Home-based Internet businesses have been growing in the Philippines because of the easy access and convenience they provide to part-time entrepreneurs. Among these entrepreneurs is Joel Christopher Remandaban of the Internet marketing company masterlistbuilder.com, who believes that the Philippines is in a great position to become a global Internet services hub.
“The Philippines is blessed to have such an educated population base, and this is our advantage over other countries,” he says. “The Web is a great equalizer because it allows you to serve people on the other side of the world while you are sitting in the comfort of your own home. And as knowledge workers become more in demand, we in the Philippines will reap the benefits.”
He says that people need not worry about the global economic crunch because it is also a good opportunity to cash in on the business opportunities offered by the Web.
“Right now, people all over the world are looking for value,” he explains. “So, the race is going to be in reaching the most people at the least amount of time, in presenting a unique product proposition, and in making the sale. There’s no limit to the amount of money you can make on the Web; it’s like creating money out of thin air.”
Remandaban started his online marketing services firm in 1999 in the basement of his home in San Antonio, Texas. It remains a home-based business today although it has grown into a million-dollar enterprise serving clients the world over.
“I get up in the morning and, still in my pajamas and T-shirt, go to work on my computer,” he says. “This lifestyle really suits me because I control my time and manage my teams from home. I believe that others can do this, too, as long as they are dedicated to their craft and keep on persevering.”
To measure the country’s interest in Web-based content, one needs only to look at the popularity of the major Internet social networking sites. Indeed, social networking providers like Friendster and Multiply even use the Philippines as a test-bed for their new service offerings.
Remandaban says the popularity of social networking is a boon to people who want to earn extra money off the Web. Selling merchandise, opening a blog, doing freelance work, and direct selling are just some of the moneymaking ventures one can get into on the Internet.
He explains: “There are many revenue streams on the Internet that are open even to amateur Web entrepreneurs. I started my business in 2000 with no knowledge about the Internet, and until now, I still struggle with some of the Web features available to me. So, if someone like me who is a non-‘geek’ can do it, so can anybody.”
One other example of a home-based enterprise on the Web is that of 28-year-old May Salvador, a single mother of one. She runs a virtual shop on the social networking site Multiply.com and the retail site Auction.ph. She says her income had been significant enough for her to be able to quit her job and just focus on selling merchandise online.
“I sell native fare like bags, delicacies, and accessories,” she says. “At the start, it was just a way to supplement my income from my day job. As time went by, however, more and more orders came, so I had no choice but to make it a full-time occupation. But since I work right in my own home, I have more time to take care of my child and have more time to spend with him,” she says.