In our previous post about why more Cebuanos are selling on Facebook, we featured a few online businesses, and now, here's a post about how these entrepreneurs are able start a business online and make use of Facebook in gaining profit. Read the questions and their corresponding answers carefully to be inspired to begin your own business on Facebook and know how to make this trending entrepreneurial strategy work for you!
Why did you think your chosen product would be a great product to sell online?
VA Fashion: Based on my target market, which are the busy women who have no time to go to the malls and shop. So introducing my products online would be very convenient for them since it only takes minutes to browse and order, then you're done!
C-Fashion Finds Cebu: Because we want to provide affordable fashion finds to girls and women, and less expensive yet authentic bags for Cebu buyers.
Creative Sole: My partner and I decided to focus on made to order shoes. We wanted to offer a unique shoe shopping experience wherein our customers can customize their own wedges. From choosing the heel length of 2-5 inches, to choosing the footbed, sole & straps of your wedges.
Itonboi's Leche Flan: Because Leche Flan is one of the Filipino all-time favorite desserts. There are a lot of people who knows about it and I'm sure, most of them like it.
Drea Drazz Handmade Jewelry: I sell handcraft, wire jewelry online coz it's a cheaper option than having to rent a stall. Also, it's affordable to start online.Click here to find products you can easily sell online!
How did you start your business on FB?
VA Fashion: We know everyone is on Facebook. Facebook is the best place to market my products, and its easy to gain audience from Facebook.
C-Fashion Finds Cebu: Me and my sister started it when we discovered that we could make an FB page for our online business.
Creative Sole: My best friend and I are both stay at home moms, & we wanted to have something to do with our free time and earn while taking care of our family at the same time. So that's when we started out with the idea of starting an online business.
Itonboi's Leche Flan: While surfing Facebook, I realized I have more than 900 friends which could be potential customers for my small business. So, I created a page and started to advertise the product.
Drea Drazz Handmade Jewelry: I started selling it on FB when I realized that I can reach a wider market online than offline. Also, it was easier to market my products because most of my friends spend more time on the net than texting.
How much was your starting capital?
VA Fashion: P10,000.00
C-Fashion Finds Cebu: around P15,000-20,000
Creative Sole: We DON'T have any starting capital. Since these are made to order shoes, we ask for the payment first and then have their wedges made.
Itonboi's Leche Flan: We initially spent almost P2,000 for the required materials like the steamer, molds, packaging and the ingredients.
Drea Drazz Handmade Jewelry: My starting capital was around P1,000. I already had tools from a previous business so I just spend the capital mainly on supplies, like beads, wires, etc.
Where do you get your products?
VA Fashion: I always buy my products from Aliexpress, which is mainly from China.
C-Fashion Finds Cebu: From local & international suppliers (depending on what item)
Creative Sole: We get it directly from the factory. That's why our prices are lower compared to others.
Itonboi's Leche Flan: For my packaging, I prefer going to Carbon because I know a store there that supplies packaging with a cost close to the factory price. For my ingredients, I prefer grocery stores.
Drea Drazz Handmade Jewelry: I buy most of supplies and materials online since most of the stuff I need are not available locally.Get your own products here!
How do you go about payment and delivery?
VA Fashion: I use bank to bank transaction or Money Transfer like Mlhuillher/Cebuana/Western Union. And I do meet ups depending on the location of the buyer.
C-Fashion Finds Cebu: If Cebu buyers, COD on meet-ups, for outside Cebu buyers, it's via LBC/JRS.
Creative Sole: For Cebu buyers we do meet ups every Saturday. If their house is far away or they're busy we offer delivery thru Bayadpo. For our outside Cebu buyers, we ship their items after they pay. Our payment options are either through bank deposit or money remittance.
Itonboi's Leche Flan: If the customer is within the city, we can schedule a door-to-door delivery. If not, we can arrange a meet-up within the city nearest to the customer.
Drea Drazz Handmade Jewelry: For orders outside Cebu City, I ship them through JRS or LBC. Otherwise, I do meet ups. As for payments, I accept COD or bank transfer.
Do you sell in other social media venues aside from FB?
VA Fashion: I only use Facebook at the moment, but as soon as I get enough people and likes who can be my prospective buyers then I might use other social media venues.
Creative Sole: Yes, we have an Instagram account too.
Itonboi's Leche Flan: I synchronized my Twitter account to my Facebook account so that every time I post something new about the product, it's also showing on my Twitter.
Drea Drazz Handmade Jewelry: I tried selling on OLX and eBay, but I've only found success on FB so far. I'm planning on using other social media platforms to sell, but my focus for now is Facebook since that's where my target market is usually found.
How does FB help you sell? Do you think it's an effective trading venue?
Itonboi's Leche Flan: Facebook helps me sell my products by showing it to more people anywhere around the globe, even to people who were not on my friends list.
Drea Drazz Handmade Jewelry: FB helped me reach a wider market. But I wouldn't really rely on the platform forever. FB is an effective trading venue if you're still starting out. But once your business grows, I think it's best to consider setting up an e-commerce site and use FB to socially connect with your customers and prospects.
What's the best part of selling online?
VA Fashion: Best part is when you successfully sell your products and get profit.
C-Fashion Finds Cebu: The best part is you can have a day job while having an online shop. It can be your sideline.
Creative Sole: Best part would be seeing our happy customers. It always brightens up our day whenever they send us messages of thanks or pictures of them wearing our shoes.
Drea Drazz Handmade Jewelry: The best is it's affordable and I get to reach a wide audience. In fact, I even found an international buyer. How cool is that?
What's your advice to other Cebuanos who want to set up their own online shops?
VA Fashion: Keep this in mind, if you think you can break even quickly, it’ll definitely be worth it. Once you break even and you put that money back into your company, you basically have enough to reprint your products or print new ones. It’s all about balance! It certainly isn’t cheap, unless you want it to be. If you want to get serious about your products, you have to drop some money. The more money you spend, the better your products will be.
C-Fashion Finds Cebu: Just make sure your prices are competitive and quality must be good.
Creative Sole: Always be HONEST. Even if others will not or can't be honest with you. Learn how to advertise online too, you need to have a wide reach of audiences.
Itonboi's Leche Flan: They should invest time and effort in advertising their products online. While doing so, they also need patience and creativity especially that there is much more competition online, especially on Facebook.
Drea Drazz Handmade Jewelry: I think it would be best to make plans before doing anything else. I mean it took me months to prepare everything, and my shop is still a work in progress. So yes, planning is the first important step to do. Then once you're set up, just go for it. It may take some time for things to pick up but that's normal. Just don't stop.
Have you gotten important insights from these online entrepreneurs? Hopefully, their own experiences will be able to prepare you for your own online selling journeys! Until our next business post. 😉
Here are links to the Facebook pages of these online businesses:
Wish to set up your own online business, too? Click here!