Wait for two years
By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas
If you plan to put up a business, let the coming two years pass first. That is the time the economy requires to fully recover. Go hiking, go have a vacation somewhere, go learn a new skill or hobby, or just go and do something else that will not make you lose money.
Even the occupancy of buses of all kinds traveling from the provinces to Metro Manila are not as expected. You can just go to the bus station of your choice, right on the hour of your trip and you will have a seat. The buses are half-empty.
Perhaps, in about a year the economy would be almost fully awake. Yet it would still need to stretch and wash its face. Wipe it. Look at its face in the mirror. And would then be raring to go.
That is right. By then two years would have already passed.
For you, time to take stock of the surroundings.
As you sit in a fast food resto with a view of the street, you ponder on what a business to put up. The last you had was wiped out by the pandemic. How about giving the various coffee shops around a run for their money? How about a pizzeria? A sea food corner? How about serving really early breakfast?
Then you notice the motorcycles with boxes on the rear all around the place you are in. They are marked Food Panda (painted pink) or Grab (with a green motif). As you know, they are food deliverers. Time to come up with another business plan. The food deliverers had really mushroomed during the pandemic and would not be going away anytime soon. Owners of food outfits for delivery have a big advantage over the competition. They don’t have to pay outrageous rents in the center of town, nor do they have to pay waiters or waitresses. All they have to do is to come up with good food at reasonable prices. The customers would have a good time enjoying their meals in the comforts of their offices. No worries about traffic or having to brave the rain.
Or if the customers are already home, they can even start munching their food right after kicking off their shoes. How convenient.
How about putting up a garments factory? A niche can be identified not being served by the wag-wag or ukay-ukay stores. After all, clothes often don’t stay long before their owners say its time to buy new ones.
For kids they do it more often. They are like weeds and they outgrow whatever their apparel before you even know it.
But that industry is not anymore the same. Lazada and Shoppee are particularly ubiquitous on various social media platforms popping up every second, brainwashing even those who are wary from being led to where they would not like to go. Moreover, sometimes, practicality, leads you to such sites as they are cheap. Their stocks in trade have the cost advantage of the cheap labor at the Middle Kingdom. This more than offset their having to be shipped to far away markets like the nook and crannies of the Cordillera.
The point is, a paradigm shift has to be taken when looking at things, or everything in the new normal.
These and the fast-changing realities make it imperative to wait until things really settle down. Two years is not too long to sit out.
Unless you are holding on to a prime commercial space which you want to keep, and from which you are sure past losses can be recouped, you just might have to keep going.