Friday, January 10, 2014

Entrepreneurs 101: Taking Advantage of Tourism Opportunities By Opening a Souvenir Shop

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Countless tourists flock to the Philippines every now and then to explore and experience what the nation has to offer. According to recent tourism statistics, the Philippines has successfully garnered more tourists than what is expected all throughout the first half of the year. This just means that our country has been doing pretty good in this sector. But what does this imply to the commerce industry?

Tourism is nonetheless a brilliant opportunity for money-making. If you come to think of it, foreigners—and even our fellow Filipino globetrotters—consider travelling as an avenue for trying out new things. They're obviously not only here to enjoy a day basking in our tropical sun. What they're looking for is the Filipino experience—the famous delicacies, sumptuous native dishes, unique activities, and other fun-filled Filipino stuff.

With such premise, we are able to conclude that tourism and business can go side-by-side. As of now, you are probably thinking of ways how you can take advantage of such lucrative opportunity. By all means, opening your own souvenir shop may be the best bet. This type of business—if managed and marketed properly—could prove to reap substantially good profits in the long run.

But how do you start? 


Be in the shoes of your customers. Ask yourself, “What kind of souvenirs would I buy if I was a foreigner?” From that standpoint, you can proceed with your research about products that you would be featuring in your shop. Think of something creative, useful, and even mainstream. Afterwards, start scouting for dealers or providers to get you started.

Visit your potential competitors. There has to be something you could do in order for your business to stand-out among the sea of souvenir shops. You may have to browse through those successful stores and see what they have done and accomplished so far. On another note, also try to visit those who didn't make it and find out why is it so. By doing that, you are taking note of their shortcomings as an entrepreneur—then use it as your guide. Information such as business hours, location, merchandise, and customer service must be part of your whole business research.

Search for your ideal location. A lot of times you will hear businessmen, investors, and real estate agents say that location is the major determinant of your business' success. No matter how great your items are, the location of your establishment will determine the saleability of your merchandise. Perhaps you can start off this journey by owning a movable cart, so you can gauge which locations would prove advantageous for your business. Or maybe, you could also look for a commercial space for rent if you're confident enough that the chosen area will be suitable for your business.

Formulate a business plan. Just like any other business, creating the blueprint for this venture is a must-do. This plan entails the outline of your financial goals and other relevant data. This would also help you determine if you need a bank loan or extra help from private investors.

Think of a good name. Creating a name for your shop is crucial in the sense that it could become a vantage point for your marketing strategies. Moreover, make sure it is original and attractive because you'd have to apply for a business permit afterwards.

Start advertising. Any business wouldn't suffice without an effort for advertising. Even entrepreneurs like our friendly balut vendors have used their voice to attract potential customers while travelling across streets. As for your souvenir shop, you can employ newer marketing tactics like infiltrating the social media or creating your own e-commerce site for a broader audience.

Develop great customer service. A lot of times you will be dealing with foreigners. Making a good impression would not only be beneficial to your business—it would also encourage them to visit the Philippines frequently. Remember that your relations to your customers could somehow affect how they view our country. And who knows? They might be able to contact you and ask to ship many of your products to them abroad.

Opening a souvenir shop is more or less the same as starting a small-to-medium enterprise. But the thing is your merchandise will likely cater more to foreigners. Think of something that would help them remember their good times here in the Philippines. A good research won't hurt, indeed.

About the Author

Regus in the Philippines is a leading provider of business solutions which include virtual offices, serviced commercial spaces, and workplace recovery ideas.

About "" is the fastest growing and most awarded blog and social media community that has transcended beyond online media. It has successfully collaborated with all forms of media namely print, radio and television making it the most diverse multimedia organization. The numerous collaborations with hundreds of brands and organizations as online media partner and brand ambassador makes a truly successful advocate of everything about the Philippines, and even more since its support extends further to even international organizations including startups and SMEs that have made our country their second home.


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