THE RIGHT MOVEMENT
The economic strains of the pandemic have certainly taken their toll and SMEs have endured the worst. As a former National Director of Junior Chamber International Philippines and myself as a business owner, I fully understand the challenges that entrepreneurs have faced. But as the economy has recently seen something of a revival with a promising decline in the number of COVID-19 cases, hopefully there will be a ripple effect on small businesses.
Entrepreneurs must now use their creativity and ingenuity if they want to get back on the horse. During the pandemic, I myself started an online store on Instagram called Tocador where I sell high-end personalized and handcrafted crystals in artisan bracelets. I employed other stay-at-home moms as artists and artisans, also providing them with a source of income.
The response was amazing as I received an average of 16-20 orders per week which brought my price down compared to competitors.
The same can be said for other entrepreneurs who have used free social media sites for their handmade items, including soaps, candles, and other homemade products. Websites can now be created for free and especially with people cooped up at home with only their internet service connecting them to the outside world, consumers have made more purchases online.
I think online businesses will continue to thrive post-pandemic as they’ve proven to be more convenient for consumers, and for the most part there’s “no going back” to pre-pandemic shopping mode, especially in the Philippines where Filipinos have been known to be heavy social media users. According to Statista, there are 76.2 million active social media users in the Philippines. Of this number, 72.5 million are on Facebook, 8.9 million on Twitter and four million are LinkedIn users.
Additional data from NielsenIQ suggests that the post-pandemic, or at least for now, post-quarantine period is the Philippine e-commerce boom, with the country posting a sensational increase in online shopping which has soared 325%. Nielsen IQ Consumer Intelligence’s Managing Director for Asia said, “We have entered the end of the beginning of e-commerce in Asia and those who rest now will sleep through the most formative period of growth for e-commerce.
With that in mind, courier and delivery services are another business opportunity worth exploring. There are several types of courier services, including door-to-door delivery, which has helped businesses, especially e-commerce stores, thrive. There were courier services that started offering franchises at “promotional” prices during the height of the pandemic, providing lucrative revenue. And yes, I also tried to obtain a franchise of this type where I even have the possibility of being an operator with my fleet of vehicles. Seems quite an attractive offer, especially without having to worry about getting the legal permits which include business license/registration, mayor’s permit, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) registration, licenses/permits specials, if required, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Registration, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration, barangay and zoning clearance, land title or lease agreement and tax certificate community.
If you have the time and resources to acquire these legal documents, you can also consider starting your own delivery service, but you should invest in the following:
- Brand name and logo
- Budget and accounting of expenses vs profit
Despite the tumultuous impact of the global lockdown during the pandemic, it also remains an incredible learning experience for business owners to move with changing times and embrace new customer needs, and the biggest change in the consumer landscape.
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