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How to Weather Financial Woes in Singapore

June 11, 2014 | SERVCORP

Singapore experienced two global recessions in the course of 9 years. During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, recession was shorter and milder, thanks to the excellent management done by the government. The government gradually depreciated the value of the Singapore dollar to soften the impact on the economy. Labor costs were lowered with a limited impact on local demand and disposable income. Before the year was out, Singapore's economy recovered.

The 2008 global recession proved to be more serious and severe than the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The 1997 financial crisis hit the financial sector, while the 2008 recession affected the stock market and trade sector, which impacted the “real” economy as cash and capital flows were curtailed.

Singapore's present-day economy is well and thriving; but this does not mean that 100% of the population and the business sector are financially stable.

Surviving Personal Financial Breakdown

Everyone has the capacity to control his spending habits and budget. Though it is not always easy to control one's spending, basic money management could be achieved if one tries to put his mind into it. The economic downturn is a real concern as no one can accurately predict the future of the global economy. To safeguard one's finances, here are some basic tips to endure financial crunch.

Assess and continue to re-assess your spending habits. You should see to it that you spend only what you earn. If money is tight, you and your family's lifestyle must change. You might have to do without the luxuries and concentrate on necessities. Before you throw S$250 on one meal, consider what you can buy for the household with that amount.

Small changes regarding your spending habits count. If you think a S$50 daily lunch is inexpensive, multiply that by 24 and that totals to S$1,200. Any small adjustment with your spending will impact your finances as a whole. Put the S$50 as savings and in 6 months you have saved S$7,200.

Always pay your bills on time to avoid surcharges as these are added to your total debt. You might even have your account closed or cut as a penalty for late payment.

Do not give-in to spur-of-the-moment shopping. It is wise to make a list of what you need to buy instead of buying what you see in the store. Use coupons if possible. Do not be easily swayed to buy the bargain items that you do not really need.

What if it is your business that is in a financial jam?

Surviving Business Financial Breakdown

Singaporeans are old hands in coping with the economic downturn. Many companies have survived the boom and bust of Singapore's economy, but some businesses went belly-up in the process. A business contingency plan is needed for a business to weather a financial crash. Aside from cost-cutting and cutbacks, there are 3 ways for businesses to survive a financial breakdown in Singapore. (Susie Martin, (2012, October) 3 Ways for Businesses to Weather Financial Woes, Retrieved from (http://sbr.com.sg/financial-services/commentary/3-ways-businesses-weather-financial-woes).

Rent a serviced office instead of leasing an office space that you have to staff, furnish and equip. Doing the latter takes a huge chunk out of a business's starting and running capital.  There are big companies that move into smaller facilities with less staff, equipment and furnishings when they experience financial downturn. Opting for a serviced office on the onset will provide your company with a premium office space that is manned by an excellent staff, with first-rate services, and housed in a building that is strategically located in the city's CBD.

Be bold to enter new global markets. Even during an economic downturn, new markets emerge as there are new consumer needs. These new businesses have the potential to succeed and it is best to be “in the scene” from the start. Global mobility is a must and your company's global network presence can be achieved through virtual offices. There is no need to set-up an actual brick and mortar office in various locations. Corporate meetings can be held at premium boardrooms in various international locations.

Take advantage of technology. The more high-tech your business is, the better you can serve your clients. In this day and age of digital technology, smart solutions for clients give you an edge over competitors.  Your business's IT structure and system of communication must be current. Internet connection must be fast and has little or no down time at all. There should be a call-routing system so clients can reach your office anytime, anywhere. VoIP phones lower roaming charges not only for the business, but for the clients as well. A business must invest in technology to get ahead.

Recession can happen anytime. It is best to stay ahead in terms of cost-cutting, money-saving tips and cost-efficient workplace to weather financial woes in Singapore. Get that serviced office now. Contact Servcorp.