One thing I realised over a bit of time in Cebu is adapting to the way of life that a lot of things can be done from home. Although after the recent murder in Bohol regarding someone selling cell phone load (Mobile top up) it did make me wonder if its worth it and the best ways to make the “sales area” secure. Anyway getting back to the point of this most foreigners will tell you a Sari-sari business doesn’t work but to be honest its not the Sari-sari you want to be looking at but the people it brings in. The Philippines has around 40% of its economy operating in the black market where no tax is being paid to the government. People selling fruit/meat etc. from they’re own yards and only hard currency and low prices taking place. There is also things like property rentals at “local rates” you can arrange if you are part of the community. Anyway networking is a key aim of having a Sari-sari although “never” get involved in Utang (credit) its the no.1 reason for a Sari-sari going bankrupt easy way to do this is to tell them its not your business you run it for an OFW etc. who is a friend of yours or a relative so its impossible for you to say yes to credit as you don’t own the business. I would concentrate on items that are essential and maybe look at things which are a bit more diverse. Most Sari-Sari stores are under stocked and concentrate on things like shampoo, beer, cigarettes and a few sweets. But there is a lot of things you could do which generate revenue and still keep the costs down to the locals your selling to a.g. things like coconut pancakes cooked or wrapped for cooking at home. Retail is always a competitive business but you will likely have one major advantage its not your main source of income. Even if you dont want to get into the food side of things you can look at things which fly off the shelf. Soft drinks can be bought wholesale for example or beer. Not big earners but something you can sell while watching TV. Phone load is another one and if you have a few good reliable customers they will text and ask you to top them up and later drop the money off.
One thing I realised is its not about making the thousands of pesos from one venture but maybe make hundreds of pesos from hundreds of things. If you have a PC for example you can print ID badges or maybe photocopy documents. Add a Bluetooth dongle and you can look at things such as selling games for mobile phones.
I’m going to cut this topic a bit short not because I’ve run out of ideas but simply I have too many ideas and they are all better listed as seperate topics.. e.g. how to grow mushrooms, make soap, how to operate a cell phone load business etc etc.
I hope I at least get your mind thinking on what you can do from your house and would love feedback on any the ideas you’ve tried and either succeeded or come across issues.