Andrés Bonifacio y de Castro (November 30, 1863 – May 10, 1897) was a Filipino nationalist and revolutionary leader. He is often called “the Father of the Philippine Revolution”. He was a founder and later Supremo (“supreme leader”) of the Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or simply and more popularly called Katipunan, a movement which sought the independence of the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule and started the Philippine Revolution. He is considered a de factonational hero of the Philippines, and is also considered by some Filipino historians to be the first President of the Philippines (through the revolutionary government he established), but officially he is not recognized as such. *wikipedia
One of the best kept secrets of the top companies in the world is also the most obvious.
Keeping employees happy is very important to the overall success of a company. The simple formula is “Happy Employees = Good Business”.
So what exactly makes employees happy?
Is it bigger pay? Unlimited vacation leaves? Big bonuses? Free lunch?
To get a better idea, take a look at this infographic from Manila Recruitment and find out what the best companies in the Philippines are doing to keep their employees happy.
Based on this infographic, money isn’t the only thing that motivates and makes employees happy. Employees value education, travel, fitness, and career growth just as much as they care about monetary bonuses.
You don’t need a HUGE budget to make employees happy. Sure, bonuses are great and will make employees happy, but if you don’t have the budget for it, don’t force the issue. Instead, you can focus on other low cost employee benefits such as additional vacation leaves or hosting sporting activities.
Are you doing some of the items mentioned above? Do share your company’s benefits and perks in the comments section below!
If you’re reading this article, I’m pretty sure you’re not hoping to find out what the next Candy Crush app is. If you are, we’ll have a different blog post for that soon!
For now though, I’m assuming that you are an entrepreneur on-the-go. Or a busy CEO juggling through multiple hats at work.
You can also be a high level executive who’s embracing tech and the convenience it brings.
The good news? PayrollHero rounds up a few of the best apps for busy CEOs this 2015. This is part 1, and we’ll feature more apps real soon.
Let’s dig in!
Best Apps for Busy Entrepreneurs
We’re not saying classic notebooks are useless at this day and age, but leaving home without one is more and more common these days.
But you know what you never forget when you leave home? Your mobile phone.
And this is where Evernote shines.
An app that you can use in the comfort of your own phone, Evernote takes note-taking to a whole new level.
Whether you need to jot down quick notes during a meeting, or you’re attending a conference and you’re trying to take note of key points, Evernote gets the job done perfectly.
You can literally take note of anything you want. Even writing a new campaign strategy, or projections for the coming quarter can be done with this productivity app.
Not only does it sport a user-friendly interface, it also syncs smoothly with your other devices. You can access Evernote in your laptop, PC, or tablet as well. So whatever progress you’ve made on your mobile phone, you can see it updated and syncing in real-time with your laptop.
Pretty fun stuff, huh?
Evernote is FREE, but if you like it so much and you want all your employees using it as well, you can consider their premium or business plan.
Now this is a personal favorite of mine (author). Imagine your browser’s bookmark tool… on STEROIDS.
That’s how Pocket functions! Any article or content you read from your favorite websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, or even YouTube can easily be saved to your pocket.
It’s a bookmarking tool that saves any form of content (webpages, articles, videos, tweets, etc.) so that you can read it later, OFFLINE.
Anything you save to your Pocket, you can read later on even without internet.
The best part is that Pocket integrates with so many other apps you use such as Twitter, and even via Email.
Now, how awesome is that?
I’ve been using Pocket for almost a year now, and it’s one of the apps I can’t live without. It’s free, and syncs with all your devices. You can “pocket’ an article using your mobile phone, then finish reading it later on your laptop – or vice versa.
I’m having a hard time convincing people that I’m not being paid by Pocket to promote them, because I find myself tweeting about how awesome they are every once in awhile.
@nixeniego Thanks for the major shoutout, Nico!
— Pocket Support (@pocketsupport) November 4, 2015
HINT: Pocket this blog post for future reference. 😀
Need to rush to a business meeting? Or are you just too tired to drive back home after a long day at work? Well, thank your lucky stars for Uber.
One of the top apps in 2014, Uber has disrupted the transportation scene in the Philippines. For a very affordable price, you get to enjoy a comfortable ride, with your own private driver, to literally anywhere you want.
If you’ve been living in Manila for a while, you’ll know how difficult it is to hail a cab or get around the metro through public transportation vehicles. But with Uber, all you need is a few clicks on your mobile phone and your vehicle will be arriving in just a few minutes.
The PayrollHero team loves Uber, and I personally use Uber at least 2-4 times a week.
With courteous drivers, affordable rates, and very friendly customer support, Uber is definitely one of the top apps for ANYONE, entrepreneur or not.
If for some reason you haven’t tried Uber yet, now’s the time. Go for it, and tweet us how your first ride goes.
Transitioning from Microsoft Word to Google Docs isn’t always easy, but it’s a jump I’m more than happy I made a few years ago.
With Google Docs, you can write any document and it auto-saves instantly. You literally never have to press “Save” again.
As you’re usually always on the go, it’s inevitable that you do forget to save your document from time to time. This won’t be an issue anymore with Google Docs.
What makes it awesome though is that it syncs with your entire Google account (Google Drive). So all you really need is a Gmail account, and you can use Google Docs (as well as Google Sheets), anytime.
Google Docs is free, in the cloud, and very easy to use. Give it a go today!
Of course you need to unwind somehow! Spotify is a great way to just relax and enjoy good music.
Spotify is FREE, although there’s a premium plan if you don’t want to be bothered with ads. You can also use the offline mode if you avail of the premium plan.
With Spotify, you get access to a boatload of music, from almost any genre you can think of. Unless you’re a Swifty, there’s no way for you not to enjoy Spotify.
Even busy entrepreneurs deserve some good music!
That rounds up our top apps for busy entrepreneurs list. I hope you make good use of some (if not all!) of the apps listed here. Become more productive, and more awesome with these must-download apps!
Keep checking our blog for more of these as we’ll come up with part two of the best apps for busy entrepreneurs in the coming weeks!
Ah… Pumpkins, lanterns, cute kids running around wearing superhero or monster costumes… That’s your queue that Halloween is right around the corner.
And this year, we @ PayrollHero feel that it’s going to be extra fun and exciting!
Why you might ask?
CASE IN POINT: Restaurants with Halloween Specials!
These two have extra awesome Halloween themed gimmicks which aims to excite and bring a mixture of joy and FEAR (okay, not really) to Filipinos this time of the year.
So… anyone ready for a spooky-sensational dining experience
If you find yourself in Naga City, there’s absolutely no reason not to drop by and enjoy a mouth-watering meal at ¿Que Pasa?.
¿Que Pasa? is a food joint in Barlin Street, 4400 Naga City which serves delicious Bicolano Colonial Cuisine which is a mix of Bicolano and Spanish flavors.
What they are most famous for though are their BARBECUES.
Here’s an excerpt from their Facebook page:
O-kay! Now we got that out of the way, here’s what they are doing this Halloween:
If ever you’re in town on October 31st (2015), you can drop by to ¿Que Pasa? wearing your best Halloween costume and dine for FREE. This promo is only available for the first 155 customers so you better get ready!
They will also be giving away prizes during the #DiaDeLosMuertos.
P2,000!? That’s one Happy Halloween indeed!
If you’re wondering what will be served… Aside from their must-try barbecues of course, they will also be unveiling 2 NEW dishes on the 31st.
There’s absolutely no reason to miss this event if you’re anywhere near Naga City.
But if don’t happen to be in Naga, and you still want to experience some awesome Halloween dining experience, you’re in luck because Krispy Kreme Philippines wants to SPOOKIFY (if that’s a real word) your dessert!
— Krispy Kreme PH (@hotlightgirl) October 26, 2015
Yep, Krispy Kreme brings your favorite monsters to life, such as Frankenstein above. Who btw, somehow managed to take over the Twitter account of Krispy Kreme PH!
Take a look at some of their Halloween-themed donuts!
— Krispy Kreme PH (@hotlightgirl) October 17, 2015
They have the Scarecrow donut, Mummy, Worms, Fangs, and the very iconic Pumpkin-themed donuts.
And here’s my personal favorite, the Frankie donut – hiding inside my paperbag! Not only is it really cute (ironically!), It tastes really good. You should definitely try it!
Oh, and YOU CAN WIN A FREE Frankie donut (or any other Halloween donut of your choice) too!
Just join Krispy Kreme’s “Magic Money” promo to enjoy their Halloween donut for FREE.
Krispy Kreme Philippines sure know how to celebrate Halloween, and they want you to join in on the fun. Give them a visit while these Halloween-themed donuts are still available! They might not be in stores for long!
Enjoy Your Halloween!
Aside from Que Pasa Naga and Krispy Kreme Philippines, there are other restaurants and food joints celebrating the Halloween vibes. Rest assured, you’re going to have an extra awesome Halloween this 2015, thanks to these cool Philippine restaurants who knows how to have some fun and celebrate Halloween.
BPO Executive: Stefan Vermeulen, CEO of D&V Philippines
Executive Interview: Horst von Wendorff from VKWInc.com
Executive Interview: Nicholas Sinclair, President of the Outsourced Accountant
Certified Profile: Clare Matchett, ServiceSeeking Manila
Executive Interview: Simon Meers, Managing Director, Wint & Kidd Inc (Philippines)
Restaurant Executive: Karla Campos, CEO of Dell’s Foodhall
Restaurant / Retail Executive: Claudine Chan-Cobankiat, Kichitora of Tokyo and Qrius
Executive Interview: Russell Yu, IKI Concepts – a Singapore restauranteur talks about bringing his brands into the Philippines and is unique take on attracting talent.
Restaurant Executive: Adrien Desbaillets, President SaladStop! – a Singapore chain talks about opening in the Philippines and his restaurant expansion.
Restaurant Executive: Andrew Masigan, The Advent Manila Hospitality Group – a Philippine restauranteur talks about his experience growing restaurants in Manila.
Carlo Buenaflor, the CEO of Bigg’s, Inc. Carlo operates 15 restaurants in the Bicol area of the Philippines and is the honorary consul of Spain in the Bicol Region of the Philippines.
Joey Qua, CEO, Collezione-c2.com with 25 branches nationwide and a growing restaurant business.
Eileen Grey, The Picture Company a 9 location retail chain in the Philippines
Executive Interview: Rob Nixon, CEO & Founder of PANALITIX
Executive Interview: Mike O’Hagan of Mike’s Manila Tours
David Elefant: Doing Business in the Philippines
Carlos Celdran on the Philippine Business Environment
We continue to profile business owners in the Philippines from all walks of life. From locals to foreigner across the restaurant, retail and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries, each sharing their experience and feedback of operating in the archipelago.
Today, we bring you accounting and payroll BPO executive Stefan Vermeulen, CEO of D&V Philippines.
1. Where are you from and what brought you to the Philippines?
I am born and raised in Nijmegen, a beautiful 2,000 (!) year old small city in the east of the Netherlands, right at the German border. As an internal auditor for Sara Lee in 2000 I was sent to the Philippines to audit the local Sara Lee subsidiaries. I worked on this assignment together with an auditor from EY who 2 years later became my wife. Early 2003 we subsequently moved to the Netherlands. In 2011 we decided to move to Manila because of the business opportunities and to set up D&V Philippines.
2. What does D&V Philippines do?
D&V Philippines is a professional services firm specializing in finance and accounting. Our clients are based in Australia (75%), USA (15%), the UK (5%) and various other countries (Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Hong Kong, New Zealand). In addition we have a unit focusing on local Philippine based clients.
3. Who is your ideal client?
For our international business either a CFO looking to outsource part of the finance and accounting function, an accounting firm looking for an extension of their practice in the Philippines, or an entrepreneur seeking to outsource bookkeeping and accounting tasks.
For our local business, foreigners who want to incorporate and start a business in the Philippines. We serve as their gateway to the Philippines.
4. What common challenges do foreigners come across operating in the Philippines
Mainly cultural differences. In my opinion culture trumps everything so it is really important to understand the culture before you start operating in the Philippines.
5. What services do you provide?
Everything you would expect from an accountant or a bookkeeper. Day-to-day bookkeeping like accounts payable/receivable processing, bank reconciliations, expense report processing and payroll processing and the like, but also higher end services like monthly financial close, monthly reporting, management accounting, financial analysis, business analysis etc. In addition various compliance tasks for our target markets Australia, UK and USA. Our niche is finance and accounting so everything within that realm.
Our local unit also includes setting up a corporation or branch, advice on tax incentives and all (annual and payroll) compliance, except statutory audit.
6. What advice would you give an entrepreneur moving into the Philippines, that you wish you knew before moving to the country?
Understand the culture first prior to engaging and starting a business. Invest time to visit and learn about the country.
7. What do your clients like about using PayrollHero?
Cloud based and technology driven product. Easy to use.
8. What do you read to keep yourself up to date with your industry and the clients you are serving?
Professional literature in the field of finance, controlling and accounting.
9. How do you see your industry changing over the next few years?
The job of a bookkeeper will disappear. Manual data-entry, e.g. accounts payable and expense report processing, will be completely automated. The technology is already available in the cloud. As a result it is possible for startups, for instance, to automate all transaction processing from day one.
10. Any other tips for entrepreneurs opening up in the Philippines?
Philippines is a fantastic and great country with a huge amount of talented people…. I suggest that they visit, explore and take time to get to know the culture.
Two weeks ago, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda announced that the Philippines jumped five notches higher in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report for 2015. Lacierda attributed the economic boost to innovation, institutions, and macroeconomic environment.
Meanwhile, a Bloomberg report earlier this year indicated that the country’s economy in 2014 grew by 6.1 percent, making it the world’s second fastest growing economy, next to China’s who went up by 7 percent. These recent figures are proof that the country has tremendous potential for both foreign and local businesses who are looking into opening or expanding their operations.
In 2013, we asked David Elefant, owner of Dayanan Business Consultancy to share his thoughts about doing business in the Philippines. His contribution was a gem for foreign CEOs who wanted to do business in the country but found themselves at ground zero.
Why Choose the Philippines for Your Next Business Venture
This year, we compile a solid list of reasons why foreign CEOs should choose the Philippines for their next business venture!
Business registration is a breeze
Horror stories of bureaucratic red tape are fortunately dwindling in number! For non-locals, registration approval roughly takes fifteen (15) working days from acceptance of your documents. We suggest you bookmark this helpful list of requirements before you march your way into the appropriate offices. Or you can enlist the help of experienced business consultancy firms.
Locals speak excellent business English
In 2012, the Philippines was the world’s top country in business English proficiency. This is a result of reinforcing English as medium of instruction for both public and private schools in the the country. Furthermore, the newly-implemented Enhanced K to 12 Basic Education Program (K-12 Program) underlines the country’s commitment in advancing the nation’s education system. Additionally, the country’s literacy rate is currently at 97.5 percent.
A liberalized, trade-oriented economy
The Philippines allows for a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) investment scheme which most of its neighboring countries emulate. This guide by the Philippine Embassy in Netherlands explains the BOT scheme succinctly:
Government corporations are being privatized and the banking, insurance, shipping telecommunications and power industries have been deregulated. Incentive packages include the corporate income tax, reduced to a current 32%, with companies in the Special Economic Zones are subject to only 5% overall tax rates. Multinationals looking for regional headquarters are entitled to incentives such as tax exemptions and tax and duty-free importation of specific equipment and materials.
Young, educated, and globally competitive workforce
While Japan, Germany, and Italy are worried about their aging working class, the Philippines’ young workforce sustains the country’s attractiveness to foreign investors.
National Competitiveness Council private sector co-chair Guillermo M. Luz considers this as a sign that the country will become, in his words, a very good investment site well beyond 2030. On the other hand, neighboring Asian countries such as China, South Korea, and Hong Kong, this report noted, will soon face a greying workforce which could potentially slow down the nations’ economic growth.
Last August, Oliver Segovia also pointed out in this Harvard Business Review article that a profound shift in the mindset of the younger workforce has pushed the country into steady economic growth.
“Traditionally, business process outsourcing was associated with high-volume, low-price work. Today, the mainstream appeal of Silicon Valley is turning young Filipino workers who might have been satisfied with a call center job a decade ago into a creative and entrepreneurial class seeking a deeper connection with innovation-driven and mission-focused companies. Working for a venture-backed start-up is the new status symbol,” Segovia wrote. “As a startup founder, my biggest competitors in the talent market are no longer the local family conglomerates. They’re tech companies from the U.S., Germany, Singapore, and Japan coming to the Philippines.”
Low costs of living
Data collected between July 1, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2015 revealed that the Philippines is one of the world’s cheapest countries to live in. The living costs for the countries surveyed were measured against that of New York City, touted as one of the most expensive in the world.
After Manila was recently considered as a costlier city for expats by Mercer’s 2015 Cost of Living Survey, several foreign entrepreneurs have opened operations outside the nation’s capital.
Here’s an excerpt from a Tech in Asia article:
While Makati City, which is home to startup cluster Area 55, was identified as the most economically competitive region in the Philippines, cities outside Metro Manila had a very good showing. The CMCI ranked their economic competitiveness according to three equally weighted pillars, including economic dynamism, government efficiency, and infrastructure.
By these measures, five of the cities in the top ten most economically competitive were located outside the National Capital Region. These were Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao, Naga City in Bicol, Davao City in Davao, Iloilo City in Western Visayas, and Cebu City in Central Visayas.
Warm, Hospitable Locals
The country is globally known for its abundant supply of sun, sand, and sea! The warmth of the tropics also extends to its people who are equally open and hospitable to foreigners! As one of the happiest nations worldwide, foreign CEOs will find themselves working with accommodating, resilient, and endearingly kind locals. And who wouldn’t want a happy workforce? Happy employees are in fact more productive!
In conclusion, the Philippines has a perfect balance of happy, hardworking locals, low costs of living, and a competitive economy. All these elements can work to your favor as a foreign CEO who is looking into starting a business in the country.
Still curious about what it’s like to set up a business in the Philippines? Get in touch with the PayrollHero team for more insider info.
And if you’re looking into setting up a restaurant in the Philippines, this FREE starter kit was put together to give you high level information about the Philippines, share some thoughts from restaurant owners, and present relevant statistics from our market research.
As we continue our series of interviews with successful restaurant and retail executives from Singapore and the Philippines I’m pleased to introduce Karla Campos from Dell’s Foodhall in the Philippines. Karla was kind enough to share some of her experience about running a multi-location restaurant chain in the Philippines.
You are the CEO of Dell’s Foodhall, can you tell us a bit more about the brand?
We are a cafeteria chain with multiple locations all over Metro Manila, providing quality, home-style cooking to the country’s workforce, in a cool and hip atmosphere. While one would find most food chains inside malls, you will find Dell’s Foodhall in office buildings where we cater, primarily, to people at work — young professionals, executives, the BPOs and call center agents. Most of our locations are open 24 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Sounds exciting, can you tell us a bit more about how the brand came about, what you did to understand your customers needs, etc?
People often ask me, “Why Dell’s?” or “Are you Dell?” Uhm.. No. Haha! It’s actually my mom’s name, which is Adelfa.
I took over my mom’s single proprietorship business – then known as Dell’s Canteen & Catering Service, which made it big back in the 70’s and 80’s, catering to institutional accounts. By the time I took over the business in 1996, I had imagined something different.
After working and living in New York, where I dined in the office cafeteria every single day and witnessed how everything was nicely executed — I found myself not growing tired of dining in the office cafeteria since the food and service was great. This to me, was an eye opener. Then I came home and made my rounds in the office cafeterias here and discovered that we were behind — that there was something lacking in terms of the general approach and expectations. The cafeterias here were quite “old school” and sloppy, to be honest. So, I thought of creating something that was more upbeat, and probably more exciting in this segment of the food industry, with a desire to fill in the gap. I tried to duplicate the dining experience I had in New York, and didn’t realize I hit a home run. Now the general office crowd seems to know who we are and patronize us, Mondays thru Fridays. We have come to know who they are, the kind of food selections they are looking for, and the price points they are comfortable with.
I didn’t change the name anymore since it was a bit late in the game, given that we had already become quite popular with our customers. So instead, we re-branded by naming it Dell’s Foodhall — Foodhall being 1 word, the same way they have it in Sydney, Bangkok, London etc. Then we just sort of modernized the logo to make it more acceptable and recognizable within our target market.
You operate in the Philippines, what challenges come with that? what benefits?
Well, the reality is that our country is still pretty much “third world”. The internet is slow, public transportation needs a lot of work, and don’t even get me started on the traffic situation… Bottom line is, we still have a long ways to go.
On the other hand, as a business owner, I believe I am in a great position to contribute to society, to be a part of the nation building process and simply help make things better. We have hundreds of people in our payroll and as the CEO, I take this responsibility very seriously. Running a business or your own company allows you to create jobs and opportunities for other people. There is the multiplier effect, that every growing economy desperately needs. We are able to create more wealth to go around and have a positive impact in the lives, not only of our employees, but also that of our suppliers, while keeping Manila’s work force — our customers, happy and well fed.
What technology do you use in your businesses?
We use POS, accounting systems that generally address the needs of our sales, inventory and payroll. We try to use systems that are more efficient, easy to understand and manage to be able to properly monitor the business flow.
How do you decide on a location? (mall? street level? stand alone business?)
We study the location by taking into account the general population in the area, the foot traffic, accessibility, and of course, rental rates.
At what point did the number of locations change how the business is run? I have been told, 1 or 2 locations is ok, but 3+ requires a different management approach, systems, procedures, etc. What was the tipping point for you?
I guess you grow to a certain size, get to a certain level and realize you can’t do everything by yourself anymore. That the “mom and pop” approach is no longer going to cut it. Too many things are happening at the same time — the stakes are higher, your market reach is wider, the public is now aware of your presence — including your competitors. As the leader of our organization, I had to change my management style or the business was not going to survive. In order for us to create the best all around product and be able to compete, I had to read up, studied and observed how other successful organizations conducted business, and was inspired at the thought of what we could become.
I remember going to the opening day of a new location and seeing the long lines.. And then it hit me — we had a brand that the public — at least our target market – was now very familiar with and were patronizing. That same week, I visited a food expo, gave out my business card to every potential supplier, and was surprised they knew exactly who we were and were very excited to do business with us. At that point, it became clear to me that Dell’s Foodhall had a name and reputation to protect, and that it was time to shift into high gear. It was time to professionalize. And so, I started hiring professionals to run our company. Now I have an executive committee, a team of experts, who help me in running and monitoring all areas of the business. It is still a lot of work, but I am not complaining.
What is next for Dell’s Foodhall?
We will continue to expand and open in new locations. As the owner, I am extremely pleased and grateful with what we’ve achieved, thus far, and will only persist in finding new ways of improving our systems and the quality of our food products and services. What can I say — it’s a never ending process. We are always a work in progress.
anything else to add?
To survive in the food business, one must be ready for the hard work that comes with it. You need to be ready to put in the hours and monitor every stage of the process very closely and diligently. You can make a lot of money here — but you can also lose a lot of money.
I always tell people who ask me about the food business that it is far from glamorous and that it is a very demanding industry. You deal with all kinds of people every day. I sometimes start the day meeting with a supplier from whom we order tons of meat items from, trying to agree on a locked in price and then end the day meeting with the a building owner whose rent I am also trying to negotiate — not to mention the managers who go in and out of my office for decisions that need to be made. It is a very tedious, very detail oriented business, with lots of moving pieces. Then again, it is also very rewarding and quite fulfilling. As in any business, you just have to stay the course, stay committed and passionate — as you grow in wisdom as an entrepreneur and as a human being. Be prepared to come to work every single day. I tell you, nothing comes easy in this business. Still, I cannot imagine doing anything else.
We have added a new tool to PayrollHero that enables companies in the Philippines to export a QuickBooks journal entry for easy use within your Quickbooks account. This is a formatted QuickBooks Journal Entry report for a specified period that can be imported into the QuickBooks accounting software.
The end result looks like this:
Check out the complete details on how PayrollHero and Quickbooks can work together.
If you are interesting in learning more about PayrollHero’s Philippine product, visit us at PayrollHero.ph. One of our team would be pleased to speak one on one to learn more about your needs.