I just came across this idea in my files. Earning money in the Philippines seems to be a bit like the weather. Everyone seems to want to talk about it, but nobody wants to do anything about it. This is right up the alley of a great many readers here, US, Filipino or any other nationality. Looking at the dateline I see I took a snippet from my good friend Yuga’s blog back in 2008, nearly two years ago … and I’ve heard very little myself, either personally on in comments to Yuga’s original post.
Yet virtually everyone out there reading this in the Philippines has a computer, a video cam (or access to one) and a way to get high-speed internet connectivity over most of the Philippines, either through a 3G cell phone or via a WiFi USB ‘dongle’ for a laptop or netbook.
Instead of searching the want ads for a job that will match up with your skills … at a salary that will make it hardly worth your while, why not tap into a profit stream that will never go away and one that is “in demand” each and every day here in the Philippines.
The “gurus” of sales and marketing will tell you the secret to making money is simple … find a need that is very important to someone … even one that causes pain (no one argues much with their dentist when a tooth goes bad, you may bitch about the money later, but when that sucker is infected and swollen you get it treated and are more than glad when the pain stops).
They also recommend selling things that are consumable … something that people continue to need and need again and again …and things that, like toothache, people have little control over.
Can you think of anything like a sudden toothache, off-hand, right now? Hint, one clue is in the title … “the End”. The death of a loved one is every bit as painful as a toothache and a heck of a lot harder to get over.
Yup, the final end, death. It causes pain to whole families, not just the ‘recipient’. It’s not controllable … in case anyone out there isn’t sure, let me deliver the news to you … we are all dead …we just don’t know when. There is a never ending supply of death, and even the Bill Gates among us can’t avoid it.
And it’s something that doesn’t lend itself much to cost control … when a loved one dies, there are certain rights and rituals we all go through, and some of those rituals demand spending … sometimes a lot.
Read Yuga’s original post and then I’ll add some updated ideas … and don’t worry I’ll throw in something upbeat about new beginnings too, near the end.
Last week, when a sibling of a friend died of colon cancer, I went to the wake at the Paco church to pay my respects. My friend told me one of their sister from the States can’t make it and wished there’s a way they can do to ease the disappointment.
I said I can bring my laptop and use the built-in webcam to do a YM video conference. I hooked up my phone to Smart 3G and connect it to my laptop via bluetooth and started.
So there we were, moving the laptop around to broadcast the video taken from the webcam while other relatives huddle around to talk to the other party in the US.
People die every day. In the Philippines wakes and funerals tend to be ‘big deals’. Even poorer people who can’t afford a formal funeral home service normally have a viewing in the deceased’s own home.
Due to the economic facts of life, a great many of the deceased’s family and friends are liable to be in far off parts of the Philippines or overseas. It’s expensive and sometimes impossibly disruptive for many to visit the viewing or services … yet wanting to pay their respects and to chat with others in the family in their grief and sorrow is a very heartfelt need. Thus: “>How to Use e-Burol (Click here to download the manual) … there’s opportunity here to anyone who wants to set up a service like this on their own.
You could attack the opportunity in any of several ways: Go into partnership with local funeral homes where they would pay you to provide service “just like” the name brand undertakers. or advertise and run the service independently for a fee, or put up a directory service and ‘how to do it’ site and make money from advertising and affiliation with flower vendors and other services in the trade … possibilities abound.
Let me also add a word about competition. Many folks glance at an idea like this and say, “Oh it’s being done already, I’m too late.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact that there are viable businesses already offering these services is proof that there is a demand and public interest …it’s actually a great business potential indication.
Aside from death, there are a lot of other “high demand” opportunities. How many overseas relatives who have paid for a student’s education here would want to “virtually participate” in a graduation or even a wedding? My guess is, plenty.
And don’t forget new babies. From personal observation, these little bundles of joy just seem to keep on coming … the Philippines has an endless supply. I’ve personally observed when a new baby comes along it is a much bigger event than it sometimes seems in the US … especially if it is the first grandchild of a couple, as just one example. Whole families will scape the last peso out of the piggy bank and set off for distant locations to see the newborn. It’s one of those things that people do, it’s something that’s iportant to them, and it’s something that’s going to keep on happening, recession or no recession.
Put a simple web conferencing hookup and cheap web cam and mic in the new mother’s room and tie it to a “one time use” website (free on Blogger a number of other free web hosts) so that relatives all over the world can “tune in’ and chat with the new mom as she feeds and shows of the new child. (don’t forget to record the sessions and sell copies on DVD for those who missed all the joyful occasions live.)
What do you think? Ever given a thought to making a business out of the business of ife itself? I smell potential here.
And as a final thought, even though it’s essential that you make some money out of all this, if you want your business to survive, it’s also a case of providing a necessary, very rewarding service to people who otherwise would regret “not being there” the rest of their lives … much more rewarding than selling laundry soap or condominium units or some other material thing.
Done right you can make a lot of people happy this way, or at least help them assuage their grief in some small way … and as my friend Martha would say, that is a “Good Thing”.