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Exploring “Brick and Mortar” Businesses

For over 3 years now, all of my so called business ventures have been primarily internet-based. It was easy to roll out, with low entry to market cost and thrives on the luxury of having a virtual office.

Lately though, I’ve been re-visiting, or rather exploring, the idea of having a brick-and-mortar business. Nothing fancy schmancy of sorts — just plain and simple in-the-corner shop. It could be a water refilling station, a laundry shop, an internet cafe, a franchised food stall in the mall or something. Been reading all that stuff on The Entrepreneur Magazine for years and while we all know they only feature the successful 1% (forget the 99% who failed) of those who go into the business, it’s still an attractive opportunity.

I know I’m a (calculated) risk-taker but according to statistical probability, the odds are almost always against the wannabe-businessman. The idea here is to take a portion of what I’ve earned from blogging and re-invest them into offline ventures.

And so, I move along, often thinking “will this work?” or “is it worth it?” then sinking back to the mentality that ROI should be equated with man-hours and billable work rather than merely balancing the left and the right column.

I guess once the right time and opportunity comes along, take the risk and just grab it.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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14 Responses

  1. kzap says:

    how bout the do you have enough time?

  2. Noemi says:

    we have actually the same dream. My husband and I are saving up for some “business” one day. We’re not sure yet but it will be related to our hobbies : art and lawyering for my husband and food because of my college background. The thing is I always compare it to the low-investment and lucky break I had when I ventured into online business. But as in any business, one should not rely on one product/service line. Diversify. It’s just finding the right business model. Try the franchise thing first. I ‘ve seen some great potential in some of them. Low initial capital too but working capital can be high. With your travels to other Asian countries, you will be able to pick up ideas along the way.

  3. Business model, business model, business model.

    If there’s something I’ve learned from the dot-com bubble era, and my own brick and mortar business, it’s examine your business model first.

    Good Luck Abe.

  4. Connie says:

    Oh, go, go! We want the same thing too. I like the idea of a carwash and a cafe beside it with free wifi internet. You know, make the car owners spend their money while waiting for their cars to be washed.

  5. ralphot says:

    hehehe. sayang yung laundry business, ano yugs? kung nagkataon, yuga’s laundry shop na sana yun. :p

  6. yuga says:

    kzap: you can always have someone you trust to run the business.

    noemi: kelan na yung sa inyo?

    michael: if we go franchising, everything’s there na rin.

    connie: ayaw mo catering?

    ralph: yup, ok sana yun kase established na. naunahan lang.

  7. Dave Starr says:

    @ kzap I like your question/caution the most … _all_ good ideas take time … and in the end that’s what the average entrepreneur winds up running out of. You might get more capital at the bank, you can’t buy more time anywhere.

    I fully understand the need for diversity, but I don’t understand the need for the feel of bricks. Most of the franchise programs that involve food are very ‘hard’ on the franchisee … a good example is going to play out in Manila between expensive outsider Krispy Kreme doughnuts and established “home grown” GoNuts. Is there really a lot of attraction fighting over the last fraction of a gram of flour (and fraction of centavo of profit) in yesterday’s production records when guys like Markus Frind makes nearly 20 million pesos per month working from his apartment?

    A person must follow their dream, but having worked both on line and brick and mortar there is no comparison … you won’t see an office door with my name on it ;-)

    @ Connie: I like your washy-wash cafe idea except for one thing … with the possible exception of doctors, lawyers are the most impatient. “on the clock” folks there are. They want the Beemer washed well, and they want it washed _now_ … they won’t take time to sit in the cafe and spend money. You’d only attract tired old Kanos in 8 year-old L-300 vans who can nurse a cup of coffee longer than the duration of the average annulment trial ;-)

  8. jun says:

    Whether brick and mortar or virtual, three books I recommend:

    Startup Nation by Rich and Jeff Sloan
    E-Myth Mastery by Gerber by Michael Gerber
    Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham

  9. seav says:

    speaking of being an entrepreneur, how do you manage your income tax as a problogger?

  10. yuga says:

    Eugene, you declare it under personal income tax. My accountant takes care of that for me. :)

  11. seav says:

    wow. must be nice earning enough money to hire an accountant. hehehe. ;)

  12. curious says:

    You mentioned virtual offices. Would you happen to know where someone can get virtual office services in the Ortigas area? I’ve been scouring the ‘net but all I’ve got are in the Makati area. :(

  13. Jazzy says:

    if you dont mind me askin, what kind of online business you’re into aside from blogging? is this a business anyway?:)

    There are so much opportunities still in online business particularly in the Philippines. I bet you can find one through your network.

  14. yuga says:

    I’m into consulting and I have a hosting company – plogHost.com.

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