Here’s a couple recent comments regarding Online Business Philippines that are just too good to leave semi- hidden in the standard comments queue.
From reader Bill: (Thanks, Bill)
I have become quite fond of a young Filipino lady and have had serious thoughts of moving over there and doing an on line business to supplement my Social security so we can travel.
I have investigated several on-line businesses and even hired a VA in Davao to investigate and try to set up some with out much luck.
If you are successful at on-line business I am open for any direction you might share with me. Yes I am a victim of the us real estate market, you mentioned. Thanks Bill
Bill, thanks so much for sharing that with us. My overall thought is, your basic plan is very sound indeed, exactly what I emphasize so often, both here on PhilFAQS and on my popular Empowering Your Retirement blog.
But if I may, I think you are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. The time to be building your online business is now, before you make any move. There are several reasons for this that stand out:
- I am assuming you are still working, or at least established somewhere with your feet on the ground right now. Starting any new business, on-line or off-line takes time before any appreciable income flows your way.
- The act of moving here takes time, money, effort and also demands a lot of time and attention on your part, no matter how smooth it happens.
- Moving here and getting set up always seems to cost more than most people budget for. It’s usually manageable, but starting a new business and making the move together just ads many risk factors together.
Overall, my strong recommendation is get something going now, before you move. It’s by far the easiest and safest way to go, IMO. Business is business, online or off, much more than many choose to recognize. Business, online or off-line boils down to one simple thing … find something people are buying and sell it to them.
My thoughts on hiring VA (a person to work for you online as a ‘virtual’ assistant” to those unfamiliar with the term) kind of boil down to this.
Most folks who hold themselves out as VA’s are competent at what the job title suggests. Assisting. If they were typically the sort of person who was entrepreneurially oriented and at all skilled in recognizing business opportunities, they probably wouldn’t be working as “assistants”. If you get a good VA. s/he will be highly competent at doing exactly what you tell him/her you want done. But finding ideas and investigating business opportunities is not normally ‘assisting” type work.
There is also a big problem, in my opinion, these days where a lot of people who don’t have much experience in business tend to look at the fact that you can hire and assistant for what by US standards is very little money. Cheap is good, no doubt about that, but online is much the same as off-line … you tend to get what you pay for.
When these inexperienced business owners get to a part of the business they don’t understand, they explain away the problem by saying, “Oh, your VA can handle that for you.”
This is seldom the case. If you don’t know how to get things done yourself, how will you be able to effectively direct, control and even inspire a stranger who is not really interested in business, but interested in doing what it takes to draw a salary from you?
If anyone can’t read the cartoon, the punch line is, “And Then A Miracle Occurs”. If you spend time and money hiring a virtual assistance to perform work you don’t know how to do yourself, my view is you are “expecting a miracle to occur.”. It just doesn’t happen that often, folks.
Read, research, but most importantly do things. Try something. If it works, great, if it doesn’t, hit delete and start again with a different technique.
But don’t try to pay someone to tell you what to do and how to do it … it seldom works out well.
From Bob (Thanks again, Bob)
At this point in time at least for me, the internet is something for my enjoyment and entertainment and I have learned a lot from the use of it.
With the continued increase of blog sites and blog-like websites, I wonder if it will ever reach a saturation point on one category or topic or another ?
To me at least it seems there are so many of them out there how much room is really left for more? At least to make it profitable for more of them to come online.
I guess another way of categorizing things would be hobby blog or websites and blog and websites for profit. Will there be a saturation point with all of these?
This is something I have been thinking about recently as I discover more and more blogs about things that interest me.
Great points you make there, Bob. From my perspective, there is no such thing as “earning money from the Internet”. The Internet is a communication channel pure and simple. Let’s call it a telephone on a massive dose of steroids.
Do you know anyone who “earns a living from their phone”? I don’t. But I could easily point you to millions of people around the world who earn a living from jobs where the phone is a major tool of their work … call centers, inbound and outbound sales, customer service, appointment setting, etc., etc., etc. A commonality with many of these jobs is, they can be engaged in independently … little or no investment capital needed, and they by and large can be engaged in anywhere a person happens to be … income independent of locality.
The Internet is like a telephone, with text, voice and video to the world. So anything you could do with a telephone, you could do online, with steroids.
Look for a moment at just one tiny niche I have mentioned, more than once. Earning, at least a supplemental income by teaching or coaching English. I have a whole series on that, starting with these English Teaching Philippines thoughts.
There are several billion people give or take around the world (many in China and India) who desperately want to improve their English skills. It’s almost a government-sponsored religion in China … the Chinese government employs English Evangelists, guys who travel the country like old time tent revival ministers in the USA, week in and week out. Their “gospel”? Learn English to for the good of yourself and the great good of Mother China.
Suppose I decided I wanted to coach people in conversational English … I made darn good money at this, offline, when I lived in Japan. $10 and hour is a dirt-cheap rate … in japan, private conversational English lessons go for $40 USD and up … remember, these are people who already went to school for English, they need help in pronunciation and basic interaction and conversational skills so they can put their English to use. So just for fun, let me say I’ll be cheap and charge $10USD per hour.
Nearly 500 people a day come to this site for the first time, each and every day, on average, just like the sun comes up in the morning. Google and the other search engines bring them hear based on information they want to know about the Philippines. Many of those 500 “potential clients” are already looking for English instruction information. But if I wanted to go into the business, I’d spend a few weeks writing about and optimizing my search results for “Learn English Online” and get a substantial number of those new visitors be “eager to buy” clients.
It’s certainly realistic to expect to “convert” 1% or 2% of those targeted visitors into paying customers. That could be as many as 5 or 10 per day, signing up for “x” amount of training hours at $10 per training hour. Do you see why I think there’s some potential here? Just get one new subscriber a day, signing up for a couple hundred dollars worth of instruction, and bingo, you’re making a living online … at Philippine prices, certainly.
Operating an online service like conversational English all boils down to how many hours a day or week you, yourself want to work. So it’s very, very, easy to get started, but if you don’t want to work/can’t work, no money will come in. Service business are also not easily scalable. If you attract more clients than you can handle yourself, you are basically stuck with turning clients away or having to hire employees … which might be a good idea, but it certainly makes it into w whole different business.
By the way, in researching this post, I just looked at the top 20 sites (2 pages worth) of Google listings for “learning English Online Philippines”. Out of those top 20 Google results, 1, exactly one, site was a site put up by someone looking for Koreans to learn English online from the Philippines. One. On the second page.
The other 19 sites? Ads for books about teaching English, ads for $1500 or more ESL certificate (which you absolutely do NOT need to invest in), and mainly the other sites were employment ads … looking for English-speakers to teach for “dirt-based” and online schools as employees. (so the employees could make about one third of what their time is worth). Don’t look for a J*O*B, build yourself a business instead!
There’s very, very little actual competition out there, folks. And it takes as little online effort as this lady is putting into it … I’ve written about Vi and her learning Spanish lessons before … this idea will work for ANY language.
So that’s already a lot of words. Thanks to those who have read this far. I realize some may be getting bored with my harping on teaching English online. I’ll work up another post, right away quick and show you some actual examples of a number of other people making money online without any mention of teaching English Online in the Philippines … but instead a few examples of other Online Business Philippines, fair enough?