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.
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 […]
You may be a programming geek, a tech enthusiast, or a millennial with a dozen social media accounts. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Are you the type who can’t figure out what a hashtag does or how to log in to a secure WiFi network? As underwhelming as this sounds, cyberpreneurship isn’t so much about what you know or what you don’t know. The playing field, rules, protocols, and whatnot may be very different and boundless compared to a brick-and-mortar store, but cyberpreneurship is still anchored onto the basic qualities of being a successful entrepreneur. Let’s start by asking yourself three basic questions: How passionate are you to learn? What are the things you’re willing to risk? Are you committed to conquer challenges ahead? But wait. If you have answered these questions pretty well, don’t jump the gun just yet. Although they’re basic questions, it wasn’t meant to be that simple. Here’s what you need to do next: Dip your fingers in Most successful entrepreneurs didn’t only start young. They started small. Entrepreneurship, like creativity, can be a strand in people’s DNA that are more dominant in some people, surprisingly turning the ordinary into an enterprising opportunity. A case […]
Already secured a domain name for your business? After using it for your website, the next thing you’d want to do is to set up your custom email. This means receiving and sending mail as email@example.com rather than from a generic Gmail or third-party account provider. Having this ability sets you apart as a serious business, however limited your initial offerings or small your initial market is. The great Zoho option If you’re looking for a free service to customize your email from your domain name, Zoho is your best option. You can create up to 25 free accounts for your domain in Zoho. At no cost, there’s really no better deal since it also gives you POP/IMAP, Active Sync and configuration settings. To link your domain with Zoho and set up as an administrator, follow the detailed steps provided by Zoho. Forwarding emails to Gmail If you’re one of the many people that depend on Gmail, you can automatically forward emails you receive from your custom email account in Zoho to your existing Gmail account. Follow these steps to configure your account. 1. From your Zoho inbox, click the settings icon, and then click Settings. 2. Under Mail settings, […]
So, if you are confident about your products and services and you don’t want to waste your time, take these learning into consideration and market wisely.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Every business starts with an opportunity. Your online or cyber business idea has to be rooted to a real-world problem that a group of people are dealing with. In short, you’re selling a solution. You have to think about a particular problem, and then figure out what type of business you’re in. Broadly speaking, there are 3 categories of online businesses: service-based, knowledge-based, and product-based. Here’s a video we’ve prepared to give you a short introduction: Service-based online business This is the easiest type of online business to launch. Just by being online, you can reach out to potential customers – people or other small businesses – who need your service. There are many job sites where you can get projects from. Or you can even just promote your service right on social media, maybe a friend of a friend has an urgent requirement for your skill. Writing, designing, and coding are some of the most in demand skills that you can offer via the Web. Selling your services is also a good way for building the skills and experience that you need if you plan to transition to a new career. Knowledge-based online business If you have expertise or […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Whether you’re posting on your social media accounts once a day or a few times each month, planning and plotting your activities in a social media calendar is a life-saver. A social media calendar gives a snapshot of when and what kind of content gets into which channel. It not only helps in publishing and tracking content, but serves to remind as well of business goals, target audiences, and expected outcomes. For the actual posting, you can easily automate the process using tools such as Hootsuite. Some businesses maintain a weekly social media calendar with details prepared in advance. They identify themes and organize posts around it. For others, a monthly social media calendar—with periodic and flexible updates—can be enough. Here are some basic rules when putting up your calendar. Post at the right time Any upcoming event (or trending topic) that your post could piggyback on? For ordinary days, what’s the best day of the week to engage your audience with the type of content you’re posting? “Monday” and “Friday” spell a huge difference in people’s psyche. People check Facebook 14 times on average and spend 30 minutes on it each day with peak times at bed time and […]
The first thing your potential customer will probably do is visit your website. From that single visit, your customer will form opinions about your brand, product, or service. According to a Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab study, nearly half of all consumers (46%) said that a site’s design is the number one criteria when people are deciding whether a business is credible or not. If there is too much scrolling and clicking, or if the site is not well organized, the average consumer will navigate away after 60 seconds tops. Anyone can build a website these days, but it takes a skilled specialist to build a site that looks polished and professional. One glance could turn someone into a loyal customer, or force a person to click away. If your company is looking into the possibility of designing a new site, here are some of the ways it will help your business grow. Digital presence is everything A survey from Visible Logic found that almost 90% of respondents take a look at the website of every new product they purchase. People will turn to the Internet to research your brand and formulate their opinions – sometimes even long before they make a direct contact […]
I’m a Filipino based in Taiwan, while my client is a Ukrainian located in France. We meet for the first time over a video call. I greet her with a “Good afternoon!”, and she thanks me for staying up late to meet with her. In my years of freelancing and working with multinational companies, I’ve dealt with clients in many parts of the world – the United States, China, and the Middle East – strictly online. Technology has eased barriers in communication across cultures. But we’re still fallible to misinterpret, misjudge and mistrust one another. The distance and time zone separation, the complexity of the work involved, and personal preferences make it harder to connect without the face-to-face dimension. So it’s really important to keep communications at a professional level. Try these 5 tips: 1. Have a work plan “What gets measured gets done” – especially if it involves billable hours. Spell out what your expected roles are, as well as your client’s responsibilities. It could be a short agreement or a detailed project plan complete with multiple milestones and deliverables. This sort of work plan protects you from out-of-scope requirements, sudden reshuffling of priorities, and other arbitrary demands. Have this plan signed […]
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, […]
Hailed as a game changer, FinTech (otherwise known as “financial technology”) is seen to transform financial services in infinite possibilities. It has been many decades ago since there has been a real shake-up in the realm of the financial world. New and young players alike will experience its sweeping changes on how we manage finance and run businesses professionally. What is FinTech and Why It Matters to You FinTech can be best defined as technology that imparts disruptive elements (in a good way) to areas such as money transfers, mobile payments, fundraising, loans, asset management and even investment. In layman’s term, it is the thing that enables you to have access to various financial services from your own smartphone, tablet, laptop and other electronic devices. Furthermore, FinTech is one of the hottest areas that receive massive investment from around the world. This accelerates its exponential growth. Whether you like it or not, FinTech is about to drop a bomb on everyone. It’s very important to know how it can change money practices that we think we already know. FinTech: Threat or Opportunity for Business Owners? While one may argue that FinTech is just a change of paces and phases, the […]
To get your cyber business found online, you need likeable content. The challenge is that there’s really no formula that can guarantee if your content will ever reach its ideal users or deliver on its purpose. If you need inspiration on how to start, we’ve expounded on popular statements from some of the most prominent brand gurus, bloggers, and content marketers: We’re not in the Mad Men era anymore. Expensive campaigns from advertising agencies are routinely trumped by amateur content for most impact. Seasonal campaigns won’t cut it for today’s generation. Your customers are connected 24/7, and are from all over the world. To be convincing, you have to address their unique interests, pain points, and felt needs. Going viral (the good kind) with your content is more a matter of chance than careful execution. Pulling PR stunts won’t work. People can detect what’s contrived, and they may even hijack your message. Start with a good reason for creating content. If you care enough about your message, the right people will eventually find and appreciate your content. They’re the ones who will contribute to your bottom line. When have you ever actively searched for an ad? If you’re like most […]
Apart from being a reputable stock trader/analyst, Marvin Germo is many things: entrepreneur, blogger, book author, newspaper columnist, and registered financial planner. All these, however, are just his ways and means of fulfilling his ultimate goal: financial freedom for every Filipino. Now, that might sound like a lofty dream (and indeed it is), but if Marvin’s life is an example, nothing is impossible. From completely ordinary beginnings, Marvin is now one of the leading finance experts in the country. He represents Registered Financial Planners (RFP) Philippines, an independent self-regulatory professional group educating and gathering financial planners in the country. He writes regular columns on stock investment for the Business Mirror and MoneySense Magazine. Marvin, who often appears in TV and radio interviews, also shares financial knowledge as a keynote speaker in various events and seminars. Here are insights on how he was able to carve his own path toward financial freedom through entrepreneurship. 1. Being an entrepreneur is a decision. Marvin wasn’t born to a particularly wealthy, business-minded, or financially-savvy family. His father, for example, was a long-time employee of a top multinational pharma company up until retirement. Marvin himself seemed destined for the same, safe path, having started out […]
You’ve probably noticed how SEO is getting more attention from the media. Some even say that SEO is dead, and that investing in it is like flogging a dead horse. But these statements are wrong because SEO is more alive than ever. However, people are ignoring this rich advertising possibility because of these rumors. Many statistics are saying otherwise. The truth is that SEO can help you to expand your business, improve your marketing strategy, and make a bunch of money. Here are some of the most important reasons why you should develop a proper SEO strategy. Marketing benefits If you are not interested in SEO, you’re missing a great marketing opportunity. Google algorithms are based on its principles. Surely, you want your website to rank as high as possible. People browsing the Net are not checking only one term on one website – they try different websites and modify their search terms. So, what can you do? You can offer your customers a great variety of material. This way, if they modify the term, your page will appear, again and again. Google will notice this and you will be one step closer to appearing on the first page. The rise of online customers It […]