5 Easy Steps To Setting Up A Successful Online Business In Singapore

 

With the ever increasing prices of rent and total cost of maintaining a business in Singapore, a lot of business owners are now turning to the online world. The attraction to starting an online business instead is well understood. It seems like a much easier way to set up shop and actually make a proper living out of it. By reducing your retail space, you will then in turn reduce your overhead cost of running your business. It seems like a great bargain doesn’t it?

However, online businesses are relatively new (well, new when compared to physical businesses that have been running for decades) and not a lot of people have properly grasped the exact way to execute an online business. E-commerce is one of the most fast growing segments in the global markets and it is certainly extremely promising and rewarding. In this article, the team here and ThunderQuote is not only looking to educate you on starting your own online business but to also show you that it is a lot more than just going online and starting a website. There is a lot more to it than it seems. It requires extensive planning, a huge investment of money and time and as well as a huge amount of dedication. This is because the minute you go online, you let go of the normal hours of a conventional job. The 9-5 illusion is gone and now you have to work at all times or whenever your customers need you. Therefore, there should be a good amount of planning and patience to go through a business like this.

What are the steps involved to successfully starting up your online business?

 

Step 1 : Research and Planning

Before starting your new business, please make sure that you have a good business plan that can cater to what the market needs at the current moment. You will need to think it through before going ahead and starting on this new journey. Always make sure that you have a target market that will be very happy with you starting your business. This is crucial to always make sure you have customers to fall back on if anything goes awry.

With that great idea of yours in your head you would now need to turn in into a reality. But from being just an idea in your head into actually turning it into a reality will take a lot of hard work, intense planning and some hardcore brainstorming. The best way to go about this is to conduct intensive market research. Market research is very important to anyone who is planning to start their new business. Good research will help you determine how high the potential is for your new business. This research will give you a rough idea on how successful your business will be or if you need to fine tune it a little bit more and work towards making it the best version. Only the best version of the business should be advertised to the world.

 

Step 2 : Write Down Your Plans

The next step would be to put all those planning on paper. This is to ensure that you know everything that you’ve planned and to see it on paper would help you visualise and plan better. This would be called your working plan of action and this will essentially turn into the blueprints of your e-commerce business.

So what should that plan look like? Well, the team here at ThunderQuote has made it simple for you and it should be easy to start working on it!

 

What are you selling?

  • It’s important to note down just exactly what you’re trying to sell and also create an outline of how it’s going to help people.
  • Write down exactly how it works and the benefits of your service or your product.
Who are you selling to?

  • Identifying your customers is extremely important as mentioned earlier in the article.
  • Always remind yourself of your customer base to ensure you’re marketing your product to the correct people.
How are you funding it and keeping it afloat?

  • Once you’ve figured out the top two questions, the next thing to do is to conduct a cash flow analysis to find out exactly how much money you need for this startup.
  • In addition to that also have an exit strategy plan just in case things don’t go to plan.
Do you have any competition?

  • Always scout around for competition. This will ensure that you are always on top of things.
  • Try to ensure you offer better services than them in any way possible.

 

Step 3 : Entering the Playing Field

So it is finally time to actually get started with the real thing. We are also here to educate you on exactly how you can start an online business in SIngapore when it comes to the registration processes, the tax problem and things like legal regulations. We prefer to always be informed to ensure that we know what we’re getting ourselves into. Thus, this next section is targeted to allow just that.

 

Financial Assistance + Funding Information

Since the Singaporean government loves ensuring the country’s economy stays stabilised and prosperous, there are a lot of ways to fund your business. The government loves to ensure that all businesses stay afloat and are actually doing well.

 

Now, let’s get down to business. Despite e-commerce taking off over the past few years, it will become quite expensive to start your business. From registering your business, to getting a website and things like web hosting fees, the bills can rack up. This will become increasingly frustrating if you have a limited resources. However, fret now, there are many ways to get over the money issues in Singapore. You just need to know where to find help and get it done fast.

 

#1 The Classic Business Loans

A loan is probably the most straightforward way to get more money to fund your business. You can either go to your bank for a loan. If you decide to go through with this route, you will remain the full owner of your business. However, you will forever be indebted to your lender and will only be free from the debt once you’ve cleared it. If things do not take off, you will not only risk losing your business but also your capital at the same time.

This is quite a dangerous route to go down. In addition to that it isn’t that easy to get full funding from banks unless you have a large collateral or if you can really convince them with a great business plan. It is something you need to think about thoroughly just to make sure that your credit is secure and not tarnished.

#2 Investors

This is the more current route and it is relatively simple to understand. It is basically an alternative scheme that exchanges private funding for your company with shares of your company. So you’re basically gathering your capital and exchanging it with some shares of your company. It does seem like a good source for funding if you don’t have the means to get a traditional loan. The only problem with this kind of funding is that you will have to give up some of your shares to the investors in return for their money.

#3 Government Funding

The best part about being in Singapore or deciding to start your online business in Singapore is that Singaporean government has been very hands on when it comes to new businesses and they are always on the lookout for new opportunites. They have established several initiatives to allow start-ups and specific industry businesses to get access to funding. Some of the perks include grants, business incubator schemers, and tax incentives. More information can be seen at the Government Funding and Assistance Schemes for Singapore Startups. It is always good to know that you have several options when it comes to starting your business.

 

Step 4 : Incorporating Your Business

Once you’ve settled your funding speed bumps, the next thing you need to do is to incorporate your business. Business incorporation is extremely important because when you register your business, you would need to decide on your business structure. The structure you choose will then measure your taxes, how much you’re liable for and it will also determine how you are supposed to run your business.

The most common type of business structure chosen by multiple entrepreneurs is to incorporate a private limited company. It has countless advantages and it will help with bringing up the company a lot faster. The registration process is also fairly simple and it can be completed within 24 hours!

Step 5 : Gathering Your Arsenal

The next step will rely heavily on the service or product you are planning to sell online. It’s not as simple as you think and there are a few infrastructural things that you need done to ensure the diligent sale and delivery of items and services to your customers.

Choosing the right infrastructure will reduce your workload exponentially and help you become a better manager of your time and efforts.

So what kind of infrastructure do you need?

 

Infrastructure Reasoning
Website Development
  1. You will need a website domain name, This is the name that will be used to identify your brand all over the world. Make sure you pick a name that truly represents your identity and something that is easily remembered so that everyone will know exactly what your brand is immediately.
  2. You will also need a hosting provider for your website. A hosting site will ensure that you have good security, bandwidth and it will also guarantee that your site will be up and running all the time.
  3. Design and proper development of the website. Please make sure you hire a professional to design your website because it will be the first thing people see and if it doesn’t look good or it does not work properly, you will not have the pleasure of returning customers.
Marketing and Advertising
  1. The next step is to have a good marketing system to ensure that more people find out about your business. More people equals more business.
  2. The best way to ensure you get more traffic to your website is to create good content and dip your toes in online marketing and social media advertising. If you need help setting up, try to hire a professional, we guarantee you it would be money well spent!
Finance and Bookkeeping
  1. Your finances need to be handled with great care. You’ve already spent so much money starting the business,  now it’s time to make that money back.
  2. You can manage your finances either by yourself or by hiring a professional. We would always advise you to hire a professional so that you know everything is being done to code.
  3. Although just to be safe, always go back and check the finances and make sure they all balance out at the end of the day.

 

We hope that this guide has been helpful to those hopefuls looking to expand their horizons. E-commerce is definitely the future and stepping into it is the smartest thing to do now. Make sure you follow these guides to make sure you’re doing everything correctly!

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

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