Before You Start A Business In The Philippines – Things To Consider

Before You Start A Business In The Philippines – Things To Consider

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Busines in PH..

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    After 49 years of doing the hamster-wheel in California, I finally left it all

    and decided to see what Southeast Asia had to offer. I moved to the Philippines

    for 6 years, experienced some of the best times of my entire life!

    Now, I am exploring again and living in Vietnam. Join me as I venture out to see

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    #philippines #smallbusiness #earlyretirement

  2. Very well defined. As per unsupervised, same in the States, why many employers now use CTV. And bathroom breaks for texting. Salamat for another great video.

  3. All perfectly true facts Reekay!! I do not understand for the life of me, WHY ANY foreigner would come to the Philippines and start a business??! The amount of frustration a guy will suffer just isn’t worth it!

    If you can afford to begin a business, you should be able to not start a business.

    Enjoy the Philippines don’t work the Philippines.

    Trust NOBODY, invest in NOTHING, rent, rent, rent!

    Enjoy your new found freedom! Period!

  4. Business in the USA or the Philippines is an adult day care service. You are the one having to clean up all the messes. Running a business here as an expat can be very time consuming and also dangerous. I had a friend in town an employee stole money from the business. The expat filed charges and a few days later was shot to death while riding home. Any dispute here with a citizen of the country can be dangerous. Filipinos are for the most part wonderful people but life has no value especially if you are an expat. Being in business here has very high risk and very low returns. Best of luck to all you guys that do go into business.

  5. I thought of the storage idea when I was in Dumaguete. But I never figured out how to control the god awful humidity and pest problems in an economical manner.
    Personally I wish all beaches would outlaw jet skis.
    Every expat bar/resto owner there was stressed out about 50% of the time. Awful way to live.
    Best advice is get a hobby and stay busy unless you are a glutton for punishment.
    Do some charity work on a small scale for people who will use it wisely to make a better life for their family and not drink it up. If you have lived there you know what I mean.
    I thing Henry didn't cover was the jealousy factor if you have a successful business. The locals will either start the same type of business next door, they are real copy cats. Also they can make all kinds of annoying problems for you, especially if they are connected to the right people, to the point of making you throw in the towel.

  6. At 16:59 you said it all…the restaurant is all about the employees. And if you think about it there is a reason that in the bigger western style franchise restaurants in the Phil a lot of the employees have a college degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM)…this includes the wait staff.
    It seems the Sari Sari store keeps the girl and the old expat busy which is good, but the biggest problem is you end up having the family eat out of the the Sari Sari store. It's too hard to say no the family.
    A bar – no way! You will have the girl who uses her older sister's credentials so she can work underage in the bar. There's just way too much liability for the foreigner who owns a bar.

  7. if somebody is that stupid to trust a Filipino partner in that way. frankly they deserve what they get. all you have to do is walk down the street and watch how the traffic is insane , and get ripped off by a few venders to know that this is a very risky place. and your friends im sure already told you what was going to happen including your partner that bailed.

  8. Beekeeping is a good business also. The problem is the native Filipino bees don't want to collect honey and the productive European honey bees are vulnerable to local weather and predators. The hardworking European bees have to deal with the same issues as the expats.

  9. Interesting topic. Thanks for sharing.

    Reekay…how about some background on the piggery business you dabbled in a number of years ago?

  10. hey Reekay, you think a local (or even nationwide) brewery for Belgian style beers would work, since there is not really a big range of quality beers available in the philippines?

  11. How do you think a business with hot yoga studio would do there?

    It's already so hot but obviously it's good exercise And healthy

  12. Thx for the information. I now have a better understanding of the mentality there in the Philippines! My girlfriend has had a terrible time trying to get a job where she is treated fairly or even as a human being. Owners, managers, and supervisors are so out of touch about the needs of their employees. They seem so selfish. Her brother quit a job at a restaurant because his manager kept all his tips. They rip their own people off. I am dumbfounded, but now it's starting to make sense thx to your video.

  13. Hey Bro. Great mind-pricking Blog as usual! What's your email address? Wonna get your experienced-interest in this unique & amazing eCommerce European company that has a universal solution to the worldwide debt, currency & savings crisis! It's not a typical MLM neither Pyramid 'Ponzi' scheme, in most countries, gold is not subject to income tax. Cheers

  14. Never trust anybody else with your money, regardless of nationality or family status. Rule number one of starting a business: avoid partnership. In the Phils, 60% has to be owned by a Phil citizen? Then don’t start one.

  15. What are your thoughts on starting a scooter rental business in the Philippines ? Thanks for taking the time to do your video's I've found all of them very helpful .

  16. i can just imagine the shit show of trying to start a restaurant or bar in the philippines with people trying to extort and sabotage you and the inconsistency of laws and regulations and the incompetence of those enforcing them etc never mind that the food service industry is one of the most competitive in the world and most small restaurants or bars dont even last the first year.

    thing is thats not even the part that worries me, seen first hand my fathers business partner and friend of 30 years rip him off when i was a kid, best lesson i ever learned was to trust and rely on no one but yourself (that and never mix friendships and money) fuck you cant even trust your wife in this day and age lol.

  17. Very good video Reekay . What are your thoughts on mobile coffee vans? I’ve not seen to many of them in the Philippinis’s cheers.

  18. I bought a female pig (about $40) with a Filipina friend once and it produced several piglets. A little money was made but the Filipina got pregnant and needed extra cash so I just told her to sell everything and keep the profits. Each piglet sold for about $25 I think…but to have a viable business like that you have to take into account the cost for feeding each day and all. If you have a large space where u can do more then it could work. I probably spent $100 on everything but maybe came out even on the deal. If it’d worked, I would’ve scaled the business.

  19. Quite informative but most advice applies to MEDIUM size business not the small (family business or 2 people).
    You omitted quota visas and special economic zones (Subic / Clark / Cavite) where apparently the 60/40 rule does not apply.
    As for business ideas… I travelled around Panglao and Bohol and couldnt buy a stupid beach towel or inflatable water toys.
    Also nobody seems to sell and buy solar panels in a sunny country so close to China where panels are made.

  20. Hello Reeky Me and my wife have sar sar store we also sell cooked foods I help out with stock and books my wife is on paper sole owner it is attached to the front of the house. You are right though it takes alot of time to operate business there no vacations for us. Family not very reliable to run business you are on vacation. The wife love her store so I am ok keeping it and helping her. Keep up the good work with the videos very informative.

  21. If I was ever going to start a business in the Philippines ,it would be something simple with a low start-up cost, high profit margin, low profile, low-risk and pay cash for it . I mean if you can't afford to take that amount of money and go to the casino and lose it and still not be financially ruined or heartbroken, then you shouldn't gamble it on starting a business in the Philippines.

  22. You are very entertaining. I like some of your ideas. The problem with things like a Sorry sorry store that I would see is that you would be a prisoner to the space for very little money coming in. You would lose your freedom of time. Plus of course people want credit to get things. I have worked with Gordon and he is a great guy. I never bought the land I was interested is as I realized that I had not lived in that area and needed to go slow. I wold be hard to cash out if I wanted to.

  23. Thank you Henry, you are offering very insightful pieces of advice! Philippines is a wonderful country with many people chasing little money!

  24. I was thinking a little pig/chicken farm plus a little portable smoker/bqq business. The meat I raise I use for the smoker/bqq. Would that do well?

  25. ‘If it’s not the rainy season you’ll get your clothes back dry and folded, weather permitting’ 😂😂 classic line

  26. An American friend of mine and his Filipina wife has an internet cafe/shop in the Philippines. They've had it for a couple years so I assume it's doing well, at least for that kind of business. But two things to consider here is that there are already many Internet shops in the Philippines, and obviously internet speeds in the Philippines generally suck.

  27. You’re already a huge target being a foreigner, opening a business only magnifies that target and tells all the criminals that you really have money.

  28. I have seen several Philippines vides recently. Are you thinking of moving back there? I have not seen anything recently about where are living?

  29. Interestingly, the laundry shops I’ve used have been the most competently operated businesses I have frequented here in the Philippines…….I’ve used 4 places regularly and it’s really been a perfect service at very inexpensive prices. I think I pay 180 pesos per washer load.. That’s washed, dried and folded very neatly then wrapped in plastic.

  30. Years ago, we formed a company & started a couple of businesses – jeepney & fishing – and both were a real headache, each without a positive outcome. Two expats I was friends with had their businesses – a strip club and a restaurant – fail within the same period.

    In later years, I thought about having a business in Cambodia, however, wisely spent a few months talking to several foreign business owners and decided that, for me, the best business was no business. I've never looked back with regret. I saw others lose businesses, develop addictions, even die – one, perhaps, accidently/on purpose. I, as well, saw some survive, even thrive, still, those were the people who had big money invested & powerful local friends.

    Frankly, in each country, there are too many locals to piss-off & the strain on the relationship with one's girlfriend/wife is not, for me, worth it.

    Thanks for mentioning the BIR; I'll bet they really miss the contributions. I'd better send them a letter! I could go into greater detail regarding the business problems, but, suffice to say that it was hell after hell after hell, coming from all directions.

  31. Nice vid Henry. Good info as usual.
    Love the “Creative Solution” reference.
    Off the planet solutions on a daily basis can become the norm. Far to brain taxing for many expats 😁👍

  32. Buy a couple of condo's and rent them out. Everybody needs a place to live. Easy to collect rents once a month and no need for employees. The key is knowing how to market the properties. Start with bread and butter condos and keep it simple. Do not buy property in the Philippines for investment expecting the value to increase. Most cases it won't. Do it for the income.

  33. I think the most important topic is if you have previous business experience in your home country. Business is hard and if you’re doing it cross culturally, it’s exponentially harder.

  34. Just to give you an example, we advertised 2 jobs online, we had 10 people we invited for an interview. out of the 10 that said they would come only 6 showed up. From the 6 that showed up, 2 didn't have any of the things we said they must have . From the 4 left we said ok we will give you a quick test with our current guy so go take lunch and then come back and we will hire two if you can do it. Nobody came back. This is just one example we have dozens more!

  35. Isnt Orville single? he has the 100% , or am i wrong about his martial status,,,,,,,,,,???? I will be going to his place soon next month. The issue with firing someone in phils is a BIG ISSUE, they dont take personal responsibility over their own actions instead they believe in revenge and doing bad to someone else just cuz they lost their jobs,,, its an incredible thing,,,, and its worse with relationships,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, its almost as DO or DIE for them,,,,,,,

  36. I financed a small amount in starting up a small Ukay Ukay store in San Bartolome Quezon City back in August that my sister-in-law is running. So far it is doing quite well for a small place. Looking forward to expanding next year when my wife and I move there.

  37. Hi Reekay, you paint a very grim picture for any expat thinking of doing something like this…
    How widespread is the financial Destruction of expats in PH?
    For that matter, Are there actual Trustworthy partners to be had?

    I find it somewhat hard to reconcile that no outside trade is permitted without a PH having controlling share there of… that in itself would be fine if there was things to be done to protect the actual investor in all this….

    Would it be safe to say that starting and running a biz according to you… is 10 times the risk since its in PH?

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