Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more businesses are shifting their operations to the online sphere as e-commerce becomes increasingly preferred by consumers. According to Google’s e-Conomy SEA 2020 Report, Singapore saw an 87% growth rate for our internet economy, and our e-commerce industry is expected to be worth roughly $4 billion by the year 2025.
This number should not be too surprising because everything and anything these days can be purchased online, from fashion and beauty to furniture and even groceries. As such, it seems that shopping malls and retail outlets are slowly losing their appeal, especially among the younger generation of shoppers.
If you have plans to be an entrepreneur and would like to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon, good news as there is no better time than now to do so. Singapore enjoys a strong reputation for being one of – if not the most – easiest countries to start and do a business. However, this does not mean that you can simply start one without doing much research. To avoid any complications and failures in the future, here are the steps to take when setting up your online business.
Decide On What Products To Sell
Of course, a business can only perform when offering products or services to consumers. At the end of the day, a business is a transaction, and it can only receive payments when it has something to offer on its end. Therefore, you want to make sure you have a firm idea of what you are selling. What are the products’ key details, and how do they solve a current problem in our society? Who are the target customers who would be interested in such products? These are the kind of questions you should ask yourself when starting your online business as they help narrow down your choices and indicate how viable the product will be.
Conduct Market Research
These days, almost all industries are overcrowded, which places much pressure on new businesses to come up with something unique in order to stand out from the crowd. This is where market research plays an important role, as it allows you to analyse your potential competitors and see how your products or services can differ from theirs. You should aim for your products to stand apart from the rest and to bring in a certain value to consumers. Once you have conducted your market research, you will eventually know what price points to set for your offerings and any additional services your business will provide.
What’s more, market research enables you to plan a business strategy that predicts any problems you might encounter during the business’ operational period. For example, to reduce the risks of financial difficulties, you can take precautions by performing a cash flow analysis to determine your business’ profitability.
Register Your Online Business
Once you have sorted out all the necessary plans for your online business, you can then proceed to register your business through BizFile, ACRA, or by engaging a licensed agent, such as a law or accounting firm. Do bear in mind that you need a few details to register your business successfully, like the business name, registered address, a statement describing the business’ activities, and many more.
Your business can be categorised into four types of business structures: Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Liability Company, and Company. Different business structures suit different needs of each business, and depend on a variety of factors, like the number of owners, and how much capital is needed for investing.
Arrange Business Infrastructure
A business requires more than just products or services and an attractive name to establish. From employees to IT systems and equipment, many logistical tools go into operating a business and ensuring it functions as smoothly and efficiently as possible. When it comes to an online business, it goes without saying that the most vital business infrastructure it requires is a user-friendly and visually appealing website. You can also opt to elevate your customer experience by implementing a chatbot function or design the website to feature easy navigation.
Do Accurate Bookkeeping
Last but not least, never neglect to properly manage your finances to not only increase business’ profits, but also prevent financial losses and maintain smooth cash flow in the long-term. Most of the time, entrepreneurs get excited about the idea of starting a business, but are not well-prepared to run it effectively. Bookkeeping is an essential commitment that has to be performed daily as it calculates the operational costs incurred each day and contributes to the financial sum at the end of the year.
Here at Tianlong Services, we understand that the task of daily bookkeeping can be challenging for businesses to uphold since they have other responsibilities to look after. Therefore, we provide support by offering a wide range of services for business owners to outsource accounting in Singapore, consulting chart of accounts, and bookkeeping and data entry. Contact us at +65 8809 9315 to enquire.