In my many talks like in my TV show, or as a guest speaker before a large crowd, or plainly being asked to say something in a small group about business and livelihood, there were many instances that online business topic would come up.

I have always been passionate about helping people create something useful - spark an interest in starting a business or encourage MSMEs to broaden their scope of market. In the past years we all have seen the rise of many new industries, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT) and how this shaped what we have now, the global market. The competition, as they say, lies in your online marketing. Sales model is made simpler. Whereas before, sales people would come knocking on your doors, call you on the phone and pitch until you are moved to buy their products, now you have to be more savvy in enticing them to take your product through an innovation known as online marketing.

Take for example the reward of cost-cutting, saving inventory and warehousing expenses, or even the operational expenses of having more employees in an actual store.

It may sound daunting for entrepreneurs who have little, if none at all, background in digital marketing, but the truth is, there are many ways of selling your products and services through social media like Facebook, Instagram, paid advertisements with platforms like Google, or Yahoo, and YouTube. Even our constant communication tools like Messenger and Viber. Just imagine the reach of these online tools, your message travels the world and pique the interests of an array of different cultures, in a time frame that is faster than ever before vast opportunities we can never imagine thirty or twenty years back.

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For our Kababayans interested to start their own online business or to delve more into your business using online tools, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has several programs to assist MSMEs in their digital journey to globalization, such as capacity-building and training workshops that are available online.

There are a lot of ways to capacitate ourselves, to learn skills that can help start your business, or help recover, enhance and grow your businesses. The important thing is a mind-set of willingness and adapting to new ways and technologies of doing business.