Skiddoo Philippines Inc

5 Common Mistakes That OFW Entrepreneurs Have Made

Starting a business in the Philippines while abroad is a very tough decision to make for many OFWs. But there were many determined individuals who did have the guts to invest their hard-earned savings in starting a business even though they are away from home. Interestingly, many of these businesses even wrote their business plans and feasibility studies.

But why do many OFW businesses fail?

Many OFW entrepreneurs fail at their business endeavors not because they failed to take hold of the opportunities but mainly because they failed to prepare themselves and do the things that need to be done first.

Here are the 5 common mistakes that OFW entrepreneurs have made.

1. They lacked the entrepreneurial spirit. Living or working abroad has become the comfort zone for many OFWs and migrants. They receive higher than the usual salaries. They have free housing allowances or even accommodations, transportation and meal allowances, free insurance benefits, free annual vacation airfare, paid vacations, and many other freebies and perks that many Filipinos back home do not usually receive.

That is why most of OFWs who decided to run their business ventures have later on realized that they have not prepared themselves emotionally and mentally for the this new chapter in their lives. A lot of them still carried the mindset and beliefs of an OFW employee. This lack of mental preparation has caused a lot of OFW businesses to fail.

Are you ready to leave your comfort zones as an OFW and become an entrepreneur in the Philippines?


2. They failed to identify their talents, core skills, and what they love to do. Everyone has their own sets of skills and interests. However, many OFW business starters were not able to properly evaluate themselves to see if there are ways for them to make money from their strengths and core skills. One of the most successful businessmen in the country today is a former OFW by the name of Steve Tamayo.

He was able to bring with him his experience and expertise in the bar and restaurant industry and used that strength to start and run one of the most-sought after food catering services in the country, the Tamayo’s Catering. Furthermore, he loves what he is doing and enjoys serving his customers even more.

Reflect and think of just one thing that you love to do and begin from that passion. If you have that passion in a business that you like to enter, you will surely have the eagerness and determination to make things happen.


3. They entered into a business that they are not familiar with. In a study conducted by the Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos, 76% of businesses put up by overseas Filipinos failed not only because they lack the skills. Many of them failed because they were lured into business enterprises that they have no background about.

One of the interviewed is an who OFW played in a showband that toured the world for 10 years. A cousin convinced him to pay $3,000 for five hectares of fishpond. As the OFW also needed to leave for work abroad, he left the fishpond to his cousin. Expectedly the business failed because neither he nor his cousin was familiar with it.

In addition to this, many OFW’s lend their money to their relatives in hope that these relatives will be able to run the business successfully. But this practice contribute to the high rate of business failures among many OFWs.

If you want to try a business that is not based on your core skills, make sure that you have been into that business as an employee. You should have also attended the proper training and did proper research before even going back to the Philippines.


4. They failed to establish their business model. Many OFW entrepreneurs have failed in their businesses because they were not able to develop their own creative business models. A fundamental segment of starting a business is establishing the business model that fits a venture.

Will you be a manufacturer? A distributor? A retailer? Or a franchisee? Your chosen business model will make up the structure on how you will provide value to customers and give you your desired revenue in the process.

Ask yourself, what are you offering to your customers? Are you offering your product or service to a specific market? How do you plan to reach them? Will your products or services bring good relationship with your customers? Are you willing to network with other entrepreneurs? How will your business model give you profit? Will you be able to handle the costs of executing your business model?

If you are an OFW who has just started a business, you should seriously consider improving and innovating on different types of business models. 


5. They forgot to define and sustain their own mission and vision for their businesses. Lastly, a lot of OFWs failed in their businesses because they have lost the motivation to succeed. Many of them have no clear purposes on why they are starting a business. As with any business, there should be a mission that should define a reputable cause such as serving with high quality service and contributing to poverty alleviation in a community.

A vision should also reflect goals and dreams. Many of those who failed in their business have lost focus on their goals and have given up their dreams. A vision should never die and must always excite the imagination and give more energy to make dreams a reality.

If you as a business owner with clear mission and vision statements, your employees will be more inspired to work because they know that they are a part of your ideals and worthy cause. You may even attract other investors to help you achieve your dreams if they see the value of your mission.

Knowing your mission and vision for your business must start within yourself. Do you believe that you have a purpose in your life? Do you see yourself achieving your dreams in the future? Do you want other people to see you as a person with clear goals and dreams?

If you are able to answer these questions with a resounding Yes, I believe that you will be able to find ways to make your business a successful one.

Are you an OFW who dream of having a successful business soon? Then make sure that you address these five common mistakes that most OFW entprereneurs have committed in the past before you pull out your money from your bank account or other investments.

Learn more about planning your business properly by subscribing to Rock To Riches for FREE.



Rock your way to abundance!


P.S. 1. Are you an OFW who’s been looking for a investment placement where your money could grow higher than your time deposit accounts? Are you outside of Metro Manila and would like to start investing in mutual funds but have no personal advisors to help you out? Click here so I can help you open a mutual fund account NOW! .

P.S. 2. Due to popular demand, my good friend and business partner Jon Orana will be releasing again his online program called the Internet Business Master Class. This exciting online learning program is about creating and selling e-books in the internet. Here’s a FREE 23-page step-by-step guide on how to make money selling e-books including which topics to write.

P.S. 3. Bro. Bo Sanchez has appointed me as a coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at if you have any questions. Click here to join!

P.S. 4. My co-author/illustrator Des Feliciano and I have just launched our “The Adventures of Pepot Kuripot and Dora Gastadora” comic book! It’s arguably the first and only personal finance-influenced comic book in the Philippines. Order your copy now from our website and have it delivered right at your doorstep. Or you can grab your copy yourself at The Pantry at 07 in Makati City and ilovemilktea in Las Pinas City. Now available also in Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the USA! Email for more details.

P.S. 5. If you are based abroad or just outside of Metro Manila and has been itching to learn more on how to jumpstart your business dreams, join me and my friend, serial entrepreneur Ginger Arboleda, as we take you through a series 2-hour webinars (for 11 Saturdays) that will help you focus on the technical skills and specific things that you have always wanted to know about in order to grow your business. We have come up with 10 sessions with 11 expert lecturers (with 1 FREE session if you enroll in the full program) that will make you a stronger and better entrepreneur. Register here to join the Enter Entrepreneurship Webinar Program now!

P.S. 6. Learn How To Make Money From Foreclosed Properties! We are on our 3rd run of the Usapang Foreclosed Property Investing with Jay Castillo of! Happening on September 26, 2015 at the SMX Aura, Bonifacio Global City. Click here to register and avail the early bird promo!

P.S. 7. Buy insurance products online! Visit the very first online insurance store in the Philippines: the AXA iON! Purchase your alternative savings plan, educational plan for your children, medical emergency plan, and your life insurance by clicking HERE.

3 thoughts on “5 Common Mistakes That OFW Entrepreneurs Have Made”

  1. I am OFW need to know how to start a good business..I have passion in beauty care..but I don’t have any idea how do I begin..

    1. Hi Maila, if you are still abroad and have time to look for training institutes in your area, you may take a chance to visit and inquire if they are offering classes for your interested course. A lot of courses are also offered online. And if you are back home, you can check out the training sessions offered by TESDA.

      Meanwhile, regardless of any business you are going to pursue, make sure that you have written down your plans. You can download the business plan template here for free:

  2. I admire your passion and initiative to release an article every 2am to 3am in Philippine time for the benefit of many OFWs.

    To the info of non-bloggers, writing an article is really a hard task. Mag edit nga lang ng isang “reblogged” or “reposted” article napakahirap na.

    Your articles are always original and people may not fully understand why we Financial advocates are very passionate about this cause.

    For some, they may think we are earning hundreds of million in philippine money out of this like those tech start ups and blogs based overseas but here in the PHL we earn little out of blogging.

    This is normally a 100% advocacy even if i-combine pa ang earnings from advertisement and speaking engagement, sales related activities it cannot compensate the effort and passion we normally put in it.

    As one of the pioneer in the financial literacy, may it be known that you are touching the lives of many filipino people Burn Gutiérrez esp. overseas.


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