Before we jump into the battle and face the intricacies of registering your business (i.e. the how), make sure you’ve already covered why you are starting your business and what business you want to register.
This is part 1 of The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Business in the Philippines series.
Table of Contents:
#1: The Entrepreneurial Mindset 🧠
Although the idea of owning a business is euphoric, our lizard brain, or that part of the brain that triggers the fight-or-flight response, often hinders us from making our dreams a reality. You lizard brain always tells you: “Can I really do this?” “What if I fail?” “I don’t know how to start.” “I’m too old for this.” “It seems too complicated for me.” or the oldest in the book of excuses “I have no time.”
These thoughts can be overwhelming and can hold you back from achieving whatever it is you want to achieve. But as with all things you gain in life accompanies the complications you need to face. No pain, no gain, right? Owning a business isn’t going to be trekking a smooth road. The first step you need to do is to have the proper mindset to prepare yourself for all the roadblocks you have to encounter. If others can do this, why not you?
#2: Your Business Idea 💡
Now, when you are done overcoming your lizard brain and you are committed to start your business comes the next phase — the business idea. This is an entirely vast topic to cover and we might digress with the original topic of the article. But the only question you have to answer is this: what problems need solving?
You do not need an entirely unique idea to start a business. There were already taxi services before Uber, there were already millions of lodging and accommodation services before Airbnb, there were already existing social media platforms before Facebook, and there were already mobile phones before Apple launched the first iPhone. What do they all have in common? They disrupt already existing services by solving problems people do not know they have.
You also do not need to look for larger problems, you can start small within your local community. For example, after living for more than a year in your area you find it difficult to look for a water station that delivers within the day. Or, you see the demanding rise of zero-waste stores but your community still doesn’t have one. Start locally, think globally.
Once you have the list of the problems, let’s narrow down your options by revising the question: what problems do you love to solve? After answering this you’ve incorporated the solutions the society needs with the things you love to do, you form a connection. This connection is your business idea. As the saying goes, do the things you love and you never have to work a day in your life.
#3: The Name 🤔
This is one of the most difficult steps to achieve when starting a new entity: may it be a business, a band, a name for the book you want to write, or even a name for your group of friends. We often find ourselves staring blankly when we think of a name we want for our business. To help you narrow down your options, here are some considerations:
One word is often better than multiple words. Only use 2 or 3 words for a name if you really can’t think of a one word name. Good examples of a 1-word company name are: Grab, eBay, Apple. 2 words combined to one-word company names: Facebook, Whatsapp, GoDaddy, FoodPanda.
The name should be easy to pronounce, spell, and remember. When people start asking you or when you start offering your services, you should be able to tell them the name without getting confusing stares. When you say it over the phone, you don’t need to spell if for them. Some good examples are: Lazada, Amazon, Alibaba.
While thinking of name options, open Namecheap or any domain registrars and start typing as you think of one. It would be a big bonus if you can get a .com domain for your business as soon as you start offering your services. If it’s already taken, you can also consider getting a .ph domain from dot.PH although it’s more costly than a regular .com domain.
Think of puns related to the services you provide but don’t overdo it that it fails item #1. Carousell, an online marketplace for example, is an amalgam of carousel + sell. Although you have to specify that Carousell has a double L at the end when you say it over the phone, once people get it, it is easy to remember. I also once saw a laundry shop named The Soap Opera. Witty, right? The name sticks to whoever saw their signage.
#4: The Business Type 🏭
There are several types of businesses: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, non-profit organizations, cooperative, and so on. People joining the business owner bandwagon often start with single/sole proprietorship — meaning you own your business and you are liable for everything related to that business. Partnership — you co-own the business with one or more partners and the liability is spread amongst the owners. Corporation — owned by at least 5 persons and the business is its own entity, meaning the liability is separate from its stockholders.