How to Start a Sari-sari Store and Runs Like Jollibee

sari-sari store businessHave you ever been thinking to start a sari-sari store?

Given that the capital is low and where to buy your inventory is not that hard, it’s a good business idea, right?

But here’s another picture you haven’t thought of probably yet. Is that okay with you to open early in the morning and close the store until late in the evening, all by yourself?

And how about counting the money, inventory or stocks left at the end of the day to make sure you have income flowing?

Do you think you can handle them?

The common problems of running a sari-sari store are inventory, monitoring, and the stress of entertaining people one by one.

However, there’ a solution to that and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

But let’s start first on how to start a sari-sari (mini-grocery) store in your area.

How to Start a Sari-sari Store

Before we go over to how to run it like Jollibee, let’s figure out first how to easily setup one.

Not all people would like to start a sari-sari store business. Each of us has our own business preference to start based on our passions and desires.

Like me, I chose to start a blog business first. Because of my passion for writing even I’m not a good writer. But I’m getting better every day. But this will be a separate topic to dig in.

Here’s how we can start a sari-sari store.

1. To start well, you have to check first your location

Do you have some competitors nearby? Are there customers’ dissatisfaction with how existing sari-sari stores in your area serve them?

Or, is there a lack of competitions to the location and you sense there’s a high demand?

These are good questions to start with. In a subdivision, a good location is when you occupy a corner lot and near the playground.

In a local market location, it’s good you’re along walkways and highways. Or any locations that have a high foot traffic.

2.  Set a right capital

Depending on the size of your sari-sari store, you can start this business for as low as P5,000 to as high as P50,000.

It’s better to start small and see if there are lots of buyers in your area. See the demand first.

If you’re living in a subdivision area, most people can afford to have a one or two-week supplies of grocery.

There’s one sari-sari store in my place. They bought lots and lots of inventory for rice products, 3-in-1 coffees, and beverages.

But they didn’t anticipate the low demand. You know the outcome. They closed down in just three months of opening. With all the beautiful renovation and wide variety of stocks, it didn’t work.

If you’re planning to put up your mini-grocery store, test the water first. Don’t be fancy yet with your design and only put enough stocks for inventory.

Again, see the demand first and set a right capital.

3. Buy the right stocks or inventory

You have to buy the basic commodities people use every day. Started from what they use in the kitchen to snacks and soft drinks, and some other stuff that people can’t live without every day.

Furthermore, those products that people can easily open and cook like noodles, can goods, and other foodstuffs are good products to add to the list.

Just beware though in selling cigarettes. The Philippine government under Duterte administration has implemented a strict compliance of selling cigarettes to minors.

You have to review this law. Or if you’re not sure, don’t sell this product yet until you understood the local ordinance and laws.

How to Run a Sari-sari Store Like Jollibee


You’ll find out what’s the magic formula of removing the day-to-day stress of running a sari-sari store.

What do you think why you can’t see the owner of Jollibee in the store serving customers?

Only one answer: Because of the SYSTEM in place that the business run on its own like a machine. A money machine that keeps producing money.

What is a system?

It is a systematic process that controls every area of the business on how it should be run daily.

In short, there’s a written manual that employees follow. From opening, cleaning, operating a machine, marketing, until the closing of the store.

This is how Jollibee run its stores. It uses a powerful system.

It’s easy for them to expand and duplicate the said system.

A system can be implemented in any type of business. No matter how small or big a business is.

It does not identify the size. And this what we’re going to apply a sari-sari store business.

To run your store free from stress, we’ll plan to setup a system. Though in the beginning, there’s a lot of work knowing and organizing the processes.

But once the system is setup, it will be the most liberating day of your life in running a sari-sari store.

Alright. Let’s start now how to run your store like Jollibee.

1. Plan ahead how to run your store without you

Imagination is key. In the planning stages, you should have some ideas about how you would like your store to be run without you.

You have a person in mind assign initially. It can be you for a start temporarily while you still try to figure things out.

Use your imagination in advance so that during opening day, you store is not that chaotic. You would be able to serve your customers well because you’re a bit organized.

You can adjust the processes along the way and write them down.

2. Write everything down


You have to write everything down. From the opening until the closing of your store. It doesn’t have to be written like a formal document. You can write it with your own local dialect.

What’s important is to take note of the processes, and make the instructions clear.

So that when someone takes over you, she knows what to do just by reading a manual.  Or with just a brief orientation.

3. Create an inventory system

The inventory system is one of the most important aspects of any businesses. This is where you would know how to make a projection of your stocks and know exactly what products are selling fast or running out.

It’s critical to monitor the inventory of your stocks. You can easily check if someone is stealing or sneaking products out in the store.

Creating an inventory system is simple. You don’t need to buy a computer or use an internet to start.

Just simply use papers and write down all your stocks and its numbers. Make a beginning and ending inventory.

I know this sounds a lot of work. But it will really help your business.

4. Computerize your inventory system if you want to make things simpler

Earlier we talked about writing your inventory manually on paper. Another way to massively reduce the stress of monitoring your inventory is to computerize it.

You may want to use a laptop or desktop, it doesn’t matter. Create an Excel spreadsheet and transfer your manually written inventory into it.

But there’s a better way if you have an internet. If you want to monitor your sales and inventory while you’re away, use Google Sheet.

A Google Sheet is the same with your Excel spreadsheet. It’s just… it requires an internet to use. It has real-time editing. Learn how to use this online application. It will truly liberate your time. Without any cost.

Buying a software inventory is costly. It’s not practical for a small sari-sari store. Google Sheet is the way. It’s completely free.

Try it!

5. Train someone to man your store

After you wrote down the processes of running a store, created an inventory system, and most important taking down notes of the processes on how to serve your customers well, it’s time to train someone to run your store.

It’s time to have someone takes over you. Hire someone. Get your first employee.

Orient her well about the processes and train her for a month or two. By this time, you can slowly free yourself.

Once she knows most of the processes, you can start to free yourself from the business and relax anywhere in the world. For as long as you have the internet, you can just open your laptop, launch the Google spreadsheet, and check the real-time entry.

6. Duplicate the process

Running a single sari-sari store won’t give much of a profit. But if you can duplicate the process by putting up more stores on different locations, it will become a powerful machine to produce money by itself without your presence.

Since you have the manual in running your store, it will be easier to duplicate. Just hire more people and train them.

You can hire now a good manager/supervisor to manage multiple stores if you don’t want to be bothered by the day-to-day operations and reading a lot of financial reports for each store.

7. Make your employees follow the SOP all the time

SOP means standard operating procedures.

The system always depends on consistency. That speaks that the manual should be strictly followed. Everything in the process should be followed uniformly and with strict compliance.

Without it, slowly you will lose customers as you’ll confuse them.

“Why your service is good today and the next day sucks?” Your customers will wonder and eventually wander off if you don’t fix the system. ASAP.

We love consistency in many aspects of life. Especially in the area of service.

Serve your customers well by being consistent with your customer service system.

Final Thoughts

Just to set the expectation, it’s not easy to setup a system for the first time.

It will take you a minimum of six months if you’re good. Or up to two years if you’re new.

For your sari-sari store, you can run it like Jollibee if you apply a system with it.

You have now the idea. Now it’s time for you start one and be an entrepreneur.










Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *