Sunday, July 25, 2010

Businesses you can start less than P10,000

For business in the Philippines using small capital, click here:

Putting up a small business is a challenging thing to do. It requires patience doing the research about your market, your product and your marketing method. 

But we cannot deny that putting up small business requires capital, funds, or simply we call it MONEY. We may have the ability to be patient in doing everything but we do not have the resources when it comes to raising funds to get our small business started. 

Read this article too, you may find it helpful:

I researched some more and found an article in the Entrepreneur magazine official website which gives you an idea on businesses that you can put up that requires small capital. The title of the article Businesses you can start from P1k to P100k (Part 1)  


Yes, there are business you can start from P1,000 to P100,000!

For less than P10,000, one can start a spiced-ham or bottled-food business, a t-shirt company can get off the ground with under P25,000 in capital, about P50,000 should be enough to get a shoe factory up and running, and one can start a travel and tours agency for just P100,000.

No matter what business the aspiring entrepreneur has in mind, it's been proven that a little cash can go a long way, and most Filipino business owners know this by heart. 

Indeed, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Trade and Industry, 97 percent of all registered businesses in the country are micro enterprises, or those with under P3 million in assets. And this obviously doesn't take into account the thousands of other businesses in the "underground economy"--those that operate without government licenses and don't pay taxes on their incomes.

Most of these "micro-biz" doubtless had started with an initial capital way below P3 million, which is a princely sum particularly in these tough times. Of course, these funds for business startups can come from anywhere, but the most common sources are personal savings, pensions, loans from banks or pawnshops, and cash gifts from relatives and friends. 

How to raise startup capital can be a challenge in itself, but the much greater challenge to the would-be entrepreneur is how to parlay these resources into a viable and profitable enterprise.

As demonstrated by the men and women whose stories appear in the succeeding pages, these dream businesses can become a reality even with an initial capital of just P100,000 or less. And the opportunities are to be found in areas as diverse as home-service massage, bag-making, creative work for exhibits, and food-cart franchises, to name just a few. 

The only limits to the prospective entrepreneur's choices are his or her passion for the business and the available startup funds. And, of course, there's an advantage in starting small, for it allows the entrepreneur to learn the ropes of the business with minimal risk before going into costlier ventures in the future.

So, whether you only have P5,000 as a graduation gift from your parents or as much as P95,000 saved from your days of working from 9:00 to 5:00, now is the best time to explore your entrepreneurial options. You can become an entrepreneur no matter what stage or station of life you are in. Just let these stories help guide you on your way. 


Thai Massage
Meat Processing


A lot of people want to put up a business of their own but are deterred by the thought that it would need a huge investment. Well, they are wrong. There are so many businesses that could be started with P10,000 or less, like the gift-wrapping service, home-service spa and massage, meat processing venture, and eatery that were put up by the seven entrepreneurs we are featuring in this story.

In fact, Chiqui Barretto got started with her first Wrap It Up! gift-wrapping shop in Calamba, Laguna, in 2000 by simply spending on transportation to Divisoria to get her initial supplies. Preeyada Saengpradab and her husband Roland Saenz de Tejada opened Preeyada's Real Thai Massage in 2008 in Bacoor, Cavite, with only two dozens of towels they had purchased from Divisoria. 

Ruby Sauza-Limbaña and sister Roselita Sauza invested only P200 in 1983 to start Rosa Foods, their Kalibo, Aklan-based meat processing business. And Mary Maranan and husband Aristeo put up only P450 in 1980 to start a small restaurant, Mary's Eatery, in San Fernando, La Union.

How each of these three entrepreneurs grew their business from such humble beginnings offers valuable lessons in real-life entrepreneurship.


In the case of the Maranan couple, the P450 they used to start an eatery in San Fernando, La Union, 29 years ago was actually money they had borrowed from a friend. They were in such dire straits at the time after sustaining heavy losses as biyaheros or traveling buy-and-sell agents.

Maranan recalls: "We really had a hard time as biyaheros, peddling our wares in a bamboo tray all over the town. We would do it the whole day under the heat of the sun--a very exhausting task that gave us no assurance at all of selling anything."

Indeed, the biyahero couple went bankrupt before long, so they decided to venture into what they thought was a more reliable business. They saw a captive market of jeepney drivers from a nearby terminal and put up their eatery beside it. This was how they got Mary's Eatery started, and the business did well during its first year. It served the usual carinderia fare in the morning, and beer and grilled street foods like "adidas" (chicken feet) in the evening.

The Sauza sisters went into the processed meat business in Kalibo, Aklan, to augment the family's income. In 1983, while on vacation in their hometown, Roselita had asked her sister Ruby to think of a sideline business so they could stretch her vacation money. Roselita was working at the time as a government employee at the Region IV office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Manila.

Both of them knew how to make longanisa, so the sisters decided to use P200 of Roselita's money to buy 5 kg of meat and the needed spices. They then started making longanisa and Ruby sold it to the various government offices in town. Roselita returned to Manila to get back to work after two weeks, but Ruby continued the business because of the growing demand for their product.

In the case of Chiqui Barretto, she went into the gift-wrapping business without really intending to. She had a desktop printing shop at Waltermart in Calamba, Laguna, a franchised business called Personalized Greeting that she has been running since 1998. Her shop is right beside the Abenson appliance store, and it just so happened that customers buying appliances for gift-giving got into the habit of buying rolled gift-wrapping paper from Barretto's shop.
In time the Abenson customers started asking Barretto to gift-wrap their appliances as well. Although it was not her shop's line of business, Barretto would agree to personally wrap the appliances so as not to disappoint the people asking for the service. The volume of the gift-wrapping orders then grew to a point that Barretto decided to make gift-wrapping a regular business.

In November 2000, she asked the Waltermart management for permission to offer gift-wrapping as a regular service. She explained that Christmas was already approaching and there was no shop offering the service anyway. Waltermart approved her request and allowed her to set up a gift-wrapping table for 35 days at a very reasonable rental rate.
Recalls Barretto: "I started this with only my credibility as capital. I got the materials I needed on a 30-day term from local suppliers. The table I used was remodeled scrap from my cousin's shop, for which I later paid P8,500."
The business, which she initially called the Gift Wrap Company, did so well that she was able to pay the suppliers and the rental even before the due dates.

Preeyada and her husband Roland, who are used to getting a massage every week, got into the Thai massage business because they could not get the real Thai massage from the local parlors. "I was very disappointed with the Thai massage that we were getting," she recalls. "I'm a Thai and I love Thai massage, so I know what a real Thai massage is." 

At that time Preeyada was commuting from Barangay Molino in Bacoor, Cavite, to Makati City where she worked with a golf-tour and travel company. She found all that traveling so tiring so she decided she might as well put up a business of her own offering real Thai massage. 

Not having enough capital to put up a massage parlor, though, she started with a home spa/massage service in 2008. She would call potential clients using her personal mobile phone, and her husband Roland would provide her with flyers to be distributed to the nearby villages. She has since trained six people as therapists to help her handle her growing clientele.  

For these seven entrepreneurs, growing their respective businesses has not been easy considering that they were all started with small capitalizations.
At least in the case of Barretto, however, she was able to expand her Gift Wrap Company by just plowing back its profits into the business. In 2002, after putting up an improved storefront for her original Calamba gift-wrapping outlet, she put up another branch at Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and registered the business under a new name, Wrap it Up! The company now has 11 branches and will be opening three more this year.

"I was able to put up one branch after another from the profits of every branch," she says. "I eventually opened the business for franchising, improved each of the stores and their merchandising, and trained my employees using the profits generated by the business."

In the case of the Sauza sisters, they recovered their initial investment in Rosa Foods in less than a month. They were able to increase weekly production from 5 kg to 10 kg, then to 15kg and on to 20 kg because a meat supplier had agreed to give them a daily credit term--too short actually, but still a great help to the fledgling Rosa Foods. 

Later, the Sauza sisters chipped in money to buy a meat grinder. This enabled them to increase their daily production to 100 kg by the end of their first year in the business. 

After paying back the P450 they owed from their friend, the Maranan couple decided to expand and move their eatery to make it bigger. Every now and then they borrowed small sums of money from their friends to finance their expansion. 

Even as the business grew, however, the couple maintained their strategy of catering primarily to the masses. In 2002, after further renovating and expanding it as well as improving its menu, they changed the name of the eatery from Mary's Eatery to R&M Canteen, Catering & Videoke.
In 1994, the Maranan couple diversified by opening City Image Salon, which offers hair and makeup services as well as gown rentals. They will soon be also opening a resort with 20 cottages at Cabaraoan in San Fernando City, La Union.

As to Preeyada and her husband Roland, they were able to eventually put up a shop of their own, Preeyada's Real Thai Massage Center, in August 2008 despite not having enough capital. 

What Preeyada did was to save the profits from their home-massage service to fund the establishment of the center, and to negotiate as a low a rent as possible from the owner of the shop space. To further economize, the couple used the furniture in their house to furnish the center and asked Preeyada's friends and family members from Thailand to bring oils, ointments, and herbs to the center in exchange for getting a massage.

Preeyada used the business's profit to buy more equipment, furniture, oil containers, service boxes, beds, and beddings. After six months, the couple was able to open another branch in Tagaytay City, again furnishing the new center with some used equipment and furniture from their first branch. "To expand, we would literally reuse our resources," Roland says, "What we don't need, we don't buy; what we could save, we save." 

In the case of Rosa Foods, it now has a separate HACCP-accredited factory that produces 300 kg of processed meat daily. It has consistently pursued a strategy of not stocking up on inventory, producing only according to the demand. This has made the business more cost-efficient, and with its inventories always moving very fast, there is very little wastage or none at all.
Rosa Foods currently supplies various outlets in Western Visayas and in Manila. It now also has a store in Boracay and a warehouse-outlet in Iloilo to cater to their Bacolod and Iloilo customers.  

What these seven entrepreneurs have proven is that it is entirely possible to grow a business from scratch--literally with only P10,000 or even much less. And what they have done, any entrepreneur worth his or her salt certainly can do, too.


For Chiqui Barretto of Wrap It Up!, the key to success in business is having a good grasp of the customers' motivation, behavior, and taste and being able to communicate it to the employees. 

She calls her employees "wrap artists" and expects them to know precisely why they are in the business. She explains: "We make every gift a masterpiece. No matter how simple the gift is, it must always exude the 'specialness' of the recipient."

Barretto adds that you also need to cultivate good relationships with your suppliers. This way, she says, they will be willing to help you in any way they can when you want to expand your business.

For Mary Maranan of R&M Canteen, success was made possible by her having the courage to pursue the business despite the difficulties and by making every effort to keep the trust of her suppliers and creditors.
Her advice to would-be entrepreneurs: "To earn the trust of your creditors, make it a point to pay whatever you borrowed from them."

For Preeyada and Roland of Preeyada's Real Thai Massage, success was the result of investing in the training of their therapists and of incorporating the Thai culture in their services. 

Preeyada explains: "Our business is healing. Thai massage is not just a simple massage but is all about healing; it's a combination of reflex and yoga. So we make our therapists study the Thai culture and its connection with the massage. They must understand that they're not just offering a service but are actually healing their clients."

For Roselita Sauza of Rosa Foods, success came largely from her decision to go full-time in the business to better manage it. By doing so, she says, she and her sister Ruby were able to standardize the system of the whole business, including accounting, inventory, and production. This enabled the company to expand and capture a larger market.

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