COVID-19 and Business: How Filipinos Adapt to the Pandemic with Business

If you have been active on your social media accounts in the past four or five months, you have probably noticed the increase in the number of online sellers. A few of your friends and neighbors and acquaintances might have started trading goods on social media platforms, and you might have bought from some of them too. What an excellent way to spend some extra time, right? On normal days, online selling could pass as a pastime, a passion project that one would share with other people; but, these days, online selling is a way of survival.

As you all know, since the beginning of this year, we have been battling a deadly challenge—COVID-19. COVID-19 is a new respiratory disease that causes respiratory infection in humans. The fact that it’s quickly passed on from person to person and that there are no vaccines available makes it a pretty tough adversary. At present, it has already affected 213 countries and territories and has claimed 740,000 lives worldwide. People have nothing left to do but to stay home and keep a safe distance from others.

Fortunately for us, Filipinos aren’t new to survival. History will tell how many odds our country has survived, and it’s for the same reason that Filipinos are known for being madiskarte or street smart. This pandemic isn’t an exception. Amidst rising unemployment, losses, and uncertainty, our kababayans still find ways to adapt and move forward. From online selling to establishing local retail stores, Filipinos always have a way to turn negative into positive. So, if others are doing it, why can’t you?

If you’re curious and wondering how you can make your work-from-home set up more productive, you’re in luck. We have here a list of the most popular side businesses among Filipinos to inspire you:

  1. Online Tutoring Business
    If you have the right credentials and teaching experience, then an online tutoring business can be right for you. Because of the community quarantine, students have to settle for online classes and online learning systems. While online classrooms sound like a great alternative, its effectiveness as a replacement for the traditional classroom setting still raises great concern. Parents are still determined to enroll their children to one-on-one tutorial sessions to ensure their children will be able to keep up with their schooling. You may choose subjects and topics that fit your expertise and start marketing it on Facebook. You can set a target of 2 to 3hrs. per day depending on your availability.

What You’ll Need:

    • Laptop or Personal Computer (PC)
    • Headset
    • Good Internet Connection
    • Meeting Apps: Zoom, Google Duo, Microsoft Teams
    • Lesson Plan and Learning Materials

Approximate Start-up Cost: P5,000

This idea will work best if you already have a working PC or Laptop. You just need to install the necessary apps to get yourself started. Since you might already have this set of equipment, you may just focus on upgrading your internet connection to a more reliable one (if your current connection isn’t reliable for video calls). If you don’t have the tools yet but are considering online teaching as a long-term career strategy, then investing in a PC or laptop will be best.

  1. Specialty Food Business
    One thing about Filipinos is their love for food. With all the distance and lockdowns, each of us must have some specialty foods that we already miss so much, such as bicol express, special embutido, lumpia, kalamay, puto bumbong, halaya, etc.—the kind of food that is truly pinoy and local. If you have a special recipe in your family, then maybe it’s time to get it out and share it with the world.

What You’ll Need:

    • Oven
    • Cooking Tools
    • Durable refrigerator
    • A Specialty Recipe
    • Specialty ingredients

Approximate Start-up Cost: P10,000 – P12,000

You don’t need to go extra fancy on your cooking or baking tools immediately. Practice and perfect your recipe first before you get them up for sale. You can try taste-testing among your close friends and relatives to get feedback on how you can improve. While starting, make sure that you have reliable storage for your finished products and ingredients to preserve quality. If you do not have that much room, then consider upgrading your refrigerator to a larger unit. It can help you with product storage and make sure your ingredients are safe from household pests.

  1. Local Ice Cream Dealership
    You don’t need to go extra fancy on your cooking or baking tools immediately. You have to practice and perfect your recipe first before you should get them up for sale. You can try taste-testing among your close friends and relatives to get feedback on how you can improve.

While starting, make sure that you have reliable storage for your finished products and ingredients to preserve quality. If you do not have that much room, then consider upgrading your refrigerator to a larger unit. It can help you with product storage and make sure your ingredients are safe from household pests.

What You’ll Need:

    • Chest Freezer
    • Supplies

Approximate Start-up Cost: P25,000 – P45,000

There are ice cream brands that offer exclusive ice cream dealership packages where you are provided with support and pieces of equipment. It’s the easiest way you can build an instant business; however, it could also limit your earning capabilities. Instead of striking a deal with a brand, consider buying your own chest freezer to work with multiple brands. Having your own freezer gives you unlimited ideas for expansion. You can put together local and imported ice cream brands and offer popsicle sticks for kids. In this way, you can provide a wide selection to attract diversified customers.

  1. Retail or Wholesale Sari-Sari Store Business
    You may also opt for something extra challenging, like a local retail store or a sari-sari store business. It may seem like a small-time business, but, if done correctly, it can give an income of at least P5,000 a week.

On average, a sari-sari store earns an average net profit margin of 20%, so you have to be mindful of what you sell. The challenge is in balancing your slow-moving, high-margin products with your fast-moving, low-margin products. If you can buy the products at a much lower price, you can try supplying them to smaller stores or expanding your store to online marketplaces. You may also consider adding products that are high in demand, such as alcohol, face masks, and other medical supplies.

What You’ll Need:

    • Supplies
    • Refrigerator Chiller

Approximate Start-up Cost: P30,000 – P60,000

In retail, there’s such a thing that’s called a ‘basket.’ A basket is the total purchase of your customer upon exit. For example, if a 10-year-old boy who comes to buy a soda also buys a bag of chips and a chocolate bar along with it, then, that collective purchase becomes his basket.

This means that whenever people buy something from your store, they tend to make additional purchases. It doesn’t matter which store you are, as long as you have the product they need, you always get the extra sale. So, it will be wise to make a list of the best-selling products and make sure you always keep them in stock. And if you’re contemplating whether you should buy an industry-grade chiller to expand your soft drink selection, then you should do it.

A little note in buying and choosing your equipment is that, when you buy one, make sure that you look at the quality, and not just the price. Buying cheap defective products will only double your cost, especially when you need to replace them before you even get a return on your investment. It’s also a must to check the energy consumption of the unit you’re getting, or you’ll end up doing business only to keep up with the bills.

These are just ideas; it takes real action, patience, and perseverance to build a profitable side business. You must be authentic and sincere in what you intend to do to get the trust of customers. You must also be willing to pay extra attention to all aspects of your business, may it be the ingredients, the recipe, or the equipment. Whether you buy quality or not, your product and service will always speak for itself.

Furthermore, if you want to succeed in business, don’t just focus on outsmarting the pandemic, start thinking about how your business can thrive post-pandemic.

If you want to start your business and want more information on different refrigeration equipment, you may check out: Condura is known for its quality and durable products; a leader and pioneer in energy-saving technology in home and business appliance.




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