Go ahead, open up a business

I don’t know if Philippine economy is booming but with the country pledging loans to IMF (which still puzzles me why) but I guess we’re moving into better direction for the nation. Of course poor people and jobless ones will disagree.  It’s not booming if they’re not working. Unemployment is still high and the poor is still poor.

Middle class will probably tell you that state of Philippines and it’s growth though I think is stable ( is it?) it still lags far behind other Asian countries and infrastructures, development and other sectors need to sprout up.

WowPhilippines Gift Delivery in the Philippines

I wanted to say something about interest rates and taxes but, I’m clueless about those.  Well, pretty much about everything, actually.   I just know that my face sours every time I would look at my grocery receipt and see VAT. And that if there’s double pay day (due to holiday), naturally the tax doubles up so it probably negates the extra pay? Whoa, I have no idea what I just said  but you get the drift, right?

Anyway, I must have digress. forgive me.  Back to the title of my article, opening up a business. Yes, go ahead and do so! I mentioned that the country’s economy is probably growing (slower pace, but growing, nevertheless).

Ready for Business
Ready for Business

If you’ve been here in the Philippines and you have savings or planning to add to your saving, opening up a business is good thing.  You’ll have income to help you live a comfortable life here, plus you’ll be able to help others earn income as well. It’s a win-win situation.  But I guess it’s easier said than done. Then again, if you have the resources, it’s easier.

I have a suggestion for 3 kinds of business to go into. A restaurant or minimart store,  a supply store,  and lastly a day care center. These are just what I think will make good business and income earners (maybe not for the last one) however, I thought of them  because if I were the consumer   I’d be interested.  What do you think?

Restaurant/mini mart

Many expats whether Caucasians, Asians, middle eastern ones go into the food business and  open up restaurants. It is good earner of money and income driven business. Why? Filipinos like to eat. Whether it’s Carinderia, a small canteen, a diner, fast-food, bar, restaurant (fine dining or not), people will troop to restaurant to eat.

You can capitalize on being an expat and entice the locals with something they haven’t tried and tasted before like southern food. You can offer a unique take on a dish. If you go  in the  business, you can have themed one or whatever you think  will  drive more patrons. Trust me, word of mouth and good exposure will make that restaurant business boom.

Food Cart
Food Cart

You need to remember, good food and  good service equates to restaurant success. And it doesn’t matter whether you turn an old house into restaurant,  a garage into a mini Carinderia,  people will still flock  and pay. Now that’s good business.

For the mini mart store, to franchise a 7-11 or Mini Stop is over the top but hey if you have millions of pesos do so, if not a scaled back version is okay.  A sari- sari store will give you income daily  as people  will buy something on a daily basis.  However, you can go above that sari-sari store and make it bigger. As expat, you can probably offer a variety of things to sell that locals will go crazy about. Again, I think food and drinks is the number items that a consumer usually buy.

One thing I noticed many Koreans have grocery stores and I think it’s a good business for them. A mini store will always have consumer.  So I guess  it’s good business to have.

Supply store

What can expats supply? What can be offered? I’m thinking a supply business is okay too. Am I right? Many companies are looking for that good supplier of things they need. Whether it’s office equipment, kitchen equipment for restaurants (even hard to find  ingredients). Hospitals need a lot supplies ranging from surgical gloves, needles, masks, meds, etc. if you have the resources and funds, logistics, it’s a good business.

Day Care Center

Filipinos are not really into day care centers an I’m not sure about this one. The only think about it is basically through movies, or reports and something I read. Filipinos will not really leave their kids at a day care centers if they have large family who can look out for their children.

I think though it’s a good business to go into. In the malls and even hotels there are play and activity facilities where you can leave you children and they can play for hours until they get tired. You need to have good staff, somebody that likes children and will have the patience look out  and take care of them while mommy and daddy goes to work. If you go into this business, you need to have plenty of books  and all other kiddie things good staff to help out.

So those are just some of the business you can go into. Any business actually which can help you earn money is good. As been mentioned frequently, the cost of living here is better than other countries but if you have no income, then you’d have to adjust your lifestyle here.

Good business means money and if you have that, you earn, you help somebody earn, you help the country which in turn will make the country grow. Not bad, I say.

If you’re planning to open a business and  it’s restaurant,  remember me.  I like food trip.  So go ahead have a  business. Good luck.

Post Author: Sugar (66 Posts)

A Filipino. Living and working in Manila. Has a soft spot for expats. Always have an opinion about anything and everything.

Investigation in the Philippines


  1. says

    Booming? I don’t think so. Boom, as in bombs in Central Mindanao, yes. That is Manila’s definition of “boom” in Mindanao. As usual, we Mindanaoans found a way to “boomerang” the stuff back to Manila. It’s a good thing Duterte is holding fort (Kota) like a pro.

  2. John Miele says

    Sugar: Actually, the franchise fees for a 7-11 are very reasonable (P1MM – P3MM) and even include the initial store inventory. It is something we are looking into for the family. It really comes down to having a good location.

    • John Miele says

      The fees include complete training for the store management, too. I’m looking at it seriously, since the family’s lack of business experience was a big issue on our previous venture. 7-11 wants you to succeeed (They earn money if you do so), and they have the local market experience.

      The fees are based on the size of the store.

      • RandyL says

        You have to have a store (built out) first and that will include all fixtures, and equipment. Do you know what the 7-11 royalties are John?

          • RandyL says

            My guess is you are looking at a real investment of about P5m (without consignment and any vendor credit items). 7-11 is not a turn-key operation and as in any convenience store business, initial start-up costs can be rather painful. The 5% (net) continuing franchise fee sounds reasonable though. As in many franchise operations, I would imagine there are other continuing costs with follow-up corporate services. Make certain you paruse any Franchise Offering Circular with a keen eye. Been there, done that.

    • sugar says

      Hey John, 1MM to 3MM is reasonable alright.. for those who have the resources he he. a Ford SUV would cost more than a million pesos and I see lots of them on the road, I’m thinking if people have the money, why not franchise. A 7-11 or Mini Stop near school, hospital and BPO centers are usually the best locations and a hit among consumers. Other good franchise would a fast food or gasoline station, I suppose.. But it still probably cost more than 5 mil. I used to have classmate and they own station near the expressway, it’s good business.

      I guess if expat or people have money.. they should go into business and let that money grow..earn and grow.

      • John Miele says

        Actually, Rebecca’s ninong owns a Petron franchise. The franchise itself isn’t so bad in terms of cost, but location is extremely critical. The land to. Hold the station at a busy highway intersection was 5-6 X the franchise cost

    • ScottF says

      I worked at a 7-Eleven when I was 18 and attending college. I was trained at a store sued specifically to train ALL workers. They have it setup that way, as John stated, to ensure that the 7-Eleven experience was the same from one store to the next. While I was aonly a simple cahsier and stock person, I still recieved their training. Things are done the same way, in all stores. Here in the U.S. Franchisees are required to buy from the Southland Corporation(Japanese owned) company for all products. This provides the first profit from the company. They then take their cut for use of their name. That’s a second cut. Of course, for management, there is additional training, and even more so for owner/franchisees. I liked the company when I worked there, and have a friend that has two of them. He also has a private store that he runs, and says he makes more money there because of the restrictions from Southland Corporation. As far as I know, Southland Corporation(7-Eleven) owns all properties where their stores are located. At least, here in the U.S. Filipino laws might restrict that from occurring. My personal thought on it is, location is EVERYTHING! You need people coming by and able to easily gain access to your store. There’s a lot of logistics involved in the Philippines, I think, because of Jeepney/tricycle travel. If you stop for a slurpee(not sure if you have them there in the Philippines(frozen icee like drinks)) you’re going to want to be sure to be able to get another ride again soon. We’re thinking of somethign simliar when we come there, but I think a major and well traveled road would be best for easy in/out access. And we were thinking fo serving up some fresh cooked food from my mother-in-law who cooks the most delicious foods I have eaten.(She is always asked to cook for the parties)

      IMO I’d rather do it on my own, as long as I can find a distributor or location to get my products to sell where my profit margin is acceptable or better. Southlad will definitely supply you, but the costs might not be worth the ease of ordering.

      That said, their training is wonderful! And John… you’re marketing and sales experience would allow you to BLOW AWAY the competition! I’ve got ideas for businesses, I just need to get with you about how to market it. :)

      Good luck to you!!!


    • Gary Suzuki says

      For 7-Eleven franchises make sure you check into any protection for a franchisees territory.

      Example: In the area near the Hyatt in Manila

      – Walking out of the Hyatt if you turn left, walk half a block and cross the street there is a 7-Eleven.

      – Out of the Hyatt if you turn right, walk half a block, cross the street, turn right and walk another half block there is a 7-Eleven.

      – Out of the Hyatt if you turn right, walk half a block, cross the street, turn left cross the street, turn right and walk a half a block there is a 7-Eleven.

      This was a long winded way of saying that within about 1 block of the entrance of the Hyatt Hotel there are 3 different 7-Eleven stores.

      • sugar says

        Ha ha, Gary.. it’s similar where I live. I swear there’s about 5 7-Eleven stores and 1 Mini Stop.. just few blocks from each other… all within walking distance. Oh and not just that even McDonalds.. like 5 of them.. I can go to each store just walking from one to the other.

        • Ricardo Sumilang says

          Sugar, I would imagine that the exclusivity provision of a given franchise located in metro Manila comprising 16 cities and a population of over 12 million may mean very little because the region is a high density area. If you are a franchisee, you’re going to get some of that foot traffic no matter what. Outside the city is where the exclusivity protection proves its worth.

      • RandyL says

        Many franchises base exclusivity on population density as applied to a density grid. My last franchise, I had to negotiate my grid lines based upon that density. Being the only franchise (first) in my area gave me the advantage of drawing my grid boundaries.

      • RandyL says

        Many franchises base exclusivity on population density as applied to a density grid. My last franchise, I had to negotiate my grid lines based upon that density. Being the only franchise (first) in my area gave me the advantage of drawing my grid boundaries and I concentrated more on traffic patterns as opposed to the geographic center of the grid. So in essence, another franchise could have located 1 block to the south, but to the north I was protected for about 6 miles.

        • Ricardo Sumilang says

          As a Navy recruiter with an Air Force and Marines recruiting offices on either side of you, how were the respective grid lines drawn, if such existed, among the three competing service branches aside from the occasional passing of a gallon of Baskin Robbins to one another as conditions warrant? :)

  3. donna west says

    very good article Sugar. my son and I are relocating to the RP very soon and we have thought of all kinds of businesses that might work well there. I am retired and receive social security so i will be ok on my income. However, I would like to open a business there that could make me a little traveling and savings money and also employ people there as I know how much there is a need for jobs there. My son, however, will be coming without an income except for a small amount of savings he will have to start a small business with. He has thought about manufacturing of snack foods, street vending, a store somewhere between a 7-11 and a sari sari in size, or a small restaurant or fast food vending, or possibly livestock production. we really wont know what will work until we get there. but we have the vision, enthusiasm and a little money to start out small and grow. i myself would like to market fashions and my own handmade jewelry. I have also considered nice, comfortable , and affordable portable housing from shipping containers and marketing purified water. we are so excited to get there and check out all the possibilities for business opportunities. thanks again for the great article.

    • sugar says

      Hi Donna, thanks for the kind words. Once you relocate here and start a business.. I’d suggest a small restaurant or diner. Like I said in the article, it’s always one to go into, especially if you serve good food. It wouldn’t matter if it’s big or small restaurant people will flock. As for fashion…. that’s a good one to. I’d suggest to start with a kiosk first, and see how the business will go…like if target consumers are receptive to the products. I think that mostly a business that has to do with food and fashion will be good venture. Good luck to you.

      • donna west says

        My son is a good cook and we think the younger generations there are liking american food. thanks for the good advice

    • Hu says

      Sadly, the Govt. does not allow a foreigner to own a retail business. So you’ll be taking on “partners”.
      Keep in mind the Govt. is desperate to collect more tax and if you do it above board you’ll see a large part of your profits taxed away. And you still be accused of unpaying so from time to time you shell out more than you believe is the correct tax.
      The Philippines is not a business friendly environment. Too much protectionism and more welfare projects are underway, all of which you’ll pay for.
      As a long term expat helping my sister in law with “her” business of 12 years I see the last few years getting more costly due to govt. taxation, regulation and policy. It used to be we were left alone. Those days are gone.

    • Hu says

      Sadly, the Govt. does not allow a foreigner to own a retail business. So you’ll be taking on “partners”.
      Keep in mind the Govt. is desperate to collect more tax and if you do it above board you’ll see a large part of your profits taxed away. And you still be accused of under paying so from time to time you shell out more than you believe is the correct tax.
      The Philippines is not a business friendly environment. Too much protectionism and more welfare projects are underway, all of which you’ll pay for.
      As a long term expat helping my sister in law with “her” business of 12 years I see the last few years getting more costly due to govt. taxation, regulation and policy. It used to be we were left alone. Those days are gone.

  4. David L Smith says

    Hi Sugar
    As i will be retired and living in phil for good from Aug 5 your article has come at a good time for me to peruse some of the suggestions that follow. My wife and i have two small farms at present rice and rubber combined but the income is not enough to live on. I have also invested in a condo , but as its still being built it will be a yr or so before i can rent it, so another business is required, so yes it will be good to read some of the replies to your posting.

    • sugar says

      Hi David – Another good business is to have condo, or house and have it rented, you’re sure to have a monthly income from that. Since you mention you have farm.. ma be a rice business… you can supply to big store or big restaurants. Or you can also benefit from the rice in the farm. You can make native delicacies from rice..like suman (sticky rice), or something like lugaw (rice porridge) , arroz caldo, and again it comes down to food business. A small eatery, will make good biz and income earner. Hope that helps.

  5. dine says

    Dear everyone,

    There are lots of old houses you can assume or buy for a low price particularly in the cities like Davao. Renovate them and rent it as bedspacers for students especially near the universities. You can have 4 beds in a room and rent it for 1500/head or for 2 beds in a room and rent it for 3000/head. Supply them with nice tables with lights stand and clean toilets and maybe a small kitchen where they can cook. If you have a house with 3 bedrooms that will give you an income of most likely 18000 pesos/month. This can be a good source of income without too much overhead and maintenance. Most of the time, the students will keep the area clean. I was a student once renting a room in a boarding house. We kept our rooms clean. The reason why I am recommending this idea because especially in Davao, you can’t hardly find a place to rent. There are current influx of foreign students like Koreans and Indian students in the city. You can rent it to them. How about a bed and breakfast place? If you are just creative and resourceful and don’t mind putting extra time in your project you’ll be able to survive in the Philippines. However, you should detached yourself from the idea of how much you should be earning in dollars, this will make you feel underpaid and non motivated due to low pay. You should think like a Filipino.

    • Miss August says

      My business ideas and goals are to build some sort of dormitory style housing for college students. Also, low cost housing rental in a big town or city (between 5k-7k pesos per month). But, first we have to get there and figure out and decide where we want to live.

      My husband (he’s turning 50 next year) is eligible to retire in Sept. 2013, we’re very excited and we are emotionally, mentally, physically and financially ready!

  6. Larry Saum says

    Here in the US, I am making small investments in stocks and bonds and various mutual funds in my IRA account. Each investment is in the area of about $5000 to $7000 max. I get dividend payouts that help us with our cash flow for living above my social security income. Part of the benefit is the diversification into different types of businesses this allows. The failure or decline in any one business doesn’t destroy my whole account, a serious consideration at an account total value of only about $50,000. I do a lot of my research about these companies on the internet. I have not been doing much research about such investments in the PI. Does anyone here do similar investing on the stock exchanges there?

    • sugar says

      Hi Larry – Investing in stocks is good too. I have friends who are into that. They said that it’s better to put money there instead of the bank… which doesn’t really grow much of an interest they said… I dunno. They buy like PLDT stocks or Jollibee, etc… but I they have broker. And then I have another friend who is into mutual funds. I’m clueless unfortunately..he he.

  7. john says

    The big key in successfully adapting from a westerm society to a filipino one is quite simple. Think like a westerner, when it comes to business and find filipionos who think the same way and you will be on top. Not as easy as it sounds.
    My wife and i run a motorcycle hire business in Puerto Princesa. She has travelled and worked around the world and has a western mentality. Our staff are slowly being trained to work and think the same way and are rewarded financially for it. If you want key industries to invest into i would recommend tourism and any of its offshoots. Our second business that we are going to start is a pig farm, because pork is the main staple meat of the philippines. Our third project is a resort just north of Puerto princesa. My advice keep it simple and dont get caught up in the major cities unless you have a lot of cash and good contacts because you will learn the hard way. And by that i mean you will squander your cash. You need to spend at least 3 months on the ground sourcing all the necessary info and costs associated with establishing a business. If you want to get into a future prospective boom invest in resources, it is a mojor future of the philippines. Next to Australia there is no other country on this planet which has an abundance of untapped wealth than the Philippines.

    • sugar says

      Yeah, piggery is good too. Grow grow grow the pigs. and the resort is good business too… especially during holiday season.

  8. chasdv says

    It’s all very easy to think this or that business is a good business on hearsay, until you have actually taken the risk to run one, then you will know for sure.
    @ 85% of new start up businesses fail within 3yrs, fact. Biggest killer is cash flow.
    It’s usually best to stick to what you know, do something that you have experience in and been trained at.
    Be prepared to work extremely long hours, six, seven days a week for the first few years at least, little or no days off, no holidays. Don’t play at it, business is a serious business, failure can cost you everything.

    Been there, done that three times, two successes, one failure.

    • RandyL says

      Hi Chasdv. The 85% failure rate you mentioned – is that in the RP or another location? At one time my wife and I were in the restaurant business in Calif and that was about the failure rate for the new restaurant business per the US Chamber of Commerce statistics (we lasted 18 months and succumbed to the ’94 Calif recession). I believe every industry has it’s own specific failure rates and you are correct about the biggest investment besides money….and that’s time. Many people always think the grass is greener on the self-employment side and it may well be if you’re willing to pay the piper. My asawa has been self-employed for over 17 years and it has not come without sacrifice. I too have been on my own for over 12 years and have been successful for most of those years until the collapse of the housing market. Some things will always be out of your control, so I suggest to anybody; do your research, have a business plan, make sure you have enough capital to get you through your first year and plan on working very hard. There is nothing “easy” about being self-employed AND successful.

      • chasdv says

        Hi Randy,
        That 80/85% failure rate is specific to the West, i’ve never run a business in PH.
        It applies to new start ups, bricks and mortar business as we say, not internet business, taking over existing business or buying a franchise.

  9. John Leick says

    Sugar, I would love to get some business going there, but I do not want any kind of retail business, and I want to stay in my area of expertise. My business is to import and distribute home furnishings in the US. All of my sources are in China, Malaysia and Indonesia. If I could take those products and distribute in the RP, that would interest me. Take those computer chairs in your main photo; I have the best sources for those in China and sell those the US via the web. We sell to big web retailers; so my big question for you is, who are the big web retailers there in the RP? I have many more questions about this, so if you or others have any experience or knowledge, it would be appreciated.

  10. Don says

    I know a lot of successful (and not so sucessful) businessman/expats in the Philippines. All tend to hang out at one of the three main sports bars in Makati. The general theme is mining, gas or similar natural resources. Especially in importing machinery. Second largest is in construction of commercial properties (most condos controlled by Ayala or SM). Can either be in project management or actual construction.

    Both are big investments and need a lot of knowledge of the Philippines, especially regulation and how to deal with it. I would suggest spending a lot of time discussing with these guys before even considering starting a business. It takes years and a lot of capital before seeing a return.

    If your in Makati, drop by Handle bar if your American, Canadian or Aussie. Howszat if your British and Heckel and Jeckle for anything else. Or go to all three… All are within a stones throw of each other.

  11. PalawanBob says

    Here is a friendly advice to all of you business people:
    Wait at least until February or March of next year 2013 before attempting to open any kind of business.
    You’ll be glad you listened to me!

    So here it is, this is my last comment on this subject! NO MORE!

  12. adam scott says


    Is nice to see an upbeat post about having/ running a business in the Philippines. My wife and i are now in our thirteenth year of running a business here and if we had listened to most of the advice given by expats we wouldn’t still be here.
    Have seen a few expats come here over the years with a lot more business experience and money than us and most have failed. You can incorporate western ideas but you still have to remember this is the Philippines and not your home country.
    My advice to anybody would be start out with a small business as this will give you time to learn how things are done in the Philippines. You can always expand at a later date.


    • sugar says

      Hi Adam – You’re not the pro golfer, are you? He he. As I’ve mentioned in the article.. I think going food business will be good one, restaurant business in particular. You’re right too, about trying it out first with small business to see how it all goes and if it will be a success.

  13. jdstone1 says

    My wife and I run a successful business in Eastern Samar, Food Based Cannot go wrong with food in the Philippines lol. We will have been opened for one year in October. Now we have about 3-4 different themes that are interconnected into one. For example we have eat in, take out, free wifi and also catering. Not wedding catering but municipal and government catering for work shops etc. We also incorporate brewed coffee and teas it is an all around menu. We incorporate for now a 60/40 split for our menu. For example 60% Filipino food and 40% North American.

    It is our policy that the North American food must be authentic in look and flavor no exceptions. And the Filipino dishes we make must be of the highest quality and fresh. That in itself is a main selling point for the customers, we make it as it is ordered not sitting on the heat rack all day. If you are in the food industry you must serve your food as ordered no exceptions to be unique and successful. It seems to me cool food is a mindset here lol.

    All our ingredients are fresh and bought from the local market all our meats are bought local as well. Part of our expansion is to grow our own vegetables and meat goods to save on cost. In the beginning we had 6 pigs and this was on strong suggestion from the family. Inside I did not want to do it for I wanted all money to go back into the business. As some of you know the larger the pigs get the more they eat and the feed is expensive. Now the main objective of the baboy plan was to fatten them up for Christmas and sell them at a profit as lechon. In the end it was ok we sold 3 for lechon and butchered 3 for our cafe but if starting out in a new business in the Phils (for me anyways) is to keep your eggs in one basket have a business plan and stick to it.

    Now on the subject of a business plan in the Philippines keep it opened ended. We created our niche based on models here in Canada (I am Canadian) but filled that niche with Filipino food business practices to begin with. What I mean by that is I know where I want the business to go but you cannot force change in eating styles upon the Filipino culture it has to be introduced a bit at a time. Now what we have done is created a customer centered kind of marketing where we interact with them on a regular basis to see what types of food outside the favorites of pancit, pork chop, pork steak, ect that they would like to try. I guess it is a type of social marketing and we have the customers build the menu.

    We also have free delivery and ordering by text and call in. This is now fast becoming a large percentage of our business. This is where flexibility comes in relation to having a open ended business plan. Things change on a constant basis in the Philippines and you must be flexible to this to fill the customers needs. For example we now sell pizza from our cafe. My Swiss friend one night told me over a bottle of Grande how him and his wife wanted a good pizza for supper. He went to a local cafe to buy a pizza and well was not very tasty in his view. So I said to him I will make you one next time you want one. Well now the rest is history we are the only ones that I know of in Eastern Samar that make real pizza and they are starting to sell like crazy. Everyone tells me that they taste better than Shakeys so we must be doing something right lol. But as I stated before you must make sure that everything you prepare is authentic no exceptions or cutting corners.

    To sum up Our little cafe business is on the way up. It is small enough now that we can control and tweak what we need to before we grow it to another stage. Our staff though small are learning some great skills cooking wise that they would not normally learn in relation to true North American taste and preparation for foods and I am learning the latter for Filipino foods. We love cooking and meeting people and on the down days when you are shaking your head and saying why am I doing this (you will have those days in the beginning) some one will come in and ask for “the best pizza in Eastern Samar”and well you are off on another empowered tangent. Business in the Philippines to me is as exotic as the islands themselves and every day is a adventure. Boy do I love adventure.

    • RandyL says

      JD, looks like someday I will have to travel across Samar to find your pizza. Just have to find a shortcut from Calbayog!

      • jdstone1 says

        Only short cut I know is from Buray over the mountains into Eastern Samar. Very beautiful scenery but clip your fingernails b4 you go so you do not break off your nails gripping the seat in front of you lol.

        • RandyL says

          JD, are you in the Taft area? Are the mountains that rugged or is the road just not engineered well? In any case, it looks like more than a one day trip. May have to stay for two or three pizzas!

          • jdstone1 says

            Hi Randy sorry for the wait in the reply. Am back in Canada for a couple of weeks and already cannot wait to get back. Yes we are about half an hour north of the Taft turnoff Eastern Samar side. It is really a beautiful trip over the mountains and through the Taft Rain Forest. The road is just not very well maintained due to the engineering. Very windy roads with pot holes and a couple of spots where landslides have left one lane. When half of a mountain side comes down it takes awhile to clear it away.

            There are some small resorts in the area you could stay at that are relatively empty half the time but can hook you up to stay at the mayors house she is a very remarkable woman. Anyways may have to start writing about what Eastern Samar has to offer when I get back. It is to me very undeveloped and that makes it a jewel of a place to grow a business and to live.

    • sugar says

      Hi JD – Business is good it seems, keep it up. You are right to incorporate and find ways to entice the local consumers. Social marketing is good too. Nowadays, group buying sites (like ensogo, cash cash pinoy, etc) is one way to promote business. Thanks for sharing.

  14. PapaDuck says

    Glad to see you back with another article. When starting a business you should have enough capital to go at least a year without making a profit. That is the biggest cause of business failure. Have a nice day.

  15. PalawanBob says

    It’s not very hard to beat Shakey’s pizza.
    If you are baking Canadian style pizza, then you certainly have the right formula.

  16. Robert says

    Very good article with plenty of positive remarks. I’ve been thinking about what
    type of business to open once I relocate to the Philippines and a friend told me
    that with so many people living there you really can’t go wrong with the food
    industry and several comments above attests to that. thank you !

    • sugar says

      Hi Robert – Thanks and yes, anything to do with food and drinks. Perhaps a diner business that will serve best strawberry milkshakes! ^_^

  17. Robert says

    Hi Sugar,
    hmmm a diner ? well I’ve never seen one in the Philippines in the limited time I’ve spent there but not a bad idea, thanks ! perhaps with some type of theme like
    the ’50s in the U.S. with time period cars – now I’m getting carried away as I’m
    sure those are hard to find there and would be expensive. I do like the strawberry
    milkshake thing though, other than Baguio are they locally grown ?

    • sugar says

      Hey Robert, In manila you can go to Grams or Johnny Rockets where you can enjoy diner style resto. Though I’m not going to recommend the latter.. burger and fries.. blech! he he… but they have cool jukebox :)

      • Robert says

        Thanks Sugar,
        so they do have diner type restaurants there, oh well.
        I’ll try to visit them next time I’m in that area though have to admit
        Manila overall doesn’t appeal to me (too crowded, noisy etc) but
        I know it has its good points too and besides I’d like to visit Mall of Asia
        that I’ve heard so much about. thanks again.

    • jdstone1 says

      Hi Robert

      We make banana strawberry shakes and they are a big seller. We use the fresh red bananas but use the strawberry flavoring that is common in the larger stores they are very inexpensive to buy and the flavor is excellent. You would think that you had fresh picked berries in the shake. We use about 4 drops per cup that is all you need.

      • Robert says

        Thanks for the info JDStone – I haven’t been on this site for over a week, hence
        my late reply but again thanks ! I’ll have to try that shake you described when I go back to the P.I.

  18. Robert says

    Thanks Bob !
    Good to hear there is more than one source of that fruit there.
    Mindanao is on my list of places to visit, when looking at some travel guide books,
    it seems some of the most scenic spots in the Philippines are there.
    really a shame that a small section of Mindanao is occupied and run by some
    ‘undesirables’ and because of that lots of potential visitors stay away from that island.

  19. Robert says

    I agree Bob,
    My sister-in-law used to live in Mindanao before she moved to Florida and she
    told me a lot of the bad things have been exagerrated. I’m convinced most of
    that island is safe enough but certainly know to stay away from certain spots.
    – sorry Sugar, didn’t mean to hijack your post. I prefer to think about the
    good things, like moving there in the P.I. and potentially opening a small
    business to offset some of the costs involved in our daily lives.

  20. alyra says

    hi, me and my hubby are planning to open up a mini mart business here in davao, but we dont have idea how much would be the initial capital to put up this kind of business. any enlightenment on this one would be appreciated. we are not planning to rent a space since we have a land (400sqm), we will just be constructing a space made of drywall.

  21. Zaahir says

    Pardon me if I’m wrong. Isn’t restaurant, internet cafes…other small businesses off limits to foreigners as indicated in the negative list? The only way to do so would be to be married to a Philippine’s citizen or if I can find someone I trust enough to be in partnership with without my name appearing anywhere in the documentation process…so my share of profit would be based solely on trust. (not a good idea)

    Appreciate if anyone could shed some light…

    Thanks and Regards,
    Zaahir Ng from Singapore

  22. SoulMAN says

    Hello everybody! I just found this website and read this topic, is really great!
    I am an italian man who would like to open a pizza (sliced) business in Phils.
    Pizza would be italian style sliced pizza, for that I need to find some original ingredients without importing them directly (ex. olive oil, Parma ham, cheese, etc).
    Anybody having an idea about that?
    Also any idea about machines for pizza (electric oven, etc)? I saw some used on ayosdito.ph, but Id like to know also how much could be the cost for new ones.

    Thanks everybody :-)

    • sugar says

      Hi Soulman – Glad you found the site, you’ll learn a lot of Philippines. Yea, why not open up pizza restaurant. Depp dish pizza? For ingredients, you can find them here in gourmet shops or SnR or Rustans grocery stores. They sell all kinds of ham and cheese, for Pizza machine…or electric ovens and the ones for baking I know there’s specialty stores just for that. Good luck and yea, open up business here.

  23. che says

    Hi Sugar,

    I’m Canadian citizen but was born and raised in Philippines. How much do I need to have in order for me to get boarding house / apartment for rent / descent size restaurant? please advise! p.s. Do I need to get dual citizenship or no?

    • sugar says

      Hi Che – It depends on the location of boarding house. If it’s somewhere in QC Katipunan area with schools nearby like Ateneo, Miriam, UP then it might be a bit expensive. There are many restaurants and diner nearby.

      If you’re a Canadian citizen.. you need to get ACR I think. You can ask the school for your requirement. School opening here is June not September. Hope that helps.

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