5 Key Things to Remember when Creating a Retail Business

I always had a fascination with retail businesses. I think it is because I like the idea of having something tangible that you create. Although, I don’t think I, myself, can actually make the actual product (unfortunately, I don’t have the skill for that). For those who don’t know and probably a lot of you don’t know this, but a few years back, I actually dabbled into starting my own retail business, too. It was called HYD or Hot Young Designers. The idea was to collaborate and carry the lines of 5 new fashion designers, and help market them. In essence, it was a social enterprise.


This business only lasted a year though. My business partner and I decided to cut our losses short and just be happy with what we attempted to do and learn from it. There is part of me that still wants to pursue having my own retail business, but a part of me that also says that I have to say no. So, i’ll probably just take it easy first and chose the latter. I need to focus on the things that I am involved with now. With that, I think the help that I can give those aspiring retail entrepreneurs is through writing about my experience, sharing with you the experience of other successful retailers and to come up with learning events that you can attend.

For today, I’m listing down 5 key things to remember when creating a retail business:

Understand your Customer

In this business, for whatever it is that you will sell, it’s about understanding the customer. Oftentimes, having a tangible product can make it even more distracting to veer away from the customer and focus on the product, especially if the product that you are selling is a customised one (you created it from scratch). My suggestions is identify segment or segments of the market that you want to sell to and show the design of the product or a prototype, even before you create the actual product. By doing this, you get to garner feedback that will be crucial to how you create your business or product.

Research More about the Retail Industry

Going into retail, just like any other business, is risky. Retail usually involves creation or even just handling actual products that may be more capital intensive than a service based business. When aspiring to be a retailer, it may be beneficial to talk to already successful retailers. One of the successful ones that I have come across and interviewed is my friend, Cory Marquez of Invitation House. Here is her story on the humble beginnings of Invitation House, which now has 5 stores in the Philippines.

Check out the Different Types of Retail Businesses

* Store retailing. Store retailing is basically having a brick and mortar store, whether it is your own store or if you just have a spot given to you at a department store. Choosing this type of retailing business usually addresses the basic needs of man, like food, clothing, etc.
* Specialty stores. These kinds of stores normally focus now on a specialised “want” of the customer. Invitation House is a sample of a specialty store. It focuses on the desire of customers to have special invitations, cute artsy notecards, etc.
* Nonstore retailing. These retailers have chosen not to sell via a brick and mortar store, but through other means like building an eCommerce shop, selling via Easy or Shopify, selling via HomeTV shopping, or through catalogs that are sent out. It can also be non-digital, like having pop up stores.
* Other forms of “Retail”
– DIY Retailing. An example of this are the vending machines that you see around — from coffee to sanitary napkins. The only thing that the owner needs to do is to replenish supplies and collect payment.
– Crowd Funding platforms. Some of the new retailers also turn to crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter.com.

Check out the different Business models

There may be a dozen ways to sell your products and services, but here are some of those that I can think of:
– Consignment (be it in an actual brick-an-mortar store or via an online shop like Lazada, Zalora, etc.)
– Direct Selling or Door-to-Door
– Crowd Funding (as mentioned above)
– Sales from Social Media Channels

Create a Business Plan after doing all of your Research

It will really be beneficial if you could write down the plan, including the projections for both your expenses and income. Before the launch of HYD, we actually had this in place. What we lacked was more research about the retail industry. We didn’t know that return on investment (ROI) would be longer for retail than it is for a service based business. We also forgot to take into consideration the expenses for keeping the Quality in check. Writing it down will be beneficial since you will be able to go through different scenarios in your mind and you’ll often see it more clearly when it’s written down.


Sign up to join this WORKSHOP at: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/starting-your-online-retail-business


There are a lot more lessons that I have learned from other more successful retailers that I can share via this blog. I will continuously share these things with you. I hope that you have learned from these few tips. If you are a retailer with a story that others can learn from, just leave a comment below and let’s talk about it.

How to Build an Online Business and be a Cyberpreneur in the Philippines

I had a conversation with a person I just met recently who specializes on email marketing. His stories were so funny! He said that every time he would tell people that his job was to write emails, people would give him that weird look. With the advent of the ‘internet’ age, a lot of weird sounding jobs and new positions were created. Also, a lot of online businesses were created, thus creating cyberpreneurs here and there.

What I like about being a cyberpreneur is the fact that I get to spend most of my day at home. Let’s face it. Traffic here in the Philippines is horrendous. The 1-2 hours spent in traffic could have been spent in creating emails that could have raked in revenue or could have been spent in uploading new stocks for your online store.

Now starting an online business seems like a good idea, but most of the people I meet ask me, what are the concrete steps that they could take to start their own business. In this post, I will share with you some of the things that I did to prepare for that online businesses that I have.

Proper mindset

Seeing another person earn a 6 figure income from his or her online business is not the right reason for one to go into business. In fact, even if I encourage people to take the leap into entrepreneurship, I think it takes a certain mindset and proper timing before you go into business.

I received a text from my friend recently asking if I was scared before I took the leap. I said, “yes, of course”. I was super frightened. What I believe in is that if you’re not, you may not have thought about it that much. Going into business entails risk and the greater the risk, the higher the reward. And it’s not all about risk actually when it comes to becoming a Cyberpreneur. I have seen that the things that I spend a lot on are time and effort. The risk is more about having less time for yourself in the beginning, especially when you’re building your online business.

To help people try to assess their situation if they are ready, I came up with a checklist which you can get here:

Love the Leap Checklist

Here’s a video, too!

If the check list is not enough, I would love for you to join us at the Entrepreneur in Me page on facebook and we can talk there!

Right Reason

It was just recently that my friend got it. He messaged me and said that he finally realized something about why he was doing his business. He said that he loved working on his business because he wanted to make people happy. He said he realized that it wasn’t just for himself. He keeps on doing it because he loves seeing the smile on people’s faces when they avail of his product/service. He said that it wasn’t about himself anymore.

He finally got to that point. I had that realization also after implementing 3 workshops under Manila Workshops. Also, I had that feeling when I started meeting people who sincerely love reading my blog and they thought that my articles helped them. I think every cyberpreneur or startup founder or online business owner or any business owner for that matter gets to the point that they realize that it’s about satisfying a need that people have or giving people a solution that they will ‘truly’ appreciate. It isn’t about you anymore. IF you want to go into business, start with that. What do people REALLY NEED?

Plan Ahead

With the thousand of things that we need to do, it’s so easy to get caught up with the daily grind of things that we just go straight to implementing whatever it is that’s in our heads. We don’t have time to write it down (not to mention the fact that we hate typing long documents or what we write needs heavy editing.. hihi!). But, believe me, having them on a one page, three page or 15 page document  is important. It becomes the map (adjustable map.. hihi!) for everything that we need to do.

For those who have a hard time coming up with a business plan, I can guide you with this 120 minute coaching individual session that I’m offering, where we will come up with your own business canvas. You can just book a coaching session with me at: http://manilaworkshops.com/product/business-plan-coaching-session-with-ginger-arboleda

These are the different things that I thought of and did before I became a cyberpreneur. But hey, don’t  just hear it from me. There is this book called Cyberpreneur Philippines. This book was written by different Cyberpreneurs, each one contributing a chapter. I contributed a chapter on Scaling up your Business.

Cyberpreneur Philippines 1

Cyberpreneur Philippines 2

You can purchase the book for Php 395.00 here at this link:


It’s the perfect gift for your loved one and friends who are thinking of becoming a cyberpreneur or those who want to start their own business.

Feel free to contact me and email me at ginger(at)manilaworkshops(dot)com if you want to chat about starting your own business, or feel free to leave a comment below and i’ll get back to you!

Good luck!

How to Manage your Online Business and How to Handle Projects

This year is really exciting! I’m launching another online business together with 4 wonderful ladies (which includes my sister) and an advocacy that encourages people to achieve an active lifestyle. A lot of people ask me how do I do that — how do I get to manage and be part of all these exciting endeavors and still fulfill my obligations at home. So this Saturday, my husband and I have agreed to be the speakers for the topic How to Manage Projects for the Real Ways to be a WAHM (work-at-home-mom). Work-at-home-dads are also welcome to join (since hubby is speaking, too!) and even single people! Actually, anyone and everyone who wants to learn how to manage projects and how to manage an online business is free to join.

Here are the details of the workshop:

Real Ways to be a WAHM

Real Ways to be a WAHM



This is the first time again since 2010 when me and my husband will be speaking as a team, so we are really excited for this. The both of us with Joy have really prepared a great workshop for you so we really hope that you can come and join us!

It’s not too late to sign up! Please register using this form.

We would like to thank Insular life and Swish for being our sponsors for this event. We would also like to thank Skinny Minis Cheesecake shop for being snack sponsors.

We can’t wait to see you on Saturday! Sign up now 🙂