Rainy days in the Philippines are months that cover almost half of the year. They usually start from July to November. These are times when storms and typhoons often disrupt the regular flow of business. Moreover, these are often lean months because people would rather stay at home than go out shopping. So how do we prepare our business for the rainy days?
Watch what people usually need on rainy days. It will be well to be a bit flexible with one’s business items and have them conform to what is presently the need of the majority. When classes are suspended, business items for kids and teenagers are down. Toys, school supplies, and sweet and delicacies, for instance, take a back seat during severe storms. Small businesses near schools experience reduced sales. In such cases, the best option is to go for what kids often do when kept indoors. It will be a good idea to have some DVD movies rented out along with some spicy food snacks or chips. And yes, don’t forget the ever present need, especially of young people, for mobile phone loads.
When the weather gets more fierce and college classes and some offices are suspended, the best thing to have for business are quick-to-cook foods like canned foods and sardines, dried fish, eggs, and processed foods (native sausages or “longanisa,” dried beef of “tapa,” tocino), and the like. Rice, of course, is always good business, come rain or shine. Matches and candles are best sellers, too, so with batteries and cheap flashlights. And in such emergencies, mobile phone loads are again hot business items. And don’t forget pre-packed three or seven in one instant coffee sachets, and instant noodles.
In the rainy season, selling some rain protection items will prove rewarding in business. Just have the necessities around, like light raincoats, light umbrellas (the kind that sell for P50), some slippers, and a few caps.
Established businesses are likely to be in malls or big shopping centers where rains seldom affect business flow. In fact, people frequent the malls when rainy days are here instead of going on outings.
But with businesses that are just starting and can barely afford mall concessions, they are likely to be in street or road corners, intersections, along sidewalks, or in markets—inconvenient places to be on rainy days. With small and just-starting businesses the competitive edge is to be a bit flexible and cater to immediate needs.