How to Open a Filipino Store
You might be living in an area where there are lots of Filipinos and you might be wondering if opening a store focused on the Filipino community would be a profitable business for you.
This article will help you what you need to consider before starting your own Filipino store.
According to US Census Bureau 2004 data, Filipinos are the third largest Asian group in the country, accounting to 2.1 million in population. You can set up your own Filipino store and capture a slice of this market.
Things to Consider in Opening a Filipino Store
First and foremost, study the area where you plan to put up your store. Find out the existing Filipino stores and what kind of products they offer. Instead of competing head to head for the existing stores, you might want to focus instead on what they do not sell so you can offer something unique to your customers.
Another way to do it is to conduct a survey among your family, friends (if you are a Filipino) and Filipino colleagues about the kind of Filipino-related goods they buy regularly and occasionally. You may also ask them of Filipino items that are not easy to find in your area but something that they like to have regular access to.
Once you know what products you will be offering in your store, scout for potential suppliers. This is critical for your success because the things found in your store will create the image for your business. If people like what you have, they will surely frequent your store and will easily recommend your store to their other Filipino friends.
You may need to find suppliers from the Philippines to serve your needs. You can search the web for these suppliers or ask a relative back in the Philippines to help you find a reliable supplier that will provide you with quality products at a reasonable cost.
Bringing the goods from the Philippines to your area is another factor that you need to consider. If you are just starting up and are planning to sell only a limited volume plus you have good trustworthy contacts back in the Philippines, you can ship a box or two every now and then thru the Post Office or a shipping company. As long as your shipment is not of commercial quantities, the US Customs will allow this. However, this will increase your shipping expenses which will also affect your prices so find out who is the shipping company that can give you the best freight rates.
Creating a Filipino theme in your store from your store’s name, signage, interior design and staff uniform can add to the ambience of your business. Nostalgia is a very strong emotion and if your customers feel like they are back in the Philippines every time they step inside your store, then you have captured their interest. Some ideas to help you would be to greet and converse with your customers in your native tongue, hang posters or artworks of Filipino sceneries, the usual scenes in a Filipino’s everyday life, or portraits famous Filipinos, and play Filipino songs or songs by Filipino artists. Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas is one Filipino-American hip hop musician who is proud of and writes songs about his Filipino heritage.
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