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Lessons from nine business hits

Here are lessons from their successes
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The year 2009 was a mixed bag for a lot of entrepreneurs.

[Read 10 entrepreneurs\\\' takes on 2009 here]


Though the country was spared the brunt of the effects of the global economic slowdown, it was hammered by twin typhoons in the last quarter, causing billions in damages and lost opportunities. [See 30 survival strategies in an economic slump here]


These nine enterprises represented businesses that not only survived the troubles of the previous year, but also managed to thrive and become very popular. [Learn five ways to survive difficult times here]


Most of these were cheap businesses that one could put up with minimal capital on small spaces, while others were businesses that reflect the trends in the economy—like the expansion of the country’s service sector—and social trends, such as growing  environmental awareness.


While these were the businesses that ruled last year, they continue to thrive in the Philippine setting. As an analyst said, there are certain business ideas that would sell regardless of the economy.



1. Cart Businesses


One of the cheapest businesses people could get into last year was the cart business. [See nature of cart businesses here]


Requiring little space and little capital, cart businesses offering all sorts of products and services had mushroomed all over the place. [See businesses you can start from P1k to P100k here]


Today, one can find cart businesses everywhere, from street corners and transport terminals to malls. A lot of these carts offer various food products, but some offer unique products and services. [See eight cart businesses and their capital requirements here]


Many entrepreneurs preferred to start with cart businesses because of this model’s low cost and ease of management.


According to Jorge Wieneke, one of the pioneers of the country’s food cart industry, the size and mobility of cart businesses made them very attractive—they could be moved from one place to another until the entrepreneur finds the best space, in terms of location, space and cost, for the business. [Learn food cart business basics here]



Wieneke said there were three things that could spell a successful cart business: focused concept, pleasing aesthetic and strategy for expansion.


A very focused concept defines and differentiates a business from other similar enterprises. A pleasing aesthetic and efficient layout help attract people to the cart. [See five easy steps to securing a mall spot here]


A good strategy for expansion, Wieneke said, was setting up in a major shopping mall first before branching into smaller malls and other locations.


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