Philippines Insider" The Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for Tourists and Expats
Philippines Insider" The Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for Tourists and Expats

Author Topic: Need some advice from you old timers  (Read 14032 times)

Offline jjcabgou

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 524
Need some advice from you old timers
« on: November 23, 2014, 07:50:29 PM »
We have been here about a year now, and my wife is growing crazy with boredom.  We are near family and 99 percent of the time we do have family here visiting, however, she misses working and misses earning a wage (she has lived in London and the USA, so she is accustom to working, making money, helping her family etc...), so coming back to this much more simple lifestyle has been difficult on her.
Any suggestions on starting a small business?  We are not rich but can come up with some cash to potentially start a business.
No suggestion would be too far fetched as we are both at a loss.
Thanks in advance!!!

Offline Lee2

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,543
  • *** Rest In Peace ***
Re: Need some advice from you old timers
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2014, 09:26:45 PM »
There are a lot of posts I have seen about some of the members of this forum who are in business which might help give you some ideas. I would suggest looking hard to find something that there is a large need for in your area and heading in that direction, that way she can work close to home. There are also many phone jobs which can be done from your home country, if you can get some type of reliable voice over internet phone line at home so she can sign up to answer calls. Hopefully the other members will have more direct answers.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline coleman2347

  • ole jarhead, Tacloban City, Leyte
  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 831
  • Retired Marine, Retired DOD
Re: Need some advice from you old timers
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 12:16:11 AM »
We have been here about a year now, and my wife is growing crazy with boredom.  We are near family and 99 percent of the time we do have family here visiting, however, she misses working and misses earning a wage (she has lived in London and the USA, so she is accustom to working, making money, helping her family etc...), so coming back to this much more simple lifestyle has been difficult on her.
Any suggestions on starting a small business?  We are not rich but can come up with some cash to potentially start a business.
No suggestion would be too far fetched as we are both at a loss.
Thanks in advance!!!

You dont say where you are, province of city?  So far Maline and I have done a couple of things, As I dont know your situation Im not sure they will help.

We had a store, what they called here a Mini Grocery, I think the total Investment was around 350/400k. to start. 
What made it work was I invested the money needed to have stuff like cold beer and be able to sell ice to the fisherman. We had about three freezers and coolers to do this.  In the neighborhood a lot of people sold beer but nobody sold cold beer,  the ice and beer would get people to the store, I have found that I buy stuff out of habit at a place I know the people,  I figured if I could get people in the habit of coming around it would be good for business, it was.  I also put a 30 inch flat screen in the store on cable, and turned it to the street so those that did not have tvs could watch it. This helped also.  After we figured out what sold and what didnt, we made pretty good money out of the place...unfortunately it was completely destroyed by Yolanda...not even the concrete pad was left..

After Yolanda, when we rebuilt Malines sisters house, we built a small sari sari on it.  Mostly to give Malines sis something to do and make a little money...it seems to be holding it own and has helped Malines family.

Mostly now, we deal in rice, I loan money to the farmers for planting, they pay me back in rice which I bring to the city and sell.  We have some rice fields of our own, but for the most part depend on Malines family for the rice as all of them in the province are rice farmers
 
Next year we are building a larger version of the Mini Grocery in the province. We found that all the farmers there have to travel to Palo to buy and sell, its a distance of around 20km and usually done on habal habal..Maline and I figured that giving them a store they didnt have to travel so far to would be a sure win and we can also use it as a drop off point for our rice activities. 

Having said that, stores here need to be hands on, it will be a rare thing that you can hire somebody that will not pilfer the stocks or be tempted to pocket some money, its the nature of doing business here.

 I got the idea when I was in the province drinking with relatives and when we would run out of beer it would be a big deal to get some more and when you did it would be hot.  As I like "polar beer"  I figured others would also.  Then looking around and asking some questions I found that it was standard procedure to have to travel a pretty good distance to buy anything.  Hince there was a need....

The key to anything is to find the need,  I invested in a mig welder, believe it or not its the only one in Tacloban and Mike, my partner and I already get jobs that would be hard to do with a plain old stick welder...

One of Malines sisters is married to a fisherman, after the storm he had lost his boat so we built one..now he has a way to make a living and we usually take our portion of the profit in fresh fish...

Another friend of ours, has a boutique where she sells stuff you dont usually see in places like Robinsons..(mostly sexy dresses and things like that)  she always makes money.

Its hard to suggest things without knowing you and your wife but I hope this gives you some ideas...you can make money here, just start small and re invest your money back into the business...Lee
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 12:19:33 AM by coleman2347 »
The only thing worse than wanting to do it is not doing it

Offline jjcabgou

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 524
Re: Need some advice from you old timers
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2014, 10:56:25 AM »
We have been here about a year now, and my wife is growing crazy with boredom.  We are near family and 99 percent of the time we do have family here visiting, however, she misses working and misses earning a wage (she has lived in London and the USA, so she is accustom to working, making money, helping her family etc...), so coming back to this much more simple lifestyle has been difficult on her.
Any suggestions on starting a small business?  We are not rich but can come up with some cash to potentially start a business.
No suggestion would be too far fetched as we are both at a loss.
Thanks in advance!!!

You dont say where you are, province of city?  So far Maline and I have done a couple of things, As I dont know your situation Im not sure they will help.

We had a store, what they called here a Mini Grocery, I think the total Investment was around 350/400k. to start. 
What made it work was I invested the money needed to have stuff like cold beer and be able to sell ice to the fisherman. We had about three freezers and coolers to do this.  In the neighborhood a lot of people sold beer but nobody sold cold beer,  the ice and beer would get people to the store, I have found that I buy stuff out of habit at a place I know the people,  I figured if I could get people in the habit of coming around it would be good for business, it was.  I also put a 30 inch flat screen in the store on cable, and turned it to the street so those that did not have tvs could watch it. This helped also.  After we figured out what sold and what didnt, we made pretty good money out of the place...unfortunately it was completely destroyed by Yolanda...not even the concrete pad was left..

After Yolanda, when we rebuilt Malines sisters house, we built a small sari sari on it.  Mostly to give Malines sis something to do and make a little money...it seems to be holding it own and has helped Malines family.

Mostly now, we deal in rice, I loan money to the farmers for planting, they pay me back in rice which I bring to the city and sell.  We have some rice fields of our own, but for the most part depend on Malines family for the rice as all of them in the province are rice farmers
 
Next year we are building a larger version of the Mini Grocery in the province. We found that all the farmers there have to travel to Palo to buy and sell, its a distance of around 20km and usually done on habal habal..Maline and I figured that giving them a store they didnt have to travel so far to would be a sure win and we can also use it as a drop off point for our rice activities. 

Having said that, stores here need to be hands on, it will be a rare thing that you can hire somebody that will not pilfer the stocks or be tempted to pocket some money, its the nature of doing business here.

 I got the idea when I was in the province drinking with relatives and when we would run out of beer it would be a big deal to get some more and when you did it would be hot.  As I like "polar beer"  I figured others would also.  Then looking around and asking some questions I found that it was standard procedure to have to travel a pretty good distance to buy anything.  Hince there was a need....

The key to anything is to find the need,  I invested in a mig welder, believe it or not its the only one in Tacloban and Mike, my partner and I already get jobs that would be hard to do with a plain old stick welder...

One of Malines sisters is married to a fisherman, after the storm he had lost his boat so we built one..now he has a way to make a living and we usually take our portion of the profit in fresh fish...

Another friend of ours, has a boutique where she sells stuff you dont usually see in places like Robinsons..(mostly sexy dresses and things like that)  she always makes money.

Its hard to suggest things without knowing you and your wife but I hope this gives you some ideas...you can make money here, just start small and re invest your money back into the business...Lee

Maraming salamat po....We are in Tagaytay and there are markets, 7/11's, Robinsons etc...No shortage at all of fresh foods, fruits, meats, Gulay, beer, etc..    My wife has been making ice candy and selling it at her sisters place in Gen Trias (profit is VERY small, however it is keeping her a little busy).  Your ideas and suggestions have provided me a little more motivation, especially the rice.  We have family in provinces (I am sure similar to what you describe), and there is some rice land available for "lease", my concern is the actual legality of leasing land and possibly getting ripped off.  If we can get some land done there we can get her brother to manage it and make a little profit for his family and us....    Question:  Did you have to go permits etc, to set up your sari sari store?  I have heard it is a very difficult and expensive process to actually set up a business.

Offline cvgtpc1

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Re: Need some advice from you old timers
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2014, 11:55:46 PM »
Lee, did you ever work the counter in your store?  For whatever reason I heard locals like a local, maybe to communicate easier.

Offline coleman2347

  • ole jarhead, Tacloban City, Leyte
  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 831
  • Retired Marine, Retired DOD
Re: Need some advice from you old timers
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2014, 08:52:21 AM »
Dennis, I did not work the counter in the store, just have family do it...occasionally I would sit and drink a beer there  and if they spoke English I would help them...

JJ, We own some of the rice land I spoke of, I have never leased land, but would not worry to much about doing so If I had paperwork and it was notarized by the brangy officer.  I have loaned money on pawned land which seems to be common here.  But only to family. My aunt, pawned about a hector of rice land to us.  Making a will that upon her death the land reverts to Maline.  She has no kids so the law about kids does not enter into it.

We seem to make a good bit by loaning money for planting, they pay us back in rice 2.5 sacks of unmilled rice per 1000p loaned....its a double your money deal...but as no money is involved for them paying us back, they like it that way.

For the mini grocery, had all the permits....for the sari sari, no permits...seems that is the normal thing here.
Getting permits is not that hard, just have to go to the different offices, the fire inspection was a joke, seemed like if the building was not on fire, it passed.  In Tacloban, a permit from the city was required as was a permit from the bngy.

Hope that helps...Lee
The only thing worse than wanting to do it is not doing it

Offline Shewmake

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 164
Re: Need some advice from you old timers
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2014, 07:30:53 AM »
If its just pure boredom and not the need to earn. There are opportunities to volunteer. When we lived in our last place my wife joined the SKL (don't know what it stands for), but it was the ladies of the village. They were always petitioning the mayor for money for a projects, or to get a medical mission, or doing a feeding program in connection with The Knights of Columbus or Rotary club. I did what Lee does on a much smaller scale with the locals farming small plots, and was paid back in fruits, veggies or the occasional chicken. I have recently gotten involved with the Homeowners Assoc. as a volunteer. They wanted someone who would perform inspections of new construction to ensure people were following the basic Deeds and Restrictions for the subdivision. One of the directors is asking if I want to tackle directing the maintenance staff-- grass-cutting, tree-trimming and general clean-up etc., but I am not going to rush into it just yet. It gets me out of the hours a few hours a week for a change of pace.
Here for good,
Stephen

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month. Theodore Roosevelt