6 Tips to Start a Home-Based Business in Singapore
If you’re interested in starting a home-based business, now might be a perfect time. Since the pandemic, more people than ever before are setting up their businesses from home. Like starting any business, starting a business from home has its advantages, but there are many steps to take to position yourself for success. In this post, we'll walk you through some tips on what you need to launch a home business
1. Set up your office space
One of the biggest benefits of working from home is that you have the freedom to design your workspace however you like. If you want colorful walls and loud music in your office, no one’s stopping you! So be yourself and customise your office environment to something you are most comfortable with. Some points to consider when setting up an office space are:
Choose the best location
For some people, finding a place for their office is easy when they already have a spare room available in their house. However, some of us don’t have the luxury of space so be creative when you choose a location for your office setup. You can consider using your kitchen table as part of your office setup, or check unused corners of a room that could be converted for your workspace.
Really got no space in the house for an office setup? Consider trying a Cloffice! A Cloffice is basically a closet used as an office setup. Pictures of this cool idea had first been seen on Pinterest before it trended on Instagram with numerous #cloffice selfies. In short, setting up an office in your house is definitely possible even if you think there isn’t enough space, explore your options and make use of what you have! You can check out the spruce If you want more cool ideas for home office setups.
Singapore has two government schemes implemented for home-based businesses operating from HDB flats:
- HDB flats are the greatest places to set up home offices.
- A one-time Home Office Permit is required.
- The number of non-residents you can hire to work from your flat is capped at two.
- You are required to register your business with ACRA.
2. Home-Based Small Scale Business Scheme
- Enables you to operate a small home business from your HDB flat.
- No authorization or permit is required.
- You can't employ anyone else
2. Ensure your office is equipped
Once you have organised your home office setup, you need to make sure that it’s equipped with everything you need for running your business.
Firstly, It’s important that you have a good internet connection. A major problem for many people working from home is their poor connection due to many household devices being connected to the same Wifi router at once. One tip to ensure strong wifi for work is to prioritise your internet traffic.
Use different frequency bands. Most routers use both the 2.4 and 5GHz bands, and you can divide those bands into 2 different networks to join. Reserving the 5GHz band will result in a much better internet experience than when you share a band with your family or roommates. QOS, otherwise known as quality of service is how routers prioritise certain devices over others when it comes to Internet connectivity. Gadgetreviews shows you how to prioritise your pc on your router in just a few steps.
You can check out squarerooms for more tips to boost your internet connection when working from home.
Furniture & Equipment
Secondly, consider what furniture and equipment you might need for your office workspace.
It is important that your home office is equipped with everything you need to carry out your work tasks. Include items that will increase productivity and offer a comfortable working atmosphere, such as a desk, a comfy chair, and some filing cabinets. It’s also important for you to have proper lighting and invest in a high-quality video camera so that you’re fully prepared for any online meetings or conferences.
3. Have a clear working schedule
To avoid having your company operations interrupted, be open with your family and/or roommates about your working hours and schedule. Create a routine and schedule the bulk of your work during the times when you are most productive. This minimises disruptions that could prevent you from finishing productive and creative work, by setting clear expectations with those who share space with you.
On your website, social media accounts, and in other interactions, let your clients and customers know what hours you are available. Tell them what to expect when you communicate with them after work hours. You might also think about setting up a time frame for your response such as within two business days.
4. Create a Business plan
If you take a look online at the top reasons that businesses fail, you’ll see reasons like “lack of funding, founder disagreements, no market need”. Here’s a hot take from yours truly - the top reason a business fails is that it never started.
Business plans are crucial and strategic. They give you clarity about what you need to do to succeed. Many out there will recommend you to do a SWOT analysis, a structured financial plan, and a long list of other tasks, as part of the business plan. But bearing in mind that the top reason a business fails is that it never started, it would be incredibly counter-productive if all your business plan did was build up inertia towards starting the actual business.
So here’s our suggestion! Have yourself 2 types of business plans.
The first is the one that helps you get started fast. It gives you clarity to take the first step. In this plan, answer the simplest questions. Who do I want to sell to, what would they pay for that I am able to sell, and where do they spend their time online so I can reach them? Answer these questions and get momentum on speaking with some of your potential customers as soon as possible. Prioritise getting in your first few sales to get practical knowledge of your market.
The second business plan is the more conventional one. This plan can help you to define longer-term objectives, and helps you discover weaknesses in your business idea. Let this plan be an evolving document that you build on the side using practical lessons you learn from serving real customers. Here are the steps to creating that business plan:
Draft an executive summary - An introductory overview of your business.
Company Description - The vision, mission, core values, and scope of your business
Products and Services - What products and services you will offer and to whom they are catered for.
Market Analysis - Find out your target audience and how you can build a competitive edge over others.
Conduct a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis looks at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. What are the best things about your company? What are you not so good at? What market or industry shifts can you take advantage of and turn into opportunities? Are there external factors threatening your ability to succeed?
Marketing Plan - The majority of marketing plans provide details on four major aspects. Your business and the audience for your plan will determine how much information you include on each.
- Price (How much do your products cost, and why have you made that decision?)
- Product. (What are you selling and how do you differentiate it in the market?)
- Promotion. (How will you get your products in front of your ideal customer?)
- Place. (Where will you sell your products?)
Financial Overview - A structured financial plan should include the following:
- Profit and loss statement
- Cash flow statement
- Balance sheet
- Sales forecast
- Personnel plan
- Business ratios and break-even analysis
5. Set up a Business Account
A business account helps you to safeguard your funds for a start-up. A business account enables you to maintain your business assets and spending apart from your personal funds, even if you are a sole proprietor running your own business. Additionally, it helps in managing your company's cash inflows and outflows, which is useful during tax season. Here are some points to consider when opening choosing a bank to open your business account.
Initial Capital Outlay
Most banks demand an initial deposit when you start a business account. This amount may range from S$500 and S$30,000. Choose an account that does not require a huge initial deposit if your business has a small starting capital
No Minimum balance or fall below fees
Look for business accounts that don't demand a minimum balance in your bank account, such as the OCBC Business Growth Account. This will be beneficial since it frees you up from having to lock up your money in the bank to maintain the minimum balance required and avoid paying a fall-below fee. Instead, you can concentrate on running your business effectively.
Additional Services you will need
It is also important for you to consider the type of services and tools that come with your business account. Business online and mobile banking, a business debit card, and e-alerts are typical features that you can expect. For business owners, these services make it easier to keep track of transactions and payments made.
Here are the main banks you can consider opening a business account with:
6. Partner with the right delivery service
Deliveries are at the heart of operating a business. If your business is one that targets a niche community that is distributed across the world, you will need a reliable international shipping partner.
Many such businesses have difficulty getting packages to their customers due to shipping delays and inconveniences so it’s important that you find a delivery partner that offers efficient delivery services at affordable prices.
Unsure of where to find an efficient and reliable delivery partner? JustShip offers hassle-free international shipping within 2-5 working days worldwide! Not only that, we ensure that your items will be carefully handled with professional packing services at affordable rates so you can have peace of mind knowing that your packages are in safe hands! Create a shipment with us now, and we’ll pick up your items from your doorstep the next weekday for free!
If you have any more questions, you can contact us on Whatsapp: 91187971 or Gmail: firstname.lastname@example.org!