There has been a lot of interest and discussion lately to do with having a sari-sari store in the Philippines probably because its one of the easiest and more low budget operations to get started but can grow as far as you want to take it. Ours started very small and is now getting to the point I am looking at getting another freezer for meats and fish. Most of the goods your only making one peso on but a lot of people don’t realise how quickly it adds up or how easy it is to operate this type of business. Opening up a small hatch in the wall or sticking a grill on a window as well as a couple of crates of beer/coke is enough to get things started. We originally started from that and have worked up to having washing powders, coffees, teas, lots of different kids sweets, fresh fish, fresh mangos and all from just rolling the profit. We also installed a small chest freezer which we stock up with ice water, very cold beer,RC coke and icepops. Generally you should sell at least 20+ ice pops a day and its the fact you can be sat watching tv or as what happened the other day when Lars came to visit we are sat having a couple of beers and a chat while people keep coming to the hatch to buy various goods. So its not really working but getting paid for sitting round the house basically. The other thing is to never not have something but more of “its out of stock” and just add it to your inventory next time as they will come back at some point then being a regular. Rice is also selling well same as the washing powders that are bought in large sacks then split down into 1kg packs to make them more affordable for others.
The other important factor is cost reductions on your personal expenses. E.g. if your selling a lot of your usual goods at the store as well it means when you go to get your groceries for example its a two in one trip where your restocking the store which means you should start to see your personal costs coming down as more and more items get covered by taking a percentage out of the sari-sari. Including the cost of the petrol. The important thing is to let it grow at its own rate as it will get busier over time and the fact you will get things for customers will give you customer loyalty. I’m hoping this one here will eventually turn into a main store for the area but that is still a few years off but you never know.