Singapore’s small and medium businesses are a huge part of why the nation is so successful. Approximately 220,000 businesses of this category operate in the city-state. Combined, they contribute almost 200 billion U.S. dollars worth of revenue. These enterprises face challenges, from intense competition to the ever-changing demands of their customers.
When you intend to start a business, one way to manage such challenges would be to go digital.
According to research, 73 per cent of online users from Singapore buy items or engage services over the internet.; Another 89 percent visited online stores and similar sites while online. You can tap into this enormous market, too, once you start a small-e-commerce business.
Use this quick guide to help you through the process of becoming an online business owner.
The first step of owning a business is conceptualising it. The most important question of this step is identifying what goods or services you’re going to offer.
Are you passionate or skilled in a particular field of interest, such as painting or knitting? If you are, you could consider making that field of interest the basis for your online business. However, you shouldn’t just base your businesses on a whim. You need to do market research.
Send out online questionnaires or try to access existing research on what products are popular and profitable. Once you find your answers, narrow down a particular item or service you want to sell. The perfect e-commerce business for you is the intersection of your passions and the value you deliver to a market.
Once you have a product or service in mind for your prospective e-commerce enterprise, start thinking about logistics.
Consider the following factors when planning for the storage, shipping, and delivery of your goods:
- The nature of your products: Are your products perishable? If so, the entire structure of your e-commerce business needs to consider that. Are you assembling the products yourself or are you simply retailing? The latter only needs a safe storage space whereas the former requires an assembly room or at the very least a table.
- Your inventory storage: If your goods are perishable, you’ll need a refrigerated storage space. What are the sizes of your products? If your products are small enough and if you have space, consider stowing excess inventory at home. But if your products are too big, you’ll need a commercial storage space.
- Freighting and delivery: If you don’t intend to ship internationally, forming a partnership with a reliable and experienced local delivery service company can answer your freighting and cargo transfer needs.
- Your organizational structure: Once you figure out what you need to do to run your business, consider if you can do all these things on your own. If not, start mapping out an organizational structure and determine the tasks and responsibilities of your potential employees.
Although the digital age may make it seem that starting a business online is easy, it can still lead to a few complications. When you want your online company to be stable instead of being a flash in the pan, prepare to analyze every aspect of your idea. Only through thoroughness and meticulous planning can you succeed in the digital marketplace.