To Start a Business in the Philippines or Not
There are ways to have a successful business in the Philippines but if you’re an expat (foreigner or Filipino), you may have a lot of thinking to do about having a business in the Philippines. Think many times before you get into it.
I get asked this question a lot of times – I’m here in the US and I want to start a business in the Philippines, how do I go about that? Well, Save Your Money! You’re better off that way.
But my family member will run it. My answer: Save Your Money. You’re better off that way.
Is it that bad? Not really but if you’re going to have a business, then put your 110% focus on it. If you’re going to do it remotely, then it’s just a hobby. Don’t be surprised if you keep paying for expenses even though you are earning. Somehow, the money you earned just ain’t enough. That’s not to include the stuff that disappears out of the blue. They will basically test the system or your process and see if they can get away with it. If they do, then they will keep doing it.
To add, you are against a culture. A culture that doesn’t have any ethics when it comes to business. When you hire people, you basically have to hold all their hand all the way and keep repeating yourself. There’s no sense of customer service per se. If you have a retail store or restaurant, good luck in burning that in their mind.
It seems to be a business environment that the customer is the one who calls for the salesperson or the waiter/waitress. I can definitely say that 90% of all the businesses in the Philippines have this type of environment. Heck at one time, the saleslady told a customer to not mess up their display because she had to do it later.
Years ago, people believe in the “utang na loob” (I owe you one) concept because they are happy you gave them a job and opportunity. That has somehow disappeared from the culture. It has now come into a – “Oh well” attitude or I only do what I’m told because I get paid whether I do something or not. If they do get caught, they point the finger at someone else or they give you this blank stare.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some good workers but only a few who are dedicated, willing to do more than what is asked of them, and that can be trusted with the money.
So, if you are really serious about starting a business in the Philippines, you will need to be there or at least be running the business. If you’re business involves travel, make sure that the money or fund are protected. It only takes once and all your money will disappear. If it doesn’t, it will slowly disappear. They will find a way.
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