How to start a business with the ‘right’ capital

Armando Bartolome
Armando Bartolome

You might be sitting at a coffee shop, looking at the many customers and you start to ask yourself: "What business can I begin with the right capital?" You may want a business to have an alternative or added income.

As you keep sipping that hot cup of freshly brewed coffee, you ask: How do successful people ever do it? Is it really true what you read about entrepreneurs? Is it by sheer “luck”?

Starting a business always begins with the use of imagination. With over 500 seminars I have given and as well as mentoring sessions, I begin with a small ice breaker called: "How to Connect The 16 Dots."

With the presence of those dots, 6 straight lines are required to connect. Without lifting a pen, the process can go on and on and end up with 6 straight lines.

This is called "Thinking Outside the Box." Those lines would not be possible if one did not go out of those dots.

Our search for a business often it begins with the use of imagination. Allowing the mind to be creative and without putting limitations, so many possibilities may be tapped.

From the imagination, an idea is formed on a business to start with. It becomes the seed from where plans are made.

However most often, the imagination to reach the idea stage, a typical obstacle would be to think of lack of financial resources.

There are many ifs and buts. What is needed is to allow and exhaust the idea to arrive at the specific plans.

So how much money should you use to start a business?

I have seen many entrepreneurs who eventually became successful franchisors began with even just P5,000 to P10,000 (US$ 110 to $224).

What I saw is how they carefully made use of every peso towards growing the business. I remember one client who crafted her own method of dividing the money she earns from her business. She carried a big brown envelope. Inside were several envelopes with markings. Every night she would place specific amount like payment for food suppliers, salaries for the staff including her, electricity and water, rental. Any money left for the evening she deposits in her account. At the end of each month, she gets all the envelopes and pays to whomever she has allotted.

Another woman I admire is Nanay Lydia de Roca who began with P500 (US$11). The money was given during her wedding to Benigno de Roca in 1969. They worked hard day and night, and today Lydia’s Lechon is a household name.

Here are ways how to start the business:

  1. Start with what you love doing.

    This may be like a hobby or an activity which there is fulfillment.

  2. Study and analyze.

    Allot time to study the pros and cons of the idea. In most cases, it is best to discuss with friends and family. Listen to what they have to say.

  3. Set an amount to start with. 

    To get the project to a start, set an amount, which one can easily have. Identify the coverage and targeted results. Small and baby steps are better instead of aiming for the grandest results. It will come in due time.

  4. Be persistent.

    Getting into business to start may be full of excitement. However, as the fun wears off and there are obstacles, there may be moments of just calling off the project. One may never know with just some patience and pushing the finish line is within reach.

  5. Do let opinions or comments zap your desire.

    There are people who may find joy is just being critical of others. They may say or question one’s ability to start a business. There are famous personalities that encountered and faced overwhelming negativity. All those comments became like fuel to boost them to greater heights of success. In fact in my opinion, we may have to thank such tribes who serve as wake-up call for all of us!

(Armando Bartolome is known as the Philippines’ Franchise Guru, a business mentor to numerous micro entrepreneurs who are now themselves big names in the industry. This article was previously published on the author’s The Business Mentor column posted by ABSCBN News. For questions and more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome by or on Twitter @philfranguru. His website is

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Armando Bartolome is known as the Philippines’ Franchise Guru, a mentor to numerous micro entrepreneurs who are now themselves big names in the industry. For questions and more information, you may contact Armando “Butz” Bartolome by email: or his social media