Sunday, July 25, 2010

Businesses you can start from P10,000 to P25,000

Small business enthusiasts, here is another article for you.

In the previous post, I mentioned businesses that you can start in less than P10,000. Now, I will be giving you these businesses you can start from P10,000 to P15,000. I found this article based on the article posted in Entrepreneur magazine official website: Businesses you can start from P1k to P100k (Part 1)

Read this article too, you may find it helpful:

P11,000 TO 25,000
Specialty Sauces
Bags and Cases
The impetus for becoming an entrepreneur is not always a compelling drive and immediate need to make money. Indeed, for these five entrepreneurs who made good on an initial capital of only P25,000 or less, the reasons for going into business varied from fulfilling a class requirement, filling a personal need for a particular product, and simply taking the cue from one's innate business sense.

Darkuscase founders and artists Ace del Mundo and Lui Cornelio both loved bags, and so they were disappointed when they couldn?t find in the market suitable and acceptable gig bags for musical instruments. The two had in mind soft, colorful, and hip cases to go better with their artistic inclinations, but what were available then were only the typical hard, bulky, and unattractive cases.

This prompted del Mundo, guitarist of the pop-rock band Kenyo, to make designs for his own bags. Since he hails from Bulacan, which is considered the country's bag-making capital, he didn't find it hard to find people to execute his designs. Thus, in September 2006, he and Cornelio put up Darkuscase, with him as chief designer and in charge of production and with Cornelio in charge of marketing.

"It was more than just money," says Cornelio. "When you come up with an idea for a product and really believe in its worth, you just have to make things happen using whatever resources you have at the moment."

The name Darkuscase had a simple enough origin. Cornelio explains: "Darkus is Ace's name-handle on the Net, a name he came across in a comic book while still in college. Since he was known to friends online as Darkus, it made sense for us to carry the name. We felt it sounded unique and cool and had the potential for great brand-name recall."

Initially investing P15,000 of their own money in the business, they bought bag-making materials and second-hand equipment to get started. Sales of their products was brisk, so they recovered their investment in as little as three months. Today, from having only one subcontractor at the start, they now have three to cope with the increasing orders for their bags.

After almost three years in operation, Darkuscase is still in its growth phase. It doesn't have a physical store for its products as yet, but its online store,, has been doing good business. 

Aside from bags for musical instruments, it now also sells guitar and camera straps; guitar picks; pedal cases; messenger, belt and travel bags; and so-called flag bags (messenger bags with flaps decorated boldly with a country's flag). The initial buyers of these products came from the partners' immediate circle of friends, but now anybody can order them through their online store.

Darkuscase is taking its business slowly but surely. "The first few months, we had the usual hits and misses since we both had no business background to back us up," says Cornelio. "We then received valuable inputs from our first wave of clients, and that helped us a lot especially in the production process for our bags."
All bags that Darkuscase makes are made-to-order and customized according to the size of the musical instrument. It takes 10 to 34 days for an order to be filled, depending on the quantity of the order.

Explains Cornelio: "Every order we receive goes through a unique production process because every client has his or her own unique set of requirements. Early on in the business, we were already aware of this challenge so we focused on working closely with different groups or communities of sewers and material suppliers for our bags. After our first year, each group now has its own skills and resources to manufacture particular bag lines for us."

Spoofs Limited Inc., maker of the highly popular t-shirts with tongue-in-cheek and in-your-face lines, is another niche player that started its business on very limited capital. Some of the phrases used in its shirts border on copyright infringement and on the vulgar, but the company's 17 years of existence is proof that there is a substantial market for offbeat products.

Charlie Dobles and Drew Marcelo came up with the idea for Spoofs Limited as part of the requirements of their Ateneo de Manila class in entrepreneurial management. 

Together with four other classmates, the two raised P18,000 to jumpstart a business with real-world potential. Then, within the prescribed 21 days of selling for products proposed in their class, they sold at various school venues t-shirts emblazoned with spoofs of popular clothing labels, among them Bolo (Tagalog for machete, and a take on the Polo brand), United Couples of Banatan (a take on the Benetton brand), and Timberlang labels (a take on the Timberland brand).

"The best way to test your market is to sell to actual customers," says Dobles, and they did just that. At the end of the selling period, they sold 1,200 units and their project garnered for them a grade of 'A.'

After college, in 1992, Dobles and Marce lo decided to pursue the business in earnest, producing up to 30,000 t-shirts initially. But there was one major roadblock to their enterprise: clothing retailers refused to carry their t-shirts because of the provocative and legally questionable lines printed on them.
This was highly problematic to the partners because in those years when online marketing was still alien territory, you had to have shelf space in the shopping centers if you wanted to sell anything. Indeed, it was only when an unlikely retailer, Gift Gate (licensee of Hello Kitty products), agreed to carry the Spoofs Limited products that other retailers relented and started carrying the products as well.

Today, Spoofs Limited now has expanded to almost 30 outlets, seven t-shirt lines, and two support companies.

"By starting small, I was able to build an identity for my product," says Tina Vitas, owner of the Sarsarap line of bottled Filipino-style food sauces.
Vitas started Sarsarap in April 2008 on a budget of about P20,000 of her personal money. The Vitas family has a restaurant called Mama V in Malate, Manila, and her mother, Tita, would make special sauces for the dishes served at the restaurant. Among these sauces were chili cheese, sweet mustard, chili vinegar, and siling labuyo (hot chili). Vitas saw the potential of those sauces for reaching a larger market if sold on their own.

She then started to develop her mother's sauces, testing the market for them by at first joining small bazaars and later the big food expositions. "Majority of what I spent initially was for the rent of the booths at the bazaars and food expos, which wasn't cheap," Vitas says. In less than half a year, she was able to recover her initial investment.

Vitas, who describes herself as someone "who thinks 40, looks 30, and feels 20," had spent the first year of her business feeling the market's reaction to Sarsarap. She explains: "I didn't really want to venture into growth until my production volumes were already in place. I'm just beginning, a year later, to go into expansion mode."

Her one year of market testing led Vitas to repackage, rebrand and relaunch her products, a process that she says required her to put in more working capital into the business. By the third quarter of 2009, she intends to launch still another brand, one that she says is "new and improved, but with the same taste that our customers have grown to love."

Starting small and on a tight budget gives the entrepreneur the advantage of pursuing an idea without the worry of losing millions in investments, and as these five entrepreneurs have discovered, doing so with pluck and persistence has a better than good chance of being rewarded with success.

  • Tina Vitas of Sarsarap: "Aggressive guerilla marketing, hands-on sales and customer service, and empowerment training of our sales team. These really spelled the difference for our brand despite limited distribution."
Lui Cornelio of Darkuscase: "Joining music festivals and music-centric events, and making our products accessible to the market via the Internet. Overall, however, it boils down to the tried-and-tested formula of sipag at tiyaga [industriousness and patience].?"

Read this article too, you may find it helpful:

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