Join our #CyberpreneurPH community!
Share and exchange tips, stories, and how-to’s. You’ll find a community of like-minded peers in Cyberpreneur Philippines.
Among us are startup founders, online sellers, and freelancers. You’re also welcome as well if you’re a student or an employee thinking of setting up your own cyber business.
In today’s vibrant online market, it’s not enough to create content for your customers and audience through your website or blog. There needs to be an interaction done to establish your brand as a thought leader and as a trustworthy creator of yummy treats. But how do you reach your audience effectively at social media? Here’s a low down of some tips that you can use: 1) Take great photos of your products. The first impression you make using your products will be the first step of convincing potential customers to buy it. This can be done by hiring a professional photographer to take art-directed shots of your food to make it appetizing on social media. For a more budget friendly approach, you can get inspiration from food photographers online and take your own shots. Many free photo editing apps are available for smartphones to help you post-process your shots in an instant. This is also convenient since you can upload it immediately upon shooting and post-processing. 2) Follow influencers, media, and potential customers who fall under your target market. Doing this can not only make these people notice your brand, it can also help you gauge what type of content they like […]
Starting a business isn’t easy, and sustaining one is even harder. How did Kimstore, an online marketplace for gadgets started by Kim Lato in 2006, grow from a humble Multiply outlet to one of the pioneers of e-commerce in the Philippines? Kim Lato talks about the challenges of starting and sustaining a business. Before Starting a Business When asked if she knew from the beginning that she was going to be an entrepreneur, Kim answered, “I came from an entrepreneurial family, so it was normal for me to see my parents running their own businesses. Then when it came time to start my own, it was easy for me to welcome the idea.” Multiply, which was where Kimstore started, was used mainly as a social networking website. So how did she think of using Multiply as a marketplace? “I had a pool of friends on Multiply, which at the time was the fastest-growing social network. Usually, people just blogged on it, but I thought, ‘Hey, I have friends on Multiply, so why not sell in this community?’ “So I started selling cameras, lenses, and other accessories. Then, people who bought cameras from me were also looking for phones and tablets, […]
From the fixation of businesses in recent years with millennials (those born between the early 1980s to mid-1990s), many are now shifting their attention towards the millennials’ successors: Generation Z. How can products, services, and marketing approaches be devised to attract this new target population? Gen Z is generally the future of retail. Born after 1996, this emerging generation has a new worldview and different expectations as customers compared to generations prior. Marcie Merrimen, executive director of growth strategy and retail innovation at Ernst & Young mentioned to Business Insider that “if you see it from a spending perspective, teens or Gen Z are millennials on steroids.” Important Generation Z Characteristics that Businesses Should Know About Gen Z’s non-traditional mindset and different communication styles pose challenges to reach out to this population effectively. Gen Z are the most influential group of technology trendsetters, offering a prequel to predict upcoming trends in the aspects of retail, technology, and consumer behaviour. Hence, it is important for businesses to understand key characteristics that make them stand out from the past generation of consumers to identify effective ways to approach this generation. Despite sharing many similarities with millennials, there are also key distinctions that […]
With the theme “Building inclusive economies, building a better world”, the 2015 APEC Summit that’s currently hosted by the Philippines puts emphasis on sustainable and resilient businesses. This extends to cyberpreneurs, who stands to benefit from APEC’s renewed push for liberalizing service industries. Gathering 21 member-economies from across borders of the Pacific Rim, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is where almost half of the world’s total trade happen. At first glance, it may seem that APEC is all about corporations, regulatory bodies, and economic ministries. But the importance of MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) in the region cannot be discounted. As highlighted by APEC’s Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group, MSMEs comprise over 97 percent of all enterprises and employ more than half of the workforce in the region. As many MSMEs move to the digital front, how can you benefit from APEC? 1. Join APEC start-up challenges Started in 2013, the APEC Start-up Accelerator Initiative is on a mission to match tech start-ups with possible mentors and funding opportunities. It offers hands-on business consulting among start-ups engaged in key innovation areas (such as interactive learning). The initiative has since sponsored six Asia-Pacific start-ups to participate in competitions held in Silicon Valley, helping […]
Pokémon Go is nothing short of a worldwide craze. For the uninitiated, the game requires you to be alert to spot Pokémons and catch them with Poke Balls. There are stubborn Pokémons that can use up your Poke Balls and escape when captured. To get more balls and other helpful items (such as potions and eggs), you have to find Poke Stops. But there’s more to it than just an AR-enabled game. It’s turning out to be a business opportunity as well, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses such as restaurants. For cyberpreneurs, there are also great lessons to learn. Here are some. 1. Take more of the same to evolve A Rattata again? You may think you’re getting more of the same, and might even be tempted to pass up such leads. However, like your Pokémons, you can only evolve into something bigger and stronger if you’ve paid your dues (not necessarily with candies). For now, you may be struggling with your seventh blog post for a client about Creatine health benefits. But one day, you might have an online PR empire of your own to run. 2. Bring opportunities to where you are You can get the same opportunities without going […]
Where would you get the money to make your cyber business happen? The answer will depend on the nature of your project, your business model, and your tolerance for risk. For a quick review of possible options, here are 5 models that you can use to fund your startup. Bootstrapping This means you’re using your own money for your business. This could also imply asking for investments from family and friends. A great majority of startups are created using this model, including eBay and Facebook. The challenge is, can you (or your immediate network) afford to use hard-earned personal funds in putting up your project? And support it for any number of months without guarantee that the business will break-even? It’s advantage is that you get maximum leeway with your vision without others getting involved or interfering with your direction. The challenge is, can you (or your immediate network) afford to use hard-earned personal funds in putting up your project? And support it for any number of months without guarantee that the business will break-even? Crowdfunding You pitch an idea, and then wait and see if a community will back it up. With online platforms like Kickstarter, it’s easy to make your case […]
Gone are the days when coupons are cut out from newspapers and magazines. Online businesses have digitized the tactic. For customers, coupons are a lifesaver, enabling them to purchase favorite items with huge discounts. Use coupons as a way to promote your business and enhance customer loyalty. How to maximize your coupon page For many e-commerce sites, coupons encourage customer to shop more at your website. Coupons are a win-win situation for both businesses and consumers. If you want to boost your coupon campaigns, you have to start by creating appealing coupon designs. Laying down the basics, your coupon should contain important information such as merchant logos, a brief description, and emphasis on the discount or amount off purchases. Make sure to feature good brands in your e-store, since it not only encourages more shoppers to buy from you, but also strengthens your credibility as a coupon provider. Like all things on the Web, coupons need to be regularly updated, so check for validity and promo expiration. What customers get from coupons The most important part of any coupon campaign is how much the customers get when using your merchant coupons. Shoppers love discounts, so attract them to your site […]
Ask what an OFW wants to get after his or her return. It’s very likely to get these two big answers: their dream house and a big capital for a profitable business venture. For the latter, OFWs can save a big amount of money in a span of 10+ years, and then come back home to start their dream businesses. This is the part of the story where we stop and call it a happily-ever-after. The reality for some OFWs may be this: After investing their life savings on capital-intensive businesses (for example, a restaurant franchise or a fleet of taxis), somewhere along the line, they make a wrong turn. They might have misjudged the market demand or trusted the wrong persons. Everything crumbles and the ex-OFWs go back to the job market for another overseas opportunity. If you’re an OFW really into starting your own business and still see yourself retiring in the Philippines, cyberpreneurship can help you get started. Here are some of its advantages. It teaches you the fundamentals of running a business Why should you wait until your contract expires or that X amount of savings before you find out if running a business is for […]
Being a cyberpreneur need not be hard. Considering the vast array of tools and techniques available to us web professionals, nothing can go wrong as long as we know the tricks of the trade. What could be that “little secret” to keep our online businesses flourish through time? The Power of “We” Having started my freelance writing career in 2009, I ventured onto the unknown path of a web content writer then. I racked gig after gig – writing over 5,000 words a day for a meager sum. Little did I know that there’s more to what I have been doing during that time. I would spend an average of six hours a day writing until my hands were sore. Well, not to worry, I thought, for by the end of the week, I would fill my heart’s desire – through new books I’d buy from the local bookstore (all from my hard week’s writing work). Months passed, and I realized how tough it really is to be a freelance writer. It took perseverance, commitment, and passion to weave through words. Months passed, and I realized how tough it really is to be a freelance writer. It took perseverance, commitment, […]
There’s this old idea in Silicon Valley that says: “hire slow, fire fast”. However, this idea doesn’t work with a startup. You would need as many good hands as possible to keep your ship from sinking. So instead of hiring less people and firing more, you need to “hire fast, fire fast”. As much as possible, retain all your good employees and weed out the bad ones, which could heavily affect productivity. Instead of firing someone, what you need to do is screen your potential employees before signing their work contract. What to look for in a potential employee In an interview, every person you shake hands with seems to be a pretty good candidate for the job. You would want to hire everyone that comes through that door (if you have the budget for it, why not?). Interviewees might have experience, but they might not have long-term commitments nor willingness to adapt to your work environment or the demands of the industry. What you need is an employee that has 5 or more of these traits to help man your startup: Drive Startups need manpower that would help the company move forward. Even if it is outside the job […]
What does it take to turn someone into a paying customer? More importantly, in the face of competition, how can you make customers loyal to your business? Getting the answers to these million-dollar questions would pave the way for your business to grow. Big businesses commission market research to learn such information. From its results, they can decide which trends, expectations, and segments to pursue. Having access to such insight can greatly improve products or services, and help affirm which has the most profit potential. As defined by Investopedia, market research is a way for businesses to “discover who their target market is and what these consumers think about a product or service.” For many budding cyber businesses, there’s usually no budget for formal market research. Good thing is, by just being in front of you computer screen, you already have access to a wealth of data that’s as helpful as any expensive FGDs or UAI studies. With a trained eye for detail, here’s how you can do market research with a shoe-string budget. Crowd-source for appeal With crowd-sourcing, the general idea is to follow the wisdom of the crowd. Platforms such as Kickstarter can help you test your innovation. With no money spent, you could […]
Truth be told, the thought of making a career shift – from the office cubicle to my home desk – as a freelancer/cyberpreneur has always lingered in my mind ever since I learned about the concept some years ago. I’ve felt that working from home was an ideal setup. At least for me though, a shift that’s not in the immediate future, but after x number of years. With that in mind, I had a plan – not properly drawn out, but all there nevertheless. Building the foundations For the past 3 years or so, I began to establish the foundations of that possible next career phase. I looked for writing contributions, both unpaid and (especially) paid ones. I completely overhauled my old blog, as I migrated the site to a new domain and a new hosting service. I did so, for my site to have ads for some additional revenue. Then early this year, I made the move to get myself registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as a part-time freelancer. Or as the BIR would classify freelancers, a professional. It was originally intended to fulfill the requirements of some publications that freelancers like myself should have official receipts to issue. But I was mindful at the same time that I would […]
There have been substantial changes in the global marketplace over the past decade. It has undergone a major shift, and businesses today are not limited by geographical location or borders. The only things that count are the amount of willingness and creativity in adapting to new technologies, and finding new ways for using them to your own advantage. Business owners and entrepreneurs who want to launch an eCommerce business should know something about the eCommerce industry and what it takes to achieve and maintain success in it. The eCommerce Industry There appears to be no essential limit to strong and steady business growth in the eCommerce industry. In the past decade, all vital metrics in the eCommerce field have increased, and with a broader reach and lower startup costs, more and more entrepreneurs are switching to online retail. According to facts presented by BusinessInsider, people aged 18 to 34 remain to spend more money online than any other age group, and the majority of online shoppers tend to have incomes higher than typical (above $75,000). If you have an idea for starting an online eCommerce business or launching an eCommerce branch of an existing brick-and-mortar store, the time to do it […]
Challenging the big guys as a startup is no easy feat. Small businesses have their work cut out for them: obviously, they have limited funds and manpower to compete with conglomerates. However, there are many startup advantages that smaller businesses have over their larger counterparts. Most successful startups that were able to disrupt markets will tell you that it was their ability to listen to the market and the sheer speed of implementation that shaped their success. Ability to listen to the market You get what you focus on. When a company gets bigger, more departments are formed and more responsibilities are segmented. As a result, the larger the pie to handle, the more energy is needed to keep everything running. This leads to becoming more distant from personal contact. Jack Ma, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, said that whenever he goes to lecture in big companies, what he sees are concerns for numbers and KPI’s. But when he gives talks to small and medium sized companies, he sees passion and dreams. Get feedback from your customers, all the while considering what is best for the direction of the company. The next step relies on this. We are so […]
Maybe you couldn’t get a straight answer from a client, or a team leader won’t send you a project document as promised. For all the benefits it brings to the company, there are still many people who resist sharing knowledge. At the heart of the resistance is the fear of change: what would happen if I share my knowledge – and more so, if I depend on another person’s knowledge? As Thomas Davenport notes in Ten Principles of Knowledge Management, “Sharing and using knowledge are often unnatural acts.” To make things more complicated, sometimes people won’t even admit or show resistance openly. Not wanting to share knowledge speaks a lot about the interests (sometimes conflicting and competing) of people in your company. Understandably, people have various reasons for resisting knowledge sharing as much as they have different stakes. Here are some common reasons for resisting knowledge sharing and the troubleshooting tips to address them. 1. Insecurity “I don’t want to share what I know because it may reduce my value or jeopardize my job security.” Guarantee that sharing knowledge won’t diminish anyone’s value – on the contrary, it would increase respect and trust. Your company could assign knowledge-sharing objectives to each employee’s […]
Could your startup idea thrive despite the market competition? You need to check if there’s opportunity to gain ground in your area. See how you’re likely to fare, based on Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startups data!
There’s constant competition between brands for market domination. When companies are small, this can be done with quality improvements and price adjustments. But as businesses grow, there grows the competition too. The market battle becomes tougher. This requires taking extra moves in order to maintain and keep the customers interested. Brand awareness comes into play due to customers’ most important requirement that they’re usually not aware of (at least not always) – the emotional need. How to define brand awareness? Put simply, in the words of Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon): “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” One of the key steps in promoting a product is creating brand awareness – or the likelihood that consumers recognize the availability of a certain service or product. It is a rudimentary form of brand recognition. It’s important to distinguish it from brand recognition, although the difference between them is subtle. If the purpose of brand awareness is having customers keep coming back to you and having your products as their products of choice, then increasing it is extremely important. Here is what you can do to increase brand awareness. 1. Engage in social […]
Who says that you cannot have the time of your life while working from home? Working from home is undoubtedly fun! With more than six years as a cyberpreneur, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. But nevertheless, about 70% can be linked with F-U-N. True story. So yeah, here’s my list of things to do or things to think about to have the best-est days as an online entrepreneur. 1) Define fun What does “fun” mean to you? Get clear with it and work from there. We surely have various perspectives, so what might be fun for me might be different from you. I might envision fun as curling up with a nice book or you might consider heading to the beach to spell “fun”. Mull over this for 10 minutes. Right down your answer. 2) Integrate passion with fun What is it about passion that makes people tick? And how is it connected with fun? Well, passion is all about what excites you. It’s all about what keeps you up at night without complaining at every bit of it. Whatever that is, keep at it. You’ll be amazed that work, when considered your passion, becomes stress-free. Passion […]
The rise of the Internet age has given us far more than just the capability to connect with friends or upload selfies online. It has also given modern entrepreneurs capabilities not possible several decades ago. As an online marketing consultant, one of the perks of my work is that it gives me a front row seat on the evolving landscape of business, and how the Internet is helping businesses who take the initiative of incorporating online elements in their operations. It also makes those that don’t obsolete in a matter of years and even months. Whether you have a primarily online or offline business, chances are Internet tools, widgets, plugins, apps and features play an important role in ensuring the success for your business. The following are some concrete examples: 1. Cheaper start-up cost The Internet has made starting a business simple and cheap. With just a website or even a fan page, you can already start a multitude of businesses – such as a bakeshop, an apparel store, or a bookstore – without the need for a brick and mortar office or shop. This also makes it very easy for you to test the validity of your business idea. […]
The website for your online business is not just about selling. It’s also for finding the right customers, influential people, and other websites that can promote you. Your marketing team should be spot on in finding online opportunities for maximizing exposure of your products or services. But how can they do this? Here are some actionable steps from the speakers of PeepCon 2016, the Philippines’ premiere search engine optimization conference organized by GDI Online Marketing. The event featured internationally acclaimed SEO experts such as Mike King, Dan Petrovic, Jon Cooper, and Jason Acidre. UX signals search engine about the quality of your content. User experience (UX) is a big indicator for search engines if you have a high quality website that they should rank higher for related keywords to your business. If you have your own e-commerce site, build your customer journey in the most convenient way. Do you have all the information that customers need in one page, or do they have to jump to different pages just to find relevant content? They may also leave your website because it takes too long to load, which is a big consideration due to the internet speed in the Philippines. Stop […]