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I am very passionate about the development of technology and I daresay that I am an early adopter of new technology. Just as I am passionate about technology, I am also a concerned consumer who cares very much about our impact on the environment.

As a student, I have always imagined and envisioned that one day, there will be a worldwide implementation of green technology that can reduce our carbon footprint and our reliance on natural sources.

Well, 2 decades later; that vision and dream is becoming a reality. More and more countries are adopting the use of electric vehicles on the roads and in some countries, solar panels are installed at homes to harness solar energy that are later converted to electrical energy. Hopefully, such green technologies will be globally implemented so that we can save the Earth and buy some time for us to reduce the rate of global warming.

Recently, I was very privileged to have the opportunity to take Renault’s ZOE out for a spin and I honestly had an amazing driving experience.

First Impressions

The Renault ZOE has a very futuristic design and though it is not an extremely sporty-looking car to begin with, it offers a very sporty driving experience which I will elaborate more later.

The exclusive incorporation of distinctive LED daytime-running lights, Z.E.-signature blue-tinted trims on the headlamps, and rear lights with modern concentric blue edges, intensifies the strong electric identity of the Renault ZOE. The 2-door coupé styling on a 5-door city compact hatch is only possible because of the well-hidden inclusion of rear door handles into the window frame.

Inside the Renault ZOE

As a driver sitting in the driver’s seat, I felt pretty comfortable and the rear seats can comfortably seat 2 adults and 1 child. For a compact hatchback, the space isn’t extremely crammed and the controls are all within reach. The materials used for the futuristic-looking dashboard and steering wheels felt premium and not plasticky.

The car boot boasts a voluminous boot space of 338L and that itself is more than sufficient for 2 big luggage.

Driving Experience with the Renault ZOE

The driving experience with the Renault ZOE is truly amazing. When I stepped on the accelerator, the Renault ZOE picks up speed almost instantaneously and the engine is incredibly silent! As there are no gear shifts on the Renault ZOE, the driving experience is very smooth and seamless. When the accelerator is released, the regenerative braking system kicks in and harnesses the kinetic energy from braking and charges the battery.

What is truly incredible is the fact that the Renault ZOE is so silent that the car manufacturer has to give it a humming voice which can be switched on or off just so that it can alert people of its approach.

Cornering and overtaking is not a problem for the Renault ZOE and the driving experience is a vast difference when I compared it with another electric vehicle that I frequently drive. Nimble and agile, the Renault ZOE is like a Ninja (swift, fast, and silent). Since there is no need to travel fast and furious in Singapore, the top speed of the Renault ZOE at 135 km/h is more than sufficient.

On paper, the maximum range that the Renault ZOE can travel on a full charge is 367km and we managed about 320km on Singapore’s busy urban roads. The on-board three-phase 22kW CaméléonTM smart charger allows for a full battery charged in just less than 3 hours and a full charge will cost approximately $10.59# and if you switch to an alternative electricity retailer such as iSwitch, the cost is approximately $7.24##.

#Based on regulated tariff of $0.2582/kWh electric tariff from 1 Oct – 31 Dec 2018.

##Based on iSwitch’s 12-month exclusive ‘Chope’ the Rate of $0.17655/kWh.

After Thoughts

For the price of $100k as at the time of writing, the Renault ZOE may seem pretty expensive but honestly, you will see the returns sooner than you think because the cost of maintaining and operating the Renault ZOE is significantly lower than that of a normal fuel-powered car (whether Diesel or Petrol). If you can hit 18km per litre of fuel based on a distance of 320km; it will cost you about $30 (after discounts) for petrol and $23.40 (after discounts) for diesel. Compare this with $7.24 (iSwitch) or even $10.59 (normal regulated tariff); you really save substantially in terms of dollars per km travelled.

Furthermore, the costs of maintenance for an electric car is substantially lower because you don’t have to deal with oil change, fuel filter, spark plugs and gear/transmission issues (additional cost savings of at least $300 per year). The foreseeable maintenance is probably just the battery and tyres.

The downsides of getting an electric car for now is probably the lack of sufficient charging points and also perhaps the hefty price tag to begin with; since demands for electric cars is picking up slowly but surely.

In Singapore, the number of electric car charging points are slowly increasing and with the recent announcement by BlueSG to open up its car charging points to private electric vehicles, this would definitely be a plus point for potential electric car owners.

If you stay at a landed property (Renault will install a charging point for you at your landed property) or if you stay at a place where charging points are highly accessible, the Renault ZOE is definitely a good buy. However, if you plan to take the Renault ZOE out for a road trip to Malaysia and beyond, it probably isn’t ideal at this stage.

Keen to find out more about the Renault ZOE?

Check out Renault’s Official Website and book for a test drive at the Renault Showroom today!

If you’re looking for the next perfect staycation, here’s one boutique hotel that will appeal to you if you have a refined taste for some artsy history and culture. The best part? The hotel’s having a Special Opening Offer now and you won’t want to miss this experience before the price increases to its normal rack rate.

Six Senses Maxwell is now open at 2 Cook Street, in the historic Tanjong Pagar district of Singapore, completing the brand’s first ever city hotel project after the opening of sister property Six Senses Duxton, with both locations together comprising Six Senses Singapore.

Situated in a prime location at the junction of Duxton, Tanjong Pagar and Maxwell Road, Six Senses Maxwell occupies a place replete with history. Originally the site of a nutmeg plantation, 14 three-story and four-story colonial-style buildings were subsequently constructed and later joined together as a single entity to create a colonial-style 19th-century heritage building that now houses the hotel.

Built in 1929, the structure features an Art Deco frontage with exposed brickwork, unique lion head rainspouts, and a flagpole hinting at a possible past as a government building. Lovingly conserved, Six Senses Maxwell showcases the refined yet flamboyant and sensual aesthetic of renowned French architect and interior designer Jacques Garcia, and stands in contrast to the Anouska Hempel-designed Six Senses Duxton.

Image Credits Six Senses Singapore

Six Senses Maxwell accommodates 138 guest rooms and suites located across four floors of the sustainably restored building, all thoughtfully decorated with custom furnishings and original artwork; an outdoor rooftop lap pool, a gymnasium, two restaurants and three bars that are destined to add to the vibrancy of the already ebullient neighbourhood.

Six Senses Maxwell aims to pay homage to Singapore’s unique position as the crossroad between East and West, with its rich Asian traditions and warm European heritage and influence that together have contributed to what this vibrant city is today.

Design
Reflecting the authentic decor and furnishings of the era in which it was built, but with a stylish modern twist, Garcia has infused a Western sensibility along with a timeless ambience into Six Senses Maxwell, as he has done most notably with Hôtel Costes in Paris and NoMad in New York. Renowned as one of France’s most highly decorated designers, Garcia has outfitted many iconic buildings in Paris and across the world, including a remarkable installation at the Louvre. Garcia has been named commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, and a Chevalier in the order of the Légion d’honneur in France for his many achievements.

Garcia’s inimitable sensibilities are on full display once the double door front entrance of Six Senses Maxwell on the corner of Cook and Tras Streets swing open to a welcoming sight of the warm chestnut wood framed reception desk, complemented by Garcia’s eponymous collection of flamboyant high-backed velvet chairs with tassels. These sit on intricately designed custom made hand-woven silk rugs that took 14 months to complete.

Ethically-sourced, solid inch-thick African wenge hardwood floors adorn much of the hotel, while other public areas feature stone floors that have been recycled from medieval churches and cathedrals in Italy.

A series of authentic and original property deeds, or indentures, are framed and placed throughout the hotel’s interior walkway with brass plaques detailing the historical nature and provenance of each document. This feature ties in with the copies of an indenture Anouska Hempel used as her wallpaper design for Six Senses Duxton, connecting the two hotels through a unified form and vision.


Image Credits Six Senses Singapore

Garcia’s attention to detail is also showcased throughout the seven unique room types at Six Senses Maxwell, from the brass, lacquer and marble minibars, to the handmade Lafroy Brooks bathroom fixtures and rain shower heads.

His unique style is an authentic exploration into the splendour of the past interpreted in a modern style. This is evident in the brocades and damask fabrics and lampshades in pleated silk which enrich a design with clean lines, evoking an opulent yet refined luxury. All the fabrics used throughout the hotel, even those used on the Italian furniture, are bespoke for Garcia and were loomed in Europe, while all the lamps were exclusively produced by luxury lighting specialist Zonca for the famed designer.


Image Credits Six Senses Singapore

Hotel guests are greeted at the lobby with sustainably sourced goods for sale, including Panama hats ethically sourced from Ecuador that take between 15 days to six months to craft, fine cashmere shawls from Chagaan in Mongolia, locally made items including Peranakan porcelain tea sets from the Straits Settlements era, wellness items such as glass water bottles with added gems to vitalize the water, baoding balls for meditation and an oh-ball to massage the soles of the feet to release tension.

A large brass singing bowl completes the hotel’s signature welcome experience, along with complimentary traditional ice cream made in-house and served from an iconic ice cream cart along the five-footway to all guests. Modern touches such as music played through high-end Devialet speakers throughout the public spaces add to a fully experiential stay for guests.


Image Credits Six Senses Singapore

The rooftop of Six Senses Maxwell features a 25-metre (82-foot) long lap pool custom-made by Sempre, a Belgian design firm known for their use of raw and recyclable materials. In weeks to come, this will be highlighted with the opening of Max’s Rooftop Bar, where an edible garden is being grown to be used in-house by the hotel’s food and beverage team.

Guests from both Six Senses properties have full access to all facilities, including the spa pods, which will be opened in the first quarter of 2019. Signing privileges will be available across the two hotels.

In Room
Each room and suite features Six Senses’ specially curated mini bar which includes William Yeoward crystal glassware for the premium range of spirits available as well as locally produced East Imperial Tonic Water. The Golden Duck Co. salted egg yolk crisps for snacking, handmade organic Krakakoa chocolate bars from Indonesia and a bottle of champagne complete the exquisite minibar experience.

Image Credits Six Senses Singapore

To ensure guests enjoy the best night’s sleep possible, all rooms feature handmade mattresses by Naturalmat, organic bed linens from Beaumont & Brown, and pillows and duvets from Hanse to support Sleep With Six Senses, a key pillar of the group’s Integrated Wellness philosophy. Each room also has a wellness book, baoding balls, and relaxation oh-ball. These can also be purchased from the hotel lobby.

As a fun and quirky touch, framed photos of the local area taken from the property owner and luxury hotelier Satinder Garcha’s personal collection adorn the bathrooms, offering a sense of charm and whimsy.

Cook & Tras Social Library
Located on the ground floor of Six Senses Maxwell and lined with lush tropical foliage right next to the lobby area is Cook & Tras, a social library restaurant and bar influenced by Straits heritage cuisine.

Featuring a mirrored ceiling highlighting the classic décor and luxurious style of designer Garcia, Cook & Tras reflects a warm European influence and personality showcased through richly textured custom-designed furnishings. Melding tradition and modernity, this elegant establishment is characterized by its specially curated book collection designed by the UK’s Ultimate Library, known for their dedication to building bespoke book collections for hotels and private residences around the world.

For Cook & Tras, a storied collection of more than 3,000 titles have been curated which reflects the local neighbourhood as well as volumes on subjects such as wellness, meditation, nutrition, herbal medicine, natural history, climate change and sustainability. Hotel guests and future members will also be able to “borrow” books the old-fashioned way.


Image Credits Six Senses Singapore

Cook & Tras makes the perfect introduction to the acclaimed Eat With Six Senses program that offers healthy and delicious meals prepared with sustainable, seasonal, natural ingredients and organically-grown produce.

Open throughout the day for light breakfasts and an all-day small-plates for sharing menu, guests can expect quality ingredients in small flavourful portions or sip on freshly squeezed cold juices and energizing healthy beverages providing nutritional benefits. Homemade tonics and kombuchas along with fine teas are featured on the afternoon menu.

By night, the bar takes centre stage at Cook & Tras with a display of hundreds of spirits from all over the world forming the backdrop to a 65-foot (20-meter) long bar counter. Evenings are all about bespoke cocktails based on classics and influenced by Straits flavours, infused house-made spirits, shrubs and tonics, with signatures specially developed by award-winning Mixologist Ricky Paiva.

Murray Terrace Brasserie
Murray Terrace Brasserie is a European styled brasserie named after the building in which it is housed. and coincidentally also the first name of the hotel’s general manager. Its design blends classic Parisian elements with marble tables and Asian influenced wine displays along with handcrafted Indonesian furniture. The Brasserie’s grand entrance, just opposite Maxwell Food Centre, follows a Parisian café style layout with sidewalk tables along the five-foot (1.7-meter) way, a private room, and seating for up to 100 guests inside the dining room.


Image Credits Six Senses Singapore

The culinary focus is on quality ingredients that are sustainably sourced and organically grown. The Murray Terrace Brasserie demonstrates how quality natural ingredients will promote a sense of wellness. Recipes are European inspired, with a strong focus on Mediterranean cooking methods that let the ingredients take centre stage.

Showcasing southern European culinary influences, the menu features seafood platters with lobsters, oysters, prawns, clams and mussels, all sustainably sourced. With classics such as beef tartare, French onion soup and lobster bisque, the menu includes a range of three-course and four-course set menu options for lunch, and five-course and seven-course degustation menus for dinner.

Organic free-range chicken, sustainably-sourced fish, grass-fed strip loins, whole lamb rack and Chateaubriand from the Josper oven round out the menu.

Six double wine chillers holding over 1,500 bottles of wine enclosing a wine tasting table form the centrepiece of Murray Terrace Brasserie. The carefully selected wine list; predominantly focused on Old World wines from France, Italy and Spain, is complemented with a well-balanced selection of New World Treasures.

Garcha’s
Garcha’s is a beautifully appointed Jacques Garcia designed room with club chairs, cocktail tables and minibar seating – the quintessential spirits bar to drop by before a meal at Murray Terrace Brasserie or to treat oneself to an after-dinner spirit or liqueur.


Image Credits Six Senses Singapore

Boasting an impressive collection of spirits, Garcha’s tempts with a stunning selection of small batch and artisanal whiskeys, tequilas, gins, rums and vodkas. Straight drinks can be poured from drinks trolleys tableside by bartenders in a relaxing setting with a modern mix of classic jazz, blues and acid jazz funk music playing in the background.

Rose Lounge & Bar
The beautifully appointed Rose Lounge & Bar features banquette seating, club chairs, cocktail tables and bar seating, and offers an impressive Champagne collection alongside white and rosé wines, spritzers and the signature Rose Bellini.


Image Credits Six Senses Singapore

In contrast to Garcha’s, Rose Lounge & Bar with its lighter, lustrous décor minibars for private events, afternoon tea parties and product launches. It is also perfect as a breakout space for meetings held at the adjoining Rose Room, situated between the Rose Bar & Lounge and Garcha’s and is an ideal venue for small corporate events and private gatherings.

Opening Offer
Available immediately is a Special Opening Offer for direct bookings online via www.sixsenses.com. Guests can enjoy a 15 percent savings on the Best Available Rate, and the offer includes daily breakfast for two people, a guaranteed room upgrade and a signature cocktail for two people. T&Cs apply.

The hotel is accepting online bookings via: www.sixsenses.com.

Six Senses Maxwell is located at 2 Cook Street, Singapore 078857. Rates start at USD 240++ (SGD 330++) per night.

For reservations, please contact +65 6914 1400 or email: reservations-maxwell@sixsenses.com

*Terms & Conditions: Valid for stays from December 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019. The offer is applicable for all room and suite categories. A credit card guarantee and a prepayment in full is required to secure the booking. Bookings are non-refundable and non-cancellable. Offer is subject to change without notice.

Anyone who knows pretty much anything about business also knows that digital marketing plays a crucial role in your business’ success. The reason for this is quite obvious – we live in a digital age and just about anything that happens to us and around us is in a way, viral. This is something that any business that wants to succeed should understand and then start using to their benefit.

In order to keep up with your competition, you have to consider hiring a digital marketing agency that can help you grow your business. At the end of the day, your marketing strategy is something that will either make you or break you!

Now, there are lots of different reasons that I could list off the top of my head why digital marketing is essential for your business’s success; but we will focus on the top five reasons why you should start considering hiring a top-notch digital marketing agency to do this immensely important piece of work for you!

  1. Boosting Your Business’ Visibility

The time of brick-and-mortar businesses has definitely passed, and any serious business owner that is hoping to lead their business to success in the future has already recognised the importance of digital marketing.

Getting your brand from the point where you and your loved ones know about it to the point where it becomes a household name is surely not an easy task, but it is something that is definitely possible and doable once your digital marketing agency starts working their magic.

Once you become visible and approachable to your website’s visitors, this new relationship that you started with your ‘audience’ then leads to converting them into your new customers/clients.

2. Connecting With Your Customers/Clients

Visibility leads to new customers! And once it does, your social media platforms will allow you to update them on any new products or services that you are promoting, while at the same time allowing you to connect with them directly.

This also means having a great customer support, because of the fact that anyone interested in what you are promoting can reach out to you directly! So audience-wise, you will be improving customer satisfaction and experience, customer retention, precise targeting, your cross-sell, etc.

3. It is more cost-effective than traditional marketing

Small businesses often have very little resources, which is where digital marketing steps in and saves the day. Understandably, the main reason why digital marketing proves itself to be the best choice for just about all business owners is the fact that you can set your budget in advance and make sure that you won’t have to spend a fortune on spreading the word about your brand.

Additionally, this means that as soon as you discover your target niche audience, you will be focusing on them instead of spending your resources on the ‘masses’ that may not be at all interested in your products and/or services. At the same time, digital marketing helps cater to your ‘mobile audience’!

4. It Helps Generate Better Revenues

One of the reasons why digital marketing plays an important role in your business’ success is the fact that it delivers conversion – fast! So, as you know, higher conversion rates will then lead to loads of profitable benefits in terms of higher and better revenues.

According to Google’s recent survey, bigger brands that are using digital marketing strategies have 2.8 times better revenue growth expectancy, whereas small and medium businesses that are using digital marketing techniques have 3.3 times better chances of expanding their workforce and improving their brand’s chances of success.

Another thing to seriously consider is white label digital marketing. In terms of your overall budget and future revenues, white labelling can do wonders for your business while at the same time allowing you to focus on building your brand’s image rather on technicalities.

5. It Will Help You Surpass Your Competition

Digital marketing definitely levels the online playing field in terms of allowing smaller businesses to become just as important and successful as their better-known counterparts. What this means is that everyone has a chance online!

Additionally, digital marketing allows you to also have insight in how your competition is doing, which marketing strategy they are using, while at the same time, allowing you to take some of their ideas and make them your own, thus making those ideas even better!

All of these reasons are something that should definitely make you reconsider your traditional marketing strategy and start looking for a digital marketing agency that will help you skyrocket your brand right away. If you need a digital marketing solution for your business, contact us via our form and we will get in touch with you!

What is a Recruitment Agency?

A recruitment agency is a company whose main business is helping other companies hire staff. They are a sort of marketplace where employers and prospective employees are matched, with the agency being the matchmaker.

We can simply call them the middlemen between job seekers and labour employers. Employers send them details of roles they need to fill and a recruitment agency will look through their database for workers that can suitably fill the position.

Why Companies and Job Seekers Use Agencies

There are several reasons why companies and job seekers prefer to work with these agencies. The reasons will depend on which side of the divide each belongs.

Companies

Companies hire agencies to help them hire their staff for the following reasons:

Cost Saving – The cost of hiring can be quite high. To get an insight into this, read this article here. One way that many companies save cost is by hiring through an agency. This saves them a lot of costs, thus making this choice ideal for companies that do not have the financial capacity to have their own full-blown hiring unit under their HR department.

Faster Delivery Time – For many companies, this is a time saving and much faster option. Rather than having to spend time and money to advertise for the position, putting extra workload on the human resources department to sort through the many job applications, shortlisting the candidates that will be called for an interview, and going through the strenuous process of interviewing the shortlisted candidates to select the one or ones they need; all the company needs to do is to simply tell the agency what they need and the agency does what it needs to do to fill the position(s).

It certainly saves a lot of time and allows the company to focus on the actual business of running their core operations.

Expertise and Specialisation – The process of hiring requires some level of skill that is acquired and honed over years of experience. Many companies cannot afford to form an in-house hiring team with the level of skill and expertise that is required to handle the hiring process for best results. They, therefore, find it easier to just hire through an agency that has the necessary expertise.

In other cases, a company might require a highly specialised role for which they lack the necessary expertise to interview or even decide on the right candidate. Thus, for companies with such requirements, they would usually engage an agency that is specialised in hiring for such roles to ensure that only fully qualified candidates are selected.

Guarantees – Another cause why companies prefer hiring agencies is because of the guarantees that some of these agencies offer. A lot of top agencies will guarantee that the candidate they present will remain in that employment for at least a specific period. Otherwise, the agencies will refund what they were paid for the job or simply refill the position at their own cost.

Such a guarantee certainly gives employers a level of assurance. See more benefits here: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-staffing-agencies-11066.html.

Job Seekers

Free Assistance – Top agencies get paid by the company to fill positions so they do not charge applicants for the opportunity to consider them for the position. This means that the applicant will be receiving this assistance for free.

Access to More Employment Opportunities – A job seeker that is working with an agency will have access to more employment opportunities because the agency uses its network to receive information on roles that need to be filled in various organisations and matches these against the applicants they have. Qualified applicants can, therefore, be considered for more job opportunities than they would have on their own.

Inside Information on Job Opportunities – Agencies know when special skill sets are required by an organisation. With their inside information, they can not only help applicants get considered for these roles but can in some cases also help them prepare for the interview. Remember that it is in the agency’s best interest to fill the position.

Traits of Top Recruitment Agencies

There are critical traits you should look out for in identifying the top recruitment agencies in USA. These include:

Professionalism

The goal of a top agency is to fill a position with the best possible candidate. It goes about this in the most professional of ways that are not driven by selfishness or a need to simply collect the payment without care for the quality of work.

This shows in the process employed, the questions asked, and how the applicants are processed and treated.

Specialisation

Top agencies handle the process with specialised expertise. If the role to be filled is that of an IT specialist, the consultant handling the case will be an expert in that field so s/he will know what to look out for.

Operation Above-board

Reputable agencies will not do anything that is not above-board. These include charging and collecting fees from applicants, making extravagant promises, or falsifying applicant’s information just to ensure they land the job.

Guarantees

They can offer guarantees to employers and applicants that the position will be filled for at least a minimum period.

Be honest.

How often you do check your bank balance or sit down and draw up a budget for the month ahead? If you tend to chuck statements on a pile on papers on the kitchen table or you check in with the bank every couple of months; now is the time to start monitoring your money more closely! Managing your finances has never been easier and it can help you to save more and spend less.

Creating a Budget
If you don’t live by a budget, there’s no better time to break the habit of a lifetime. Traditionally, at this time of the year, finances are usually pretty tight, and the sooner you can start saving, the better. Budgeting is simple, fast, and completely hassle-free in this day and age. While some people prefer to stick to old-school techniques and draw up columns of figures with a pen and paper, many opt to use apps or specially designed programmes. It’s a good idea to do a bit of research to find the best personal finance software and to think about what you need and what kinds of features you’d like. Budgeting enables you to monitor how much money is coming in and how much is going out, and it can give you a much better idea of where your cash is going every month. Sticking to a budget can help to prevent overspending and enable you to save more. You can use your budget to set a spending limit every week or to establish how much you’re going to transfer to a savings account or pay off a credit card each month.

Online Banking
The days of having to trudge out to the ATM or wait for a monthly statement to come sailing through the letterbox are long gone. This means that there is no excuse to have no idea what is going on in your accounts. With online banking and apps, you can check your balance on the go and keep a close eye on spending. If you don’t already use online banking, you’ll need to register online. With this service, you can check your balances, open new accounts, transfer money, pay bills, and find out more about other financial products, such as mortgages. It’s so easy to lose track of spending with contactless technology and online shopping, so it’s crucial to look at your bank on a regular basis.

Shopping Around
Once you’ve got an idea of how much disposable income you have available, you can take steps to increase this figure by shopping around and comparing prices. Take a look at how much you’re paying for insurance, for example. If you’ve got car, health, house or pet insurance policies that are due for renewal, don’t just accept the new price from your existing provider. Use the Internet to track down the best deals. You can do this to save money on everything from buying gifts and household items to finding cheaper broadband, TV and mobile phone services!

Even if you’re not the most diligent amateur accountant, it’s never too late to start monitoring your money today! If you’re looking for a credible and sound financial adviser, let us know and we will help you out!

Many people aspire to start their own business and be their own bosses and there’s honestly nothing wrong with that. The barriers to starting a business in Singapore are low and as a result, many business startups choose to base their operations here.

Although many have started their own business, there are also many who have failed. Statistics show that 50-70% of startups fail within the first 18 months. If you’re thinking about starting a business and you’re unsure of how you are going to go about it, here are some tips to get you started.

What Kind/Type of Business?

Yes, you may have a great business idea but if your business idea does not meet market needs or if there is no market demand for it, you probably will want to think twice about starting your business.

The kind of business that you want to start will also affect the type of business structure for your business to operate from.

In Singapore, there are generally 5 kinds of business structure that you can decide on; a sole-proprietorship, a partnership, a limited partnership, a limited liability partnership, and a company. All of them have got pros and cons and you will need to assess which business structure is most suitable for you.

Retail Business EntrepreneurGenerally, if you are a one-man-operation (OMO), I would suggest that you start a sole-proprietorship because you will be in full control of your business. But of course, if you fumble and make wrong business decisions, your liability is likewise unlimited. Usually, I will never recommend a partnership and a limited partnership because having worked with all kinds of people, I have concluded that most partnerships turn sour and you wouldn’t want to end up incurring losses just because of some unwise decisions that your partner makes without your consent.

How Much Capital Do You Want to Invest?

Please do not think that the more capital you invest, the greater your returns will be. Your returns depend very much on how the capital is being used. More capital can probably mean more money to buy more products, rent a bigger space, or even buy time to sustain the business.

I often see many Facebook Ads that tells many fantastic stories of how individuals can invest, can start a business, can own properties with no money and etc but truly, such ads will often lead you to sign up for previews or workshops that will set you back by thousands of dollars.

Keep A Lookout For Business OpportunitiesIf someone tells you that you need $0 capital to start a business, you probably need to be wary. As you go about looking out for business opportunities, always keep the bigger picture in mind and don’t be swayed by fads and trends. Yes, you can start a business with low costs but low costs don’t mean zero cost. Even starting a sole-proprietorship will cost you a minimum of $65.

For businesses that offer services, the startup costs are generally lower than businesses that offer products. When you buy products to sell, you will need capital and where are you going to get that capital from?

If you want to start a business full-time, you minimally need to have at least 6 months of living expenses. If you don’t, consider hanging onto your full-time job while working on your business part-time. This will ensure that you have sufficient cash flow to maintain your current lifestyle.

Do You Have A Backup Plan?

A backup plan is essential. There’s a common saying, ”When you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. What are you going to do if your business doesn’t turn out well? When will you throw in the towel and admit that starting a business is just not for you? There will be many instances when you will be tested and it is important to recognise how and where you are going to draw the line. Will you still be employable when you call it quits? These are just some important questions that you need to think about when you start a business.

How Marketable is Your Business?

I can’t stress this point enough but yes, marketing is essential and highly important! If you don’t market your business, how are you going to get the sales that you need to sustain the business? The most basic form of marketing collaterals that you probably need will be your business cards and products/services brochure. First impressions count and no matter what people say nowadays about how print collaterals no longer matter in today’s business dealings, you will be surprised at how handy they can be to share about your business. Printing services in Singapore are aplenty and choosing the most reliable and wallet-friendly option is the way to go if you want to keep costs low. The next step after getting your print collaterals will be to identify your unique selling proposition, who your competitors are, and what makes you different from them. All these will affect how you are going to pitch your business to prospective clients.

Well, I certainly hope that this post would have helped you to think deeply about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. There will always be risks associated with starting a business; the greater the risks, the greater the rewards, the smaller the risks, the smaller the rewards.

Do share this article if you have found it helpful!

Are you ready for the biggest year-end sale of 2018? This is your best opportunity to shop for some Christmas gifts for your loved ones and friends!

In addition to the exciting offers and vouchers (worth up to $120) up for grabs, you can also expect 1 million great deals with offers up to 90% off! You definitely don’t want to miss this grandest year-end sale of 2018! What’s even more exhilarating is Lazada’s branded surprise boxes which cost $29, $49, and $99 and inside these surprise boxes are items worth more than $100.

Ready for us to reveal what’s inside Lazada X Nakamichi Surprise Box?

If you’re planning to get the Lazada X Nakamichi Surprise Box for $29, here’s what you can expect:-
A set of Nakamichi Sports Bluetooth Earphones worth $108.

For just $29, this is a rather good buy and it makes the perfect gift for your friends who are into some heart-thumping music while keeping fit on the go! Get all the great deals here.

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

Features:-

  • Nakamichi Signature sound with Bluetooth V.4.1 APTX
    Nakamichi’s Dynamic Driver; engineered to provide honest quality music
  • 6mm Driver, producing clear bass music
  • Sweatproof technology, with IPX4 rating
    Designed to be used while you exercise, even when you perspire heavily, the earpiece will be able to keep up with your exercising regime

What’s In the Box:-

  • 1 X Earphone
  • 1 X USB Charging Cable
  • 1 X Ear Cushion S/M/L
  • 1 X Earphone Pouch

Technical Specification:-

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Bluetooth 4.1 APTX
  • Speaker Diameter: 6mm
  • Connect 2 devices simultaneously
  • Wireless Working Distance: 10m
  • Play/Talk Time: 6 hours
  • Standby Time: 18 days
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -42dB
  • Battery Charge Time: 2 hours
  • Product Weight: 20g

It’s been more than a year since we last visited Batam and during our most recent trip that took place last week, we noticed that there were a couple of changes that took place in Batam and it is about time that we refresh our travel guide to Batam.

Read on and get the latest update and information about Batam here in this post!

Travelling Within Batam- Grab/Private Driver

In the past, we mentioned that it was easy to travel around Batam by booking a taxi (Blue Bird or Silver Cab). However, It seems that booking a taxi that goes by the meter is no longer the way to go because there are now taxi counters located at major landmarks i.e. Batam Centre Ferry Terminal, Batam Megamall, Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall and etc. Legit taxi companies that run on meters like Blue Bird or Silver Cab are now not allowed to pick up passengers at these major landmarks and it is so disappointing that things have turned out this way because it is really not helping the taxi industry as a whole.

Just so you know, the taxi counters at these major landmarks charge 3 times more the usual price to get around Batam. You can still book a metered taxi like Blue Bird but do note that you will have to walk to the designated/authorised pick-up points which can be some distance away.

Although you can use Grab to get around, do be a little cautious as you don’t want to end up getting into a situation like this. If you want to use Grab, make sure that your pick up location has got no taxi counters around and that there isn’t a line of parked taxis idling.

If you were to ask us for our opinion on how best you can get around Batam, we suggest that you hire a private driver for the entire day. This way, you can save money and time, cover more grounds and visit more places.

Data SIM Card

A lot of our local Telcos like StarHub are offering affordable Data Roaming rates at SGD$5 for one GB of data. If you’re heavily dependent on data like us, one GB is definitely not enough and we would rather you get the Indonesian Data Sim Card which costs SGD$7 for 6GB worth of data.

Our Accommodation- Best Western Premier Panbil Hotel

It was our second time staying at Best Western Premier Panbil and this time around, we booked for an Executive Room that costs $112.15 a night, inclusive of breakfast for two persons.

The Executive Room

The comfortable 53 square metres room features a choice of king or twin size bed with 55-inch flat screen television, safe deposit box, and complimentary mini bar.  Although the bathroom is very spacious and is equipped with a bathtub, I was pretty hesitant about using it because when I turned on the bathtub tap, brownish water came out of it and I didn’t want to soak myself in murky waters. If you want mesmerising views, be sure to request a room that overlooks Duriangkang Lake & Forest! You will probably enjoy the large room space that comes along with a living room and a kitchenette.

The Hotel Facilities i.e Swimming Pool, Restaurant, Rooftop Bar

If you have the habit of doing some morning exercises to kickstart your day, you will be pleased to know that the hotel has an infinity pool that overlooks the mesmerising Duriangkang Lake and if you like to do some weightlifting, the hotel has a fitness centre equipped with a basic setup for you to pump some iron.

Best Western Premier Panbil’s full-service restaurant, Andaliman Restaurant, serves Asian and International specialities, including buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Compared to other hotels that we have stayed at in Batam, the buffet breakfast spread at Best Western Premier Panbil is one of the best that we have tried and tasted. Offering multicultural cuisines, from western-styled cereals and bakery goods to local cooked selections and fresh tropical fruits, we were pretty much spoilt for choices as there are also live stations for eggs, noodles, and even Japanese sushi too!

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

One of the best spots that we like about the Best Western Premier Panbil hotel is the La Bella Vita Rooftop Bar that is located on the 15th floor of the hotel. Offering the best rooftop view in Batam, La Bella Vita Rooftop Bar serves a variety of alcoholic, non-alcoholic beverages & Ala Carte Menu. If you were to ask us, Best Western Premier Panbil hotel is definitely one of the best for a group retreat or get-together session!

The Mini-Bus Shuttle Service

Best Western Premier Panbil offers a mini-bus shuttle service that accommodates hotel guests between the hotel and major landmarks such as Batam Centre Mega Mall and Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall. If you’re keen to use the mini-bus shuttle service to get around Batam, be sure to reserve your spot with the hotel staffs at the front desk/concierge desk as they get filled up pretty fast!

Book a stay at Best Western Premier Panbil here!

Our Preferred Massage & Spa Partner- Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya Hill

 

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

This may sound bias but the folks at Spa Central Batam have been our long-time friend for many years now and it is always a pleasure for us to visit them whenever we’re in Batam.

There are plenty of massage and spa operators in Batam and it can be quite hard to decide which one to go because there are just so many options. Now, if you haven’t been to Batam or if you have been frequenting Batam but you haven’t found the perfect massage and spa place, may we suggest that you consider Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya Hill?

Spa Central Batam has got two outlets; one in Sukajadi (Batam Centre) and the other in Nagoya Hill. If Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is part of your itinerary, you might want to consider including a massage and spa session at Spa Central Batam (Nagoya). With sessions as short as 30 minutes to a long session that can occupy you for half a day; there are a lot of options for you to choose from.

Why we love Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya?

Firstly, Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya is Spa Central Batam’s latest outlet and the entire spa experience is designed from scratch. Owned by a Singaporean couple, you can expect 5-star service and treatment, all at a very affordable price! For the Top-to-Toe spa package lasting 4.5 hours that we experienced, it costs only about S$145 per person and it consists of a foot bath, 90-minute aromatherapy massage, 30-minute body scrub, 60-minute hair spa, 60-minute facial, 30-minute foot reflexology and a lunch main course with a drink!

 

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

Secondly, the massage and spa therapists are all professionally trained and the ambience is really soothing, cosy, and clean. With a social mission to equip women and single mothers with massage therapy skills to make a living and help them break out of the poverty cycle, be rest assured that the money you spend at Spa Central Batam will go towards charitable causes.

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

Last but not least, all you married couples with children/toddlers can now rejoice! Spa Central Batam @ Nagoya will soon be equipped with childcare facilities that will keep your children engaged and occupied so that both of you can enjoy a temporary respite from the busyness of life while indulging in a pampering spa massage and therapy session.

The Number 1 Restaurant in Batam- Anchor Café and Roastery

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

 

Anchor Café and Roastery has overtaken Bella Italia Restaurant as the number 1 Restaurant in Batam on TripAdvisor. Offering a hearty menu that comprises appetisers, main courses and desserts; Anchor Café and Roastery should definitely be on the itinerary for Café Hoppers.

 

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

When we were there, we had their All-Day Breakfast Sets, Chicken Tenders, a Lemon Meringue Pie, and a cup of Mocha Coffee. The portions are really huge and for the price that we paid, we felt that it was pretty worth it. Furthermore, Anchor Café and Roastery’s coffees are really exceptional because the owner has built direct trade relationships with coffee farmers throughout Indonesia.

The Best Souvenir to Get in Batam- Kueh Lapis

 

New photo by Melvin Lee / Google Photos

Layer Cakes (Kueh Lapis) remain the best souvenir to get in Batam and the best place to get it would be Diana Layer Cakes. They don’t take in orders through Facebook anymore but you can still drop by their place or give them a call. For a 1KG layer cake from Diana Layer Cakes, the cost is about S$25 and it is one third the price of what you can get in Singapore.

Well, we hope that this refreshed guide to Batam has been helpful and if you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to drop us an email or comment.

If the time has come to sell your car; then you will know how important it is for you to make a good return on it. After all, the money you get from your old car may be going towards your new one, and if you are not careful, then you may end up losing more money than you anticipated.

Wax on- Wax Off

If your paint job is super faded, don’t try and spend a fortune in getting a brand new one done. Instead, get out your wax and polish. When you do this, you can easily add value to your car and even make it look newer as well. If your car’s paint job is so faded that you can’t even remember what it looks like; open the door and look inside the frame because this part of the car seldom gets exposed to sunlight or even harsh chemicals. This will give you a good idea of what your car used to look like. You might also want to invest in a car ceramic coating too.

Bright Lights

Dingy headlights can make your car look way worse than it actually is. There are a huge number of headlight cleaning products out there for you to choose from and you can easily brighten up your car this way. If you have tried window cleaners but they just don’t work for you; then you should know that headlight cleaner is a completely different product that is worth looking into.

Shiny Wheels

Shiny wheels that look new can really improve your car’s appearance. It can also boost the potential value as well. You don’t have to replace your tyres or anything else like that. All you have to do is get down there and clear out any dirt and grime. You should also invest in some tyre shine as well. This will help you get that new car shine and make it look shiny clean.

Inside the Car

If you have any removable floor mats, take these out. If they can be cleaned, then make sure you clean them. If they have huge gaping holes in them, then either throw them out or buy some new ones. A new set of floor mats shouldn’t cost you too much at all and they can make all the difference to someone’s first impression of the car. This is especially the case if you think that the potential buyer is going to be taking the vehicle on a test drive, so do keep that in mind.

Glass Cleaning

Don’t use household cleaners on your car. The materials inside your car are very different from the things that make up your furniture. For this reason, you should only invest in high-quality cleaning products that are meant for the car only. The same concept applies to glass cleaner as well. You’d be surprised at what a difference using a car glass cleaner can make when compared to standard window products.

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you! I’m not sure how many people would actually remember or have an inkling of this famous love poem but I do remember using it quite often whenever I write letters to my friends or fill up my profile on my friend’s autograph book.

Yes, this was pretty much how “the Facebook of my time” looks like when I was in primary school 2 decades ago and we usually “create” our profile on our friend’s autograph book at the start or end of the school year. One other thing that I would also do is to buy Christmas gifts for my friends and write Christmas wishes on greeting cards to send to them. Those times were indeed old-fashioned or even traditional but you know what, the principles and values of gift-giving are truly timeless.

Image Credits: Blog To Express

 

The act of gift-giving has been carried out since the medieval times and the word, “gift” comes in the form of a noun (thing or object) or a verb (action word). A gift is a thing given willingly to someone without payment i.e. a present; and when you engage in gifting, it essentially means that you are giving (something) as a gift, especially formally or as a donation or bequest.

Gifts come in many forms and sometimes, it can be really hard to pick the right gifts for a person that you have in mind. When you get a gift for someone, here are some questions that you probably want to ask yourself:

How Much Do You Want to Spend?

Knowing how much you want to spend can significantly widen or narrow down your choices. Price is a major factor for consideration when you want to get a gift for someone else and usually, you wouldn’t mind splurging on your loved ones unless you’re on a tight budget.

Are There Any Existing Promotions/Discounts?

There are a lot of great deals and sales that take place throughout the year and for the online shopaholic, the best times to shop has to be black Friday, 11.11 and 12.12. The cost savings that you get from online sales will certainly go a long way if you’re planning to get gifts for a lot of people. One of my favourite e-commerce site to shop is definitely Lazada.

Is the Gift for a Lady or Man?

There are unisex gifts and gender-specific gifts. Just don’t mix the two up. Typically, some gifts that are suitable for a lady will include a bouquet of roses from Roses Only, a box of exquisite chocolates, a plushie, and a designer handbag. Man will typically receive a cologne, wallet, tie or cufflinks.

What does the Person Like and Dislike?

I’m pretty sure you will want to receive a gift that you really like instead of receiving one that you dislike. Similarly, knowing what a person like and dislike is super important because it really narrows down and zooms in on the choices of gifts that you can get for the person.

What are the Favourite Colours of the Person that You’re Getting the Gift for?

It is sometimes useful and helpful to know the favourite colours of the person that you’re getting the gift for so that you will save the hassle of having to do an exchange at the shop. If you’re getting an apparel or footwear, be sure that you know what is the shirt/shoe size of the person before you make that purchase or better still, bring the person down to the shop.

How Are You Related to the Person that You’re getting the Gift for?

I’m pretty sure you will spend more on the person who is closest to you but if you’re getting gifts for your family members, friends, and office colleagues; what you get for them can vary greatly from person to person.

What is the Occasion?

Last but not least, it is equally important to know what the occasion is that you’re giving the person a gift for. There are different types of gifts for different occasions. Shopping for a graduation gift or Christmas gift, for example, can be quite different from shopping for a birthday gift or even an anniversary gift. Know why you’re giving what you’re giving.

I hope that this article has been helpful and if you haven’t got the time to do your Christmas shopping, here’s where Mel’s White Glove can help you! Mel’s White Glove can help you to procure suitable gifts, offer you some gift recommendations, make gift purchases on your behalf, and hand-deliver the gift for you!