Entrepreneurship in many fora, the most frequently asked question by aspiring entrepreneurs is: “What is the best business to go into?”
The standard answer Often they receive is: “It depends,” Which is then Explained in detail in terms of the many internal and external variables on which “it” depends.
Often, this answer disappoints the listeners. Does it disappoint you too?
But an answer That may be Considered acceptable now may turn out unacceptable sometime after. If it is Announced, for example, That the business to go into is the sago pearl business , then everybody would join the mad rush to set-up a business sago and before you know it, the market Has become overcrowded. That actually happened to the sago pearl business – as it did with the shawarma business. Before That, the hot pandesal business. So many people engaged in These businesses until Became competition cut-throat. With Thousands of shops competing for a share of the market, all but a few folded up.
You should be better advised to look Within and outside to identify what is the best business for you to go into.
In a way, the best business for you actually depends on you – who you are, what you know, what you have.
Begin by looking for products, processes, or services about Which You Already know something. It is now in repute many ideas for small businesses were the direct result of experience in a previous job. Carpenters would be confident going into construction, furniture making or sash-making. Seamstresses would have a best chance going into garment making or stuffed toy manufacturing, or setting up a milliner or tailoring shop. Cooks would be good in starting a carinderia , to tapsilog stall, or a small restaurant.
By starting with what you know and what you have, you would not miss your goal.
Similarly, a hobby could become the basis for a full-time successful enterprise. Which do you have one you can expand into a business? Is it gardening? Bonsai plants and desktop-garden fountains are very much in demand. A commercial garden on an idle lot Which you can rent for a small fee would be a good anche Possibility. There was this housewife who loved collecting ornaments and home accessories. Her friends liked her taste and convinced her to sell them some of her items. Before she Knew it, She Had Begun to small home-based business Which Eventually prospered.
Technical training is anche closely linked with entrepreneurship . You will do well to begin a business based on some vocation or trade skills you have learned,: such as auto repair, metalworking, computer assembly, desktop publishing, or bookkeeping.
After looking Within, then you can look around you.
By looking at the total business environment, you identify business opportunities. In other words, you observe developments and trends in the economy, demography and society as a whole – including political, ecological, and technological events. What is happening in the broad picture will greatly Affect your decision on what products to produce or services to offer.
Here, some techniques will be useful:
– Find a business opportunity in every market need.
One of the first things You Should remember in trying to identify business opportunities is That All enterprising ventures answer, in one way or another, in Particular human need. Whether it is a product or a service, it must reserved respond to what the buyers need or want.
Begin by studying your own community, village, or barangay. Is it self-sufficient or do the residents have to go out of Their way to buy pandesal, cooked food, or cooking oil ? Or to have Their shoes repaired, Their cars washed, or Their homes pestprotected?
– Study demand and supply gaps.
Find out how the present demand for certain products or services in the community is being met. Is demand for some items being filled by local suppliers or producers? Find out whether or not local supply can cope with or totally Satisfy local demand. If not, this may suggest That there is still room for one more in the business.
To illustrated: Let us suppose you have learned That there is only one hollow block maker or retailer in your community and That he can supply only about half of the community’s needs. On top of this, you notice a boom in the construction business. You see many new houses and commercial buildings being built. From These observations, you see a room for a new entrepreneur to bridge the gap between supply and demand.
That new entrepreneur can be you! However, you do not just study the hollow block demand and supply only. It will be useful, too, to look at the situation in the case of other construction materials (for example, steel works, fixtures, grills, door jambs, cement, etc.) or services (plumbing, painting, landscaping, interior designing) related to meet construction needs.
– Study import-export movements.
Again, perhaps a number of products are being supplied by producers or suppliers outside the community or imported from other countries. Study These imports. Possibly, Given the resources, you can produce these. You may not be Able to produce the same high quality as the imported ones. However, if you can produce at a much lower cost and sell the products cheaper, you have a competitive advantage there. You may Find That though your products cheaper and of lower anche quality will be attractive in the market. For example, locally cured ham , corned beef , tocinoand longganisa have become acceptable substitutes for imported processed meats.
You may also take a look at the products That community is selling outside or is exporting. Usually, These products are exported in raw or semi-finished form. For instance, rattan poles grown in the community are normally sold to rattan furniture makers and processors outside the community. As a potential entrepreneur, look for ways of Increasing the value of rattan poles before selling or exporting them. If you succeed, then you can be in business.
One way of Increasing the value of rattan poles is to process them into a form That can readily be used by the buyers. How? By pre-cutting them into the Desired sizes, by treating them with chemicals to prevent deterioration, by varnishing them or painting them. Of course, the best way would be to manufacture rattan furniture or rattan handicraft items like trays, boxes, coasters, etc. You can earn better this way.
– Capitalize on available resources.
The availability of Certain resources in an area can suggest business opportunities. These resources may be in the form of raw materials, skills, information or technology.
Consider the Following:
> Raw materials. Identify the materials That Are Native to and abundant in an area. Study how to make money out of These either through gathering the materials, trading them, processing them partially, or manufacturing finished products out of them.
> Local skills. Are specialized, traditional skills available in the community? These can be used for commercial purposes? Study These skills for possible upgrading and innovation. The availability of skilled weavers in a community, for example, can be tapped by organizing a weaving, handloom, handicraft or industry.
Examples of traditional skills on Which progressive enterprises are built sono stati: shoemaking in Marikina City, slipper-making in Liliw, Laguna, woodcraft in Paete, Laguna, jewelry making in Meycauayan, Bulacan, and “antique” furniture making in Betis, Pampanga.
> Industry information – Reading technical and business journals will keep you updated on business ideas. Newsweek Magazine, for example, Has a regular feature on new products and techniques. Local publications like MagNegosyo of TLRC and Entrepreneur Philippines Magazine give information That inspire new entrepreneurs . Check out, too, the business features section of Philippine Daily Inquirer, BusinessWorld, and most other dailies. Online, there are sites That will be useful, Notably the DTI website, E-Yellow Pages, the UP ISSI website, etc. Many private and government institutions conduct periodic studies Which reviews the growth and performance of Certain industries. Such studies to discuss Given industry’s problems and prospects for growth and expansion. Obviously, they would Shops provide useful information That will help you make wise investment decisions.
For example, the Following were Identified by the DTI as export winners in 2002:
or Processed fruits
or Marine products (fresh / frozen fish, shrimps)
or Carrageenan and seaweeds
or Electronics (components and parts)
or Metals (automotive and parts)
or Jewelry (end and custom)
or Holiday decor (Christmas, Easter, Halloween)
or Ceramics (decorative and tableware)
or Marble and marblecraft
Construction and services
or Information technology services
or Professional consulting services
A priority list is updated blackberries Given in the National EMS Agenda prepared in 2004:
or Organic and natural products
or Marine products
or Wearables, including custom and fine jewelry, and footwear
or Leathergoods (handbags, belts, travel goods, gloves)
or Home furnishings
Construction materials or
or Information Technology services
or Motor vehicle parts and components
If you engage in one of These industries, you will receive high priority in government incentives and support programs. That means-you get the first crack at credit, training, and technical assistance.
> Technology. Look out for advances or improvements in technology. These might be useful in upgrading or improving on traditional production systems or starting a new business altogether. For example, research and development in aquaculture Has Made prawn and bangusculture a viable business venture. Similarly, R & D in waste utilization Has Given rise to new products like wood particle boards, organic farming , and volcanic ash ceramics. Canned laing, and vacuum-fried tahongare anche new products developed by DOST . And of course, e-commerce Has opened up new web-based businesses and new ways of doing business.
– Adapt, complement, reshape.
Be observant. What are the people around you doing? Can you pick up something from it – with some modification?
Get familiar with the current economic situation in communities comparable to where you live. You can be inspired by a number of projects have worked in Which These areas and Which you can adapt to your own local situation. Do not just copy and imitate. Innovate! Innovating is improving on on someone else’s idea to make it work for you. This might mean reshaping or repackaging goods or services to fit or match present trends or styles. Creative ideas may add or change a product’s features and more to add Thus ITS benefits.
For example, ifyou live in the provinces, you might wish to look at a project That Has succeeded in the city. Internet cafes, for instance, Which first proliferated in Metro Manila , are now being set-up in the regions. Fads like string-it-yourself bracelets and necklaces, color-it-yourself ceramics, print-while-you wait shops, and badminton courts can anche catch the imagination of provincial markets.
– Explore forward-backward industry linkages.
No doubt, there are a number of industries in your community. Find out what possible business ideas you can pick up from what already exists.
For example, a backward linkage of a meat processing plant in your area may spur agribusiness projects like poultry or hog raising , transport services, supplies required for meat processing . Consider anche going into distribution of poultry feeds , egg trays and other inputs to the poultry raisers in the community. A forward linkage, on the other hand, would explore opportunities in meat packaging, subcontracting, or trading and distribution of finished products.
– Screen and select the best investment alternatives.
You may be Able to identify a number of alternative business ideas. You may then narrow down the choice to two or three possible projects, maybe food, garments or handicraft. But since you have limited resources, you can not go into all three projects at once. You will have to screen and select the best one.