A Small Business Idea For the Philippines

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136 comments

    1. @cambridgesyd I would imagine if you put a corrugated metal roof or nipa shade structure over it combined with a split air-conditioner unit that it would be manageable. I’ve seen people live in containers in Western Africa.

  1. You’re out in the provinces; if you set up this kind of business, who would you get for a security guard? What’s inside is relatively valuable, your guard will probably be helping his friends and family clear the place out. Learn the culture you’re living in before making any great plans, OK?

    1. I thought the same thing. Perhaps some covert surveillance equipment (camera’s). Ensure that all are aware of the surveillance, but not the location of the cameras. Anything possible these day’s with this sort of stuff.

    2. In the big cities we already have storage options; look for “warehouse for rent” and you’ll find many possibilities. On the beach – there’s almost always houses close by and asking someone to watch your things while you’re playing works great for me – be sure to offer a small reward for their service.

    3. That’s always a possibility.  But I’m thinking more in the big cities for storage units and near the beaches for lockers.  Around Cebu, most places already have security guard all night along with CCTV cameras.

  2. I was just talking to Imabelle about this because I was watching those shows where they auction storage units. She told me they don;t have those here.

  3. Really cool idea, but i guess that for a storage place, you would need some kind of ventilation system as well, wouldnt you?
    At least i could imagine that the humidity might damage the goods after a while, i am not sure though.
    But you are definitely right, there is need for these kind of things wherever in the world i have been to.

  4. Oh, you gave away my intended business idea!  Just kidding.  You’re the second person (in the Philippines) I’ve met who brought this up.  Since I am planning to retire there (within 3 years), I have scouted possible locations for such a business.  I came across (and videotaped) a few existing structures suitable for this. 

  5. This is a great idea, for the right person. Clearly, you need connections to help you with land leases, security, customer service, etc. If you just barge in with First World expectations of setting this up, you’ll be soooooooo screwed!

  6. I think it is a great idea, but this would only work in areas you have either a large amount of expats living in the area or a tourist area. My wife and I will be moving to Baguio in a few years and we want to start a business there. I am retiring and don’t want to be slaved to a business and I think that would be the perfect excuse for me to be moving around the islands to check up on the lockers and storage facilities. 

  7. That is a good idea Henry.  I have never seen one there and for good reason as there is none.  You would have to put them in the right location to target foreigners.  However there is a growing middle class that would also be customers.  Those things are everywhere in the US.

  8. Good idea on the storage lockers Henry, the expats traveling
    back and forth burn a lot of time and money, trying to sell their
    stuff, and to no avail, then having to come back, and rebuy new stuff.

    1. On the other hand, I really do think that this sort of business will work as there isn’t available over there in Philippines. I just don’t know how many customer you would get to sustain enough money, let alone profit to keep the business operation running.

  9. It’s nice of you to share ideas and I think the beach locker idea has a better chance of success. Storage units that are not climate controlled to combat heat and humidity as well a set-up that will prevent infestation from insects etc. would allow contents to get damaged. The option of renting out a portion of an air-conditioned warehouse might overcome hefty start-up costs. 

  10. I was under the impression a foreigner can not own a business alone in the PI.   I thought a Filipino needed to be involved as and owner.   Yes…..or no?

    1. A foreigner can lease land, but not own it.  A business needs to be 60% owned by a Filipino citizen, usually the foreigner’s wife.  Most of this is a problem for unmarried expats.

  11. Great that you are tossing about an idea, and on the face seems like a great idea. You were right on to point out Filipina security, ( large families )  ( travel in groups ). Stand alone stands little chance in my mind from observations when there, for if it is remotely valuable you will require armed security personnel. The single traveler is like yourself over the last 2 years, wise to travel light as you mentioned before. In cooperation with a large family perhaps it is worth further consideration. I wish to say thanks sincerely for your videos as your perspectives are very enlightening, Salamat Henry.

  12. Been thinking about the beach locker idea for about six months or more. Storage sheds not sure about maintaining security.
    Was thinking about the locker idea for folks who want to leave stuff for a day or more when they went on boat tours or went on a day trip and didn’t want to haul more than a small backpack around or using the beach like you said.  Maybe you could work out a deal with or next to a busy tour office. Also thought about storing folks valuables such as safety deposit boxes as you found out in Moalboal. One problem is it would be, being open long hours to accommodate people needing to use you early in the morning and late at night. Would be nice if you could provide showers to rinse off the seawater and clean CR facilities for a small fee. 
    The biggest problem is that if you were successful is, that like everything else in Asia, once the locals see you doing good they will copy cat you, Six more will open up nearby. Hah.
    As for the problem of expats and their stuff, maybe something like a RentACenter. You could buy their items and resale or rent them out for the snowbirds or those having an emergency. Would need a good handyman to keep the items in good condition. You would need to buy good quality items though and not the cheap China imports so that your maintenance costs were reasonable. Having a truck to pickup and deliver items would be a must. You would need to have a decent sized expat population in your area to make it work. As for doing these type of businesses in multiple locations, I am not convinced yet, that you can find trustworthy help to make it work. 
    The rest I’m keeping under my hat until I get there this fall. LOL
    And I still think that if you run your own piggery and chicken farm along with some fruit and vegetables, that there is money to be made. But you have to be interested in the project and be living there. Some farming background would be helpful.
    I guess the point I’m making is that  you have to be a hands on type of person to cut down your losses, if you know what I mean.
    This sounds like a good thread for the website. 
    I have yet to find that magical business that you can front some money up and get it off the ground and then sit back and reap the rewards. Any small business takes hard work and constant innovation and over site to keep it going. Da ani’t no free rides. YukYuk
    Enjoy the videos about just plain ole everyday life, keep em coming and enjoy yourself.
    I expect to be there in September and can’t wait.  

  13. hmmm I found a source for some cheepish shipping containers in cebu I bet one could pick up some land drop some shipping containers on it (steel easy to lock up) and rent space for storage lockup to expats pretty well. 

  14. Search youtube for beach vault for you beach idea.
       I agree, storage would be a great money making idea, the big problem is burglars, as you found out in your apartment.

  15. Henry, I just am able to respond since my pc has been fixed.  I told you I am here in Lapu Lapu City with my fiance.  I will be here until the 30th of June.  I dont have facebook.  My email address is rhmrr@yahoo.com if you want to contact us in regards to maybe meeting up somewhere.  I am sure I could meet you somewhere convenient.  I just got back from the province in Naga City to meet my future family.  It was so much fun.  Please keep in touch.  Rick

  16. Henry, that is a beautiful idea, now here’s how you set that up look for other expat set up a partnership with them make sure your close and trust in them do all that kind of business relation thing that way you all share the responsibility ask some of this guys here to go with you on that or those expat that’s been there long time that knows the ropes thats all.

    1. Yeah but then i saw a place that looked like that was the initial intent of the business but people were living in them. Maybe that persons business Idea was before it’s time.
      The Philippines is growing fast and is getting expensive.

  17. Steve has a point, the judicial system in the Philippines, needs to not just watch out for their own people, but need to start appreciating the investment by the foreigners, too many false charges and expat’s in jail for 18 months to 2 years spending all their money on legal fees, to solicitors who’s only objective, is to pry every last penny from them. If you want the investment Philippines wake up and play fair

    1. WTF are you talking about???, as an expat in the Philippines I am way more free than in USA and much less likely to end up in trouble with law enforcement.

  18. Great idea! If you get a big enough land also, large companies like San Miguel Corporation, Coke, etc. need warehouses to store their goods. That might be bigger profit as well because they rent it per month. Just an idea to add to yours. 

    Also, you need to make sure that the lockers are weather-proof (to make sure that the strong storms that frequently pass here won’t damage anything). 

    Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your stay here in the Philippines!

  19. NAIA needs lockers good for people who has stop overs for 6 hours or so and want to see the city. It is a good promotion. Your idea is great even for filipinos that has to work abroad and has no place to store their stuff etc.

  20. I’d never get involved in a biz that didn’t pay me many times what it cost me to set up. The one I came up with has so many side bennies, and is so secure that I’m sick that I didn’t think of it 40 years sooner.

  21. Ukay Ukay  is a good business, selling use bedsheet, shoe etc. I know somebody who have a small business like buy and sell. He got orders from the Philippines and buy then in the States and when he come back he give it to the persons and give it to people who order then.

  22. Yes I found it .. Thanks for your video dude … I got now an idea to open up a business yes!!!! I am an O.F.W I will start it if I’m going back there for good

  23. hey maybe i got something for you ,,i sell water machines,,that makes dirty none drinking water drinkable. get a machine from me . start making clean alkaline water put it in bottles and sell them ,,now the women and men can start making money for them selfs ,give them dignity and self respect ,i will sell the machine at half price to you ,my web site is http://www.1drake.com  or call me 604-716-5845   

    1. @jeff drakes I doubt what you are selling, will sell there. What does it do a manually operated Katadyn Combi won’t do? Nothing, and the Katadyn needs no power.

  24. Just found your channel man, really inspirational.  Moving over seas is something i’ve been wanting to do for awhile now, it’s awesome to see someone muster the guts and do it.  Especially being able to live out there for over 2 years.  & you’ve got a nice voice so it’s easy to listen to all the videos.   Anyway, there’s no real point to this comment just saying awesome job taking life by the balls, hope you keep enjoying it! 

  25. I remember talking to my gf about leaving my stuff in a storage unit here in the US and she, as a filipina, had no clue what i was talking about lol i had to explain to her that you rent a room/locker to put stuff in.
    My main worry about moving to the Philippines is not having money to support myself and her as i dont believe its easy for a foreigner to get a job their. Of course im also very young so i wont exaxtly have a large amount of money whenever i do manage to get there.
    This is an interesting idea that i can throw into my thoughts haha Thanks!

  26. I’d only do it if a filipino was involved. There’s enough jealousy as it is. Locals are cool with it if you bring money in and hire them. If you’re competing, not so much. That’s trye anywhere. I’ve lived in 5 countries and money is always an issue the longeer you stay the bigger the issue gets…

  27. Yeah that would probably work well, i had someone try to steal my dive bag, thing weighs 20 kilos so some stopped him.
    I just gave away all my stuff,accept my motor cycle that i sold
    But saw many times other expats get robbed in remote beaches mostly it was children or teen doing the stealing.so any lock box would work
    Have some ocean front land in Cebu so i will try to small  egg and chick business,
    In Moal Boal i had a boat and i could catch more fish than i or my wife could eat and i worked playing music some.
    i am going to fish and play music anyway as i enjoy doing this

  28. Good idea Reekay , I go for it ,I’m from Cebu City and were my brother live in Catmon , there is a lot of beaches small family business , I will tell my bro about this , thank you so much for you’re good idea, think of anything else and inform us in You Tube about the idea of you’re thinking about , in two year’s from now my husband will retired from his second job, and we were thinking to retired in Cebu City . thank’s again. so nice to talk to you .

  29. I like doing a small business in the Philippines . I’m a Pilipino so I can do it , I like to have a small Carenderia and sari-sari store in one !!! See you in 2017 .

  30. I am not convinced. How much stuff would someone want to bring to the Philipines. I think though you might have hit on a different idea. Buy it up and rent out or sell the stuff. I only ever bring a small ruksac. Who would collect the money? Could you trust others to collect it and pass it on to you. Sorry. I enjoy your videos, but I dont think this idea is viable. I love knocking ideas around though. One of the great appeals to me is that it like the Wild West. Sink or swim. But you should always have back up money and Plan B and C. Do men really just come over without thinking about it and giving them selves a budget. Whatever venture you try you have a budget and if things do not work out a reserve and you get out of the venture before it drowns you.

    1. +Stephen Walker finding reliable help in the PH is tough for any small business here. renting out boats or snorkel gear is done at the scuba shops already. i was thinking it would be great to go to a beach (alone especially) and not have to constantly keep an eye on your backpack (containing keys, wallet, food, etc.) while swimming. it won’t generate much, but all it requires is one person, maybe a relative, to operate it.

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  32. I love your channel! Just what I needed to hear today! I love a lot of the remarks also! I’ll be checking out some more of your rock star vids, please check out mine as well! Thanks and God bless!

  33. IMHO the safest bet you can do to put up a small business in the philippines is to setup a small retail store in your area. the place should be pretty crowded and as much as possible, the other retail stores should be at least 100m away from your place. start with basic commodities like rice, processed meats, liquors/snacks/cigs, laundry detergents and e-loading service. and if your place happens to be a 100m near big municipal schools, you can setup a small computer rental service for the students to make a research on the internet. include printing service as well for them of course. accept typing services and rush ID photos 😀 … or think big and be an Internet Service Provider here with your own submarine cable… we’re so fed up with the ISP’s in here

    1. +wnc817 you can lease the land, or buy it in a filipina’s name. preferably wife or g/f, since you won’t be on title with any rights.

    1. +Jim Jones i’ve been to locations for DHL. but i don’t know the numbers to tell you if it’s profitable or not. at the face of it, sounds like a good combination idea.

  34. Thank you for addressing a potential business opportunity. Wondering if you have thoughts/ideas on what to do when the people that put the stuff in storage never come back to retrieve the stuff, and doesn’t indicate whether they’ll ever be back. In the US there are laws that allow stuff to be auctioned after a few months of non-payment of rental. Thanks again and especially for the wonderfully valuable information you continue to pass on. 🙂

    1. On thinking a bit, I’m guessing you could get a legally binding agreement drawn up by an attorney there for renter to sign , wherewith you can sell/auction the stuff after a certain amount of time.

  35. my good man, i want to go to cebu to stay with my fiancee for up to a year. minus the cost of my roundtrip tickets, can $5000 get us into a small modestly profitable business to hold us down until the entire visa process goes through?

    1. Hi, briefly, I am trying to the Philippines from the states. Was there in April and loved it. I need an extra income as well. I like the idea of ESL online. Do you know someone who is already doing that? Would like to see their website. Any ideas on best direction of a website to piggy back on or best to start my own?

    2. +NiteRythemzRadio1 p.s. what i would recommend is looking into earning money online. one thing you could look into is teaching english online, via skype. i’d say your best market would be to south koreans, vietnamese and possibly south america. you could either get an ESL cert (english as a second language) to teach online with an established website, or you could start your own website. then you would be earning in monetary denominations with much more value to convert into PH Pesos.

    3. +NiteRythemzRadio1 i wish i could tell you it would, but i would not count on it. the problem with earning money in the PH is that you will be earning and competing in PH Pesos. unless you are running a nice resto catering to expats, many small ventures may only make $50 a day and count that as a success. too many others make less than that.

  36. Storage rooms would work for expats; they are most numerous in Manila, Cebu, Dumagete, and Davao. You might also want to do one in Batangas City, as there are a lot of annual-lease workers coming in from around the world to work in the shipyard (possibly the Subic Bay and Clark Airfield areas too). There are many other ideas as well, although most would not make much profit (e.g., water purification, rice sales, cell phone load, lottery sales, general store). And then, of course, there is always working online…..
    Todd.P

    1. Mari443Garrett1 no money in it as one expat found out here recently he opened an eatery it lasted one month ,Why ? Because he cooked the wrong food staff could not speak English , you have to do some serious research before opening an eatery or anything to do with food also there is food poisoning to think about if your food hygiene is not up to scratch and a customer gets sick you will be out of business within 24 hrs and face a case against you under public health laws here , food does not keep well here in the tropics all you need is a couple of brown outs and your food is ruined

    1. @Charlie Robles asking for money, especially right away and numerous times is a huge red flag. I have been told a good and true Filipina with good attentions will never ask for money. Also never send money or expensive gifts to someone who you have never met in person. My wife is Filipina and we have been married for 7 years and living in the Philippines. I don’t know you or your girlfriend so I cannot judge your relationship specifically, but what I’m telling you is just a general rule of thumb. Hope everything works out.

    2. only you know the finer details that could mitigate a final decision. i can only give you my 2-pesos based on the info provided. but as a starter, ask youself, “What do I really WANT?” is it marriage, a relationship or just a short-term fling? when you can answer that question to yourself, you will know what action to take.

    3. honestly, it sounds like religion is not the issue. from what you describe she is more interested in setting up future security and it doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s you or someone else.

      the fact that she’s willing to make money requests, and leave her church to be with you should tell you where her priorities are.

  37. this is an idea. I own land in Bohol and been trying to find something to do with to make money now this is an idea.  I would live on site and have rest family who will live there.  so if you would like I would be willing to take business partners

  38. foreigners cannot own 100% of the properties in PH. you have to have a business partner who is filipino citizen. but still a small amount of your money can already mean a lot here because of low cost of living

  39. Great idea however if you went with an actual like storage unit like we see here in the US you would have to have that thing so secured cuz if you don’t people are going to be breaking into those things left and right and just stealing also the beach lockers another great idea but then they’d actually have to be willing to pay to use them and the problem I would see with both is that you’re earning pesos I would think a better business would be something that you could earn in u.s. dollars then converted over to pesos because of the exchange rate but both not bad ideas LOL

  40. You know? I like the idea for lockers on the beach. I personally was looking to find a place in Manila which have something like safety boxes so I can put some emergency money and things I don’t want to bring with me everywhere.I’m planning going and exploring the slams of Manila,so I don’t want to bring valuable stuff with me,but still couldn’t find anything like that. I think this would be actually a good business idea because it provides security in case of something happens. Thanks for the great videos my friend. Looking forward for more advice videos from you. God bless you!

  41. Even in the states storage lockers are disappearing while the list of places you can’t bring your gear is getting longer. Nobody wants the potential liability of storing somebodies backpack full of Semtex. A storage locker at the airport? Easier to find a unicorn. The larger storage units make money in a culture where people have more stuff than room for it. While Filipinos sometimes have some serious problems, “too much stuff”, rarely makes the list.

    1. Yep. I don’t have specific numbers but we’re starting with expats, a fairly small percentage of the population. Reduce that to the percentage of expats who need to make a trip out of the country long enough that hiring a “house sitter” isn’t viable. Reduce that group by the number of people who won’t be back. Of those that remain, how many live within reasonable hauling distance of the planned storage facility? Wouldn’t it make more sense to sublet a furnished apartment via Air BnB?

    2. the demorgraphic for storage units would not necessarily be filipinos, but expats who need a place to store their motorbike, furniture, luggage while doing a short trip out of the PH for either visa, medical or family visits. otherwise they have to sell most of that stuff for pennies on the dollar.

  42. LOL…I’ve thought about storage units here for 20+ years however you’ll have to trust a local handling the paperwork leases and money along with day to day MGMT of the facility ~ Many storage companies in the US build in a small living quarters above the office area so the employee is a resident manager which could be done easily here and be an added employee benefit without too much added expense…Have to trust the security guards to “secure” the place though instead of sleeping while at work is another challenge (many guards are thieves so that too is a red flag)…Great idea(s) are always fraught with problems when you are dealing with a less than stable work force especially in a 3rd world country ~ That’s why its the 3rd world because of the people…

    But regardless storage is definitely needed and I’d imagine one day UHaul or Ryder or one of the majors will be here selling franchises to get storage units set up when they think the masses are ready to store extra items and shell out P1000+/mo for a unit ~ That might still be a ways off…So in the mean time the little guy still has a chance as long as he’s willing to take the risk and baby sit it…Over a decade ago I was looking at a coin laundry business in the US as a sideline business but after performing my due diligence I ended up not liking the unit I was interested in buying for multiple reasons and walked away ~ Did have the thought about the Phil that at some point you’d start to see them here instead of the traditional “Drop Off/Pick Up” laundries that we are all familiar with..

    .Well they are here now and its growing; I see more sites going in with banks of 10-15 washers and equal number of dryers; some now are providing oversize units to handle comforters and large items to be washed and dried ~ Main reason for their success imho is a) its cheaper and b) you’re less likely to lose your items doing it yourself
    and c) people would rather do their own than let someone else do it when it comes to more expensive clothing items…Just sayin’ for those that might be interested…and if the location is in a populated area you’ve got a built in trade during the rainy season as no one can really do a quick job of drying their wash at home due to the rains the plague us daily….Again good insights here in this video…

  43. I visited Cebu and Bohol recently and loved it – particularly Bohol. My experience is in sales and most recently in teaching. I want a more laid back lifestyle than the hustle and bustle of a big city but of course I need a salary etc do you think I could find sales/telesales manager/ teaching roles in Cebu or Bohol for example??

    I realize Cebu and Bohol are different. Do you think it would be stressful to live and work in Cebu? What do you think it would be like to live and work in Bohol?

    Also interested in business ventures..

    Thanks

  44. Omg this is too funny. I live on site for a storage place and I’m going to retire there. Not looking to do that there, but one consideration is insurance for them. Weather can be an issue

  45. after carefully studying possible business venture, I finally found one not from extended business seminars but from 2 ladies discussing what will they do with their OFW earnings. Broiler poultry farms.
    one lady said that she made a contract with a huge poultry broiler business . She harvest 8,000 chickens every 45 days with a net profit of 190,000

  46. My long-time friend now ex city manager of Petaluma California told me on a visit to San Francesco some years back.. . that this was the best money making business in his locality.

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