How to Start a Business in the Philippines

Starting a business is the dream of millions of Filipinos. Being your own boss, getting rich and doing what you like are among the promised benefits of being an entrepreneur that are hard to resist. This may all come true, but succeeding in a venture is not that easy especially for those with no business background or experience.
For most people who are not business majors, taking a few years off to study business is not feasible. Nevertheless, if you wish to improve your chances for success, it is critical that you try to supplement your knowledge by studying the necessary skills you will need to operate a small or medium-sized business. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Look for a business that is suitable to your skills, situation and inclination. You must have more than just a superficial idea of what operating the business entails. A good example of this is if you are planning to set up an offset printing press to print brochures and other high quality marketing collaterals in large volume. Some people think that having excellent graphic skills is the key success factor in the printing press business. However, an offset printing press is in fact a manufacturing facility, and production management skills would be more useful.
Know what type of legal entity is best. There are basically three types of business that you can organize. You can opt to be a single proprietor, a partnership or a corporation. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. You need to select the right form for your business to minimize expenses and liability or for easier expansion.
Have sufficient capital. It takes money to start and operate a business, but most people who have no experience in business fail to estimate capital requirement accurately. Many fail to budget sufficiently for contingencies and operating capital. Usually, newbies figure in only the allocation for capital expenses like machine, location, inventory and rental and overlook providing for operating expenses. Most new businesses, too, must absorb losses while their sales and productivity are still low and so there must be reserve cash.
Know how to compute salaries and wages. There are plenty of requirements in computing salaries and wages. Minimum wages alone differ depending on the area. You must also know how to compute for overtime, holidays, SSS, withholding tax, etc. Mistakes here may be extremely costly in terms of penalties and employee dissatisfaction.
Learn about bookkeeping and accounting. Even if you plan to delegate this task to your accountant, remember that any penalty due to negligence or incompetence in recording in the journal or ledger will ultimately be borne by you and so you must also understand at least enough to spot gross errors before it is too late or costly to correct them. Also, it is essential to understand basic financial statements.
Starting and operating a business takes more than guts. You must strive to arm yourself with as much needed skills and information as you can acquire. Even those who spent years in college studying in a business course still have much to learn.
To know more about starting a business, BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts an excellent seminar on this entitled “How to Plan and Start Business.” Contact (2) 727-5628/8860, (915) 205-0133 or visit for details.

Click here to view details of the seminar: How to Plan and Start a Business »

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, October 7, 2012. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.