I get so many inquires from people wanting to know about business in the Philippines that seem to have done no market research or needs assessment as to what might sell here in the Philippines.
Except, of course the inevitable “How to I start and Internet Café”, which to me is a dead issue. I’ve written about it at least a dozen times now, and with the huge “uptake” of Internet enable mobile smart phones in the Philippines I think it’s a dead or at least dying industry.
But, Dave, I hear you say, how do I figure out what people are buying there in the Philippines.
Well I’m no marketing expert, but I do spend a lot of time in my local mall … and in bigger malls in the Metro Manila area.
A mall can tell you a LOT about what’s going on in business. Especially if you look closely at the stores that are open, busy with people and especially those who have been there for five years or more.
(by the way, this is a proven technique I don’t see too many people doing. Instead of jumping from one idea to another, you might want to adopt one of the oldest, proven tool to determine profitability .. look at businesses, o-line or off – that have been successful over a five-year or longer span. I wrote a piece on this about my Mom and her boss, Mr. Kron, who made himself a nice business this way, way back long before the Internet)
Anyway, what stores do I see busy, profitable and passing the “5-year test”? Simple. Personal appearance and beauty. It’s a big, big business here in the Philippines.
You can’t pass 10 stores in the mall without seeing 3 or 4 “beauty salon” type places.
Hair straightening, coloring, styling. Skin whitening (a HUGE market here in the Philippines). Massage of all types, and, of course, what goes along with them is the attendant, high-profit sale of lotions, potions, vitamins, health drinks and the other assorted Ki-kay supplies ladies just love to buy.
Want to know what’s missing?
Fitness. Especially fitness for ladies-only.
Rather than the same boring gym, they created a fitness center specifically for women who wanted to get in shape and embrace their natural beauty and curves.
Now. a couple disclaimers here:
- Curves is a registered trade mark, used here here only for illustrative purposes.
- I have no connection, business or otherwise with the company
- I definitely don’t think anyone should copy anyone else’s trade marks or copyrighted work.
All that said, though..
A Curves franchise costs as low as $30-odd thousand, with equipment in the USA. Here in the Philippines (and yes there is one in Fort Bonafacio, Manila) I would guess it should cost less.
And without a franchise? How hard is it to design a fitness program FOR women, staff the place WITH women and make women BELIEVE you car about their health, even if your name was “Well Rounded” , “In the Right Places”, “Where it Belongs” or something else clever like that?
(I hereby release those names into the public domain, unless they are someone’s trademark I didn’t know about).
If one of them appeals to you, trade mark it and go make millions from it, I’ll be happy to see you succeed.
Your takeaway from all this? My point?
Think about what people spend money on in the Philippines and what businesses prosper day in and day out, and then fill a need for a legitimate profit. Think past “putting up” yet another “computer shop” or Sari-sari store just because that is what you see other people doing.
Want to make money? Find a need and fill it. The results may amaze you.