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seeking smale-scale investment advice


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Stranded Shipscook

I know that I am at a disadvantage business-wise, being a Kano; with this in mind, wouldn't it seems politic to maybe invest with a pinoy as a silent partner, in something like the sagingan biz I was talking about in Davao? I have not heard anyone speak directly to this point. Again, I am looking to ease into this and have not given up my day job in Bering Sea natural resource depletion.

 

 

 

we did not speak about it because it is illegal (Anti dummy Law)

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softail

A wise man once said "all that glitters in not gold". A lot of wisdom in those words.

Just something to consider.

 

Doug and Sally

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I am into agriculture, not aquaculture.

But i know its pros and cons here in philippines. had enough talks about it previously myself.

 

i commend you for posting here, hanging it out there. And i think you are getting some good advice. I wish i could have dropped my ego first time i came here, to meet "that special girl"

I said all same things.

I bought a 12 unit internet cafe, had a great plan to set it up in nice location.

 

I had a party for the barangay also, and yes, they wanted another a few months later, and again a few months later. expecting i would provide 3 or 4 lechon each time.

 

hence to say, i had alot of other experiences, i went through a large chunk of capital fast.

 

that was then, since, i did not follow through in many things in my first experience, i took it as learning lesson.

i have an amazing wife na, first baby was just born this Feb. We are so happy.

 

we live simply, but do things together.

 

we have made some amazing friends cause of this forum

 

i wish you success.

and i am not 40ish, i am only 39, hehe

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Salamat for that, Kanding. Ug kongratulasyon sa bag-ong bata... I should add that I was wondering about your handle here and there was the answer, staring me in the face, your other kid!

 

Which brings me to say that the farming/agri section of this forum is terrific, exactly what I'm after and And I kick myself for posting without having read everything there first but there you have it. It's interesting looking at that forum because I've considered doing many of those things here in Maine over the years-everything from bees to rabbits-and it seems like it's almost the same situation, in that they are both kind of niche markets but potentially lucrative. My bees were just going to be there to pollinate my blueberry fields but who knows?

 

The internet cafe idea is on the rubbish heap, as per advice of the forum members. Got some good input from other members about other avenues. If Cebu works out, though I'm not sure about covenants there in her city proper, I do know that her family has some land up in the hills, which might be a possibility for any of these ventures....I'll keep you posted.

 

 

Thanks again. You'll be on the wrong side of 40 before you know it.

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arentol

Hi,

 

After living here in the Philippines for 4 years and, in all modesty, having had the opportunity run two successful businesses here, I wanted to add my 2 cents to the discussion.

 

I've met several couples in the OP's situation. The girl invariably suggests a business that has been done to death... typically an internet cafe, tricicad business, or a sari-sari store. I'll be blunt: strong business acumen is not a common trait in Filipinos. Most foreigners in your situation walk down the same path... they take advice from the girl, launch the tired business concept, and lose all the investment capital. Due to both culture and psychology, the fact is that most Filipinos are not that keen on being different from their peers (broadly speaking this is an Asian trait). Just walk down any street in any barangay and you'll see sari store after sari store... and internet cafe after internet cafe... Philippines isn't exactly a bastion of creative thinking.

 

My advice is: yes, you can run a successful business and make an OK income (high by local standards) if you do something different than everyone else. I opened up a U.S.-style ice cream parlor and an arts & crafts store in the provinces. These businesses were wholly unique, no competition, and have customers aplenty.

 

So, just think different and the customers will be waiting outside the door for you to open every morning.

 

My other piece of advice: if you're lucky enough to find a partner who really loves you and you're both compatible, then she can not only be your soulmate but also a strong business ally. From your post you're tackling two pretty big goals within a short time period... I'd make sure that she's someone whom you can trust and will support you emotionally/mentally before taking the leap together into the business world.

 

Best of luck.

 

Aren

 

p.s.: Many foreigners have opened up internet cafes and they've been extraordinarily successful, so don't get me wrong. If you feel more comfortable doing what others are doing, then go for it... but, in my experience, profits come more readily to entrepreneurs with a penchant for being dissimilar.

Edited by arentol
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Do something you like, what you are interested in, what you really enjoy doing and you will more likely succeed than what people think you "should" do. That's what I did, and I truly love my business, but i am unable to be there every day to enjoy and nurture it like i should. You being there for your business is SO important!

a lot of great advice here and reading the past posts will give you much good info. take your time and enjoy!!

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graeme82

Thanks to all the posters and OP of this thread for the great info and suggestions for those considering investment/small business opportunities in the country like myself. I spent nearly a year in Canada researching ideas and concepts with constant feedback from Pinoys both in Canada and e-mailing those living here. None of it was as helpful as the additional 6 months in the country gathering info and observing firsthand. I set up meetings with franchisers, e-mailed successful small business owners willing to offer insight and experiences and I subscribe to and read anything related to entrepreneurial business in the Philippines. The business models and ideas may be miles from the business you're considering, but mistakes are often universal and better learned from others. Write SEVERAL business plans and include every imaginable detail to help weed out money wasters or ideas with limited long-term growth potential.

 

Tuanj you seem like you're prepared to make the most important investment you'll make in your enterprise....time. Getting a feel and understanding the area where you're considering your business is invaluable and can only be gained with time, research and patience.

 

Aren's advice is excellent as well. Nothing beats being unique and being first. See if you can identify a gap in the products and services offered in your area and consider offering either. Don't be content to just offer something that is cheapest or quickest. Be prepared that finding even mild success will mean imitators and others will follow, probably will the ability to undercut you. Be adaptable and constantly improving.

 

Building relationships is vital to success both for customer relations and for your staff if you're employing people. Find people you can trust. Getting involved and becoming a member of the city/town/barangay you do business in can help insure customer retention. Make use of every tool at your disposal for marketing and advertising, whether it be social networking, local classified websites or simply pounding the pavement to spread the word of your new venture. If you're in the service industry seed constant feedback from patrons to see which areas you can improve.

 

Have realistic expectations for for your income and growth potential. Are you looking for a modest business that supplements your existing income or will your business need to earn enough pesos to support your lifestyle? Can you afford and are you prepared not to see a solid ROI for 3-5 years? In a worst case scenario are you prepared to lose the money you invest without catastrophic consequences?

 

You may want to consider a business that makes use of the relatively low labour costs in this country, rather than diving into a business that requires real estate, specialty equipment and the payment of higher overhead. You seem to have some interest and have done some research in the agribusiness sector. This could be worth exploring more (and if you do let me know as I am interested as well).

 

At the end of the day, doing something you're passionate about can make all the difference. I have friends who have opened very successful businesses in highly competitive markets (see restaurant industry in Vancouver Canada) because of the combination of passion for providing an excellent product, stellar customer service and community involvement . They attend community events and sponsor youth sports teams, participate in anti-poverty campaigns and lead their competitors in green initiatives. All issues important and relevant to the customers and city they live in, thus generating more business and revenue.

 

Something to consider and best of luck to you. Get in touch me when you arrive, I'm in the same boat as you. :thats-funny:

 

Graeme

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Tuanj, I find it to risky to try running a business on your first visit. I am a Filipina but I strongly advice you to get to know your woman WELL first. I am not saying she could be up to something but it's better to be sure. Come here, get the feel of things here, don't jump right away into doing something too risky.

 

Based on the skills you've mentioned above, I think you can talk to BigRob, he has a fishing business, I am not really sure if that's how I should call it. I can also introduce you to one of my students who's into manufacturing business, they build boats, kayaks, furnitures and other stuff. Maybe you can do something here that will give you an income without risking your 100,000 pesos.

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JasonEcos

Just walk down any street in any barangay and you'll see sari store after sari store... and internet cafe after internet cafe... Philippines isn't exactly a bastion of creative thinking.

 

My advice is: yes, you can run a successful business and make an OK income (high by local standards) if you do something different than everyone else. I opened up a U.S.-style ice cream parlor and an arts & crafts store in the provinces. These businesses were wholly unique, no competition, and have customers aplenty.

 

So, just think different and the customers will be waiting outside the door for you to open every morning

 

Good advice, and very true. Most Filipinos I've talked to that are wanting to start a business seem to want to do the same ole thing.... net cafes, multicabs, taxis, sarisari eateries, etc. While "tried and true" can be a good thing, so can innovation.

 

 

I've been too busy to look into starting new business ideas but 2 things I have noticed here......property prices can vary WIDELY. I've seen lots go for 4,000 a meter and then right down the road a similar lot go for 1,500. Seems to me there might be a good profit lurking in there. Tool prices (and electronics) are too darned high here. Most of the tools I need I can literally buy them in the US and ship them here and still save money compared to buying them locally...and thats buying them at retail prices in the US too, not wholesale. Opening up a well stocked tool/electronics store would cost quite a bit of investment but may have a decent profit. Again, these are just things I have noticed and not researched.

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Headshot

Tool prices (and electronics) are too darned high here. Most of the tools I need I can literally buy them in the US and ship them here and still save money compared to buying them locally...and thats buying them at retail prices in the US too, not wholesale. Opening up a well stocked tool/electronics store would cost quite a bit of investment but may have a decent profit. Again, these are just things I have noticed and not researched.

Once you understand the customs setup here, you will realize that they will suck out any profit you make in any kind of import business here. Truthfully speaking...with VERY few exceptions...if you cannot afford to live here without any locally-produced income, you probably cannot afford to live here. There are so many traps for foreigners owning businesses or working here, it's just not worth considering the possibility of living here without some kind of externally-generated financial buffer.

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Once you understand the customs setup here, you will realize that they will suck out any profit you make in any kind of import business here. Truthfully speaking...with VERY few exceptions...if you cannot afford to live here without any locally-produced income, you probably cannot afford to live here. There are so many traps for foreigners owning businesses or working here, it's just not worth considering the possibility of living here without some kind of externally-generated financial buffer.

 

 

This is probably the best bit of information you'll get. And of the few that do successfully run a business, virtually all will have an external income source.

 

Andrew

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Bob Ward

This is probably the best bit of information you'll get. And of the few that do successfully run a business, virtually all will have an external income source.

 

Andrew

 

Not correct! I know many who make their living here running business and they have no outside income.

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Not correct! I know many who make their living here running business and they have no outside income.

 

From my experience, which may be different from your experience, very few succeed making a liveable income in the Philippines.

 

Andrew

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graeme82

This is why i love forums like this, everyone has the opportunity to offer their opinions and experiences which seem to vary greatly. Hang in there tuanj!! I think the key will be actually getting the chance to decide whether or not you want to plan your future here. Much of that may depend on meeting the woman you've been building a relationship with online and seeing if she is the real deal and if there is a chance for love there. As previously mentioned by others, having her as not only a life partner, but a trustworthy business partner can open more doors and remove certain roadblocks for your business.

 

That being said, I'm more of a "positive thinking brings positive results" type person. I completely agree with Bob Ward and his experiences with successful foreign entrepreneurs in this country, although I don't doubt Andrew probably has seen the flip side of that coin as well. The difference may also be in what some consider to be a livable income. I have certainly met people who live in a 2000 square foot luxury house or 60,000 a month condo who could never survive with a moderately (even highly) successful business in this country. Some may have families, both their own and that of their partner, to support and require significantly more income. Others may be content with a nipa hut on the beach, a beautiful woman by their side and some fresh fish and icy San Mig in the fridge. It's all about being realistic when setting the goals of what you expect to achieve from your business.

 

There is no correct answer here but I prefer to offer suggestions and encouragement for you to explore all the potential yourself. I'm not trying to sugarcoat the difficult journey you'll have ahead of you. Starting a small business can be a monumental task in any country. Here's some great advice and realistic info I found when I first started my search:

 

If you listen to the experts, starting a small business seems to be right up there with shark-diving and base-jumping as a dangerous activity that's best avoided. But although new business failure rates are high, you've decided to give it a shot anyway. Here's what you'll need to know to keep your business out of the statistical graveyard.

 

Most business experts conform to a theory of "thirds": Of all the new business startups, 1/3 eventually turn a profit, 1/3 break even, and 1/3 never leave a negative earnings scenario. According to a study by the U.S. Small Business Association, only 2/3 of all small business startups survive the first two years and less than half make it to four years. With numbers like that, it's no wonder so many would-be entrepreneurs think twice before taking the plunge.

 

But needless to say, there are certain things you can do to increase the odds of success. You don't need an MBA to make your small business profitable - just guts, determination, and a little common sense advice.

 

Attitude

 

If you start your business with the attitude that it's probably going to fail, guess what - it will. The businesses that succeed are the ones that were founded on an attitude of success. For successful small business owners failure is not an option, and so they avoid people who live and breathe negativity. Instead, they stay positive and move full steam ahead toward reaching their goals.

 

Sacrifice

 

Starting a small business is not a comfortable or luxurious undertaking. It requires nothing less than a total commitment to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to succeed. The most successful small businesses make sacrifices early on and reap the benefits once the business has surpassed the startup phase.

 

Risk

 

Looking for a risk-free investment? If so, you'd be better off putting your money is a savings account and avoiding small business altogether. Small businesses are inherently risky ventures. Sometimes the risks pay off and sometimes they don't. But unless you are willing to take the risks in the first place, there is virtually no possibility that your business will ever succeed.

 

Planning

 

More often than not, the one thing that separates small business successes from small business failures is planning. With all of the resources available to small businesses these days, there is no excuse for not taking the time to create an executable business plan for your company. A good business plan is a roadmap that highlights the best routes to profitability and warns you of potential hazards along the way. If you don't have one, it's highly likely that you'll be lost - and out of business - in no time at all.

 

 

 

Can't wait to hear more about your adventure coming to the Philippines and wish you all the best in finding the love and success you're searching for!

 

Remember: "A pessimist see the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty" - Winston Churchill

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JamesMusslewhite

still working on that information for you. I will PM you in a few days with what ever I have gathered.

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