Digital opportunities for the business-minded

As more people stay at home to keep safe, ordering online has become the norm. Having an online presence helps move goods to more people, and a growing community of online sellers enjoy the ease of transactions through many digital platforms that are already available. All it takes is a strong connection via a reliable provider and a willingness to work hard at building a business from home.

The power of connections

Two inventive, yet practical or madiskarte moms who are harnessing the power of strong connections are Vanna Reyes, an entrepreneur and online influencer who also helps other businesses boost their sales; and Vania Edralin, a talent manager who launched her baking business during the community quarantine. Both are moms who are balancing home life and their side hustles that are supported by the strong connections provided by PLDT at Home.

“The pandemic has had a big impact on mommies,” Reyes notes. Aside from the fact that they now have to contend with their children’s online classes on top of managing the household, there is also an uncertainty over the future as many households are affected by loss of income. This is why Reyes supports many moms in the community that she joins, not only by highlighting the products that she likes but also through giving moral support.

Reyes describes herself as an “accidental seller,” with her business starting out as a way to help entrepreneur friends. “I just promote things that I personally use, and moms who watch my videos start asking where they can buy the product as well,” she says.

Among the items Vanna sold were masks, salt lamps, designer bags and even children’s toys. “My story with the children’s toys is a funny one. A friend with a physical store in Divisoria told me that their stocks weren’t moving. To help out, I started posting their items online and they made huge sales even out of season. My friend who was so old-school has now started to migrate their business on selling platforms after realizing the importance of having an online presence.”

VANIA Edralin’s Cinnabites.

For her part, Edralin was doing baking as a hobby before the pandemic hit. “My sister was the one who was really into baking, using our mom’s recipe for cinnamon buns. I tweaked that recipe to make smaller Cinnabites, and gave it away to family and friends, until I realized that there was no one doing the same thing. I offered it on an online selling group and it really took off,” she shares. From an initial capital of P10,000 that went to bulk procurement of ingredients, she was able to recover her investment within two months from baking only three times a week.

Online advantages

There are many opportunities to earn from a side hustle even through the pandemic, both women entrepreneurs attest. “There may be other sellers out there, offering the same thing or something similar to what you have, but there are also so many customers out there,” Reyes encourages. “The main differentiation would be how you reach your market. Some moms will have live selling programs, some will offer their products on different platforms. What is important is that you find your niche.”

Edralin, who tried selling clothes at a bazaar notes the difference. “You don’t need to spend so much on a space, and there is no need to transport all your goods to a certain location. It is easier to do business online. You can even target your audience by choosing a location for your ads or by simply joining a neighborhood group.”

She encourages budding homepreneurs to learn new skills such as taking videos or editing photos, and making ad layouts that would attract more customers.

A stable Internet connection is crucial and enables businesses to provide good customer service, responding to queries and making transactions easy for customers, and having reliable payment and delivery options. “If you don’t answer inquiries right away, that would mean loss of business,” Reyes advises.

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