Profitable Businesses in Cebu for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

  • 11 months ago
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The island of Cebu is home to various businesses in different industries. Cebu, being the second richest province right after Manila, has a lot of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to make it big. But what are these industries that thrive in the Cebu business environment for start-up businesses? Here are some business ideas that stood the test of time on the island of Cebu.

Food Business

Selling food in Cebu is always profitable considering how Cebuanos love to eat food. Everywhere you go there are bound to be businesses selling food in one form or another ranging from affordable street food to high-class restaurants.

However, competition is very high since food businesses can spring up from here and there. You will need to be innovative in creating your own brand and the type of food you are selling. We suggest going the extra mile when selling your products. For example, it’s common in Cebu to sell lechon manok (roasted chicken) and lechon baboy (roasted pig). To innovate, create a brand that goes beyond what’s common. For example, adding different kinds of unique flavors, having a special sauce, or changing the color of the skin will give you an edge and will make people notice you easily.

Souvenir Products

Cebu is very famous for tourists from all around the world. 2022 alone saw 2 million tourists visiting the island. They come here to chill and relax on the pristine beautiful beaches so it’s only natural to have something to remember them by about their trip.

Dried mangoes, otap, chicharon, souvenir shirts, and handmade accessories are just some of the items that local and foreign tourists are searching for. The key to this business is the location. Malls are the perfect place to set up these businesses as tourists are sure to visit them and can create crowds of foot traffic in one single day. Next to the malls are tourist spots such as somewhere near Magellan’s Cross or the beaches of Mactan. Some tour guide companies will bring them to these locations so it’s a huge advantage for your business. Some locations that are not common but will still give you a profit are hotels. You can set up a stall inside and place your wares for weary travelers who do not want to exert effort in finding souvenirs such as businessmen on a business trip. 

Co-Working Spaces

Other types of people who love going to Cebu are digital nomads and freelancers. They enjoy the beautiful tropical environment of the island while handling their business online with such a low cost of living.

Although there are people who strictly want to work only in their condos or apartment, most freelancers and digital nomads want a space where they can also interact, befriend, and do business with other freelancers. Co-working spaces cater to these types of people and have been popular since the late 2010s as the go-to location for freelancers. You don’t even need a lot of requirements. You just need a commercial space, a fast internet connection, a friendly welcoming ambiance, and amenities. The trick to making you stand out is your amenities, services, and freebies. For example, it’s common for co-working spaces to have free coffee, a printing service, and an exclusive cubicle. What’s not so common is providing snacks, a free scanning service, and a place to sleep. Do research about the top co-working spaces in Cebu and give something that they are not offering.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

Business Process Outsourcing has always been a popular venture since the early 2000s. Commonly, foreigners would start these kinds of businesses in the early years, but Filipinos who have worked in this particular industry have also started their own BPO companies from their earnings because of their familiarity with the industry’s profitability.

It’s very common for BPOs to start their business in the business districts such as Cebu IT Park, Cebu Business Park, and Mactan Newtown. Such places are costly when it comes to rent so if you are tight on a budget, look for places that are less saturated. A few BPO companies are located in midtown Cebu because the rent is more affordable and still can provide the benefits of renting in the business districts. Mandaue is also a great place to start as BPOs are somewhat not so common and it would be great for talented employees in the northern areas such as Liloan and Consolacion to not travel far to Cebu City.

Filipino Product Exporting

Whichever part of the world you will go to, there are bound to be Filipinos. Over 10 million Filipinos are currently working abroad and that’s not counting those that just emigrated. Filipinos are proud of their culture and would surely love something that reminds them of their motherland.

Filipino product exporting is a great business, especially for those countries with such a high concentration of Filipino people such as Hong Kong, the USA, Canada, and, of course, Middle Eastern countries.  Filipino food products are something most Filipinos miss so it would be great to export them to Asian or Filipino supermarkets. If finding a partner store is not what you want, you can always sell them online and deliver them to the desired country. If you want to take the risk, you can export products that have a somewhat large amount of Filipinos such as Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan. The advantage of starting a product exporting business in Cebu is that the Port of Cebu is a freeport which means you won’t have a hefty amount to pay for duties and other exporting fees.

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