Starting a new business is an exciting venture that can easily overwhelm. A little bit of patience, planning and determination are all it takes to make the process a lot easier on you (and your wallet). The key to becoming a successful business owner is to always be flexible! Regardless of whether you’re choosing office furniture or launching your new website – flexibility will enable you to jump the administrative hurdles of starting a business a lot easier.
There’s so much to consider when launching your new business, and here we’ve rounded up the basics to help get you started:
Look into demographics, safety, zoning regulations and be sure to scope out your competition when determining where your office will be located. You’ll also want to consider how much space you’ll need in order for your business to be a success. Shared office spaces like Just Office and home offices are a cheap alternative to leasing your own space and here are 9 hot co-working spaces in Singapore that you can find. Do keep in mind that you can always upgrade and expand down the line.
2. Business assistance, training and hiring regulations
A baker might not be as tech savvy as a designer. Taking advantage of mentorship program may be of great assistance especially to existing business owners. The Hub Singapore offers coaching and mentorship sessions which may take your venture to greater heights. With these insights, it will definitely help you put out any potential fires down the line! Also, Impact Hub, Kaplan Corporate Mentoring and the Singapore Human Resources Institute each have great programs for business development and mentorship. When it comes to hiring it’s important to understand your employer responsibilities. Make sure to do your research and take the appropriate legal steps when hiring. You'll want to be protected against theft or fraud.
3. Business license and permits
Understand what regulations, licenses and permits apply to your small business. It’s important to make sure that your new venture is in compliance with the law. Consult a lawyer and/or an accountant to be sure. You can also check online for a shortlist of licenses and permits that your business will require; here is a great resource to do just that.
Make a ledger to keep track of all of your known expenses and throw in a 20% buffer. When starting a new business, there will always be surprise expenditures - make sure you have enough to cover them. Consider taking out a loan to lessen the financial burden of starting your business; bank loans, SBA loans and online opportunities are plentiful. Another option to the new business owner is crowdfunding through sites like Crowdo. Put simply, crowd funding is way to raise start-up money from a large group of people via the internet. Backers generally receive a reward or equity for their investment.
New business owners also tend to have a limited track record so find it difficult to raise capitol in the public market or via a bank loan. A venture capitalist can provide a funding work around by providing money to get your idea off the ground. Instead of paying back the funding (with interest) you generally give away equity in your business. Venture capital tends to fund high tech business offering something unique so if you feel you have that, there are plenty of people to talk to.
Don’t forget to think about the small things that are integral to the success of your business! Office furniture, supplies and marketing materials are all important considerations:
Office furniture – Office furniture is more expensive than you think. You’ll want to consider cheap (think Ikea), second hand or leased furniture to save money.
Office supplies – How many computers, faxes and printers will you need? Most electronic stores offer refurbished machines at a discounted rate; do your research and find a good deal.
Marketing materials – You’ll need to invest in business cards, brochures, stationery and flyers. Hiring a graphic designer can be expensive, but online alternatives like Fiverr and Behance will help you hire someone on the cheap.
7. Business insurance
A comprehensive package policy can safeguard against a variety of elements that may disrupt or damage your new business. You'll want to be protected against theft, fire or fraud.
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