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Changes and challenges in starting a business in the Philippines during COVID-19

If starting and running a business wasn’t challenging enough, entrepreneurs and business owners must also learn how to adjust to the ongoing pandemic. Here are the changes and challenges that new business owners will experience when they start their business in the Philippines:
 

Needing to understand clients better

 
One of the biggest challenges that current business owners face is being able to retain clients and customers during the pandemic. Before setting up a business in the Philippines, understand what your clients want and the product or service they are looking for. How can your business help them now? What concerns do they have? Catering to more than one demographic also helps in the long run.
 

More online marketing and events

 
Since everything is done virtually nowadays, so should your marketing efforts. There’s a huge marketplace for potential clients online. Planning for online events also helps in reaching more people from the comfort of their homes.
 

Switching from the physical to digital

 
Pre-pandemic, most work-related tasks were done in the office. With the pandemic, however, remote work is now the new normal. This means more online meetings and collaborations. Aside from remote work, a skeletal workforce is also used if going to the office is unavoidable.
 
That’s why it’s important to invest in cloud-based software that can help in running your business. With cloud-based software, you can easily collaborate with other members of your team from different locations. Since everything is centralized with cloud-based software, you can easily monitor and manage data. It also provides more flexibility and sustainability.
 
Finding the right online tools is crucial. There are a variety of online tools that you should consider for your business, namely messaging apps, HR platforms, accounting software, and cloud-based storage.
 
Some of the most popular software services and applications used by startups and small businesses in the Philippines are:

  • Slack – A channel-based messaging platform, Slack can be used across various devices and platforms. It has add-ins for other workplace tools and allows you to create channels and direct messages.
  • DocuSign – Easily sign documents anywhere and anytime with DocuSign. You can electronically send, sign, and legally-binding documents.
  • Trello – Staying organized is crucial for running a small business. With Trello, you can create boards to keep track of what’s being worked on and who is working on them.
  • Dropbox – Store and share your files online with Dropbox, a popular cloud storage service. You can also sync files across your account.
  • FreshBooks – A cloud-based small business accounting software, FreshBooks allows you to send invoices, manage receipts, and accept credit cards.
  • Excel and Google Sheets – Whether you’re keeping track of budgets or productivity, Excel and Google Sheets are great spreadsheet options.

 

Following social distancing measures

 
While remote work is the norm, if you need to meet in person, it’s important to observe proper social distancing measures. Aside from maintaining a six-feet distance, you also need to wear a mask and face shield. If you need to get somewhere for your business, you must have a one-meter distance when taking public transportation. Most public transportation services such as traditional jeepneys, modern jeepneys, point-to-point buses, UV Express units, and the main railway system are operational.
 

Maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation

 
In addition to social distancing, having a clean environment is a must. Whether your business is using a co-working space or your own office, it’s important to keep the workplace area clean and healthy. Provide rubbing alcohol and anti-bacterial handwash. Have regular cleaning and disinfection schedules. You may also need to implement temperature checks when entering the space.
 

Difficulty in tracking progress

 
If you plan on hiring more team members or employees, one of the challenges that you’ll face as a business owner is tracking their progress. Most productivity-based measures before were from the hours rendered and attendance. That’s why it’s best to measure based on output and what the team member brings to the table.
 

Money management

 
It’s no secret that money management is key to any startup or small business’ success. With the ongoing pandemic, however, the challenge is even greater. As you start your small business, it helps to begin strategizing on how and where to spend your budget. How much do you expect to make from your business? What are the regular and one-off costs that you’ll be spending on? Be mindful of your financial deadlines, keep track of the business’ finances, and have a cash reserve ready as well.
 
Are you in the process of starting a business in the Philippines? At FilePino, we provide expert knowledge and assistance when helping our clients put up their own business. Get in touch with us today at +1.806.553.6552 or send us a message here.