Small Side-businesses I Started For Less Than Php 10,000

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I have been entrepreneurial for as long as I can remember – from selling stationery in elementary to direct selling, I probably think I’ve done it all. Those side hustles gave me a marginal income that provided my wants and covered up for some of my needs too.  

Not all though are still active – most especially my stationery business. There were some I had to let go due to time constraints, and some that just didn’t simply work out and eventually faded. These two are the ones that stood the test of time and also helped me hone my character as an entrepreneur.


1. Selling Prepaid Load. One of the earliest ‘serious’ businesses I had was selling prepaid load to my classmates during college, and because the one-sim-loads-all model wasn’t existing yet, I was selling load for only one network then. I did it for about two years, until my profit afforded me to buy another phone to be used for – you guessed right – loading for another network. I still have the SIM cards of my original loading business to serve as a reminder that consistency in business will eventually give you the profit size you need. 

When it became so cumbersome for me to be bringing two to three phones every day and having to reload each network differently, I switched to Loadxtreme, one of the very first business models to offer one-sim-loading about a decade ago (you now have an idea on how old I am, ha!) and I’m still using it to this day. It came with a master loading sim, plus retailer activation cards which I sold for Php 300 to my colleagues who wanted to have their own loading business. The great thing about it is I can load offline – meaning, unlike the new players like GCash, Coins.ph, etc – I don’t need the internet to do business, and I maximize my unlimited text postpaid plan. 

Initial capital: Around Php 2,000.00. If you sign up on or before April 15, you get a free gift from me! Click here.

You’ll need: 

1. Simple dual sim phone – Php 600to Php 1,000, depending on the phone model. If you have an old phone at home you can use, the better.

2. Loadxtreme Technouser pack – ranges from Php 500 to Php 1,999.

3. Unlimited text promo of your chosen network – I have a Globe postpaid plan, which I pay for around Php 600 a month. Prepaid unlimited text plans usually cost lower – around Php 200-Php 300 a month.

Highlights:

1. Text and load offline using one sim and number.

2. Has an Android app you can use to load, without mobile data charges, and you can load via Loadxtreme on Messenger as well.

3. A wide range of products – you can purchase Maxicare prepaid HMO, ePlus (MyBus) load and personal accident insurance through the app.

4. Can reload via major banks and 7-11. You may also ask your dealer to reload your wallet if it’s more convenient – I sometimes use this with my retailers.

5. More efficient inventory management, since you don’t have to reload separately for each and every network.

6. If you plan to become a dealer and/or franchiser, you can earn overrides, which is optional. 

2. Online Bills Payment and Ticketing Portal. This business came about after Ryan and I got married. We were renting an apartment which took a couple of rides to the bank and malls, so it made it pretty inconvenient for us to pay our bills. Prior to the bank payment portal bills payment system, we had to go to VECO or MCWD offices to pay our bills, and there wasn’t any Bayad Center outlets near where we live. 

Thanks to Facebook, I was introduced to a bill payment portal I could use at home. Unlike getting a franchise for Expresspay and Bayad Center which then cost an arm and a leg, I signed up with the intention of only getting the bills payment service. To my surprise (and to the joy of my entrepreneurial heart), it came with a lot more services – another prepaid loading portal, airline ticketing portal, hotel booking, and Smart Padala too! 

Initial capital: Php 4,980 plus an initial Php 5,000 master fund for loading, bills payment, ticketing. Special concession for those who’ll sign up by April 15! Click here.

You’ll need:

1. A smartphone, tablet or laptop.

2. Working internet connection.

Highlights:

1. One master fund which you can use either for issuing airline tickets, book hotels, money transfer and prepaid loading.

2. You may also earn from overrides if someone gets access to the system from you which is again, optional.

Of the two, I’ve already expanded my ticketing business to a registered, budding tour business in Cebu. I’ve added online boat/ shipping lines booking as well to my portfolio for a near – complete travel package, and my dream is to have a couple of units of tourist vans to cater to longer drives within the island.

One thing I appreciate about having an online business is its scalability. From starting as a side hustle to now generating an income to pay a few of our bills, I must say it was worth the risk and investment I took. Even if a lot of similar businesses have sprung, what differentiates my businesses from others is that I take the time to mentor those who have decided to start their own businesses, and provide ample customer after-sales services as well. 

Do your due diligence. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.

Needless to say, do your research before starting an online service business. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. Make sure that you can still contact your sponsor after getting the system, and would guide you in troubleshooting minor issues. Also, a tip – if the business’ main income earning scheme is on recruiting rather than product selling, dig deeper – it’s probably a pyramiding scheme.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried other businesses other than those, or have you/ are you earning from this system? Do tell, I’d like to know!


Published by Nikki Orcullo

Certified public accountant by profession, Filipino by blood, teacher by choice, dreamer by heart.

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