No one really saw this pandemic coming. No one expected the gravity of the situation we are in, especially not the different levels of quarantine that the country is currently under.
But if there is one trait that we, Filipinos, are expected to display – it’s our admirable resilience in times of adversity.
And this pandemic has brought that out of each and every one of us, especially that a lot of us have lost our jobs, our businesses, our sources of income. The first couple of weeks might have proven to be hard for everyone especially those who were affected financially, but we have once again proved that we bounce back.
Over the last couple of months, more and more Filipinos are venturing into different kinds of side hustle. The freelance, homebased, and online job hunting platforms and groups have never been this active and busy. A diverse list of these jobs became available for Filipinos.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Tutors
Virtual Assistants (VA)
Admin Support / Customer Service / Tech support
Social Media Managers / Content writers
…and more. You name it, any job that doesn’t require face to face contact; chances are you will find an online/homebased hiring for it.
But I’m not here to talk about those kinds of side hustles. Those are great, definitely, and if you have the basic skills needed to perform them then I’ll be happy to point you to a few of the legit platforms I know! (Yes, I said “legit” because you have no idea how many shady listings are being passed around lately.)
Now since this post is entitled “Sideline business ideas that are tried and tested”, I want to focus on the businesses that “I have” actually tried and proven to be money-makers for me. These ideas don’t require any “special” skill or training or educational attainment, and above all, these are businesses that almost all Filipinos are very familiar with.
I’m talking about the ever-reliable FOOD BUSINESS.
Actually, these food businesses don’t even require an expert level of cooking. No, all you need are the basics – you know, the toss-in-the-pan level kind of basic. 🙂 And guess what, some of these don’t even require “any” cooking!
That is why a lot of Pinoys right now are trying their hands on the food biz! The demand is very high (hello, ECQ) and the market is everywhere (hello again, ECQ)!
This is perfect especially if you are already a foodie, to begin with, or you have a decent ability at following instructions/recipes. Heh.
So let’s get down to it.
1. Mango Float
This is one of the first side hustles/products that I made and sold in the market. This is a dessert that never goes missing in our family occasions. We love it so much! I love it so much that I started making smaller, retail sizes of it and started selling them to officemates, friends (IRL), friends in social media, strangers in social media, FB groups, and in FB marketplace.
If you search “mango float” in social media, yes you will find a lot of other sellers going at it too, but trust me when I say that 1) there is still a very big market who’d be very happy to buy one, and 2) not all the products taste the same – which brings me to the most important point: the taste. It took years before I decided to write a post about how I prepare the best mango float ever. C’mon, read it!!! 🙂
2. Oreo Truffles
We started making these during the ber months, you know the months/weeks leading to the Christmas season? Because these are great gifts for Christmas! But don’t get me wrong, these melt-in-your-mouth goodness are also great any day of the year.
I didn’t have a post on this, but these bad boys are made from only 3 ingredients: Oreo cookies, cream cheese, chocolate.
The rests are just for variety – white chocolate, if you want white-chocolate-coated; marshmallows, if you want a soft, surprise center; or you can even add sprinkles or on top!
Here are a couple of recipes I’ve tried:
3. Healthy Vegetable Salad Mix
No special mixing required. Just get your hands on these fruits and vegetables and slice away. YUM!
You can be flexible on the dressing as you please – you can go with the usual salad dressings (Caesar, vinaigrette, etc.) or try some sweet/sour mixes like mango/pineapple saucy dressing. Either way, they’re gonna be delish!
4. Real Fruits Salad Mix
Again, just get those fruits on the chopping board and slice ‘em good! Add some evaporated milk and voila! My mouth is watering right now just thinking about those fruits.
5. Champorado/Arroz Caldo (Pospas)
The key to the chocolatiest champorado lies on the kind and amount of tablea that you use. I like mine with a LOT of pure, dark tablea pieces, and muscovado sugar with it. Once cooked, I put some spoonfuls in the containers and top them off with some evaporated milk and sprinkle with milk powder. This may be a hot dish but surprisingly, we eat this whether it’s a hot afternoon or a cold morning/night.
We were also selling Arroz caldo on alternate days with the champorado. We figured folks would be in the mood for lugaw some days and then for champorado on other days. And it worked. Our Arroz Caldo had the right aroma and taste of chicken.
6. Skinless Chorizo
I am far from being a morning person, but I can say that I’m a breakfast-food person. This is why I love staying in hotels and resorts that offer buffet breakfasts! No, I don’t care if you don’t have a spa or a gym, as long as you have a delish breakfast menu. My mom usually serves this at home and we love it. I was pretty sure others would love it, and I was right. I asked my mom who the supplier was (turned out to be a family friend who just makes these from her home!). Some days I would resell these on a pre-order basis and then contact her for the exact number of orders delivered the next day. Some days I would just order some stocks and sell them to the same market – officemates, friends, FB friends, strangers – until they’re all sold out.
So my advice is this, I don’t know where you’re located but if you’re interested in reselling (these or any other product for that matter), find a reliable supplier in your area with a tried and tested delicious product. Negotiate and make an agreement as far as delivery, availability, and pricing are concerned. If you’re Cebu and you’re interested to try (or resell) these, send me a message. 😉
7. Breakfast Meals
In 2016, I decided to take a leap of faith and bought a house and lot. And by bought, I meant paid the reservation fee and signed the papers to start paying a monthly fee for the equity. I didn’t have millions you know, so no, I didn’t “buy a house in cash”. 😉
Why is this relevant, you might ask?
Because this leap has pushed (forced? motivated? encourage?) me to venture into selling pack meals in the office. It was a huge move for me, one that really, really entailed commitment and discipline. Why? Because I literally have to wake up at 3ish A.M. every working day, just so I can cook and prepare the food before I wake E up and prepare him and myself for work. Every day I had to make sure I’m already at the office by 6 A.M just so we can have the packed meals ready and waiting in the people’s tables, as soon as they came in.
And guess what, this hustle/business helped A LOT in paying for my house. The house equity lasted for 2 years and around the time I’m done with it, I also got into another side business and there were changes in my career and situation that eventually I had to stop selling the packed meals.
So if you wanna do this to earn some income, I would advise you to prepare yourself for very early mornings and frequent runs to the market and the groceries for supplies. However, you don’t have to stick to breakfast food; you can do packed lunches or big portions of foods for your customer’s demands.
8. Cakes (and other baked goods)
Okay, I know this one requires a higher level of skills than the other items above. But believe me when I say that…
I DIDN’T HAVE ANY TRAINING IN BAKING AT ALL.
None. Nada. Nah.
I learned how to bake BY READING. Yes, you read it right. I read blogs, mostly. When you get online, and do a quick search for say, “chocolate cake”, believe me, you will get sucked into a worldwide WEB of recipes! One click will lead you one recipe, which would also have a link to another cake recipe. And that second cake will then lead you to another kind of chocolate cake recipe. And the web goes on and on!
I learned how to bake these yummy (they said) cakes by reading those recipes online. I even realized just recently that I didn’t even watch youtube videos. IMAGINE?? But if you do, you will get thousands of recipes all over the site.
So yeah, just check and see what you like and try it. Just follow the steps to a tee, because baking “is” science. So every little thing and every single measurement and ingredients play a critical role in how your cake will turn out.
The difference between a TEAspoon vs. a TABLEspoon will make or break your cake. And it most cases, IT WILL BREAK YOUR CAKE. Sometimes, literally.
Yes, your cake may CRUMBLE because of wrong judgment in the measurement!
But don’t let me or what I just said scare you. Try it out for yourself until you find your perfect go-to recipe for each type of cake, then you’re good to go!
Make sure to tally your expenses and price your cake accordingly. Take into consideration the prices of the ingredients, the hours/effort spent, the electric/gas consumption (depending on your oven), and the profit margin. And then you’re good to go! 😉
So, which one are you more inclined to try right away? Again, these are tried and tested. Which means I have made them, marketed them, and sold a great amount of them to the Filipino market. Some of these I have sold while I was still in an office setting. But that isn’t a requisite since you can definitely market these all over the internet and sell them online! Your social media timeline is a good start. Post them in your Facebook profile, in your page, and most definitely in the Facebook Marketplace.
Just be ready and think about logistics in advance – the delivery and distribution, especially now during ECQ – as well as the mode of payment to make sure you don’t get bogus buyers or canceled orders.
Once you have some income out of this or complemented your current income, it would be good to set aside some portion of it for your savings or investment. At least this can help you fund your long term goals, or improve your overall finances. 🙂
Good luck and happy selling!