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Starting a Startup: Essential Tips to Follow in the Philippines

The world of startups, often one of the most exciting places to be for many young professionals—with all the cool perks and benefits, flexible schedule, open office environment, a lot of room for learning, and a relaxed atmosphere—there seems to be nothing to dislike.

What is little known are the things that happen behind the scenes—the challenges startup founders and entrepreneurs have to go through before finally launching their business.

Funding a startup: Alternative methods and networking

You’ve struck up an original and inventive idea—a product, service or solution; followed it up by making thorough market analysis and now you have a solid business plan.

The next step for you is funding, which is beyond question the most challenging aspect of starting your startup venture. Naturally, most people would think of using their personal savings, taking a loan from their families or applying for bank loans.

However, due to high rates of failed startups, it’s best to try alternative funding methods such as venture capital firms; small business grants; startup incubators; crowdfunding; and angel investors.

Finding investors to your startup is the launch-pad, which means you need to network within your industry. By knowing your ideal market and your business plan in and out, you will get to network selectively and reach potential investors—to start a discussion and eventually build a good business relationship

Expect that things may not work out initially for some time, so be ready to compromise—be willing to apply changes and to address and integrate your investor/s’ ideas.

Recruitment and hiring: Communicating your culture, flexibility, employee shares  

It’s a given—startups don’t have an established brand, products, services, and reputation just yet. There’s also a lack of hiring expertise and the inability to offer competitive rates. So how can you attract quality talents?

Startups have a distinguishing company culture, and this is a strength when it comes to recruitment. With many professionals looking for something dynamic and interesting, they will be engaged to start or continue their careers when they see how a startup company visibly communicates its distinct company culture and its benefits.

Flexibility is a hard catch in traditional companies, but this is something a startup can provide—be it flexible work hours, work from home options, and more paid vacation time. For startups, it’s not about the number of hours you spend daily on the job, but how efficient you make use of your work hours and in executing your duties.

Give your employees a sense of ownership—by offering them some percentage of shares in the company. Doing so will further boost their motivation to push for the success of the company.

Startup office space: Incorporate different insights, tailor-made for your identity, right location

According to a survey, workplace design is among the top factors that influence the productivity and overall job satisfaction of employees—with 31 percent accounting a pleasant workplace environment as part of the reasons they’re satisfied with their jobs.

If you already have employees, it’s best to seek and integrate their ideas—acknowledging their preferences in amenities, equipment, look, and atmosphere will inspire them every day at work.

At the same time, make sure that your office design—whether that’s pop culture-themed or anything else, is reflective of your company brand and culture. And an easy way to do this is to grace your meeting rooms with decorations and name them after some fun concepts or themes.

Another crucial aspect is choosing the right location as it affects the brand image you convey your market, to your staff and your clients.

Consider co-working spaces in prime locations to save cost, as well as traffic, routes to access the location, and security. Also make sure that it’s located near train or bus stations, places to eat, hospitals, and recreational areas.

Managing your startup business taxes

As a startup founder, you already have a lot on your plate but that’s not a reason to be disregarding the subject of tax filing. For a lot of business owners, BIR registration, tax filing, and bookkeeping oftentimes can be frustrating.  For the smarter ones, they seek to automate this process so they would have more time to focus on the value-adding aspects of their business. One way would be to use a tax calculator that would save you from having to compute your taxes manually. Better yet, what you need to look for is an end-to-end solution that would automate the whole process, from calculation to tax filing. In the Philippines, Taxumo has increasingly become the tax platform of choice by many startups, because of its easy to use interface and features that let users file their taxes online in minutes. It is also a multi-awarded platform accredited by the BIR, and the first Philippine startup to be included in the Philippine Board of Investment’s Investment Priority Plan.

The startup world is cool and alluring. To ensure your venture stands the best chance, do not jump in feet first but follow the essential tips for funding, hiring, locating and managing taxes for your startup.

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