Enterprising Ideas for ChristmasPosted on March 24th, 2008 under We are Pinoys!
By Norma D. Fernandez
Pasko na naman! While the rest are getting busy thinking about gifts and presents as well as food and parties for the coming holiday, ang mga Pinoy entrepreneurs naman busy din in making money this season.
In the Philippines, Christmas is obviously a perfect time to get into business because everyone, as in almost everybody in this land, spends money during Christmas time.
Kung seasonal entrepreneur ka o tuwing panahon lang ng holidays ka nagnenegosyo and you have not started anything yet, medyo late ka na! You should have started for your Christmas business in September or even earlier. But don’t lose hope, you still have a little less than a month to rush things up and get your merchandise ready for this years’ big Christmas bargain.
And because you do not have much time left, you must choose a business that is easy to set up and operate, preferably small capital requirement, less labor intensive o hindi masyadong nangangailangan ng labor ng ibang tao, less complicated ang operation, one that you can easily run even at home, office, school o pwede mong dalhin anywhere you go.
And because Christmas for Pinoys translates to either food or gifts, you can sell foodstuffs and gift items that you can personally make, buy or consign. A small to medium-sized business on food, apparels, children stuffs, gift items and gift-giving supplies or services and party essentials are most perfect for this season.
Here are some saleable and hot items for the holiday:
- If you love baking and cooking, try made-to-order holiday Fruitcakes, Rum Cakes and other specialty cakes, pies, and Christmas inspired goodies ( candies, cookies, chocolates, candied fruits, etc. )
- Christmas decorations are still saleable ’til end of November
- Custom-made or personally designed Christmas cards, if you have the artist in you.
- Crystals and charms made into fashionable home decors or personal accessories pieces.
- Specialty gift wrappers and holiday gift-wrapping service specially near schools are very much in demand
- Personalized or family calendars, which are made-to-order or made impromptu and ready for silk-screening
- Easy to produce decorative and scented candles, soap and personalized perfumes or colognes
- Novelty stuffed toys that you can consign/buy them from distributors
- If you are good in computer graphics design, try made-to-order photo-imaging services that print photos on various surfaces such as button, pins, plates, porcelain wares, etc.
- Consignable ready-to-wear (RTW) items that you can get from distributors or any MLM (multi-level marketing) companies
- Kids’ toys, apparels (shoes, clothing, etc.) and high tech gadgets
- Towels, caps, hankerchiefs, t-shirts with personalized embroidered names that you can do impromptu using your embroidery machine
- Imported spa, cosmetics, skincare products and toiletries you can buy cheaper in bulk and sell in special holiday packages and wrappers
- Make fashionable accessory beads for men and women
- Consignable cartoon and character inspired slippers, specialty pillows, apparels, towels, bags and kiddie stuffs
- Figurines, artwares, souvenir and novelty items for display that you can easily create from clay, silicon or resin
- Catering services for Christmas and other holiday parties and events for offices, homes and communities
- Made-to-order corporate give-aways such as key holder, desk calendar, personalized ballpen and pen, drinking mug, mouse pad, wall clock, pencil holder, organizer, note pad, office stationeries, paper holders and clippers, business card holder, and others alike. Cleanskin wines (unlabeled and cheaper imported wines) are great to go with company logo labels and perfect for give-aways to top clients.
- Seasonal food items such as: homemade or commercial canned fruits and dressings for salad recipes, fresh buko (kinayod without the husk and sold for kilos per order), homemade or commercial ham, queso de bola (round cheese), native sweet desserts such as leche flan, ube-halaya, makapuno, sweet beans, rice cakes and other traditional Pinoy kakanin in special packages, homemade embutido, murcon, chicken galantine (stuffed chicken) and other special holiday meatdishes.
Christmas Bazaars and Tiangge
If you are ready for more challenges, you can organize, help or join in organizing various Christmas bazaars and bargain tiangge in your own or other companies, schools, communities, clubs and organizations. The promise of bigger profit is more attainable, and you will reap so much benefit from this experience.
Holiday Parties, Functions and Events
Christmas is the best time to launch your company or newest product line. You can take advantage of the Christmas spirit and introduce yourself to lots of potential clients that would normally be harder to get. Pero huwag na huwag kayong gagawa ng sales pitch during the function because it will only ruin the spirit of the party.
All you need to do is collect business cards (or make your staff do this) from your guests and follow them up after Christmas. Remember, do not get so overly enthusiastic during the party as you try to shake everyone’s hand. Relax, be yourself and enjoy the party. It’s Christmas after all! To complete your party or event, you can also give your guests your customized corporate giveaways, these will surely bring smiles on their faces.
And of course, do not overlook your own company Christmas party. Though, it will not contribute directly to sales, it could be a great tool for boosting your employees’ morale and a wonderful way to thank your employees for all their hard and diligent work throughout the year. It’s also a great time for you and your employees to get to know each other more. Another opportunity that you can consider is attending another company’s Christmas function, upon invitation, of course. Maaari itong maging isang networking opportunity para sa iyong kumpanya lalo na kung potential market mo ang kumpanya o mga empleyado nito. Spend time getting to know either the employees or the boss (decision-makers) depending on your goal. If your aim is to establish a strategic alliance such as in becoming a supplier, then, spend more time with the decision-makers.
Remember, attending holiday parties and functions doesn’t have to be a waste of time, if you do it properly and with the right approach. Don’t forget that this is your means for a quicker and easier access to more information, ideas and contacts with companies, which are helpful inputs for your business strategies.
Or, if you have exceptional skills in coordinating various tasks in events and functions, simultaneously and under pressure, you can make money this season by organizing holiday concerts, parties and events for other companies, communities or associations.
Beyond Profits and Parties
However, para sa ibang Pinoy entrepreneurs, Christmas does not only mean making money or parties and functions. The holiday season can become an opportunity also to improve the business and its many relations. So, kung nabibilang ka sa mga ganitong uri ng negosyante, here are some suggestions, you can try, to maximize the season.
Organizing company Christmas caroling can be enjoyable for you and your employees as well as for other companies. This could be a way of strengthening your bond with them. But remember, do not serenade any company that doesn’t know you. You will only appear as a total stranger to the company and you will not create a first good impression, unless, your caroling group is not identified with any “business” establishment.
Engage in charity work or fund-raising activities for charity and share your blessings to make our less privileged countrymen enjoy the Christmas spirit, as well.
And, the most important opportunity to seize during this season is keeping your customers and clients with you. The simplest way to do this is by sending them a thank you Christmas card to maintain the rapport you have built with them. If you have not been communicating with them, then, this is the perfect time to show they are important.
Lastly, you can also maximize the holiday to take time out and make a self-reflection. You can try traveling this holiday with your family and spend some time in solitude or do some spiritual exercises. See if said activities really make a difference in your life as an entrepreneur. Creating greater self-awareness will always help you understand better your business practices and the people you deal with.
Besides, there’s more to Christmas than just making money and getting into parties and festivities. Happy holidays!!!