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.
Generally, 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.
If 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.
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