Most OFWs dream of putting up a business when they go back home for good because they know our expatriate life has a deadline depending on our contract expiry date or our ability to handle homesickness or if the company we work for wants to renew our contract. They cannot imagine working again in the Philippines given the pay we receive overseas is way, way higher than the salary we will receive here.
As an OFW, we have 5 advantages in starting up a business:
- 1) Money – With our salary overseas coupled with good money management skills and not giving in to the world of consumerism and upgrading of lifestyle, we will be able to save enough money to use as a capital for our dream business.
- 2) Time – After our work and during weekends after doing our household chores, we have a lot of spare time. Time that can be used wisely to study, research and go for online courses like Udemy, Success Academy and Leapreneur where we can acquire new skills like Sales and Marketing or learn about creating a business plan via Ateneo LSE or Leapreneur in preparation for our plans to put up a business.
I am not saying that you should stop watching teleseryes or playing FB/video games but minimizing it and not wasting the whole weekend away just watching your Korean series and wondering on Monday morning where did your whole weekend go.
3) Exposure to Efficient Processes, Systems and Tools – The banking system, transportation system, government services, consumer protection and women’s protection from sexual harassment are some of the things that are efficient and set up properly in Singapore which we actually learn a lot from.
Our expectation of good customer service has significantly increased and we can use this in putting up our businesses in addressing unmet needs of consumers or in delighting our customers because it is something not yet available or done here.
4) Exposure to Different Cultures, Religious Belief, Traditions and Languages – We learn to adapt to different people, respect different cultures and religious beliefs and adjust our working style in order to achieve company goals.
5) Values and Character – Our characters are built and our values strengthened while working overseas like resilience, patience, value of work. Filipinos are known for good work ethics and high standard or quality of work. When I was new in SG, I had to work extra hard to prove myself and why I was hired instead of a local which proved to be a blessing in disguise because I not only showed them how hard working I was and my high work quality but it paved the way for other Filipinos being hired.
In pursuing entrepreneurship, we have these 5 advantages but at the end of the day, it is still up to our hard work, perseverance and creativity to make things work. It requires also a change in our mindset as we jump from being a corporate employee to becoming an entrepreneur and freelancer. And that will be a topic I will cover in my next blog. But for now, dream and do your research for the business you will put up. 🙂