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Entrepreneurship in the Philippines is booming, now more than ever . While everyone can start their own business in theory, not everyone has what it takes to make it.
Before we dive into how to start your own business. Let us first define what it is.
A business is an entity that produces and sells goods or services to consumers. It can operate independently and make decisions based on its objectives.
There are many reasons to start your own business. Not only can you make money through this, but you can also gain valuable skills that will help you in your future.
Running a business can change your life, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
If you are about curious how to launch a startup in today’s hyper-competitive market, you’ve come to the right place.
Types of Business Organizations
Here are the different types of businesses you should know.
This type of business is the simplest type and the easiest to start. As its name suggests, it is owned and run by one person called a “proprietor.”
In this type of business, the proprietor is responsible for all the liabilities and debts of the business.
A partnership is a business association of two or more people who come together with the intention of carrying on business by sharing the profits, losses, gains, and any other financial obligations that may arise.
A corporation is a separate legal entity that is formed by a group of people or an individual who wants to establish a business as a separate and individual entity.
There are many types of corporations, and it depends on what you want to do with your corporation.
Best Business Tips to Successfully Launch & Grow your Business in the Philippines
Starting a business is no easy feat. This is why you need to have the right information before you dive in.
Thankfully, there are tips you can keep in mind to give your business idea more chances of succeeding.
Tips for Business Ideation
Ideation is the method of coming up with a new idea for a product, service, or business.
But how can you do this?
1. Improve a better existing service or product
Existing products and services may not have enough customer demand or may not be good enough to satisfy customers.
Take a look at its weaknesses and come up with ways to improve them.
For example, you can ask your friends about the things they’d like to change about handbags. You may find out that some people may want more pockets, or removable compartments.
2. Fulfill a need
Everybody has wants and needs. Some can be addressed by products or services and this can then lead to the birth of a bright business idea.
For instance, you are noticing that a lot of women don’t feel safe walking alone at night.
You can try to come up with a single-press alarm that would alert the police whenever they feel threatened.
3. Start with your own hobbies and passions for inspiration
It seems like it’s everybody’s dream to pursue a business that is in line with their passion. You can turn this into reality if you follow this tip.
Do you like painting? Great! What if you incorporate a business where you could help children learn to paint?
Or maybe you love cooking and you want to release paid eBook courses about Filipino dishes?
4. Come up with a cheaper alternative
If there is a service or product that costs too much, you can sell one that is of equal or better quality but costs less. Usually, this is achieved by manufacturing more volume at once.
For example, if you love to bake, you can make affordable cheesecake bites. Keep in mind that despite its low price point, it shouldn’t sacrifice quality.
6. Solve a problem
Do you know people who are suffering from a certain issue? Can you come up with a product or service that can solve that problem?
This could be a great idea to pursue.
For example, you may find out that many freelancers are having a hard time managing their finances. Perhaps you can develop an online accounting software to help them manage their taxes.
Tips for Business Planning
A business plan can be defined as a detailed, written statement of the goals, strategies and risks involved in starting, operating and growing your business over a period of time.
It should be presented in a well thought out, logical, and factual way.
A business plan helps you to clarify your business ideas and plans, as well as keep focused and decide what to do next.
In starting a business, you should note that your business plan should be realistic. It must cover all the areas that you need to consider before starting a business.
It should also be flexible because conditions will change during the course of your business.
So how can you ensure you create an effective business plan? Follow these tips.
7. Make sure it gives the reader a solid overview of what the business is all about
This is important to follow especially if you are looking for funding. From the start, you need to create a positive impression.
Include a table of contents, executive summary and an annotated table of contents.
You must also use clear and concise language to highlight key points and keep the tone professional.
Visualize your business.
Leverage the power of charts, graphs, and illustrations wherever possible to break up the text and help the reader understand and visualize your business.
8. Use templates for convenience and/or easy reference
Templates can help you organize and structure your information.
It will also do wonders in enabling you to organize your thoughts and present your plan in a logical and clear way.
Templates can also save you time, allowing you to get down to the business of actually writing your plan instead of having to decide how to structure your plan.
This template by DTI is recommended for micro, small, and medium businesses.
9. Be detailed yet concise
Include information about your business that is specific, relevant and significant to your line of business and competitive advantage.
Be honest and realistic about yourself, your ideas and your business, and don’t forget to cover all the relevant areas when writing your business plan.
This includes planning, organizing, marketing, developing and controlling all areas of your brand.
10. Pay attention to detail
Sometimes, the secret to great business plans is in not in the major stuff — it’s in the details.
For example, you must use logical and well thought-out language.
The tone should also be professional and send a message that you are trustworthy. It should also reflect the unique personality of your brand.
11. Proofread and polish
Your business plan should be free from plagiarized statements, errors, and spelling mistakes.
Once you are done writing your business plan, proofread it. Look for mistakes in spelling, grammar and punctuation.
You can also seek the help of a friend or colleague to go through it with you. Better yet, hire a professional to proofread it for you.
Tips for Funding your Business
Funding refers to the process of seeking and obtaining the money needed to fund your business.
In the past, business startups had limited access to traditional financing sources. But now, there are new and easier ways to seek financing to make your business plan a reality.
Here are the types of funding or ways to find capital for your business.
Self-funding is when you use your own money to start your business. You may use your own cash reserves, personal loans, and even credit cards.
Although this is the least expensive way to start a business, it can be risky because you’re putting your own money on the line.
13. Venture capital investors
Venture capital investors have a high net worth. They fund your business in exchange for a share of ownership in your company.
These people take calculated risks and hope to earn a high return on investment.
14. Small business loan
A small business loan is when a private bank or lending institution gives you a loan to start or grow a small business.
Small business loans often come with fixed interest rates and longer payment terms.
15. Business or start-up incubators
A business or start-up incubator helps you create, develop, and grow a new business.
Many incubators provide shared office space, networking opportunities, and business training and mentoring, as well as financing for small or start-up businesses.
Crowdfunding is when your supporters contribute money to a new venture, typically through the internet, often in exchange for a reward.
A common type of crowdfunding is a Kickstarter campaign where you receive small amounts of money from a large number of people to fund a specific project.
Learn more about Crowdfunding in the Philippines here.
17. Loan from family or relatives
A loan from family or relatives is when you borrow money from a family member or friend.
Borrowing from friends and family can be risky, but if you can repay the loan, it can be a viable option for funding your business.
Tips for Launching your Business
After you’ve obtained your funding, you can finally launch your business. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure your business launch is successful.
18. Make sure you’ll have everything up and running on day 1
This is pretty obvious, but people often underestimate the importance of preparing all the materials that will be needed on launch day.
Make sure you have all your products and equipment ready.
This includes brochures, business cards, your website, SEO strategy, and many more. If you have a physical store, prepare a price list, and make sure that all packaging will be ready.
19. Set up a website
A website is a great starting point for your business. It allows you to post the details of your products and services, get in touch with your prospects, and announce any special offers online.
Your website will also be a good source of getting new clientele and professional contacts.
If you want your website to be a success from the first day, you will need to use a professional web design team.
Professional web designers will create a website that will not only look nice, but also work well on all devices.
20. Create social media accounts
Another great way of getting in touch with your clients is through social media. Create an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and any other social media available.
Try to post photos, videos, and other teasers to create a buzz before your opening or launch day. This can include sending out products to influencers to hype up their fans.
In the beginning, try to be present on social media platforms where your target audiences are spending more time in. This will allow you to promote your business, share content, and get your voice heard.
21. Observe and track day-to-day operations
It’s crucial to observe how your clients react to the products and services you offer. After a few days, you may need to adapt your offerings to increase the satisfaction of your customers.
It’s very important to track day-to-day operations and adapt your marketing plan accordingly. This will help you know what works and what doesn’t work.
22. Provide stellar customer service
Make sure you are available and ready to help your clients at all times.
As your business grows, you will be able to hire a customer service team who will be able to assist your clients for you.
Tips for Business Operations & Management
This refers to the administration of business practices to ensure you achieve the highest level of efficiency within your organization.
Here are some tips to keep in mind so you can run and manage your business more efficiently.
23. Hire the right people
A company is only as good as its employees. If you hire good people, your company will succeed.
The right employees will help your company reach its full potential. Do not rush your hiring process.
If so, you may risk putting your business in the hands of people who are not qualified to meet the needs of your customers.
24. Keep detailed records
As a business owner, you will need to monitor your firm’s finances and operations to ensure you are running a profitable and successful company.
You should follow a system to record everything that happens within the company. To make this easier, you can leverage technology.
Use accounting software so you can create a program that will automatically update your financial records and make them easier to view.
25. Manage your inventory
Every business needs a supply of inventory to operate at all times. You will need to manage this inventory to ensure the products you have in stock are the ones that will sell the most.
You will also need to know the current inventory levels at all times so you can avoid running out of stock. Don’t forget to have a system of ordering new inventory so you are never short on products.
26. Maintain clear and transparent communication with your team
The company’s employees need to stay informed and know what is going on within the organization.
You will need to make sure you communicate with your team on a regular basis so they know what is happening in the company and what their responsibilities are.
It is crucial to hold regular staff meetings to keep everyone informed. You should also communicate clearly with your employees about the company’s requirements and expectations of them.
If a member of your team has a problem with something that is happening, you should make sure you handle the situation as quickly as possible to avoid any issues.
You can handle any conflict by communicating with the conflicting parties and making sure you have solutions for the problems they are experiencing.
To make communication easier and more convenient, you can use business tools such as:
- Google Meet
- Microsoft Teams
- Team Viewer
27. Invest in things that will help the business in the long term
While it’s important to make sure the company has enough cash to operate, you should spend a little money on things that will help the organization in the long term.
This can include things like process automation, marketing campaigns, office equipment or vehicles that are used for deliveries.
You should also invest in things that will improve your business’ image. This can include building a new sign for your store, or new equipment to accommodate more order.
Recommended Reading: Complete Guide to Biz Dev
Tips for Marketing your Business
Marketing involves planning and implementing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives.
The current marketing environment is becoming increasingly complex as it adapts to new technology.
Therefore, you need to keep up with modern marketing practices. Learn more about the best marketing ideas for Filipinos here.
28. Make a Google Business profile
Google is by far the best way to reach out to potential customers, whether you’re a small local business or an international corporation. Google has a reputation for being a high-quality and time-saving tool that is worth using.
Google offers free Google Business profiles for local businesses. Optimize this as much as possible. After all, people go to Google every day to search for new products.
Check to make sure your business is listed in the Google maps results. If it is not, you can add your business yourself.
29. Promote your website
Getting your company website live is the first step in engaging customers online. As mentioned earlier, a website is essential so the world can know about your products and services.
Having a website is essential in today’s age of digital marketing. It is the easiest way to reach millions of people worldwide, and it’s also the best way to provide information about your products and services.
30. Set up your social media pages
As with getting your website in order, you must also have your social media pages ready. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Tiktok will help you reach millions of potential customers.
But because these social media platforms are saturated with so many brands, you need to take the extra mile to ace your content.
31. Showcase online customer reviews
Customer reviews are an effective way to spread the word about a product or service. Online reviews help potential customers make informed decisions, and they can also serve to boost your online credibility.
Another reason why customer reviews are so effective is because they are relatable. This is particularly important if you are relatively new to your market area.
32. Advertise via Google or Facebook ads
Once you have created a Google or Facebook page, you can use the free and paid options available on both platforms to get the word out about your business.
Social media platforms can significantly influence online purchasing decisions.
That’s why many businesses turn to social media advertising tools such as Google and Facebook to promote their products and services. Advertising on these platforms is also relatively cheap.
Create and test ad campaigns for your business on social media and other platforms. You will be able to see which ads generate the most effective results by using tools.
For example, you can run 5 campaigns on Facebook for two months. After this period, you need to check which of the ads worked best. From here, you can make changes as needed.
33. Join online communities
You can join groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as forums and niche sites. Be sure to follow the rules and post content that is relevant to your industry.
Don’t forget to engage with other members and promote your business whenever it is appropriate to do so.
For example, if you own an interior design business, you can leverage and showcase your work through viral Facebook groups such as Home Buddies Philippines.
34. Networking at events
When you attend events and conferences, you can make connections and potential partnerships that will help grow your business.
For instance, you may meet the president of a well-known organization who you can later ask to partner with you for an event. This will help you improve your reputation and customer reach.
35. Hold promos and giveaways
Promotions are a great way to draw attention to your new or existing products and services.
More importantly, they can help you increase your customer base and keep existing customers engaged.
It’s common for brands on Instagram to hold giveaways. Some of the mechanics you can follow for giveaways include:
- They must mention a friend in the comments section
- They must share the giveaway post on Instagram or Facebook story (don’t forget to tag the brand)
- They must be following your brand
Tips for Improving Sales
A sales process is like the map that guides your customer’s journey from seeing your product, to buying a product from you. Here are some tips to consider to create and manage your sales.
36. Create a well-tailored sales process
Having a standardized process is integral if you want to maximize sales. This involves the following steps:
- Searching new leads or finding prospects
- Connecting to prospects and leads
- Give an effective pitch to potential customers
- Handle issues and objections that make come up in the customer journey
- Close a sale
- Nurture customers and upsell more products or services
37. Start with prospecting and qualifying leads
Prospecting for potential customers starts with your marketing team. These people should be constantly prospecting for new leads or customers to ensure you get more sales.
But what is the difference between prospects and leads? A person interested in your product is called a lead.
However, they may not be able to afford it so they won’t be considered a prospect.
Keep in mind that you should not start selling too early. Before you have a conversation with a customer, you need to qualify if they are a lead or a prospect first.
38. Outline your buyer’s journey
A buyer’s journey involves their experience from the moment they encounter your business to the day they make a purchase. This is a crucial component of the sales process.
For example, a potential customer may hear about your business on Tiktok. Then, they look at your posts. Finally, the customer may check your website, and purchase the product.
Understanding the buyer’s journey will help you figure out how to best capture prospects, and what kind of information you can give to help ease the customer’s concerns.
Creating an outline of the buyer’s journey will help you organize your sales efforts.
39. Use CRM software to manage sales
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a software designed to help businesses manage their clients and potential clients.
CRM software is designed to help companies scale their sales efforts. The software is used to manage customer details, track prospects, and automate sales activities.
Some of the most popular CRM software tools you can use include:
- HubSpot CRM
Know more about it here.
40. Track and review sales performance
You can figure out how to improve your sales by reviewing your sales performance. This can be done by using metrics.
Some of the metrics you should use are:
- Total revenue
- Average revenue per account, product, and customer
- Market penetration
- Percentage of revenue from new and existing customers
- Win rate
- Year over year growth
- Quota Attainment
- Sales cycle length
- Sales conversion rate
- Customer retention rate
- Customer lifetime value
- Average deal size
Tips for Managing your Business’ Finances
If you want your business to stay afloat, you need to know finance management techniques. This will ensure that your brand will remain financially healthy and stable.
Doing this can be a challenge for many business owners so read the tips listed below to make it easier.
41. Maintain good business credit
It is important that you have good business credit. If you have good business credit, the bank will be more likely to approve you for a loan.
42. Always monitor your books
You should always monitor your books. Keep track of your income and expenses. There is no way to know if your business will be successful if you don’t do this.
43. Hire an accountant
If your business is doing well and you are expecting more income in the future, you need to hire an accountant.
An accountant will keep track of your income. They will also make sure that you pay your taxes on time.
44. Don’t mix personal and business funds
If you earn money from your business, don’t use that money to pay for your personal expenses.
Some business owners are so busy with their business that they forget to sort their finances. If you want your business to succeed, separate your business and personal finances.
This can be done by opening separate bank accounts.
45. Create an emergency fund
If you want to avoid being stressed out all the time, you need to create an emergency fund.
If something unexpected happens and you don’t have an emergency fund, you will find yourself in a tight financial situation like ending up in debt.
Tips for Developing a Business Exit Strategy
The day you decide to leave your business is not the day your business operation will cease. This is where your exit strategy comes into play.
Your business exit strategy refers to what will happen if you want to leave your business in the future. It outlines the transition that will follow.
Here are some of the most effective exit strategies for small business owners:
46. Ask someone in the family to run the business
A business is like a legacy. It can be continued to the next generation if a successor is prepared. This can be your child or other relative.
One of the upsides of this strategy is you can groom your successor years before you leave the company. However, this may bring stress to your family.
47. Get acquired by another business or merge with them
This is a very common exit strategy. It involves selling the business to another business or a group of investors.
In some cases, you may merge your business with another business. If you merge with a capable company, you can give your brand more opportunity to scale.
48. Become part of “Acquihire”
This is typically practiced in the technology industry. Large companies may purchase your business with the aim of hiring your employees.
One of the best things about this strategy is you can negotiate the terms to give you and your employees more profit.
49. Employee or management buyout
This exit strategy is where some of the current employees or even managers acquire the business with their own money or with a loan from a bank.
Because these people already know how to run your business, it will increase its chances of maintaining good performance.
50. Sell your stake to an investor or partner
You may come across an investor who is willing to purchase a certain percentage of your business.
Alternatively, you may offer a partnership to a specific investor or a group of investors.
51. Take your business public (IPO)
If your business is successful, you may consider taking it public. IPO is short for “initial public offering”.
It is where your business is listed on a stock exchange in order to raise money.
Of course, this method cannot be used by all companies. But if it’s possible for your company and the conditions are right, this can be a lucrative exit strategy.
52. Liquidate your business
This exit strategy involves selling all your assets, such as your equipment, buildings, and other assets. The money will go to your shareholders as compensation for the shares they hold.
It is important to note that this exit strategy can be pursued only when you intend to shut down your entire business.