As advancement in technology continues to broaden rapidly, new ways of establishing a business has come forth. I would say, this new generation of business owners have a load off their shoulders. The burden of having to run a physical store and paying rent has taken a back seat. In Singapore, many online businesses have taken over the virtual world by storm. Instead of listing a step-by-step instruction manual of starting an online business in Singapore, here are a few helpful tips that you might want to consider along each stage of a developing business.
Before The Entry Stage:
Do your research. Like any business, before taking the plunge, it is necessary to acquire the most useful information in any aspect of the business you would like to engage in. Research on your target audience will help you understand their buying behavior. Keeping up to date with the latest business trends and competitors will help you understand what is lacking in the market. All in all, this will allow you to come up with a unique selling proposition -enabling you to stand out in the market. Remember to focus on what people want to buy and not only what you wish to sell.
Selecting your domain name. Your domain name is an address that indicates the main link to your site. Every website has their own custom domain and no two can compromise of the same exact address. The spelling, length, sound and use of memorable words will give you an upper hand in branding. Most importantly, stay away from inserting a dash ‘-’ or underscore ‘_’ in your domain name. This will complicate your marketing efforts especially when dealing with potential customers via direct face-to-face communications.
The Entry Stage:
Register your business. Having your business registered is one thing I would like to stress on. On the surface, having a payment gateway account is necessary. For example, you would need this account to be able to accept credit card payments from buyers. Registering your business will also entitle you to government grants and you would be eligible for PIC (Productivity and Innovative Credit). Not to forget consumer confidence. A business that can proudly say they are ‘recognized’ will without a doubt build a faster fan base and consumer interest. Your professionalism will be acknowledged through this action.
Design and build your website. Capture the viewers’ attention the moment they land on your page by establishing an easy-to-read yet eye-catching web design. People are drawn towards first impressions and your landing page will be the face of your entire brand/company. Design and build your website. Capture the viewers’ attention the moment they land on your page by establishing an easy-to-read yet eye-catching web design. People are drawn towards first impressions and your landing page will be the face of your entire brand/company.
Make a decision. Going for a custom or hosted website? This would really depend on your budget and whether or not it coincides with your capital. A custom design would generally cost more but it is much more flexible. You will be incharge of every inch you see on your screen allowing you to customize your web page however you would like. A hosted website on the other hand is much more restricted in terms of layout and design but much more cost friendly. Having a hosted website would be the prefered choice for a new business. Some ecommerce building sites, such as shopcada allow you to upgrade your hosted webpage without diminishing your entire site.
Entering the growth stage:
Registering Intellectual Property. This would ensure that your company’s ideas or work cannot be used by another. If it has commercial value, it can be protected by law against copyright. One intellectual property you might want to consider to be registered first and foremost is your brand name.
Be Social. Once your business is up and running, it is time to get people talking about your brand. Social media is a space that allows you to build an audience. Post latest updates across all your social media accounts with a linkage back to your main business site. Your main site should also have all your social media page links. Not only will this enable you to attract attention, it will also increase your pageviews. A common mistake businesses make is the lack of enthusiasm across the social media. Update and promote as often as you want people paying attention to you.