How to Start an Online Shop and Earn Extra Income

For Filipinos who are done living paycheck-to-paycheck to keep up with their day-to-day expenses, it’s no surprise to find their browsing history with search keywords like “budget tips” . Of course, financial tips may not be enough to get people out of a financial setback, and looking for ways to earn extra income becomes the next best solution.

Online selling is an ideal option for first-time Filipino small business entrepreneurs since it doesn’t require huge capital and daily operations are relatively manageable. Plus, you only need an internet connection and products to sell to start.

Are you looking for tips and guidelines on how to start an online shop in the Philippines? Below, we’ve rounded up a step-by-step guide on how Filipinos can set up an online business. Let’s get started! 

  • Brainstorm and research online

Start researching possible online business ideas, then take note of the ones that you think you can do. When you’re out and about and suddenly get inspired by a business idea, write it down. 

Once you’re content with your list, determine the most viable one considering these criteria: level of interest, level of expertise, and level of experience. Seasoned entrepreneurs will tell you that managing a business that you are passionate about and have prior knowledge and experience makes the day-to-day operations easier.

More importantly, consider how your target audience sees this business idea. Study up on your target customers, see if there is a real demand for the product you mean to sell online. You can conduct a quick online survey to gauge if there is enough demand to sustain your business. 

  • Start saving for capital

Of course, to kickstart a business, you’ll need cash. Some affordable online businesses that cost P5,000 or fewer that you can consider are selling clothes (brand new, bought wholesale, and thrifted), toy cameras and disposable cameras, phone cases, and more. You can save a portion of your paycheck to save up for funds until you reach your capital amount. 

Aside from digging into your personal savings, another funding option you can explore is borrowing. You can ask for a loan from family members or from a bank. You should also consider using a credit app like Cashalo for financial assistance. You can loan from P1,000 up to P6,500 to fund your business. 

  • Draft a business plan for your online shop

A business plan includes the timeline and your plans for your online shop, from pre-planning to the official launch date and even the maintenance period. This step is vital to get everything you would need your business up and running and to keep you on schedule. This can also aid you in securing third-party funding should it be needed to sustain your operations. 

  • Apply for your business license

If you’re wondering whether you would still need a business license to run an online shop, the answer is yes. Registering your online business with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) makes it legitimate, which can give you an edge when customers ask if you’re a legit seller.

Before you apply for a business license, determine if your business is a proprietorship or partnership. You can register your business online. Check DTI’s website for more info. 

  • Start looking for reliable suppliers

Whether you plan on reselling finished products or manufacturing your own, you must find a trusted supplier for your products and materials. 

Look for suppliers with a proven track record. Join business communities or social media groups to help you find dependable ones, those who wouldn’t suddenly halt productions of the materials you need just when your business starts picking up. 

Prepare critical documents that will prove the legitimacy of your business to the suppliers (e.g., proof of registration, tax identification number, financial statements, and more).

  • Identify the best delivery methods for your online shop

You may offer meet-ups when you’re starting out, but you’d want to meet the demand of your customers for fast and reliable delivery. This is important since buyers want to get their hands on their purchases as soon as possible, and they want it in good condition. 

You need to find a trusted and dependable courier that has excellent reviews. There are many logistics and third-party services in the country you can check out, like GrabExpress, Entrego, LBC, JRS Express, and more. 

  • Set up and launch your online shop

Where do you plan on hosting your online shop? For starters, there are various platforms out there: 

    • Facebook – Facebook Marketplace is an excellent place to start selling your products because of its large number of users who can easily find you. Buyers can also feel good about searching for products since they can view the profiles of sellers and vice versa. 
    • Instagram – The photo-based social media platform makes it easier for businesses to highlight their products, build their identity, and reach their target audience. 
    • Shopee – Shopee makes selling a breeze for online businesses. Create a Shopee Seller account, upload your products, fill in product details, and you’re good to go. 
    • Lazada – Sellers are only required to submit one valid government ID. They’re also provided with seller tools and campaigns to manage their shop. 

You can even create your own website if you want to establish a firm footing in the e-commerce industry. Your website should be your business’ primary hub, where leads are directed to and where purchases are made. 

  • Promote your online shop on social media

Of course, you have to get your “virtual word-of-mouth” going by creating social media accounts for your online business. Introduce your business, promote your campaigns, build brand love, and establish your online following. 

Additionally, having social media accounts for your brand allows you to connect directly with your customers and followers to build relationships with them. This is how you can find loyal brand advocates over time.

Summing it up

Setting up an online business brings a lot of possibilities and opportunities for Filipinos who are tired of being shackled by their meager income or unsatisfactory jobs. Once you decide on what you want to sell, and duly work through the whole process in between until your launch, you’ll soon get showered with the profits you dream of. 

Don’t worry too much about funds. You can depend on a credit app like Cashalo to help your business come to fruition. Cashalo’s easy application and fast loan approval can help you jumpstart your online business as soon as possible. It’s time to turn those ideas into reality, download the app now!