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.
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 […]
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 […]
If you have a tech startup or an online business, you’re most likely doing most of your work right in your own bedroom, on a neighborhood cafe, or just about anywhere convenient. At one point, however, you might be asked by clients where you’re operating. Or maybe you’re ready to formally register your business. Does it mean that it’s time to reconsider your setup? Don’t move out and rent just yet! A virtual office might come in handy. A virtual office is a setup where a leasing company would allow you to use their address for a fee. You can officially use their address even in your business registration and other transactions. Because there’s actually no physical office space involved, you’re just going to pay minimal fees. In effect, you’re renting yourself a mailbox. It’s a great way for getting yourself a prestigious business address that you won’t otherwise be able to afford in the meantime. Sounds great? Here’s when you should get a virtual office for your business: You’re wooing big deals From the perspective of your clients, a business address would make you more attractive to enter into contract with. Especially when you’re chasing after investment money, you […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]