“Don’t open a business in the Philippines” is something I have heard so many times. But what is the answer in reality? There are reasons expats have turned away from business varying from harassment and death threats to little or no money in the venture. But there are also some very wealthy people in the Philippines who have developed businesses into multi million peso industries and I am talking about foreigners as well as locals.
I think what puts a lot of people off is the paperwork as well as working in an environment that isn’t native to Western chains of thought. For example processing can be slow for documents and registration but then again it is in other countries. What does make a difference is having friends or friends of friends to speed everything up. No doubt there are parts that have to work through due process but generally most things can be taken up a few notches. If your willing to put in the time especially with a business you can develop multiples of e.g. Net cafes, jeepneys, salons etc. the reason being that you get used to the processes and also who to deal with. A lot of the time speaking to the right person on a visit can get it done in at least half the time. The same as having all the forms pre-written.
Another major factor is working in other currencies. If you look at a daily income of lets say £5.00 you would be thinking what’s the point of doing it? But if you look at as P500 its a completely different figure as it has a different “local” value. P500 is 1/4 of a tank of fuel for my jeepy yet less than 1/6th on my Volvo back in the UK. Point being the Peso goes a lot further and with a bit of planning having several businesses making P500 – P1000 a day you can start re-investing capital from your initial businesses to make them even bigger or into new ventures.
But the most important reason a lot of people don’t bother is simply they don’t need the money or think they don’t. The reason I say “think” is there is always an emergency or something you can use the money for. But if your on a pension that moves inline with inflation you probably have little to worry about but one thing I think people need is something to fill out time. What better than a small hobby/business that you can do with your partner or a few relatives who do want/need the extra income.
We have a few ventures already up and running and the internet cafe is literally days away from opening. But I’m going to do a business a bit less involved and less time consuming when running it will involve fattening fish in large plastic dustbins. May sound a bit bizarre but I’m trying it to see how it goes also the waste fish water is good for fertilizing plants which is why I’m doing it with a hydroponic setup. Will calculate the costs,work involved and profit margin and see what result we get in a 12 month period. Nope I don’t think it will be a huge profit but will be fun and keep our grocery bill down. As well as allowing a better understanding to upscale the project as well as “home” setups I can give/profit share with family members.