Help Me Set Up a Business
Recently I received this email regarding a Phil-Am couple wanting to set up a business in the Philippines. I get many like it.
Unlike many, at least, this couple have thought about doing something regarding a business (and I suppose a large part of their income after their move) before they actually make the move to the Philippines.
Would that more couples gave this some thought.
Hey Dave – great article. Particularly the advise to get the experience while you are in the US. My wife is here and has a B.S. degree in business from the Philippines. She’s currently working in a supermarket and we will only be here 2-3 more years before moving to PI. I know she will be too young at that point to do nothing (like her husband) and would probably like to have some kind of small biz. I encourage her to use the experience she is building in the US to take there. Any suggestions about what she might learn or how she might approach this all in the relatively short time we have here?
Several important factors here and I will give my opinions on them for the benefit of this readers and all the rest of you interested in this subject.
My opinions are mine alone, you may have different ideas, and that’s good too … but at least give this some thought before you arrive, FOP (Fresh Of the Plane) with no money, no business, no job and a whole bunch of hopes.
Dave’s Rule One:
Lose the idea of “the wife” having some business while the husband sits around being bored, living off a pension (if he has one) and growing jealous of the time his wife has to devote to het business.
Boredom, drink and health related woes of inactivity are the number one reason I see couples moving here and then splitting up (or soldiering on in a very unhappy state).
Running any business anywhere takes a lot of time, effort and commitment, and working together is by far the best way to keep a business from going broke and/or breaking up a marriage.
Dave’s Rule Two:
Lose the idea of living in the Philippines and making your money from the Philippines. It’s possible, of course, but it is by far the most difficult way to do it. Why, you ask? Simple … There’s No F^#$%&*g Money Here! Clear enough?
Instead consider ways to live in the Philippines and make your money from the rest of the world, like I do (in a very small way) and literally thousands of other expats (a few of whom I know personally to be totally legit) do.
Dave’s Rule Three
Ideas, including “ideas with potential” are all virtually worthless.
Without motion and guidance “ideas” are just about as useless as sitting around and doing nothing.
Consider this example for a moment.
A Lot Of Potential
A big diesel truck and cargo trailer are sitting at the side of the road at a top of a long, long hill. Imagine you had the key to that truck. If you have any idea about heavy trucks and highway grades you know that that truck has a tremendous amount of “potential” energy just from gravity.
If you jump aboard and release the brakes, wow are you in for the ride of your life!
Perhaps even the last ride of your life if you can’t keep it on the road.
Huge, huge, huge “potential” but profitability and the chance to build a business that will sustain you? Ahhh, well not so much.
A Lot of Practicality
But let’s make a slightly different assumption.
Let’s suppose you know how to drive such a truck, and you use the right gear, keep it under control and actually find someone who needs something hauled.
The “potential” may not be a s “huge” as it was … you only have one truck and you can only haul so much cargo in a day, but the ability to build a real business suddenly becomes very apparent.
It’s the same truck starting with the same “potential” but the outcome is so very, very different.
Dave’s Rule Four
If you want to earn a living, and perhaps even become wealthy for your business, find a need and fill it. Go back and read that line again … Find a Need and Fill It.
Why This Talk About Trucks?
Let’s stick with my weird trucking example.
A friend of mine (let’s call him “Willard” because that’s not his name), bought some ranching land east of Colorado Springs when he retired from the military. He was planning to raise good quality cattle and sell hem at a good profit.
Willard Got His Pocket Picked
But after he invested some money in cattle and a lot of time in trying to develop his ranch, he found that the land he had purchased was pretty much worthless for raising cattle.
Most of the property was a thin layer of rather poor soil atop a huge bank of clay that made it almost impossible for the land to grow enough feed to keep the cattle alive, let alone allow allow them to thrive and gain weight.
(when it comes down to the bottom line, weight is all there is in the cattle business… you only get paid, one way or another, by how much weight your cattle gain while you own them).
Why Not Just Quit?
Willard could have just given up and become yet another tired old complaining senior citizen, bitching to everyone he met how he had been bilked out of his life savings. I know I’ve met a few like that, especially here in the “I Want To Move To The Philippines” space.
Not a very pleasant prospect, but the mode that many people seem to be inclined to fall into.
He decided to follow Dave’s Rule Four, and “find a need to fill it”.
Thinking through all the things one can do with clay, he found that the largest market for clay in Colorado was brick making.
Several companies in nearby Denver had been making bricks for years.
Willard scooped up some samples of the clay and visited Denver’s largest brick factory.
They Needed It
Turns out that “Willard’s Clay” was a type they had a real need for, and they were even having trouble finding a regular source.
So Willard became “Their Source”.
He bought a used front end loader and one used tractor trailer dump truck rig, got his Commercial Diver’s License (Oh by the way, he didn’t have one, he went to a two week school. You can learn what you don’t know if you want to.).
He also got insurance, all the necessary permits and “mother may I’s” that Colorado required for an intra (within the state) hauling operation, and he was in business. (and no, he didn’t know how to do any of that stuff the day he started, he just asked questions, followed directions and filled in the blanks on the forms he was handed. Leaning is good for you, guys and gals).
Willard Built His Own Job Out Of A Lump Of “Worthless” Clay
Willard “made” himself a full-time, lifetime income from those banks of clay he had unintentionally purchased.
So Is Life Easy?
Each weekday he gets up early, loads his dump truck, drives to the brick yard and dumps the clay.
After paying expenses, and setting aside money for truck maintenance and eventual truck replacement, he makes about $4,000 USD per WEEK from scooping up the so-called “useless” clay, hauling it less than 100 miles, running the truck across the scales (yes, again, when it comes to trucking, weight, once again, controls the bottom line),
Then he returns home, empty, usually before lunch time every day, and hangs out in a famous local rancher’s and truckers diner with the other old retired guys … some of whom have nothing to do all day except bitch about how little their Social Security checks add up to.
Is life easy for Willard? Well he does have to do real work 5 days a week, but he’s his own boss, and he’s sure living better than a lot of guys his age,sitting around waiting for their unemployment check or their disability compensation to trickle in.
Ideas With Potential Are a Dime a Dozen, It’s What You DO With An Idea That Makes The Difference
Now tell me the truth.
While you were reading the paragraphs leading up to Willard’s discovery of the profit potential in the clay that every other rancher in the area hated and despised, did you see the “potential”?
Probably not. But it really doesn’t matter. The “potential” itself really meant nothing.
What makes the money in this case is Willard’s refusal to accept the fact he had essentially purchased “worthless” land and his determination to make a plan and execute that plan.
There’s a Message Here
You who read this wondering about how you can make money in the Philippines (or in the US for that matter) could learn a lot from my friend Willard.
Virtually any “idea” can be profitable if, and only if, you are willing to do something about it.
That is you free, proven many times over, business tip for the day.
“Ideas” won’t make money for you, but action will.
Now go move some clay 😉