While the start to everything is daunting, especially when it comes to starting your very own business, Singapore has made it accessible and viable for businesses to begin and thrive. Our position in the global economy makes us the most competitive Asian country, and the world's easiest place to do business. Here are some tips to supplement any new ventures for a budding business owner and entrepreneur!
1. A UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
In today's highly saturated market, what is the thing that can set your brand apart from the rest? A unique selling proposition can help position and differentiate your company and goods, reduce fungibility amongst the minds of your consumer, and ensure longevity. In making a clear business stand and deciding what exactly will make your brand unique, you'll be known and associated with that single quality, stand out from the crowd, and withstand the test of time.
Check out this article for 5 examples of companies with successful unique selling points for your inspiration!
A new company will need to register through ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority), so long as you are 18 years of age. You should also familiarise yourself with the Singapore Companies Act, where different business industries require you to liase with other government authorities (for necessary documents such as licenses). There's an option for sole-proprietorships or partnerships, but for a private incorporated business, the law states that your company must have at least 1 Shareholder, 1 Local Director and 1 Company Secretary.
A professional service provider such as VOPlus will be able to help with the business incorporation cycle, and ensure you receive the right documentation and information. You should also invest time to learn about the taxation system as well, along with the tax incentive schemes for entrepreneurs, or simply work with a tax strategist or consultant.
Once you've done the preparation work and the mind maps, and have a solid business plan ready, the next step is getting ready the funds necessary. There are three ways to secure financing in Singapore — your immediate network (friends and family), private funding and government funding.
The first, if there's a supportive network present, can be great to get you started with your business, though unlikely to be a long term solution. Private funding includes networks such as BANSEA, which pools together a mix of private investors and collectives of seed investors. There are also MNCs with startup funds, such as Google Ventures, Gree Ventures and Singtel's Innov8. The Singapore government has also been working hard to lift entrepreneurial activity, including the ACE Startups Grant by SPRING Singapore, the iJams Reloaded by MDA and the TIS Technology Incubation Scheme under NRF.
There are a multitude of investors in Singapore; the best way to reach out to them is through introductions!
When you are just starting out, defining a comprehensive office strategy is understandably a low priority on the list of things to be done. However, having a space to work outside your office can become one of the greatest drive of productivity, professionalism and creativity. One of the best way to get that ideal office space without devastating the bank and placing a damper on the company's profitability — co-working spaces.
The benefits to coworking or having a shared office space is immense, from expanding personal and business networks to having increased productivity, and there is a large selection of coworking spaces in Singapore right now. You can also make use of our Workwander app which will allow you to book these spaces on the go, instantaneously!
5. STICK TO IT
Give every new venture enough time and effort. The creators of Angry Birds, Finnish startup Rovio, famously failed at 51 games before hitting the jackpot with a game that became a global phenomenon that went beyond a simple game and to merchandises, movies and TV, and some of your biggest names right now started as garage shops with a great vision and tons of hard work.
After all, as Dale Carnegie said, “the successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.”