6 Things You Need to Know About Launching a Startup in Singapore
Singapore is undeniably becoming the preferred country in Asia for savvy entrepreneurs and seasoned businessmen from all over the world to set up their business in Singapore. With attractive government investment schemes and grants, this little red dot has almost everything (including the business infrastructure political stability) for an entrepreneur to launch his/her startup in Singapore.
However, setting up a startup does not look as easy as it seems. Business know-how is bred, not born and having it take off requires expertise. Here are 6 things you should know about launching your very own startup here in Singapore:
DEVELOP YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
Starting a business is difficult and it definitely comes with risks. Take the time to draw up your business plan as it takes a lot of preparation. Before you start, figure out what type of business you will have. Will it be a company, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership or limited liability partnership? Find out your options, then put together your plan.
Lay out your ideas in concrete terms as this will provide you a comprehensive game plan that will ensure your business is operated with a clear understanding of its audiences, strengths, opportunities and growth potential. You will also be able to easily identify places to change the business model where necessary as the nature of your business evolves.
FOCUS ON YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
When you have put your heart and soul into building a product or a service, it is only natural for you to want to introduce the end product to the world. While getting your brand out there is essential to driving traffic towards your business, going too broad may actually work against you.
To better reach your brand’s objectives, identify and gain the trust of your target audience regardless of your brand mission. Invest some time and effort into conducting a market analysis and researching the demographics of your potential customer base to better understand their buying habits.
DECIDE ON YOUR COMPANY STRUCTURE
Once you have defined your business plan, it becomes a lot easier to determine the most suitable legal structure that best suits your company’s current nature. As your business grows, you may consider changing your legal structure to meet your requirements..
Startups are typically lean outfits that can consist of teams as small as two persons, but they are still subject to stringent regulatory and compliance requirements. We highly recommend entrepreneurs to engage a qualified professional firm to manage their back-end office administration such as company secretarial and accounting so that they can focus on building their business.
HANDLE YOUR FINANCES
A good accounting and bookkeeping system can be often underestimated by newly-minted startup owners. A reliable system will allow you to have easy access to the numbers that tell you how your business is doing and what you can expect. These include start-up costs, sales, projected profits, cash flow, and much more. You may have to make decisions on the go and knowing your business economics will ensure that you make the right decisions.
An efficient system not only helps you to keep an accurate record of all your business transactions, it also helps you to keep track of the taxes you will have to pay. Engaging professionals will ensure that your taxes are paid right and on time to avoid penalties. This will also guarantee that your business is in good standing with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
SOURCE FOR THE RIGHT TALENT
Hiring employees is a great milestone for any new startup. The hiring process in Singapore involves certain legal protocols which both employers and employees need to adhere to. Most employees are well aware of the Singapore Employment act and have a clear idea of their rights and protection. As an employer, it is equally important to be aware of the do’s and don’ts when hiring employees.
If you wish to hire a foreigner to supplement your local workforce, you will have to apply for a valid work pass or work permit on the candidate’s behalf before he/she can commence employment with you. Applying for work visas is an extremely stressful process therefore it would do entrepreneurs well to engage dedicated specialists who are well-versed in immigration, recruitment and work visa services as they have the resources to attend to every step of your application thoroughly.
NETWORK AND SURROUND YOURSELF WITH MENTORS
Surround yourself with like-minded and experienced mentors to guide you as you grow your business. You can find such mentors on networking sites like LinkedIn, by attending workshops, webinars, and networking sessions, or just asking around.
Just because you are turning your ideas into reality, it does not mean you have to figure everything out on your own. In order to position yourself for success, you will need to tap into the expertise of those who are experienced in areas where you might not be so well-versed in and this includes overwhelming yet necessary processes like, business incorporation, work pass applications, accounting and bookkeeping services.
As a new startup, you cannot afford to waste your limited time on administrative work. Because we work closely with small businesses like yours every day, we are able to draw on decades of experience to lay the ground for you while you focus on looking after your business, planning its development, and achieving your goals.
Behind every brand, there is a host of relevant content which has been thoughtfully created to connect the brand with its target audience. There are many things to consider when it comes to marketing your startup and your products and services. Not only do you need to factor in offline marketing plans when devising your business strategy – there is the online world to take into consideration as well.
Growing a startup can be quite an exciting journey for you as the founder but this usually comes with a steep learning curve as well. It is understandable that your top priority is to turn innovative ideas into a business reality and to develop such ideas into products and/or services that will eventually lead to the growth of your business.