Christmas decor trends feature eco-materials

Posted by oink2 Sunday, October 30, 2011 0 comments

Christmas is definitely one of the most anticipated holidays of Filipinos. And it is not only shown with the length of Christmas celebrations in the country but even how well the economy performs during the holiday season.

Not only do Filipinos shop most during the holidays, they are also known worldwide for their creativity and craftsmanship in creating the best holiday ornaments. During the recently concluded October 2011 Manila FAME International, the best Filipino Christmas ornaments made out of natural products were showcased at the Naturalist Pavilion.


5 things every franchisee should remember

Posted by oink2 Friday, October 28, 2011 1 comments

After checking out the various brochures, select one franchise concept. Then communicate with the foreign franchisor and get more information. Pay particular attention to the basic terms and fees of the master franchise for the Philippines and the steps to pursuing the application process. The application process varies depending on the franchisor, but the following steps are basic:

1. The Qualification Form. Be honest and forthcoming when filling in this form. Franchisors do background checks.

2. A Visit to the Franchisor’s Head Office. You will have to meet the franchisor face to face to determine your compatibility. Most master franchises have a life span of 10 years or more. Can you work with the franchisor that long? During your visit, request a copy of the Unified Franchise Offering Circular from the US franchisors. These documents contain very important facts about the franchisor.

3. Memorandum of Understanding or Agreement. This document indicates a level of commitment to do business between you and the franchisor. The franchisor normally will indicate payment of a certain percentage of the license fee. If at this point you have even the slightest doubt about getting the franchise, don’t sign the MOU. Franchisors accept the reality that, sometimes, a franchisee needs time to come to a decision.

4. The Business Plan. In the business plan, you—the applicant—map out the strategies for developing the franchise in the Philippines. The franchisor usually provides the format. The business plan and market study should provide you with the initial indicators of the success and viability of the franchise concept.

5. The Master Franchise Agreement. The franchisor normally will give you enough time to review the Master Franchise Agreement. This document indicates the terms of your relationship in the coming years, and may not be amended except through mutual consent. Don’t be intimidated by the number of pages—usually 45 or more—but read through the agreement carefully, and then write down your comments. Get a lawyer familiar with international franchising to review the document. He should be able to translate legal jargon into layman’s language, and make sure the agreement complies with Philippines


November 7, 2011 Regular Holiday | PROCLAMATION NO. 276 | Eid’l Adha

Posted by oink2 Thursday, October 27, 2011 0 comments
November 7, 2011 was declared as a regular holiday by the Philippines government through Proclamation no. 276 series of 2011. Malacañang made the announcement in observance of the Muslim celebration of Eid’l Adha. The regular holiday on November 7 is declared throughout the country.

Eid’l Adha is a religious Muslim holiday celebration being practiced around the world.

The recent declaration by Malacanang will give another long weekend to Filipino workers. Earlier, Malacanang declared October 31 (Monday) and November 1 (Tuesday) as specialnon-working holidays.

WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 9849 provides that Eidul Adha shall be celebrated as a regular holiday;
WHEREAS, Eidul Adha is one of the two greatest feasts of Islam;
WHEREAS, the date of the festival based on the declaration made by Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body is on 6 November 2011;
WHEREAS, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) recommended that the observance of Eidul Adha be on 7 November 2011 and the Eidul Adha prayer held on 6 November 2011;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare Monday, 7 November 2011, as a regular holiday throughout the country, in observance of Eidul Adha (Feast of Sacrifice).
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 20th day of October, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Eleven.
By the President
Executive Secretary

source: &

Backyard business turned industry

Posted by oink2 0 comments

At seven each morning, Carmelita Barrera gets her pick of fresh catch from the Navotas fish port and transports it thirty kilometers south of Metro Manila to her tapahan in Ligtong, Cavite. Barrera, 55, dries, brines, and then smokes tubs of round scad (galunggong), tiny herring (lawlaw), tilapia, Indian sardine (tamban) and milkfish (bangus), a trade she’d learned from her mother and grandmother. She is one of forty or so fish processors in Salinas, Rosario, where many of her contemporaries have closed shop, but Carm’s Food Enterprise, the business she’d started in 1971, continues to thrive from the big buyers who helped her put up a processing facility.

"Di ko naisip na lalaki ito," says Barrera. She was content on earning just enough money to survive, but then customers started coming to buy her produce as presents to Filipinos based in the United States and Guam. She now employs forty-five workers in her P1.3 million plant producing twenty-four fish products.

Barrera was barely fifteen when she started selling smoked fish or tinapa in Pritil in Tondo, Manila, in 1965. She would bring six to fifteen kilos of tiny herring, anchovy (dilis) and tamban and then sell them for P10 to P50 a kilo. She later increased her output to fifty to a hundred kilos with help from two aides. Her break came in 1972, when an exporter ordered P15,000 worth of tinapa for shipment to the U.S. Now she has outlets in Maragondon, Indang and Imus in Cavite, and Greenhills in San Juan. She’s ready to export directly once her certification for food safety is released by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Tinapa comes from the word tapa, a process of drying or dehydrating food to preserve it. There are no historical records of when tinapa processing started in Rosario, but smoked fish was already being served to Katipuneros during the Philippine Revolution against Spain, says Norberto Orcullo of De La Salle University in Dasmariñas, Cavite, who led the study. Smoke preserves and imparts flavor to the fish, but burning wood emits vapors and particulates including carcinogenic substances, a danger that processors avoid by using only hardwood for burning. Carmelita Barrera has taken to buying narra shavings from sash and furniture factories for use in her kiln. 


Home-based business idea: Antique restorer

Posted by oink2 Monday, October 24, 2011 0 comments

What will I be doing? 
Maintaining the quality of antique pieces or stopping their deterioration.

What will I need to start? 
Some knowledge of antiques and their worth—something you may learn from an expert. To restore a piece of antique, you’ll need bleach, paints, varnish, and simple carpentry tools such as carvers, hammers, measuring tape, and saws. Learn how to appraise the value of antiques and know how they’re supposed to look by visiting antique stores.

Who will my customers be? 
Those who have recently bought a piece of antique or are about to sell one. Visit antique stores such as Heritage Antique Shop Inc. on 223 N. Garcia, Bel-Air Village, Makati. Call them at  (02) 890.1257. There is also Jo-Liza Antique Shop in Blumentritt, San Juan with telephone number (02) 726.7871 to establish contacts. You’ll also get a lot of work from architects and interior decorators

How much should I charge? 
Prices start at P300 for small pieces such as picture frames and P200,000 to P300,000 for doors and furniture pieces. A good quote would include the cost of the materials you’ll need to buy plus 50 percent service charge. The more work you do on a piece, the higher your fee.

How much will I make? 
The price you quote minus all expenses.


Selecting the right franchise brand

Posted by oink2 Sunday, October 23, 2011 10 comments

Franchising is an option that a lot of people are considering as their ticket to entrepreneurship. Most people look at it as a way to get into business and learn the ropes of doing business.

To help you ease into the world of franchising, read the tips below compiled by on how you can land your dream franchise brand:

When you are shopping for a franchise brand, select two or three concepts to your liking. Then write a letter of intent to the franchisor. Be specific about wanting a master franchise and ask for brochures. Some franchisors will provide you with information on the license and other fees immediately, but others will give them to you later. Once you receive the documents, check out the following:

• Franchisor’s record in international franchising: A franchisor with long years in the business will want higher fees compared with those that are new in franchising.

• Number of company-owned and franchisee–owned businesses: A franchisor with more company–owned branches is more credible than one with more franchisee-owned stores.

• Features of the business concept: From the brochures, are you able to identify the franchisor’s uniqueness? Do they allow you to put a value on the concept and to identify the features that will let you position yourself effectively in the market?

After reading about the business concept, study whether there is a market for the concept in the Philippines. If there are companies already offering the same product or service in the country, is there a market segment you could still tap? How big is this market?

Ideally, the concept should be pioneering or first to satisfy a particular market need. But, as a result of the influx of foreign franchises, and the growth of homegrown ones, expect to have direct and indirect competitors. In any case, look for a market segment you could tap for the franchise concept.


3 steps to getting a Shopping Mall location

Posted by oink2 Friday, October 21, 2011 1 comments
Are you thinking of locating your business in a shopping mall? Here are the things that you should do:

The first step towards locating your business in a shopping mall is to pitch your product to the mall administration. Lourdes Alano, tenant mix director for Robinsons Malls, says that all businesses hoping to locate in the malls first need to pass a selection process.

Write a letter of intent describing the business concept you have. In the case of Robinsons, this can be done online. Afterwards, you will be requested to provide requisite documents such as business prospectus and the required business permits.

Depending on the business concept you propose—specifically, whether similar businesses already exist in the mall—your proposal may be approved or not.

Commercial Centers Division
Level 2, Galleria Corporate Center
EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City
(02) 397-1888;


Home-based business idea: Novelty bags

Posted by oink2 Tuesday, October 18, 2011 1 comments

If you make the right moves, you can recover your initial investment in this venture right after delivering your first order

Capital: About P10,000 or more in capital is needed to start producing your own novelty bags. This amount depends on the quantity of bags to be produced, the material and the detailing required, and the occasion for which the bag is to be used. In the case of Pearli Bersamin, a solo bag designer who specializes in doing beadwork, she wanted to make beautiful, mass-produced pieces, so she had to source fresh water pearls, Swarovski crystals, majorica pearls, glass beads, semi-precious stones, and wires to accent her bags. On the other hand, Bang! 'Corporation, a five-member group formed to do a business thesis requirement at De La Salle University, invested P10,000 to purchase banig and microfiber to line their “habi bag”—a bag that also doubles as a mat.

Bersamin was able to recover her investment after just one order, while Bang! Corporation broke even after six months of operation.

Materials: Aside from the raw materials for the bags, you will need a cutter or scissor, long-nose and round-nose pliers, needle and thread, and other basic tools for putting the bag together. As you expand or when you change styles, you will need to buy other supplies like ribbons, sequins, and buttons. Bersamin gets  most of his materials from a regular supplier, the rest from Divisoria in Manila. The five women who run Bang! Corporation source their material from the uncle of one of the members who works in Divisoria.

Workforce: During their first few months of operation, the members of Bang! Corporation designed and sewed the habi bags themselves. Later, however, they began outsourcing the production to keep up with the growing demand. Bersamin likewise gets extra help to produce her bags when orders pick up substantially. 

Process: The bag industry is very competitive so it is important to come up with good bag designs and to have a specific market for the bags. Michelle Alamanzor, one of the partners of Bang! Corporation and an avid surfer, came up with her special bag design because while at the beach, she found it difficult to lug around both a bag and a banig.

The next step is to devise a working design and possibly several prototypes. You will also need to scout around for the best material for the product, both in quality and price. You can either handcraft each piece yourself or, if the process is too complicated, outsource this step to an existing manufacturer. In an industry as fleeting as bags, you need to see to it that every piece is done well and that you are constantly improving your designs. You can read magazines and surf the Web to come up with new bag ideas.

Marketing: When selling items per piece, the tried-and-tested way is to begin with your own established personal network. Bersamin says that her friends do most of the promotion of her products but that she promotes them through her website as well. When it was just starting, Bang! Corporation sold its bags to its members’ families, friends, and professors. Th
ey also joined bazaars, shipping the bags to Bacolod, Boracay, Davao, and Tuguegarao and to as far away as Dubai and Guam. “And of course we use our bags ourselves all the time,” says Irish Gao, another partner in Bang! Corporation. 


Tax basics to remember before you open your business

Posted by oink2 Monday, October 17, 2011 1 comments
Failure of an establishment to issue a receipt can lead to penalties, imprisonment, suspension of business operations, or temporary closure. So, if you are a business owner, make sure of the following:

Before starting your business operations, you must:

1. Register your establishment, including all of your branch offices and shops, if any.

2. Register your books of accounts.

3. Get a permit to print and issue receipts and invoices.

4. Get a permit to use cash register and point of sale machines
5. Get a permit to use looseleaf books of accounts or a computerized accounting system.

During your business operations:

1. Pay the annual registration fee.

2. Issue registered invoices and receipts.

3. Keep your duly registered books of account in the business premises.

4. Preserve all of your books of accounts for audit purposes.


The Advantages of Franchising

Posted by oink2 Sunday, October 16, 2011 5 comments

Franchising is a way to maximize profits in less time. Franchising is the growing trend in the Philippine business industry. Fast food chains, bakeshops, and even clothing lines are part of the rising franchise business popularity in the country.
Franchise business is another option for those who would like to convert and expand their small-scale business into a large-scale industry. Franchise system may be hard on the budget at first due to the franchise fee and the percentage of royalties the company gets but as the business continues, the entrepreneur would understand why franchising is more profitable and successful than establishing his own business. Here are some reasons why:
1. Mistakes will be avoided in the operation and management of the business because the franchisor’s formula is tested through years of experience.
2. The company the entrepreneur wants to join provides a detailed and hands-on training of managing, operating, and marketing your business. The idea in franchising (franchise fee) is buying the idea and management style of the large-scale company and using the tried and tested management in your own business venture.
You are likely to succeed in your business provided that the businessman takes small steps and huge amounts of time in learning the operation of the business.
3. Since you are under one roof, the incentive of advertising and development of the product is also the franchisee’s benefit. This is another support system in franchising. Less problems and hassle in promoting your business from the time you have acquired your franchise. The mother company will be the one to take care of it.
4. In franchising, the risk of losing big is lessened. Supplies and equipment to be used in the business is purchased at a lower cost since the company orders it in bulk to trusted suppliers and manufacturers. The franchising company can also negotiate better rates in terms of the materials needed for the sustenance of the franchise business branches.
5. The benefit does not only include the monetary gains but also extends to the reputation and trust it built to its customers. The customer will likely to purchase your product more than its counterparts since the customers already know what kinds of products are offered, the quality of the product, the service of the crewmen, and the instant recall it generates in the minds of the clients.
The clients are more likely to deal with a business they know and which expands rapidly rather that create transactions with the company they are not sure of and heard not even once.
6. If problems arise with the franchise, the company is there to assist and rescue from time to time. The assistance will always be available because the whole company would be affected if small problems will eventually lead to greater dilemmas.
7. Secured locations and defined territories are guaranteed in the franchising industry to lessen the competition of the same company and to enjoy maximum profits. This is another surefire way to dominate a specific location and optimize later on for expansion.
8. Trade secrets, ingredients, recipes, etc. are shared with the franchisees together with its established brand name. This ensures that every branch complies with the specific standards of the company.
These are only some of the advantages of franchising a business. Remember that the success of the business also depends of the entrepreneur because he is the one who will be working for the future success of his business venture.


Credit Card Company Tricks and Traps Every Consumer Should Know

Posted by oink2 Saturday, October 15, 2011 0 comments

Perhaps now more than ever before, consumers need to vigilant about protecting their hard earned money and go about spending it as wisely as possible. One of the most lucrative sectors in all of the financial industry, credit card companies are literally making billions of dollars each and every year by charging their unknowing customers one costly fee or hidden charge after another.
Searching for Hidden Charges
Until the credit card industry is one that’s completely governed by state or federal laws, we must make it a point to being diligent when it comes to protecting ourselves and our money. Although new laws recently enacted are supposed to curtail the practices that have cost consumers countless dollars such as rampant over-the-limit fees, the industry is likely to respond in kind with different sets of fees, less reward programs, and fewer promotional offers.      
Coupled with credit card offers and all new accounts are pages and pages of legalese, all of which are written in fine print and usually ignored or glanced over quickly. Not taking the time to read and understand at least the major stipulations and conditions of a credit card can soon lead to a costly lesson.
To save yourself any unpleasant surprises, as well as a considerable amount of money, examine your credit card statements closely as well as any change-of-terms notifications that come in the mail. Currently, credit card companies are allowed to change their terms any time they like as long as cardholders are given 15 days notice first.
Would you believe that you could possibly be charged for NOT using your credit card? Incredible as it sounds, many companies have implemented a policy of charging what’s referred to as an annual non-usage or inactivity fee, which typically averages around the twenty dollar mark and just one of the many and varied types of fees card issuers use to earn their billions.
Plan on taking your credit card on vacation with you to another country? You may also be surprised to learn that many companies are now charging foreign transaction fees on cash advances and purchases made out of the country, usually averaging three percent of the total purchase.
Fees, Fees, and More Fees
Annual fees are quite common and charge the cardholder a fee of anywhere from $30 to $50 or more per year just for the privilege of using the account. Subprime credit cards, or those that are designed for people with less than stellar credit, are infamous for charging annual fees.
The vast majority of credit cards come with a 0% introductory rate for at least the first few months, which at first, sounds like it could be an excellent deal, provided you know what the stipulations of this deal are.
Know that most companies will cancel this special APR if you’re late with even one payment, and some will even charge you retroactive interest on previous purchases if your debt isn’t paid off completely before the intro period ends.
Hidden catches and fees aside, credit cards can still be a good way to build credit, purchase much needed things we may not be able to afford otherwise, or even fund a new business’ start-up costs. And, although shopping around for the best deal is definitely a good starting place, being totally aware of all the common pitfalls, tricks, and traps used by credit card issuers is the only sure way of managing your finances wisely.


Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2009

Posted by oink2 0 comments
         Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2009 is an essential tool for managing your small business.
With the look and feel of familiar Microsoft Office products, Office Accounting Express 2009 is easy to use and helps you save time, get organized, and do business online.
Whatever your idea, take it further with these great features:
  • Create quotes and invoices
  • Write checks, track expenses, and reconcile online bank accounts.
  • Track expenses and employee time
  • Manage payroll and taxes with ADP’s integrated payroll service
  • Store and organize all your customer, vendor, employee, and financial information in one place
  • List items on eBay
  • Track sales activity, and download and process orders
  • Email invoices and get paid faster with PayPal
  • Monitor your customers’ business credit in real-time through Equifax.
  • Follow the easy, step-by-step instructions in the Startup Wizard to get up and running quickly.
  • Access helpful demos, step-by-step guides, and other product information from the new Resource Center.
  • Import your existing financial data from other programs, such as Microsoft Office Excel, Microsoft Money, and Intuit QuickBooks.
  • Find the features you need quickly with the intuitive and familiar Microsoft Office interface.
Important note: At this time, Office Accounting Express 2009 is designed for US based small businesses only and does not support local requirements outside of the US.
Note from FreewareFiles: As of November 16, 2009, Microsoft will no longer support this product.
System Requirements:
  • Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack (SP) 2 or Windows Server 2003 with SP1 or Windows Vista and later operatingsystems
  • Microsoft Office Word 2002 or later is required to create customized invoices, sales orders, quotes, customer credit memos, customer statements, and purchase orders.
  • Microsoft Office XP (any edition) or later is required to export data to Microsoft Office Word or Excel.
  • To share data among multiple computers, the host computer must be running Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later, or Windows XP Professional SP2 or later.2
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 or later, 32 bit browser only.
  • Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS Add-in, Word 2007, or Outlook 2007, is required to send documents as e-mail attachments in PDF or XPS format.
  • Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager SP4 or later is required to share financial data.
  • Excel 2003 or later required to use Excel reports in Analysis Tools

10 secrets for successful networking

Posted by oink2 Friday, October 14, 2011 0 comments

How do you make the most of every contact you make? How can you gain the trust of your contacts so they’ll start connecting you to all the people in their network? The greatest networkers have a simple, practical system for making a lasting impression and building a strong foundation for future sales success. 

1. Start off strong
Give new contacts a firm handshake and look them in the eye. An upbeat attitude and a sincere eagerness to meet them will be reciprocated.

2. Listen more than talk
You can’t really start to build a relationship until you’re locked into the other person’s hot buttons and listening to what makes him tick.

3. Ask questions to build rapport and understanding
Once you hear his answer, do you have him go into greater detail? Great salespeople know how to move the conversation forward with the right open-ended questions.

4. Find common ground
Doing so allows you to connect with contacts on a deeper level, whether it’s sports, hobbies or family interests. When my customers start talking about their kids and how they are interested in the same activities as my own, the conversation flows.

5. Do your homework
When the customer sees you’ve invested time into understanding his business, there is a certain level of trust established right away. Even better is when the homework you did brings new ideas and additional value to the customer.

6. Sell what they sell
You know who your customer is, but do you know who your customer’s customers are and how you can help sell more to them? Help your customers build their businesses, and they’ll end up building yours.

7. Offer outside help
Can you offer a resource—say, a personal trainer or a good book—that assists them in an area outside of what you sell? Going out of your way to help can get you in the door and keep you connected.

8. Keep your network strong
Surround yourself with people your contacts would want to meet. I am always thinking about the company my contacts keep. It tells me a great deal about their intelligence and integrity.

9. Be true to who you are
People cannot connect with you when you’re trying to be someone else. Being honest about what you do, who you are and what you believe in says a lot about your character.

10. Follow up and follow through
In the world of networking, connections and building relationships, this is the glue that holds it all together.

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