Starting a Pisonet Business

My brother Benjie was an OFW but has decided to stay in the Philippines to be with his family. He has then ventured into different small businesses, and one of them is a Pisonet business.

A pisonet is an internet cafe wherein customers rent the unit not by the usual hourly rate but by paying the minimum of one peso (piso) for every 4 minutes of usage. Pisonet means ‘one peso internet.’

The Philippines is typically a sachet economy wherein products and services are being sold on small portions or tingi-tingi. This especially appropriate for consumers with minimal purchasing powers. Hourly rental is usually ranging from P15 to P20. With pisonet, a customer is given the flexibility of paying depending on the time he requires. This makes it appealing to children/youngsters who don’t have enough funds but want to enjoy surfing the net even for just 5 minutes or so.

Benjie on one of his pisonet units

I have interviewed my brother to get a closer look at the pisonet business. I will discuss how to set up this kind of business and all the factors to be considered.

Capital and Supplier

The good thing about this business is that you can start small and expand your business once you have seen a great potential. A new unit of pisonet costs P15000 or more only. It’s a complete set package that includes: CPU, 19 inches LED monitor, webcam, keyboard, mouse, headset, coin slot, and an arcade-type box. It’s all set up. All you need is to plug in the power supply, connect to the internet, and voila, your business has just started.

You can find these units being sold by major computer shops in your place and the malls near to you. If you are in Manila, you can see this in the area near Gilmore LRT station (Quezon City) and Raon (Quiapo). Some suppliers are also available online. Just check on Facebook and Google.

Location

Selecting the best location to put up your pisonet business is one of the essential factors to consider. An excellent site is near schools as most of its users are the youngsters, mostly students, who are playing online games or doing some school projects/research. Just mind on the city or municipality’s ordinances on internet shops as it may have some distance or any operation restrictions.

Otherwise, you can put up your pisonet in a location where there is significant foot traffic or just within a crowded community. My brother is operating his pisonet at home. He only allocated a portion of his living room and converted it to a shop. Likewise, you can put your units on a secure space on your front yards and even in your garage.

Internet, Permit, & Crew

You need an internet connection to operate this business. My brother subscribes to a 5mbps package for P1600, and it performs reasonably well. Remember that a high-speed connection attracts more customers.

Permits to operate are required for this business. Get a Baranggay and/or a Municipality/City permits. Permit fees vary from place to place.

The most significant advantage of a pisonet as compared to the usual internet cafe is its ability to run with minimal supervision. You might not need an attendant/crew to monitor all its activities. Customers pay by dropping money to the coin slot, then the computer operates. This saves you from paying an employee. Of course, if you have a bigger shop, then you need an attendant.

Profitability

Profitability depends on the location and the number of units you have. Let me give you a sample computation. Assuming you have eight pisonet units and the average customer usage is 5 hours per unit in a day.

P1 = 4 minutes of rental
P15 = 1 hour of rental
P75 = 5 hours for 1 unit

This means that your cafe will earn P600 a day or P18,000 a month. Of course, the more units you have coupled with more users, the better your income will be. You also have to consider expenses such as electricity, internet connection, shop rental, employee salary, etc.

The speed of your internet connection, coupled with the usage of the latest computer specs, is an excellent customer magnet. Furthermore, the machine is also programmed to save energy by hibernating if not in use. This makes your electricity expense significantly lower and guarantees a reasonable profit for you.

Other Income Sources

Computer rental is the primary business, but there are other sources of income coming along with it.

You can buy a printer for P9000, and you can do multiple income-generating tasks. Inks cost P250 only. My brother said that there is a considerable profit from printing.

Print – Price starts from P2 for black and white and up to P15 for the colored image. You can print pictures on a 3R sized glossy paper.

Scan – You can scan an image and send it to an email or save it in a flash drive for P7.

Photocopy – The same printer can be used to photocopy documents and images at a charge of P2.

Invitation Cards – Applying some of your creative talents, you can make invitation letters for birthdays and weddings. Prices start from P10 to P25.

Another source of income is lamination. A laminating machine costs around P900 and ten sheets of A4 size laminating film costs P25 only. Charges range from P25 to P95, depending on the size.

Just note that prices depend on the areas that you are operating. It might be dictated based on the competition.

Common Problems

The most common problem of a pisonet business is the loss or intermittent internet connection. Another is the loss of power supply due to widespread power blackouts. This happens typically during storms and heavy rains. These two are disruptions to your business operations. You should be ready as it may happen anytime.

Disclaimer

EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.

I hope this article encourages you to start your own business/investment. Click the links for Business Ideas and Investment Options for more insightful essays.

Chat with me

I have ventured into an e-commerce business (online selling) that you might also be interested in setting up. You can visit our website at colibers.com, where you can have a chat with me (just select Contact Us), and I will be more than willing to entertain your questions regarding this post and e-commerce.

Renting Out Your Condo Unit

We have witnessed the construction industry in the Philippines booming for the past few years. Condos are just sprouting everywhere in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities across the archipelago. The continuous expansion of the middle class also fuels this growth, and many Filipinos have grabbed the chance to invest in acquiring condo units for their own use or for lease to earn profits.

OFWs, who contribute the most significant chunk of the country’s GDP, are one of the primary consumer targets by developers. If you are an OFW (or their family) or any investment-minded Filipino, this article might be of use to you as I will tackle some tips on how to invest in a condo unit.

Anne Delfinado-Lucido has been an OFW for many years. Most of these years she spent working in Dubai. She is, in fact, a colleague at work and a very dependable friend. Her investment journey started when her parents suggested getting a property. In 2014 she was lucky to acquire a condominium unit in Santolan (Pasig City) during its pre-selling stages. I had a chance to interview her to obtain some tips on investing in condo units.

Anne Lucido during our interview

Why Buy on Pre-selling?

Pre-selling means the time when the developer is yet to construct the building but has already been selling the units way in advance. Pre-selling prices are way lower than the price when the construction is complete. In most cases, the prices rise after the building completion, so it is highly advisable to acquire a condo unit while on the pre-selling phase. In the case of Anne, as she bought the unit during the pre-selling stage, her unit’s current value rose to over a million peso higher. You may wait for 2-4 years for the unit turnover to happen.

Condo vs. House & Lot

When asked why she picked out a condo over house & lot? She said that as an OFW who lives overseas and cannot use the unit for some time, a condo is the best investment option. True to what she said, many OFWs who have acquired big houses in the Philippines while the entire family is living abroad have just left their house unused. Leasing a house & lot is not as widely in demand as condo units that are usually near workplaces and schools and situated within the city walls.

Profiting from a Condo Unit

If you can’t occupy your unit yet, you can quickly profit from it. There are two ways of earning a peso from a condo unit.

Short-term lease
Rentpad and Airbnb are the most popular condo unit rental booking sites catering to locals and foreigners looking for accommodation. Airbnb will make your unit available to tourists looking for alternative accommodation as compared to pricey hotel rooms. The rental duration is usually taking days to weeks only. Hence it’s just short term. A typical daily rental rate of a unit in the Mall of Asia complex starts from P2500/night. With the right choice of location, condo unit short-term leasing can be a profitable venture.

Long term lease
In longterm leasing, the tenant stays for months or years. If you own a unit, you can find a long-term lessee yourself from your friends or relatives. The easiest way to a hassle-free long-term lease is to allow the condo developer to manage the leasing. This is the option taken by Anne. Her condo developer is DMCI, who oversees the rental of her unit. With the minimum leasing duration of a year, Anne will not worry about whether it is vacant or occupied.

The Disadvantage of a Condo Unit

A building has a limited lifespan of 50 to 80 years. After that, it will be demolished as it would not be safe to use. The developer will provide the owner with a certificate of ownership.

Unlike a condo unit, a house & lot is an evergreen investment because the value of the land appreciates over the years. This property can be passed down from one generation to another. Here you will get a land title as proof of ownership.

Where to Find an Agent?

There are many new condo units available in the country, and real estate sales agents are scattered everywhere. You can find them on Facebook and any social media, giving flyers in the mall and on the busy streets of the city. Just make sure that you are dealing only with a legitimate agent. Message me if you want some recommendations.

Loan and Financing

If you can pay outright cash, then well and good. If you can’t, you can also pay in installments. You can obtain a loan from the bank where you will pay up to 10 years of monthly amortization. Your sales agent will help you guide the process of getting a bank loan.

Importance of a Right Location

The key to getting a considerable profit obtained from leasing a condo unit is the location of your condo. The best areas are of those near schools/universities, tourist spots, in the central business district, near the train stations, and airports, to name a few.

Let Money Works for You

The monthly rental that Anne is earning now covers 72% of the monthly amortization she is paying for the unit. If the lease continues for ten years until the loan matures, then she has acquired the unit by paying only around 30% of the total price. It is such a wise investment move.

Anne has expertly played her investment cards so cleverly and is making money works for her. Kudos to Anne Margret!

Disclaimer

EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.

I hope this article encourages you to start your own business/investment. Click the links for Business Ideas and Investment Options for more insightful essays.

Do you have any questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a message in the comment box below or follow and message me on Facebook.

Banana Cue Business Plan

When I was young, I helped my mom peddling banana-cue in our community. As I have mentioned in my article Coconut Farm Business, we were living on a farm under the vastness of coconut trees. We were intercropping the coconuts with bananas. And we used our produce to make banana-cue.

Banana-cue is the term used to call fried skewered plantains cooked with brown sugar. It’s one of Filipinos’ favorite snacks.

Location

Starting up your banana-cue business is so easy. It requires small capital, and you can just operate from your home. You can prepare and cook it at home, then sell it at your front yards or sell from door to door in your neighborhood.

If you are living in a city or any urban area, a banana-cue stall in the public market (palengke) near the school or any public places can be a very profitable business. Stall rentals can be an additional cost, but if the foot traffic is considerable, then it’s worth the price.

Profitability

My mom used to sell 50 to 100 sticks a day. She was doing it from Monday to Friday when the school was open. And if there are still plenty of ripe bananas, she would cook even on Saturdays and Sundays. For 10 years, our banana-cue business was one of the primary sources of income that sustained our family. It helped send my 4 siblings and me to school. The business stopped when we migrated to Manila.

I saw a banana cue stall in Divisoria that has been open and been selling this favorite snack for years. The booth was always full of customers. This means that this business can become the primary income source if appropriately managed.

Recipe

The recipe is straightforward. And the ingredients are just 3: banana (saba), sugar, and cooking oil. You need bamboo skewers for easy distribution. My mom was very clever to use as skewers the midribs of buri palm, which was widely available on our farm. Click the link for the banana-cue recipe.

Pricing

The price depends upon your location. In Metro Manila, the price per skewer ranges from P10 – P15. In the provinces, it can only be P2 – P5. You can always limit the quantity of banana per skewer to adjust the price accordingly. The competition will also a factor dictating your product’s price.

Camote Cue & Turon

Alternatively, you can also sell camote cue and turon to give your customers a variety of options. My mom used to sell both camote cue and banana cue. We didn’t try turon as it has more ingredients and is time-consuming to prepare. Click the links for the camote-cue and turon recipes.

Disclaimer

EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.

I hope this article encourages you to start your own business/investment. Click the links for Business Ideas and Investment Options for more insightful essays.

Chat with me

I have ventured into an e-commerce business (online selling) that you might also be interested in setting up. You can visit our website at colibers.com, where you can have a chat with me (just select Contact Us), and I will be more than willing to entertain your questions regarding this post and e-commerce.

Ukay-Ukay Business Plan

When I was young, I remember my Mom would always take me to the town fiesta to watch the festivities and to buy Ukay-Ukay. They called it “Relief” back then. A shortened name for Relief Goods that were typically sent to victims of calamities. For some reason, it got into the hands of traders who sold it, and many people liked it for its low prices and quality. Nowadays, Ukay-Ukay is being patronized by many in the lower and middle classes. And even here in Dubai, you can see Ukay-Ukay stores where thousands of OFWs flock in to buy.

In 2007, having seen a high potential of this business, I have put up my own Ukay-Ukay stall in Saver’s Square (same building as SM Savemore Supermarket) in Pasay Rotonda. My mom and my brother managed the day to day operations. I helped them during my off days from work. In 2008 I got a great job offer in Dubai, so I had to close the shop.

I can share my experience with the Ukay-Ukay business with you, and I hope you can get some valuable lessons.

Store Location

The location of your store is one of the most important factors to consider. Areas with heavy foot traffic like near the markets or the malls are best suited for this business.

If you want to start small and first test the waters, you can start selling from your home to neighbors, friends, and even your workmates. Through this, you will save the rental cost.

Online

With the emergence of online shops nowadays, the Ukay business has been thriving and is perceived to be a fashion & style store. Social media has been a powerful tool for millions of companies worldwide. Anyone can sell their items online through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.

Suppliers

We got our supplies from Bambang in Manila, just 5 minutes walk from Bambang LRT Station. Inside or within the vicinity of Bambang Market, you can find many shops selling Ukay-Ukay goods in bundles or bales.

You can buy a bale of tops (shirts & blouses), bottoms (trousers, pants, shorts), bags, shoes, and many more. Nowadays, you can find suppliers selling in bulk online as an alternative to going to Bambang or if your location is outside Metro Manila. Carousell.ph is just one of the possible sources of supplies online. Be careful and make sure that you are dealing with a legit supplier.

Store Materials & Fixtures

Below are the primary materials & fixtures needed for an Ukay-Ukay shop. Some others might be required depending on the size and requirements of your shop.

  • Crates
  • Hangers
  • Shelves
  • Hanging Rails
  • Racks

Segregation & Pricing

The pricing of each item is easily achieved by properly segregating each bundle’s content into a premium and non-premium item. In each bunch, you can get a combination of items in good condition while some are in fair conditions.

Ukay prices are based on the face value of the item. My Mom washed and cleaned some items with visible stains to sell them at higher prices.

It takes hard work and dedication to run this business. Competition, nowadays, is getting tougher. But with the right choice of location, excellent products to offer, the right people running it, and careful planning and managing, this business will slowly prosper and will be a good source of income.

Disclaimer

EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.

I hope this article encourages you to start your own business/investment. Click the links for Business Ideas and Investment Options for more insightful essays.

Chat with me

I have ventured into an e-commerce business (online selling) that you might also be interested in setting up. You can visit our website at colibers.com, where you can have a chat with me (just select Contact Us), and I will be more than willing to entertain your questions regarding this post and e-commerce.

Starting a Coconut Farm Business?

I grew up on a farm, and our house was under the vastness of coconut trees. Farming was my family’s primary source of income, and coconut is one of our most profitable crops.

Having spent 17 years of my life on a coconut farm has given me a thorough understanding of copra productions. After I have obtained a promising job in Dubai, I bought the same coconut farm that we were tending from my Aunts.

Growing Coconuts

It takes a minimum of 6 years from planting for a coconut to start bearing fruits. If you have vacant farmland and want to start with a coconut farm business, then the best time is now. Otherwise, just like what I did, you can buy a farm with already fruit-bearing coconut trees. In some provinces, P100K – 200K can buy 3-4 hectares of coconut farm.

Maintenance

An adult coconut tree requires relatively low maintenance. Coconuts can thrive even if some other plants are growing nearby. However, coconuts bear more fruits if their surroundings are free from other competitor plants. Some ipil-ipil trees nearby can be a good source of fertilizers for coconuts.

Caretaker

It would be good if you can look after your farm. However, that won’t be necessary to manage your business. In the case of my farm, we have a caretaker who is looking after it. He makes sure that the farm is well maintained, falling coconuts are kept intact and well managed during harvest.

Harvesting

Coconuts can be sold as buko (young coconut fruit) or as husked mature nuts for culinary use. However, copra is the primary product of coconut. It is derived from dried, mature coconut. We employ men to climb the trees to get the fully mature (brown) nuts. Using an ax, coconuts are opened, and meats are scooped out.

Drying of Copra

Coconut kernels should be dried within a few hours from opening to avoid mold formation. Sun-drying is the most common and cheapest method. During rainy days, sun drying can be a bit challenging. In our case, we dry copra by smoking it in a specialized copra dryer hut.

Buyer

In a predominantly coconut farming province, you can find copra buyers in each town or city. In Leyte, where my farm is located, copra buyers are even present at barangay levels.

Intercropping

To maximize the use of your farmland, intercropping is an intelligent move. Under your coconut trees, other crops can grow. In the case of our farm, we had planted corn, peanut, potato, mung bean, etc. We earn a lot from these crops, too. But if you want a less hassle crop, then plant bananas. Provided that the land is fertile, bananas can grow with less maintenance and give you high yields all year round.

Other Income from Coconut

Coco Lumber

Coconut is dubbed as the “Tree of Life.” Almost all of its body parts are useful and hold commercial value. A very old coconut tree bears fewer fruits. It would be wise to cut it off and replace it with a new one. This old tree can be turned into coco-lumber, which is a valuable material in building houses.

Charcoal

When I was young, I helped my family to collect coconut shells. After drying, we placed it in a pit, burned it, and covered the hole with a banana sheath before the shells get burned entirely. That’s how we make charcoal. We packed it and sold it to the stores.

Broomstick

The ribs of the coconut leaves are being made as broomstick (walis tingting). It can be a good source of money when mass-produced.

Advantage

Coconut farming business is an evergreen income source. My farm has been there since my grandfather’s time. It never fails to give us profit except when being hit by a typhoon.

Disadvantage

It takes three months from a harvest that another batch of coconut gets mature. So you’ll get to harvest only 4 times a year. As I suggested, it would be better for cross-cropping to get some other source of income out of your farm.

Profitability

Copra price is heavily dictated by the law of supply and demand. During low yield season, rates are higher as compared to an abundant period. Typhoon is the main profit impediment for coconut farmers. Any weather disturbance can disrupt the fruiting cycle of coconuts. For as long as a coconut tree is up and standing, all you need is to give it some time to recover. 

Disclaimer

EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.

I hope this article encourages you to start your own business/investment. Click the links for Business Ideas and Investment Options for more insightful essays.

Chat with me

I have ventured into an e-commerce business (online selling) that you might also be interested in setting up. You can visit our website at colibers.com, where you can have a chat with me (just select Contact Us), and I will be more than willing to entertain your questions regarding this post and e-commerce.

Why I Invested in Memorial Lot?

Death has always been a sensitive topic to bring up. However, its arrival is inevitable. It is sure to happen that we should not be ignoring the possibility of it coming.

Death brings forth both emotional and financial costs to the grieving loved ones. I was born in the province where memorial lots are given for free. Where neighbors will make coffins out of scraps without any cost.

This is not true if you are living in an urban area or in the city where everything has a corresponding price tag. Dying in the city is too costly and brings enormous financial burdens to the deceased family. This is why funeral wakes in Manila are extended for weeks to raise funds from donations (abuloy) & fees from the nightly gambling.

May Forever!”

When life ends, the tomb is your final resting place. That is your “Forever.” Then why not invest in a decent grave? The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt are tombs of the Kings. Each was built for years. Ancient Egyptians spent a lot in the afterlife. Thousands of years after that, the Pyramids live on as a testament to how these kings are remembered until eternity.

Let’s Call it an Investment

Last month I bought a memorial lot at Manila Memorial Park (Dasmarinas, Cavite). My sister & I bought two adjacent lots for P32,500 pesos each. The current price is about P75000 each if you buy directly from the park’s management. We were lucky enough to find a lot owner who is relocating to another province and needs to dispose of the lot urgently. It was a real deal for us, and we wasted no time.

Where to Buy?

The Internet makes our life easy nowadays. There are many agents available on Facebook or just search on Google. Be extra careful and make sure to deal with a legitimate agent only. If you are in Cavite area, I can give you my agent’s contacts. Just drop me a comment below.

I would also recommend for you to invest in a memorial plan. Read “Why I Invested in Memorial Plan?

Disclaimer

EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.

I hope this article encourages you to start your own business/investment. Click the links for Business Ideas and Investment Options for more insightful essays.

Do you have any questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a message in the comment box below or follow and message me on Facebook.

Getting a Coupon Taxi in NAIA?

I have been an OFW for a decade now, and NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) has been my gateway for both domestic and international travel. Having been into all its terminals, I saw public transports’ dire conditions at the country’s main airport.

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If you want to get a safe ride at a reasonable price, then you have to hail Grab or the airport Coupon Taxi. I have a separate article, “How to Get a Ride with Grab in NAIA?”

With the frequent and recurring issue about passengers being overcharged by airport taxis, the Coupon Taxi is the best option for a safe airport transfer. NAIA itself commissions this transport; hence we can rely on its credibility. The best thing is that they have fixed rates on all the destinations they serve.

Booking

After claiming your bags and clearing customs, you go to the arrival hall exit gates and outside the terminal, look for the “Coupon Taxi” booth or counter. These are white-coloured cars with blue square tag. You’ll get swarmed with people offering a ride but ignore them and make sure that you deal only with the person at the desk with clear signage saying “Coupon Taxi.”

Fixed Rates

They have a list of destinations with corresponding fares. The government approves this fare; hence it’s reasonable for such a service. Once your destination is identified from the list, you will be issued with a dispatch slip or coupon with the amount to be paid mentioned. You can pay the driver upon arriving at your destination. Note that you have to pay the toll fees when expressways are used.

Destinations

The service is available for a drop off to any point in Luzon. If your destination is only in Metro or Mega Manila, I would advise taking Grab instead of getting a better rate.

I hope this article provides you essential information to improve your finances by saving more money. Check Finance Tips for more insightful essays.

Do you have any questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a message in the comment box below or follow and message me on Facebook.

How to Buy Mutual Funds Online via COL Financial

COL Financial makes investing in Mutual Funds (MF) easier and faster thru CCOL Financial makes investing in Mutual Funds (MF) more straightforward and faster through COL Fund Source. It’s a supermarket with 26 kinds of mutual funds. All the top 6 Fund Providers in the country offer their mutual funds through COL with ZERO front-end fees. Read “How To Invest In Mutual Funds In The Philippines?” for an overview of MF.

Below are the steps on how to buy Mutual Funds:

  1. Log in to your COL Financial account.
  2. Tap the Mutual Fund tab. It will take you to COL Fund Source website.Capture
  3. Click Order EntryCapture 2
  4. If it’s your first time to buy, you have to answer the Client Sustainability Assessment and FATCA Questionnaire. Just click Proceed to Client Sustainability Assessment Questionnaires.Capture3
  5. Now you can start buying Mutual Funds by clicking Order Entry again.  Note that each fund requires a minimum of P5000 on the first purchase and a minimum of P1000 on subsequent purchases.
  6. Type in the Fund Code box the fund that you want to buy. I would recommend XPEEQXPEIF, and XSLEQ, as these are the most profitable mutual funds. You can select other funds by clicking Fund Code (in blue link). Enter the Amount then click Preview Order.Capture7
  7. In case you select a fund which is not suitable in your Investor Profile, confirm the waiver that would appear. Otherwise, proceed to step 8.Capture5
  8. Review your order, enter your password and click Place Buy Order.Capture6
  9. Wait for 2 working days for the transaction to be reflected in your portfolio.
  10. Log-in to the main COL Financial page and tap Trade and then Portfolio tab to monitor your investments.Capture8

Disclaimer

EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.

I hope this article encourages you to start your own business/investment. Click the links for Business Ideas and Investment Options for more insightful essays.

Do you have any questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a message in the comment box below or follow and message me on Facebook.

References:
1. Screenshots taken from my COL Financial account

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