Incorporating a company, finding an office location, recruiting the right talent – these are the first steps in starting a business. The next stage which is a crucial one, is how to make the business viable and profitable for the long term.
Below are 10 helpful tips on how to boost your business in Singapore. Adopt and adapt these strategies based on your company needs and ensure long-run sustainable business growth.
Keeping financial records up to date
Newbie entrepreneurs understandably focus on meeting the bottom line and getting the first customers of their startup. Even entrepreneurs who have been in business for some time, might not have a clear and accurate picture of company profits and expenses. In both cases, it is important that they are aware of the funds that are being spent in various areas and have an up-to-date snapshot of the daily, weekly and monthly cash flow of the company.
Knowing the latest tax rules
Singapore offers a number of tax incentives and exemptions for new and old businesses alike. For instance, qualifying new startups can enjoy tax exemptions on specific amounts of chargeable income for the first three years. While there might not be major amendments to the Singapore tax rules and regulations every year, it is crucial to know how to navigate the tax system and maximise any possible tax refunds.
Having the right team
Singapore is well-known for preparing highly professional specialists in local universities, as well as attracting experienced foreign talent, building a great talent pool for employers to choose from. Building the right team is vital for any business. Companies that fail to create a strong team of professionals will witness poor team morale, low productivity and a high turnover rate. With emphasis placed on skills upgrading, employers can turn to SkillsFuture Singapore set in place by the government for various initiatives and programs.
Ensuring operational efficiency
Once a company has been up and running for some time, it is necessary to look at how to boost operational efficiency. This involves looking at the entire business chain to see the areas where money is being spent without generating significant ROI. To do so, it is helpful to speak with stakeholders ranging from staff and vendors to customers to see how to grow your business by streamlining the activities more effectively.
Using apps and technology
Closely linked to the point of operational efficiency is using applications and technology to make the business processes flow better. For a start, routine tasks can be made more efficient through the use of mobile applications and software. For instance, expense reports can be done through the application Certify, while mailers and client contact list can be better managed through software like MailChimp. Employees will have more time to focus on more important tasks at hand and contribute better to the company.
Maintaining the sales funnel
One of the most important components of boosting one’s business is to maintain the sales funnel. This refers to the buying process that companies control to lead customers to buy their products or services. The sales funnel comprises various phases starting from awareness, interest, evaluation, decision, purchase to re-evaluation and repurchase. It is to be highlighted that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.
Using social media
According to a report published last year in The Business Times, the 70% of Singapore population are active social media users which is twice as much as the global average. With the prevalence and pervasiveness of social media, one in two Singaporeans use these online platforms to make a purchase decision. However, this being said, a number of Singapore businesses are still reluctant to jump on the social media bandwagon. This should not be the case as the benefits of using social media include being able to have a greater customer reach without heavy investments, understand customer perceptions, as well as garner market data.
Starting a company blog
In addition to increasing one’s company presence on social media platforms, starting a blog also serves to raise the company’s visibility online. The aim of the blog is to build authority as an expert in the industry and create an audience in real time. This will help in attracting potential customers. It is worth noting that the blog content will need to be curated and an editorial calendar will have to be set up. Leading companies such as Microsoft and SAP, for instance, have official blogs to showcase their thought-leadership and industry expertise.
Applying SEO techniques
With the company’s social media platforms and blog set up, the increased online information will help to be picked up by search engines. As an example, shortly after a blog is started, the search engine robots put the written content through their algorithms and are graded. The search engines also look for important keywords that people are looking for. Be sure to engage a specialist in Search Engine Optimisation to up your chances of being viewed by your current and prospective clients.
Engaging with the industry community
Aside from building an online presence, it is important to engage with the movers and shakers of your industry. Leverage various associations, chambers of commerce in Singapore to network and meet with people in your industry. The benefits include getting a cross-pollination of ideas, networking opportunities and sharing of best practices that can be beneficial to your company.