has repercussions not only on your fortunes but also on the lives of others.
Starting a business is not simply about building a new source of income. It is about taking charge of your life and charting a new course for a career. However, given the advantages of technology, you do not have to invest in building a brick-and-mortar establishment for your business. You can start a business from your home and still make a great living.
Related: 33 Best Online Business Ideas in the Philippines 2016
The following are a few reminders before you start a home-based business:
- Register your business either with the Securities and Exchange Commission or with the Department of Trade and Industry.
- Secure the required papers (e.g., corporation papers, business permit, and clearance from the Bureau of Internal Revenue).
- Check with your village association if restrictions on setting up a home- based business exist.
- Put up a website and social media accounts to market and promote your business.
- Conduct a thorough research on your business idea.
- Prepare a business plan based on your research.
Top 10 Home-Based Business Ideas and Opportunities in the Philippines in 2016
1. Cell Phone Loading Business
As long as the phone companies continue to fall behind in their commitments to build facilities that support landlines, the demand for mobile services continues to rise in the Philippines. The majority of these services cater to prepaid subscribers.
According to a 2011 study by the World Bank, 96% of the mobile subscriptions in the Philippines are prepaid. How mind-boggling is 96%?
In 2013, the Philippines had a population of 94,013,200 and a mobile subscriber count of 106,907,068. Assuming that the percentage remains the same, that’s 102,630,078 prepaid subscriptions, which is still more than the entire population of the Philippines!
Starting a cell phone loading business is easy. You can select the carrier of your preference and then inquire its load retailer arrangements. You can also provide for several service providers but make sure to use a separate cell phone for each of them. Some third parties offer arrangements to become a single load agent for all the major carriers.
With this business, customers may constantly go to your house or send text messages requesting for load. You have to be very patient because the request may sometimes come in during the most inopportune times, such as when you’re about to sleep!
2. Food Delivery
If you have exemplary culinary skills, you should consider starting a food delivery business from your home.
Food retail is a niche that always has a market because Filipinos love to eat. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when launching a food delivery business:
- Designate a separate kitchen in your house for food preparation. Doing so allows you to prepare food without interruption.
- Food cost greatly reduces profit margins. Do what the chefs do. Buy from the fresh markets every day, where the costs are low. Control the inventory. Finally, remember that fresh always tastes better!
- Always provide value for money. Serve good-sized portions of great quality food at affordable prices.
Test your services by offering your menu within a limited area near your home. Once your system runs smoothly, you can begin expanding your menu to other areas.
3. Online Retail
Filipinos are prolific shoppers. They know where to shop for the best merchandise for their budget. However, they are also tired of the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila.
These factors open up great opportunities for an online retail business. As a retailer, you can get generous pricing concessions from authorized suppliers of the products you plan to sell. Your products can be competitive, and you can offer the convenience of home delivery.
You will need the following:
- Reliable computer
- e-Commerce website
- Business documents, which are requested by suppliers
- Merchant account
The main component in an online retailer business is your website. You have to invest in this. Do not opt for a “do-it-yourself” website. An e- commerce website is complex because it has many features.
You have to make sure that your website is mobile responsive and accessible by multibrowsers. Remember that since 2014, 60% of online traffic has originated from mobile gadgets. If your website cannot be accessed with a smart phone, Internet users will not search for it again.
4. Virtual Assistance
Did you know the Philippines ranks among the top three providers of virtual assistance support in Asia? From their own survey, the online job platform Elance reveals that 1/8 of their eight million freelancers are from the Philippines!
There will always be a good demand for virtual assistance services because businesses are constantly looking for ways to streamline costs without compromising productivity. Virtual assistance is their best option to run their businesses without incurring the additional costs involved in hiring full-time employees.
To become a virtual assistant, you need the following:
- Reliable computer
- Good headset
- Online profile in several online job platforms (e.g., Elance, Guru, and freelancer.com)
- Above-average English proficiency
- Familiarity with several online collaboration tools (e.g., ASANA, DropBox, Skype, and Slack)
- Proficiency in MS Office
Given the development of the Internet and the popularity of social media, businesses have turned to a less intrusive form of marketing that is effective in generating leads. This form of marketing is called content marketing, and its centerpiece is blogging.
How in demand is blogging? In 2014, a Filipino made Php 2.6 million in one year by creating content and through blogging for several clients!
Obviously, you need to be proficient in English writing to become a good blogger. Your spelling and grammar must be spot-on all the time. However, your ability to create relevant, engaging, and inspiring content is the most important.
Here are a few tips to become a good blogger:
- Write constantly
- Read up on several subject matters
- Be organized in your approach
- Be detail oriented in spelling and grammar
- Write from your heart
If you have an eye for telling a story, photography may be the home business for you. Photographers are constantly in demand because various events take place every day.
You have birthday parties, weddings, corporate events, and anniversaries. You can even offer your services to marketers looking for materials to be done. Magazines and websites are also constantly hiring photographers for graphic design purposes.
This business requires a relatively huge investment because a professional camera and its supporting equipment are very expensive.
7. Website Design and Management
Businesses have slowly come around to understand the importance of having a website.
As of 2014, only 53% of businesses have a website. I expect this number to rise correspondingly with the increase in the population of smart phone owners. It is estimated that by 2017, there will be five (5) billion smart phone users in the world.
And most of them will be from Asia!
If you want to become a website designer, I strongly advise you to take courses and work as an apprentice with another website designer for 3 to 6 months. Experience is always a good thing to have, and the best training you will get is actual work.
A website designer’s job is not finished once the website is turned over to the client. You have to constantly monitor the performance of the website to make sure that all of its features run smoothly.
8. Computer Repair
As more and more people become dependent on the Internet, businesses will continue to invest in technology, including hardware. However, computers are subject to wear and tear. After a year, a unit may be either incapacitated or obsolete.
A computer repair business from home is a good idea because, for sure, your rates are lower than those who operate from a commercially leased property.
Even if lease-to-own options are available, most businesses are hesitant to spend money on an asset that quickly depreciates. They would rather upgrade it or have the old unit fixed.
Expand your services to laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
This is one of the promising industries in freelancing. The Philippines is a popular destination for companies that need transcription work done. There are three popular types of transcription services: medical, legal, and audio.
If you want to become a transcriptionist, enrolling in a few transcription courses is a good idea. Accuracy is the most sought after quality in a transcriber. Doctors and lawyers are constantly looking for transcriptionists with a 95% accuracy rating.
You need to have high proficiency level in English and a background in the field of transcription you want to work in. For example, if you choose to become a medical transcriber, having a background in the sciences helps understand many of the complex terminologies.
The following are the must-haves as a transcriptionist:
- Reliable computer
- Stable Internet connection (you will be receiving a lot of data)
- Knowledge with CRM
- Foot pedal to control speed of audio
10. Tutorial Services
This type of business offers you a wide range of possibilities. Here are just a few of them:
- Hands-on tutorial services. You can have people come over to your house to be tutored, or you may go to their homes.
- Online-based tutorial services. You may create a “virtual classroom” where you can teach your students.
- Online assessment services. You can have students send you copies of their tests and homework, conduct an assessment of their performance, and recommend ways to improve.
You can diversify your service by accommodating preschool, grade school, and high school students and by providing instructions for prerequisite subjects in college. You can also target the international market by providing English tutorial. South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan are large markets for Filipino instructors.
Before you launch a tutorial service, make sure you have good teachers or instructors in your team. They must be patient and have a great disposition to work with students who have various capacities for learning.
Remember, there is no one single method for effective instruction. There are several types of learners, and your system should have the ability to adapt to each student’s learning capacity.
Start and move forward.
These are just 10 of the best home-based business ideas for 2016. For sure, there are many other ideas that you can consider for a home-based business.
To determine which business is right for you, do a simple introspection on yourself as an entrepreneur:
- “What are my skills?”
- “What are my interests?”
- “How do I relate with people?”
- “What are my shortcomings in entrepreneurship?”
- “Do I have a list of people I can depend on for my business?”
- “How much capital do I have for my business?”
- “Would I qualify for a business loan?”
- “Can I commit myself to the demands of an entrepreneurial career?”
Then, assess your home and see if the facilities are in place to support your business. If not, find out if you can afford to invest in having the facilities available for your home-based business.
Related: How to Start a Small Business at Home in the Philippines
Becoming an entrepreneur can be a rewarding career only if you are willing to put in the time, effort, and resources to manage and grow your business.