So you want to be your own boss but don’t have a lot of start-up capital? No problem! With a little creativity and grit, you can start a business with very little money. Here are 8 businesses you can start with (almost) no money in the Philippines.
1. Food Cart
Got a knack for cooking? Why not start your own food cart business? All you need is a small space to set up your cart, some cooking equipment, and ingredients. You can sell just about anything, from street food staples like isaw (grilled chicken intestine) and balut (fertilized duck egg) to Western-style dishes like burgers and fries.
Most people start a food cart business via franchising. An initial startup ranges from as low as 15,000 pesos up to 200,000 pesos depending on the food cart type. However, one question remains, What about the franchise terms of service? Some companies will have monthly fees, while other food cart businesses in the Philippines will have a royalty fee. Some even include a commission on any item sold.
So you could start out with your own food cart and then either gradually scale your business, or use the initial profits to buy into an existing food cart franchise!
2. Laundry Service
Have some extra space in your home? Why not put it to good use by starting a laundry service? You’ll need some washing machines and dryers, of course, as well as ironing equipment. You can start small by offering to do laundry for your friends and family, then expand your business by taking on more clients.
To start an actual laundry service we estimate that you may need an overall budget of more or less 900,000 PHP in the Philippines (including equipment, marketing costs, staff costs, rent, survival budget, etc. However, if you are looking to start a home-based laundry business in the Philippines, then your costs will be considerably lower compared to those looking to start a laundry business store on the high street.
We’ve come up with a list of tips to consider when starting a home-based laundry business:
- Extra services such as ironing and dry cleaning could boost your home-based laundry business profit in the Philippines.
- It would help to refer to other local competitions for the prices.
- When determining the price, you could take into consideration product, utility, and commuting expenses.
- Try to mix and match certain services to offer your clients a better service for a lower rate while still making a good profit margin.
- There are also many options to cross-sell & upsell in this business.
If you want to read further about starting a laundry business in the Philippines, then you may consider our guide here.
3. Housekeeping service
Do you have a knack for cleaning? Start your own housekeeping service! This business is perfect for young entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms or retirees who want to earn some extra income. All you need is some basic cleaning supplies and a few reliable helpers. Once you get started, you can expand your business by advertising your services online or through word-of-mouth. Therefore, starting a housekeeping business in the Philippines is quite cost-effective.
To fully register a housekeeping service business, purchase equipment, and market your business, a housekeeping business in the Philippines can be started for under PHP10,000. However, this can be started for much less depending on the scale of your business.
This way, you can maximize your profits by lowering initial overhead costs. You also don’t need expensive cleaning equipment when starting out. The following initial business costs would be applicable to a housekeeping business:
- Registration costs. To scale your business in the future, it is recommended to register a housekeeping business in the Philippines. Registration fees are typically around PHP2,000-3,000 which includes the actual fees as well as notarization, etc.
- Cleaning equipment. Investing in quality cleaning equipment upfront can save you money down the road. That means better services and less need to replace items like brooms, dustpans, mops, brushes and vacuums etc. – which all add up to approximately PHP1,000! You might also require protective gear such as gloves when utilizing harsh chemicals but this is dependent on what type of housekeeping job this will be – however, there’s no harm taking precautions just incase!
- Cleaning supplies. These consist of consumables such as trash bags, cleaning solution and soap. You should have enough to last your first few customers for less than PHP1,000 but you could get them at promotional rates in stores or online if needed! It may be wise to not only buy these things outright since there are always promotions on cleaning items at most supermarkets or online stores (especially when buying in bulk).
- Vehicle. It’s important to have a vehicle when you’re working with heavy equipment but you may choose to skip this item and instead opt for renting or using transportation services in the city. This could be cheaper for your initial business needs and more convenient too!
- Others. As your business expands, you may need to buy equipment for specialty services (like carpet cleaning) or to make it easier to cover bigger areas (such as with a floor machine).
4. Personal shopper
Do you love shopping? Why not turn your passion into a business? This can be a great way to make money and generate income. There are a few things you’ll need to do in order to get started, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. Below are 3 easy steps to start a personal shopper business:
- The first step is to find a niche market that you can target. You may want to focus on a specific type of customer, such as busy moms or executives.
- Once you’ve identified your target market, you’ll need to find a way to reach them. You can do this through online marketing, social media, or traditional marketing channels like print or television ads.
- Once you’ve found a way to reach your target market, you’ll need to develop a personal shopping service that meets their needs. This may include providing concierge services, helping with wardrobe selection, or providing personal shopping assistance at malls or other retail locations. If you’re able to provide a high-quality personal shopping experience, you’ll be well on your way to making money and generating income.
5. Errand service
Do you have a car? Put it to good use by starting an errand service! This is perfect for busy professionals who don’t have the time to run errands themselves. You can start small by offering to do grocery shopping or pick up dry cleaning for your clients, then expand your services to include other tasks like taking care of pets or running personal errands.
6. Home-based business
Have a product or service that you’re passionate about? Why not start a home-based business? With a little bit of creativity, you can turn just about anything into a home-based business. For example, if you’re a talented baker, you could start selling cakes or cookies out of your home; if you’re crafty, you could start selling handmade jewelry or arts and crafts; if you’re good with numbers, you could offer bookkeeping or tax preparation services; if you’re handy around the house, you could offer home repair services; and so on!
If you are looking to start a business that is online or within the e-commerce market then you may be interested in the following home business ideas:
- Affiliate Marketing Business;
- YouTubing At Home;
- Launch A Blogging Business;
- Host A Podcasting Channel;
- Launch A Lazada, Shopee, Or Esty Store;
- Open An Online English Teaching Business;
- Flipping Online Assets; and
- Start A Subscription-Based Business.
To read more about the above you can check out our guide here.
7. Pet sitting
Are you an animal lover? Start your own pet sitting business! This is perfect for people who love animals but don’t necessarily want the commitment of owning their own pet. All you need is some basic pet care supplies and a few reliable references. Once you get started, you can expand your business by advertising online or through word-of-mouth.
Dog walking is also an incredibly popular sub-niche in the pet sitting market. It requires almost no capital and can be quite lucrative when securing a large customer base. It’s also easy to scale.
8. ‘Do-it-yourself’ workshop
Are you crafty or handy around the house? Start your own “do-it-yourself” workshop! This is perfect for people who want to learn how to do things like fix plumbing leaks or install light fixtures but don’t necessarily want to pay someone else to do it for them. All you need is some basic tools and supplies, as well as knowledge of how to do the particular task at hand (which you can acquire through research, YouTube videos, etc.). Once you get started, advertise your workshops online or through word-of-mouth to attract students.’
Some examples of DIY workshops with guides are listed below:
- Homemade soap workshop and business;
- Homemade food workshops and business; and
- Hardware workshop and business.
These are just 8 businesses that you can start with almost no money in the Philippines—but there are many more options out there! So what are you waiting for? Get creative and start planningyour new venture today!