4 New Business Ideas for the Philippine Market Beyond 2013

Entrepreneurs are always out there looking for new opportunities. While most of us are sitting on our couch watching TV or browsing newsfeeds from our Facebook accounts - all day long. If there was a small desire for us to contribute something good to society in our lifetime, we should start thinking as entrepreneurs do and stop acting like life is a bore.

Lazy and timid people, people who don’t want to work extra hard, people who don’t have the stamina or courage to create something new, will have an extra long list of excuses why the world of business is not for them. But the fact of the matter is, our world is a business world! So to survive in it, we need to have some business sense.

One of the most common of excuses you’ll hear about getting into business is that all the ideas have been exploited. There’s nothing new to create. There are already existing businesses or companies for every product we can think of. First of all, that’s not true. This myth probably originated from people who didn’t want to act. Secondly, a company may have a presence in one location but doesn’t have in another. Thirdly, we can always innovate on what’s out there if we think we can improve it.

With that said, I am offering four business ideas that anyone may want to venture into. I’m putting it out so that people may use it or critique it. I have put some thought into each of these ideas and now think they are viable businesses. It would be a shame not to see them come true in the Philippines.

1. Photo Framing Online

The age that we live in today saw the advent of digital photography. It is now, more than ever, very easy to create photos and everyone seems to be doing it. We have millions (if not billions) of photos uploaded to the internet when they used to be just in photo albums or photo frames.

With all the photos in our online storage, there are a few that we probably think stand out and may want to display prominently on our living rooms or bedroom walls. These special photos may be showing our kids playing or celebrating in a birthday party. Or the day you got married or had your first child. Whatever it is, being able to put it in a well-designed frame shouldn’t be a difficult job anymore. Not when these photos can be transmitted in soft copy for printing in a framing shop.

The only problem is that there’s no one offering this kind of service. Not that I know of in the Philippines, anyway. I’ve seen something like it being done in Australia but the local market is still wide open.

To get this going, I believe the entrepreneur ought to create a pretty good looking website where potential customers can upload their photos to see how it would look on several frame options. It wouldn’t hurt to also have the option of virtually hanging the framed photo on different wall designs and colors.

2. Grocery Store Online

For some people, going to the grocery store to buy essentials is a chore they wished could be automated. Why? It does not involve much thinking to do it and it takes too much of their time, which could have been spent elsewhere more productively.

So why not offer an online grocery store that delivers the goods to the customers’ doorsteps in exchange for a small membership fee? A company doing this can justifiably charge for delivery while also get discounts by partnering with retailers. On top of that, the more customers it serves, the less the delivery expense per customer will be especially when most of them live near the same place.

I can imagine how this will be more profitable in the city where everybody is so busy and traffic is horrible to even think of going out for groceries.

3. Technology at Home

It’s common to see the gadgets and appliances in our homes to be in a total disarray. We can have multiple wires going everywhere and several remote controls for every other thing we want to operate. There is no coherence, whatsoever, among the technologies that we use in our homes so that they will be easier to manage. That’s basically because there is not one business offering this service to anyone.

Imagine a home where you can easily use your TV screen as your secondary monitor while you control it using your smartphone. Or imagine accessing your security camera through your laptop or tablet. Imagine being able to control your room temperature with an app instead of searching for the remote control. Doing away with several hardware controls by using a software switchboard on a tiny device will mean greater comfort.

All of these can be done but not easily. If there was a company willing to work on home technologies to make them better, I believe that company will have a bright future.

4. Electric Vehicles

Going electric is gaining some ground again after losing some of it when oil prices went downhill. But these gains are mostly felt in industrialized countries. The Philippines, for its part, is considered a pioneer for EV’s (electric vehicles) on public utility vehicles such as jeepneys and tricycles. There is very little to no private electric vehicles being offered to the local market right now.

If the government will continue to support the EV sector, this will be a great opportunity for many tech entrepreneurs. The technical and business challenges of converting to electric is significant. That is why electric cars continue to sell at a higher price than gasoline cars abroad. Research and innovation coupled with effective engineering designs will make good electric vehicles a reality for Filipinos.

We all know that going electric is the future. It’s good for the environment and it’ll prove great when oil starts running out (which it eventually will).