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Chrisfa

Opening a small business?

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Hello everyone,

Just wondering if you guys had any small business ideas that you would reccomend?

I've looked into food carts or small restaurants or water filtration but they all seem kind of risky and it's really hard to find reliable information.

I've also thought about opening a small hotel/bnb type idea as it is my professional background however I have no idea how to find a property for a reasonable price (or maybe I just can't afford it lol)

I have limited start up but I know it's good enough for a few smaller businesses. I am willing to put everything in my financees name and we will operate it together (she will operate it by herself on paper for legal purposes)

I'm open to moving anywhere in the Philippines and not looking to make a lot of money just hopefully enough to live reasonably comfortably maybe 50k a month or less if she is able to run it alone and I can work a full time job

Any information or reccomendations would be greatly appreciated.

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One bit of advice I received was to keep it unique whatever you do and be prepared to change. Filipinos are excellent at copying ideas so try to pick something that you can do that's not too visible.  If you open a burger stall and people see lots of customers you'll have one put up by a local either side of you.

A Franchise inside a mall gives some protection but you end up giving a lot of profit to the Franchise parent company.

I've friends that go around resorts touting their services to get guests.  Everyone that gets referred they get 10% of the bill. Same with boat tours etc. 

Give a location of your possible business and rough expenditure and I'm sure you will get more input. 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Chrisfa said:

I am willing to put everything in my financees name and we will operate it together (she will operate it by herself on paper for legal purposes)

You have a good idea except for this part.  As I understand it you will be here as a tourist, with everything in her name, and you are "helping her".

There are 2 problems.  First, there is too much trust in your fiance but I'm sure you already came to terms with that.  Second, you put yourself at risk for being deported for working on a tourist visa.  You can tell the judge your story about how you are just helping your fiance AFTER you are arrested and held at the deportation facility in Manila and WHEN you eventually get a day in court.  But it won't matter because if it gets that far then the judge has already made up his mind.

This is not meant to discourage you because lots of people do what you are trying to do.  But they either do it right or they risk someone coming after them.

So how do you do it right?  Well, there is the 13A married visa but you must be married for that.  There is a work permit but I expect you will have difficulty convincing the DTI that you are working for your gf doing a job that a Filipino cannot do.  There is the SVEG if you start a business that employs 10 Filipinos.  There is the quota visa that means you are a permanent resident here. There is a partnership arrangement that would allow you to get a work permit if it is a business that a foreigner cannot work at.

Every young person who comes to the Philippines has dreams of some way to support themselves.  So does every young Filipino coming out of college.  The one thing they all have in common is they want to start with a little bit of money.  That's the hard part.  The rule of thumb is:  If you want to make a small fortune in the Philippines you must start with a large fortune.

So, the good stuff in your post is:

30 minutes ago, Chrisfa said:

she is able to run it alone and I can work a full time job

Your gf can do things that you must stay right out of.  Examples are Sari sari, Ukay ukay, laundry business, water business and many more.  If you get caught with your nose in her business it is grounds for deportation, (as a friend recently found out), but she can do it while you go to work.  What are the chances she will make a profit?  Slim and none but she can try.

Edited by Dave Hounddriver
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31 minutes ago, Chrisfa said:

 

Just wondering if you guys had any small business ideas that you would reccomend?

Now that I have given my cautions, I will share something that I think has a reasonable chance of success - for your fiance, you should stay out of it and just go to work full time.

In the province areas, there are always people who need to buy cheap, reliable, Chinese motorcycles.  The people never have any amount of money and always want to finance the vehicle.  Skygo is a popular brand on the island of Cebu and not every area has a dealership.  I am NOT suggesting you get a dealership, I am suggesting a sub-franchise.  For example, there may be a Skygo dealer a half hour's drive from where you want to set up shop so you go talk to that dealer about investing in a few motorcycles to display for sale.  The dealer would make the bulk of the profit and take the bulk of the risk but if SHE (we are talking about your fiance here) can sell a few bikes, maybe stock some parts for sale, maybe has a relative who is mechanically minded and do repairs, then there is money in it.

There are tons of motorcycle repair shops all over the Philippines.  Usually, the shop owner supplies the retail spot and the parts and contracts mechanics to work independently.  Unfortunately, this is small capital retail where foreigners are not permitted to work but your gf and a couple of relatives could do it.  The hook is to have the motorcycles for sale.  Bring in the customers who have old bikes that need repair and sell them a new one.  Most of the repair shops are not doing this.

Disclaimer:  Remember that foreigners are not allowed to own small capital retail businesses.  This is something that may have a chance to make some decent money if there is a need in the location you choose to live but don't blame me if BI comes after you :tiphat:

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7 minutes ago, Snowy79 said:

One bit of advice I received was to keep it unique whatever you do and be prepared to change. Filipinos are excellent at copying ideas so try to pick something that you can do that's not too visible.  If you open a burger stall and people see lots of customers you'll have one put up by a local either side of you.

A Franchise inside a mall gives some protection but you end up giving a lot of profit to the Franchise parent company.

I've friends that go around resorts touting their services to get guests.  Everyone that gets referred they get 10% of the bill. Same with boat tours etc. 

Give a location of your possible business and rough expenditure and I'm sure you will get more input. 

 

 

I honestly don't mind any location, I've been quite a few places and I would live in any of them. Tagbilaran, ilocos sur and bacalod probably felt the most comfortable and I spent the most time in Bohol ( where she's from)

And expenditure maybe around 10k Canadian not sure if it's enough to open anything

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Just now, Chrisfa said:

expenditure maybe around 10k Canadian not sure if it's enough to open anything

That's about what I figured when I mentioned the motorcycle sales/repair shop in the post above yours.  It is possible to get into that for about 10K Canadian but that will leave you nothing but headaches for a year or so until it starts to pay off.

Water business is popular and can be started for about that amount but it is so risky.  It can be profitable if few others are doing it in your area but they spring up so quickly because many people can afford them.

Ukay ukay business is popular but illegal.  That does not stop some from doing it but most lose money at it.

Trouble is, we have no clue what your fiance is interested in.  Since it will be her business then it better be something she can sink her teeth into and most filipinas who try a business don't worry about the money.  That is your department.  She will know how to spend it but not make a profit.  Profit is a foreign concept.  Filipinas tend to think a business is something the foreigner puts money into and her family take money out of.  Seriously, they believe that is how it works.

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3 minutes ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

Now that I have given my cautions, I will share something that I think has a reasonable chance of success - for your fiance, you should stay out of it and just go to work full time.

In the province areas, there are always people who need to buy cheap, reliable, Chinese motorcycles.  The people never have any amount of money and always want to finance the vehicle.  Skygo is a popular brand on the island of Cebu and not every area has a dealership.  I am NOT suggesting you get a dealership, I am suggesting a sub-franchise.  For example, there may be a Skygo dealer a half hour's drive from where you want to set up shop so you go talk to that dealer about investing in a few motorcycles to display for sale.  The dealer would make the bulk of the profit and take the bulk of the risk but if SHE (we are talking about your fiance here) can sell a few bikes, maybe stock some parts for sale, maybe has a relative who is mechanically minded and do repairs, then there is money in it.

There are tons of motorcycle repair shops all over the Philippines.  Usually, the shop owner supplies the retail spot and the parts and contracts mechanics to work independently.  Unfortunately, this is small capital retail where foreigners are not permitted to work but your gf and a couple of relatives could do it.  The hook is to have the motorcycles for sale.  Bring in the customers who have old bikes that need repair and sell them a new one.  Most of the repair shops are not doing this.

Disclaimer:  Remember that foreigners are not allowed to own small capital retail businesses.  This is something that may have a chance to make some decent money if there is a need in the location you choose to live but don't blame me if BI comes after you :tiphat:

That's a great idea thanks! 

I'm hesitant to rely too much on her family as I've always been hesitant to mix family with business (even my family) but I could see how that could work.

As a foreigner is there a work visa that I could apply for that would enable me to work with or for her? 

She's a smart girl but it sounds like it would be a bit overwhelming for her to do alone and I'd be too tempted to jump in and help/ get myself arrested lol

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1 minute ago, Chrisfa said:

As a foreigner is there a work visa that I could apply for that would enable me to work with or for her? 

That is the tricky part.  As of this moment, small cap retail business is on the Foreigner Negative list so you should not even be associated with it.  Best you could do is "loan her the money" and give her advice over dinner or over the phone.  That said, there are lots of Filipinas running businesses like that.  They do not have to get their hands dirty.  They stand behind the counter and sell the parts while the contractor mechanics do the work.  She would have to be the one to sell the new bikes to keep out middle men who want a piece of the action.

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1 minute ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

That's about what I figured when I mentioned the motorcycle sales/repair shop in the post above yours.  It is possible to get into that for about 10K Canadian but that will leave you nothing but headaches for a year or so until it starts to pay off.

Water business is popular and can be started for about that amount but it is so risky.  It can be profitable if few others are doing it in your area but they spring up so quickly because many people can afford them.

Ukay ukay business is popular but illegal.  That does not stop some from doing it but most lose money at it.

Trouble is, we have no clue what your fiance is interested in.  Since it will be her business then it better be something she can sink her teeth into and most filipinas who try a business don't worry about the money.  That is your department.  She will know how to spend it but not make a profit.  Profit is a foreign concept.  Filipinas tend to think a business is something the foreigner puts money into and her family take money out of.  Seriously, they believe that is how it works.

Lol ya the business concept is definetly going to be a learning curve for her. She is great about not getting the family involved in our lives but all the profits/costs and operations would have to be handled by me (not sure if I'd be allowed to?)

She does enjoy sales, technology (cell phones mostly) and cooking. We were leaning towards a food stand but seems like super limited returns.

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3 minutes ago, Chrisfa said:

super limited returns.

That describes 99/100 businesses you can get into for 10K Canadian.:cheers:

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