The “Ber” months officially started last September and you can feel the Christmas vibe especially when you’re in the mall. Business-minded Pinoys have already begun to take advantage of holiday rush by joining bazaars, which are frequent during this time of the year. If you’re a bazaar veteran or if you want to put up a business in time for Christmas, you might want to consider skipping the hassle of city traffic and try your hand in e-commerce and sell your products online.

To help you get started here are 5 key steps you need to take to create a profitable online business.

1. Set up your Online Store

You don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of pesos to set-up a website with e-commerce capabilities. There are easy-to-use and set-up services like Shopify and TackThis. You can even try your hand out in selling on Lazada which already has millions of visits monthly. We’ve written extensive guides on how to set-up accounts in these channels which you can read below:

How to Create Your Own Online Store on TackThis
How to be an Online Seller on Lazada
How to Open Your Online Store Using Shopify

These platforms offer end-to-end solutions for e-commerce. They have the website which you can customize, a payment platform, delivery partnerships, and some of them even offer product photography in their studio. Just read through and pick which one is the best for you.

2. Set up your Facebook Page

96% of all Internet users in the Philippines have a Facebook account. You need to take advantage of this by putting up your business on Facebook by setting up your own Facebook Business Page. Here’s a link to a full walkthrough of how to do it step-by-step.

After you set-up the page, you need to promote it. The “Invite a Friend” feature is a powerful tool to build an initial base of customers and “Likers”. Make sure you cross-promote your new business page on your personal page as well so that more of your friends see it and they will like it once they get the invitation because they know it’s your business.

Once your page is up and running and you have an initial base of followers, regularly post your services, products, business, and your brand story.

3. Set up your Instagram Profile

The next most popular social media platform in the Philippines is Instagram. It is also the preferred platform of younger Filipinos (millennials and generation Z). The key to succeeding in Instagram is by using it as a discovery tool. You need to learn how to use hashtags so that people discover you and your business. We’ve written a full guide on Instagram Marketing for Filipino SMEs and Start-ups so make sure you check that out as well.

4. Learn Facebook Advertising

To accelerate the growth of your business, invest in paid Facebook advertising. It’s the cheapest and most affordable way to reach new customers and spread the word about your business. The beauty about Facebook ads is that you can specifically target the kind of people you want to see your ad. For example, if you’re a food catering business for weddings you can actually target Filipinos who are “engaged”.

5. Work with Influencers

Another way to quickly reach more people and potentially sell more product is by working with influencers. These are online personalities who have massive following on Instagram or Facebook. Here’s a quick example of how a local company, School of Satchel, did it:

Just make sure you pick the right influencer who has credibility and reach.

This is the best time to try your hand in online selling. Online advertising prices are still low, the reach is immense, and the setting up an online store has never been easier.

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