Are you at a point you want to stop being an employee and just want to strike out on your own? Or is your current salary simply not enough that you need another source of income? It might be time to consider starting your own small business!
If you’ve got a small business idea, there’s no better time to start than now! Online business opportunities in Singapore are on an upswing and are set to boom further in 2022. The e-commerce business market alone is expecting growth by a colossal 48%!
If you’ve always wanted to be your own boss, you might as well ride the wave! Here are some of the best small business ideas that you can use to join the growing online market and make huge profits!
How the Singapore government supports the country’s tech scene?
Back in June 2019, the Singapore government announced that they have set aside S$40 million to fund innovation and research to turn the country into a 5G innovation hub, and plans to continuously commit to R&D spending into scientific and technological research.
This initiative also comes in a form helpful to the many businesses in the tech and electronics industry because of the government’s approach of combining business-friendly policies with a lot of investment in the tech sector, contributing to its growth today.
Singapore’s thriving tech sector can be traced back to its well-developed IT infrastructure, investment opportunities, low taxes on businesses, and its convenient location being in the middle of Asia’s largest markets. But government support is no slouch either as it aims to nurture new talents and big ideas.
This is evident in the establishment of many government agencies to support new business, to further nurture its already bustling economy.
If you have profitable business ideas, don’t hesitate to pursue them because you can be confident that you have a lot of options for support, from getting a government business loan, to numerous grants.
Top Small Business Opportunities in Singapore to Start Your Own Business
With the foreseeable growth of e-commerce and small businesses and the unwavering support of the government, there is no shortage of opportunities in Singapore.
The only question now is what kind of business model will you use to start your own entrepreneurial journey. Don’t worry, we’ll be looking at a few good business ideas that may inspire you.
Here are some small business ideas that are great options to venture into for your own business:
- Health Food Business
- Subscription Business
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sustainable Products
- Education Technology and Online Learning
- Professional Financial Services
- Online Marketing Services
- Creative Services
1. Health Food Business
The best way to win someone’s heart is through their stomach, so why not attract customers with food that not only satisfies their tummies but also keeps the body healthy?
Singapore has very limited arable land, but its agricultural sector thrives due to its agricultural production. This is good news for both you and everyone who’s been caught in the healthy food trend. Everyone at this point wants to look good and live healthily, so there is no denying the high demand for products that fit well into a nutritious diet.
- Pre-packaged Meal Plans. One business model that’s currently making waves in the food industry is to prepare meal plans for subscribing customers. These follow a healthy diet plan which attracts customers that don’t have time to prepare and manage their diets.
- Online Store. Instead of preparing meals, you can sell different health products on an online store. This is a good business idea that relies on already existing popular products that cater to different needs and preferences.
2. Subscription Business
Out of the many business ideas in recent years, none have been as uniquely applicable to different business models as using subscriptions.
This comes in the form of providing specific products for customers in regular intervals, where they pay you monthly for what you produce. This can be anything, from selling physical products like food, drinks, books, or other things like art, comics, online video content, or even mentoring.
It might take a while, but finding the perfect niche can make this a very profitable business idea.
- Monthly Wine/Cheeses. If you can source speciality wines or cheeses, you can create a monthly subscription service providing regular stock to your customers. They can select their preferred cheese and wines, and you can make a pretty penny with luxurious branding.
- Online Content. Subscription is a common online model for content creators on platforms like Patreon, Youtube, and Twitch. If you have a knack for live stream, creating video content, or various arts, there is a market that will pay just to see what you can make. The best part is that it’s not very capital intensive!
The digital age didn’t just bring about efficient communication, it also brought a lot of conveniences. One of those is the option to forego brick-and-mortar stores and simply go online shopping. Most businesses today have their own e-commerce store. A business thrives by covering as much ground as possible.
In Singapore, many companies that dabble in fashion actually are e-commerce stores, and it’s looking like it’s here to stay. But you don’t have to be limited to clothes–you can sell electronic products, crafts, and a variety of items.
- Online Groceries. The grocery delivery service is a relatively new front, and it got a lot more popular after lockdowns prevented us from running errands. The great thing is it brings about a lot of expanded options that people might not always get from a local store!
- Online Fashion Shops. In Singapore, much of the exchange of money online occurs at online fashion shops. There’s currently a lot of big names, but there’s always a business opportunity that you can squeeze yourself into.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is unlike small business ideas that still require you to have enough capital to start. To launch, you simply need a ton of effort.
It’s a very low-risk, high-reward venture, which makes for a good business idea. All you have to do is learn the intricacies of internet marketing, dive deep into market research, set up a platform, build a reputation through value content, and advertising clients (known as affiliates).
- Blogging. Although dethroned by the currently more popular medium of video, written content has a certain legitimacy that will remain long-lived. If you have the knack for writing and can cater to a specific niche, popularise a blog and advertise your clients through writing!
- Youtube. Video content is undeniably the more engaging medium. Despite a diluted market, you’re likely to strike gold if you find a niche! Create valuable content and advertise your links with your videos!
5. Sustainable Products
Making money online doesn’t have to be bad for the environment! The planet needs all the help it can get, and one of the ways to do that is to deal in sustainable products.
Much of the world has become more conscious of the crucial situation of the environment, which is certainly good news for those who want to delve into this small business idea.
- Recycled Paraphernalia. A lot of products can be made from recycled material, like toothbrushes, designer kitchenware, clothing, and more. There’s no lack of options and the more you produce, the more you help the world!
- Kitchen Compost. Instead of selling recycled products, you can sell products that help other people reduce their waste. Kitchen compost can take the place of the usual trash bin for biodegradable to create usable compost for growing vegetation!
6. Education Technology and Online Learning
Education doesn’t just happen in school anymore. It can take place in the comfort of your own home, even through a cell phone!
Just take for example a little app called Duolingo, which helps millions of people worldwide learn a new language. But that’s not all, there’s never been a shortage of people using their knowledge to make a profit out of teaching others.
It doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you’ve got a particular expertise in a field, you might be able to offer your services!
- Edtech Apps. If you’ve got a good phone app idea, chances are you could make a lot through developing it! A lot of people are searching for different ways to learn in fun and engaging ways!
- Coaching Services and Online Courses. You can offer your knowledge through a variety of media, like ebooks, online classes, or even one-on-one specialised coaching sessions.
7. Professional Financial Services
Have a history in accounting, or are you particularly good at numbers? You might be able to offer professional financial services to many businesses or individuals!
This industry might have a narrow range of opportunities in Singapore, but the more specialised market means less competition.
- Professional Bookkeeping. You can offer your services to manage a particular company’s books and finances. This might require an educational history in accounting, but if you have that, you don’t have to stick to working for firms and get cash straight by working directly with clients.
- Financial Advisor. If you have a history of managing finances, portfolios, and what have you, you may be able to provide a coaching service to teach people about maintaining a healthy financial lifestyle.
8. Online Marketing Services
Got a knack for social media marketing? Talented in navigating the world of digital marketing? You might be able to offer freelance services to different businesses throughout the world!
This wouldn’t require a lot of payment upfront on your end to start, but you will have to learn a lot of things like SEO, and the different platforms you have to cover.
- Social Media Management. If you are learned about the ways of social media pages, you can help other businesses run theirs as a social media manager. Social media is the best and cheapest way to advertise right now, so there’s no shortage of business opportunities in Singapore for a social media marketing expert.
- Search Engine Optimisation. A lot goes on behind the scenes of how Google picks the first links in their search engine results, and if you’ve got knowledge in search engine optimization, you even work with multiple clients.
9. Creative Services
Got a certain creative talent? Do you write, do voice acting, or edit videos? You can very well use your skills as a freelance agent!
There is high demand for creative skills these days, so there is like a business opportunity for you out there to work with existing businesses!
- Freelance Web Design. Web designers earn a lot from making web pages for different businesses. If you know your way around coding, then you can dabble as a freelance web designer.
- Freelance Writing. Do you fashion yourself as a writer? You can make some cash by working with different clients by writing their content!
What should you consider when starting as a new business owner?
1. Stock Management
A lot of the best small business ideas include products. If you choose this route, you’ll need to learn to manage stocks and the expenses that come with them. If you’ve got suppliers, make sure to find trustworthy ones as the reputation of your own business may hinge on it!
2. Site Builder & Design
Whether you’re setting up a website for your small business, or building an online store, you need to familiarise yourself with the different options for site building and e-commerce platforms.
Depending on what kind of website you need, you have a variety of options like Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, and more. Some are free and barebones, some may cost but have better tools. Choose wisely!
3. Hosting Plan
Once you build a website, people need to find it on the internet. This means your site needs to be hosted! Many site builders offer hosting services. You can go free, but take note that this means ads, which might not be the best option.
4. Payment Providers
If your business routinely runs transactions, then you need a way to process those payments to protect your profits and customer data. Some site builders like Shopify offer built-in payment tools, but others can be attached through your existing website like Paypal.
5. Email platform
Building a relationship with your customer is a crucial part of maintaining your business. This means newsletters and email marketing. An email platform will help you maximise the potential of using an email content strategy.
6. Content Strategy
Quality content is your primary driver of web traffic. The best business strategy is to make material that provides consistent, relevant value and optimise it for search engines. If you can do that, you can count on a regular flow of customers.
7. Marketing/Advertising Strategy
Depending on your business, you might need to do more than scouting for clients on your own. Your best bet is to market through different means like Google Display or Facebook Ads. It’s not enough to have a great service or great content, you have to make people see it.
8. Analytics tools
Keeping track of what works and what doesn’t is the best way for you to adjust to the ever-fluctuating climate. How much traffic are you getting? Are you getting good ROI?
Thankfully, there’s a ton of options you can use to understand and manage the numbers behind all of it, like Facebook Analytics, Google Analytics, or SEMRush.
Properly keeping track of your income and expenses is essential. Although many factors will come into play and will largely depend on the kind of business you start, you will likely need to budget capital for two quarters to make sure you don’t sink right away.
Continued effective budgeting will keep you running for years to come.
10. Registration & Taxation
Before you start a business in Singapore, you need to register and have taxation codes. It’s best to seek the help of a professional to make sure you’re staying well within the confines of the law.
How to get funding?
Starting your own business can be difficult and costly, but small business opportunities in Singapore have a lot of options to choose from for assistive services.
7 Start-Up Government Grants
Singapore start-ups have the benefit of accessing different grant options for possible financial assistance. The following grants will cater to different needs and will have different eligibility requirements:
- Startup SG Founder: For First-Time Entrepreneurs.
- Enterprise Development Grant (EDG): For Improving Productivity.
- Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG): For IT Improvements.
- P-Max: For Hiring PMETs:
- Startup SG Tech: For Tech Startups.
- Business Improvement Fund (BIF): For Tourism-Related Businesses.
- VentureForGood (VFG) Grant: For Social Enterprises.
Alternative: Banks and Licensed Moneylenders
Alternatively, if government funding isn’t an option, local businesses may get business financing from the different financial institutions in Singapore.
|SME Business Loans offered by Banks||Maximum Loanable Amount||Repayment Period||Interest Rate||Processing Fee||Early Repayment Fee|
|DBS Business Loan||S$200,000- S$500,000||Up to 5 years||10.88% per annum||2% of the loan amount||2.50%|
|OCBC Business First Loan||S$100,000||Up to 5 years||10.88% per annum||2% of the loan amount||5%|
|UOB Bizmoney Loan||S$350,000||Up to 4 years||10.88% per annum||2% of the loan amount,||6.88%|
|UOB SME Loan||S$100,000||Up to 3 years||Per bank assessment||2% of the loan amount||6.88%|
|Maybank Business Term Loan||S$500,000||Up to 5 years||Up to 10.88% per annum||2% of the loan amount||<Discuss with bank>|
|Standard Chartered Business Instalment Loan||S$300,000||Up to 3 years||Up to 11% per annum||Default fee: S$100||5% if redeemed within the first twelve months, 3% of the amount thereafter.|
|Licensed Moneylenders||$200,000||Up to 2 years||5 to 15% per month||No processing fee||Varies|
- Business ideas are seeds. Profitability is possible for any venture, but it will take a lot of different factors to ensure success.
- Never hesitate to do your research on the variety of assistive options provided by the government.
- Thoroughly review any venture before starting a business. Some may not be for you.
- Make sure to consider every factor before launching and during running your business to ensure that it not only survives but also thrives.
- Consider all your funding options before settling on one to use.
If you’re looking for capital to start your business or extra funding to support different expenses, then you might like to try A1 Credit’s financial services.