Start Your Business in Singapore

8 No-Nonsense Tips to Start Your Business in Singapore

Here are the things you should do to make your business venture successful in Singapore.

Want to start your business?

With attractive tax laws, business friendly economy, close proximity to big markets like China and India and sophisticated technology, Singapore is the world’s best place for doing business.

Ironically, 50-70 percents start-ups fail within the first 18 months! Or you can say that surviving the initial period is tough. The key reasons of failure are poor financial management, lack of effective business plan, faulty business model and poor marketing.

So you need to be careful at the every phase of your business developing.

With effective business practices, planning and marketing, you can minimize the chances of failures and thrive as well.

Here Are the Tips to Introduce Your New Business

1. Research Your Market:

You cannot just start a business without doing the research first. Otherwise, your business won’t get traction as it wasn’t built to serve the customers.

Therefore, market research is the first and foremost thing to do. It is all about understanding customers, their concerns and how your business can help them. It helps you develop a product or service that is well received by your customers.

Market research is important to determine the viability of your idea before you invest your hard earned money on the venture. With a thorough research, you get the information you need to carry on with your idea, fine tune it, take it back to the drawing board or ditch it. In short, it is a process of creating a realistic working plan of action for your business.

Here to points to be covered in your market research plan:

  • What are you selling? What are features and benefits of your products and services?
  • Who need your products and services?
  • How will you reach out to them?
  • What does it cost to operate your start up?
  • Your revenues and profits?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • How to price your product or service?
  • Do you have a strategy to aim the customers in a crowded marketplace?

As you answer the above questions, you will identify your areas of improvement, avoid problems and ultimately get a realistic business plan that can work.

2. What is Your Business Structure?

Once you done with your market research, think about the structure of your business. The business structure you choose will determine the legal identity, personal liability for business debts, ownership, registration, funding and taxation.

Some of the major business structures in Singapore are…

  • Sole proprietorship:

In this business entity, there is only owner who is the absolute authority and responsible for all assets and liabilities related to the business. You will be personally liable for the business’s debts and finances.

  • Partnership:

More than one individual are involved in ownership and liabilities of the business. When things go wrong, one partner can be held liable for the deeds of other partners and be sued to recover outstanding money or other compensation from his or her personal property.

  • Limited Partnership:

It consists of a General Partner and any number of limited partners. General partner has more responsibilities than limited partners.

  • Private Limited Company:

In this business structure, the maximum number of shareholders can be up to 50. Such business entities are mandated to have the suffix “Private Limited”, “Ltd” or “Pte Ltd” in their company name. Shareholders are not personally bound to pay off company’s debts.

3. Limited Liability Partnership:

It is an ideal combination of a Partnership with a Private Limited Company structure. This structure is great for the professionals engaging in the services like architects, accountants, lawyers and management consultant.

(Note: The list of business structures in not detailed. To know more, please click here.)

4. Develop a Business Plan:

A business plan is a blueprint of your business operations and development. It includes the organizational structure of your business and your business’s goals as well. Besides, a business plan is required by banks and investors when you approach them for funding. They will need to know about the organizational structure and how you plan to be successful and your financial projections.

Here are the things to be included in your business plan:

  • Overview of your Business Plan
  • Company Description
  • Products and Services
  • Market Research
  • Organizational Structure
  • Financial Requirements and Plans

5. Choose a Funding Type:

From personal finances to an investor, there are many sources you can use to fund your business. Each source has its own pros and cons.

If you put personal money, you will get the full rewards of your startup being successful. Otherwise the failed business may lead to the loss of your personal assets.

Crowdfunding is also popular among many entrepreneurs. It is generally done online where you present your business ideato get donations. The supporters will get incentive for their investment in return for their donations. It is a quick route to get funding, but you have to pay back to a lot of people once you start getting money.

Angel investors are also a similar type of funding where investors put money in a business in exchange for ownership equity or convertible debt.

Bank loan is a traditional source of financing a business. However, banks have their process which may be strenuous and frustrating. If you choose this type, you are required to put up your personal belongings as collateral as your startup has no cash flow or assets.

6. Get it Registered:

Make sure to get it registered with ACRA. When it is officially registered with ACRA, your business will get a UEN or Unique Entity Number. It will give you an official identity and rights to operate as a business. Once you are registered, you are subject to various government obligations like accounting and taxation. Besides, you have an opportunity to get startup funding.

7. Create a Great Team:

You need a great team to move your business forward. The people you hire should believe in your vision and possess the necessary skill sets. Beyond looking at their resume, here the points to keep in mind while hiring…

  • Look for a career oriented person
  • Focus on their practical experience
  • Assess their skills by giving them a test or situation
  • Determine if the candidate can stay motivated to cope up with pressure and tight deadlines.
  • Check out their social media pages to learn more about the candidates.

8.  Find an Office Space:

If you have a little budget, you can rent an office in a sharing space where different companies work alongside each other in open floor plans.

However, only get office space if it is required. There are many businesses in Singapore which are run online, while their employees working from the remote locations.

9. Run Marketing Campaigns:

Marketing takes your business to the customers. So you need to be equally focused on business marketing. From digital, outdoor to print, there are many options to market your business in Singapore.

Traditional advertising media like radio, TV and print are still popular and efficient. Since Singapore has the highest Internet penetration rate in the world, investing on online marketing services like SEO, PPC and SMO would be beneficial. So you should combine both form of marketing to see the maximum benefits.

And make sure to incorporate these things in your marketing campaigns

  • Sell the “benefits” of your products instead of just displaying them.
  • Listen to your customer’s feedback to make improvements
  • Market your product before its ready (awareness campaigning to let the potential customers know your products is coming.)
  • Approach the press or a media house

One more important thing—keep monitoring your marketing campaigns to see if they are benefiting you.

But Rome Was Not Built in a Day….

So these are the ideas to start and grow your business in Singapore. However, overnight success is not guaranteed as it takes years to turn a startup into a successful business. Stick to commitment, value, quality, marketing and changes. All the best!!!

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