March 14, 2014 | Valerie Wong
In terms of setting up your own small business in Singapore, it's important to remember that you're in a foreign place, and going by what you know in terms of marketing and appealing to your native country isn't going to cut it here. Expatriates and Singaporean foreign residents who have been immersed in Singaporean culture have a better chance of making it in Singapore in terms of building and spearheading a Singaporean small business when compared to their peers who have no idea how the culture of Singapore works. Proper SOPs (standard operating procedures) and protocols should be observed as well.
Paperwork and Legalities in Establishing a Small Business
In order to end up with viable small business opportunities in Singapore, you should know Singapore like you know yourself—or even the back of your hand. That way, you won't be lost when filling in paperwork or dealing with Singaporean bureaucracy. People who have become immersed in Singapore culture already have a Singaporean VISA, so they're already one step ahead of entrepreneurs who are just starting to explore this brave new frontier in success and ASEAN profit. If you don't have a VISA, get one. You should also define your business sector next. This is where you can find your small business opportunities.
Seemingly, the default marketplace for foreign businessmen is ecommerce or the Internet. The reason for this is because it's cost-effective. You don't necessarily require an office rental because your office could be a virtual one. You also have the option of outsourcing your work to the locals through the Internet, including marketing, so that you won't have to study about the Singaporean demographic; you can let the real experts in the field (their fellow Singaporeans) guide you in catering to their wants and needs, whether it's clothing, electronics, or even online food delivery. The sky is the limit when it comes to indulging in electronic commerce and Internet business.
Explore Different Avenues in Singaporean Small Business
With that said, Singaporean small business opportunities aren't limited to the Internet and ecommerce, despite its obvious advantages. As long as you have some sort of Singaporean liaison to help you out and help you learn the ropes about the Singapore market, you can't go wrong. Don't allow your business to be something that's doomed to fail. Research the Singaporean way of life, from their religion to their culture; let go of the mindset that the Orient is the "Mysterious Far East" and embrace instead the concept that "Just because something is different, it doesn't necessarily mean it is bad."
As a responsible Singaporean expatriate or foreign businessman, you should choose the right dates when conducting business. Also, check the public holiday list of Singapore in order to avoid the faux pas of making your employees work during an important national celebration or missing out on the golden opportunity of using a holiday to increase sales and whatnot. In terms of business establishment, it also means establishing your business immediately after or in between the Chinese New Year, observing local tradition. Singaporeans also respect punctuality above all else, so you should be a paragon when it comes to meeting deadlines and keeping promised dates.
If you want to start a business in Singapore, then feel free to depend on Servcorp. They have quality corporate registration and virtual office services that will give you a significant advantage when it comes to establishing yourself in Singaporean territory.