Sunday, January 06, 2008

How to start your business in the Philippines when you are an OFW and away?

I am sure many of our OFWs wanted to put up their own businesses back home while they are earning somewhere else (overseas), at the same time. This is what I did. I had been a "little bit" successful on this, so I want to share some of my first hand experience. You can check them out and tweaked them for yourself.

Benefits of putting up your business back home while working overseas are as follows:

1. It educates and teaches your family members to earn a living by themselves, to help you out, and to reduce the need to send monthly allotments, whatever.
2. Once you decide to go home, there is something waiting for you.
3. In my case, the business I put up in the first year, cancelled out the need to send money - monthly, as the earning from the business was enough for my family monthly needs, thus increasing my power to save.
4. It enables you to earn money and create employment back home.

But in doing this, you have to be careful, or you are just putting money down the drain.

OK, here are my tips:

1. Do not do it alone. Do not let your family members do it alone. Get somebody outside who knows how to do it, its details, the tricks.

In my case, somebody asked me if I could finance a business, I said yes, tell me more about it. I asked him, can he put 100% of his time on it? Does he know about the business, economics behind it, management system needed, etc. So we agreed. I made a family member involved in the business by way of a helper, treasurer, and overseer (limited capacity) rolled into one. Listen to your partner, and let him run things.

2. Before you agree to a business, evaluate it first. Do your own evaluation. Ask others who had been into similar business - everything: market, mark up, problems, pitfalls, etc.

3. Be open. Listen to your partner, listen to your family member. Be flexible and adapt to market situations. Change if needed.

4. Put everything on record. Agreements, sharing system, receipts, deposits, etc. Most importantly, do not mixed up expenses for your business, and personal/personnel expense.

5. Communicate. Ask you family member to email you weekly, details, and everything else. Monitor it.

Good luck.