small business ideas singapore

15 Most In-Demand Small Business Ideas in Singapore

During the global health crisis caused by COVID-19, Singapore claimed the top position as the World’s Best Place to Be During Covid. Many multinational companies and their subsidiaries found Singapore’s foreign business-friendly laws favorable for international and local businesses. In 2020 alone, the country had over 280,000 small businesses that easily transitioned with help from government aid.

Any local or foreigner in Singapore has a country ripe with demand and needs good small businesses in Singapore. These 15 business ideas may just give you your big break.

Fancy opening a business? Check out our article on business loan guide and what business to start in Singapore.

Search Engine Marketing 

Potential Income: S $70k – S $79k Annually

Online marketing is a progressive industry that has seen continuous growth in the last decade. The rising roles and convenience of search engines make them an efficient tool for spreading brand messaging, product awareness, and more. Search marketing strategists are greatly familiar with existing Google and search engine algorithms, pay-per-click or impression advertising strategies, and working with online content teams.

Search engine giant Google leads among its competitors in search volume and quality in February 2022 by having 85% of all Singapore online search engine traffic. Even if the industry has you face numerous competition, you will likely have many clients looking to rank search engine content and grow your network.

 

E-Commerce 

Potential Income: S $30k – S $80k Annually

The pandemic boosted the e-commerce industry’s growth to new heights due to restricted movement forcing many Singaporeans to use online ordering and e-commerce services to get the items they need.

You can run an e-commerce business using an established platform or create and market one yourself. Sellers can use Shopee, Lazada, or Carousell to sell on established e-commerce platforms. You’ll need to find good hosting for your own business, decide on your e-commerce business style, and consider these other aspects if you want full e-commerce business freedom.

As of January 2022, Singapore’s e-commerce market continues to grow. It had a current 16.2% overall market value during the period, and the entire ecommerce business industry is expected to get bigger in the coming years.

Managing Social Media

Potential Income: S $40k – S $45k Annually

Social media management involves managing multiple social network accounts, managing communities, and being a brand representative to communities and chat inquiries. Social media management services are responsible for creating, scheduling, and analyzing social media posts to find the right content, schedule, and network for maximum brand visibility.

Digital marketing agencies include social media management as part of their business package. Alternatively, sole proprietors and freelancers can make their own social media management brand and use various tools for quick and accurate posting, analysis, and reporting to their clients.

Singapore has at least 84.4% of the country’s total population on social networks. You can expect many brands and businesses to have social networks to reach out and spread awareness to their target market and work with your expertise to achieve their social network goals.

Graphic Designer

Potential Income: S $33 – S $45k Annually

Graphic design is a separate practice from graphic arts. Graphic design deals with marketing, professional representations, and symbolisms that accurately portray a brand. On the other hand, graphic arts deals with full creative freedom with minimal to zero regards for any brand or symbolism.

Graphic design agencies and business marketing departments work together to create advertising visuals in print and digital media, logos for businesses, letterheads, website banners, and beyond. Alternatively, individual Singaporeans and in-country foreigners can start their solo graphic design businesses as freelancers or agencies.

According to Jobstreet Singapore, graphic design demand never dwindles as long as designers remain competitive, well-versed in digital art tools, and create extensive professional networks.

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Web Designer

Potential Income: S $36k – S $80k Annually

The internet wouldn’t be what it is today without web designers. The practice has evolved from grid-based designs to modern single-column and page approaches for mobile responsiveness and exceptional UI and experience for visitors.

Web designers usually work with copywriters and graphic designers in propping up branding content. Designers plan the overall web page layout, button placements, slider usage, and other technical and navigational website aspects.

Web design is still a consistently growing industry with a high demand for any web-designing online business and freelancers to deliver maintenance, search engine optimization, and website updates and customization.

Virtual Assistant

Potential Income: S $34 – S $40k Annually

Increased internet connectivity has made it possible for various businesses to outsource work to countries with a lower cost of living. Virtual assistants became a product of the advanced internet speeds we have today. Often referred to as remote workers, virtual assistants take on the role of office secretaries, professional duty trafficking, and more.

Virtual assistant agencies educate and examine prospective assistants suitable to help their clients. On the other hand, businesses can hire freelance virtual assistants who are sole proprietors of their VA business.

Virtual assistants have numerous responsibilities depending on their scope of duties. For example, a virtual e-commerce assistant will be responsible for uploading new products, writing product descriptions, proofreading blog content, and others. A web design virtual assistant can focus on a specific design subtask, such as backend coding and technical modifications.

The continuing growth of internet technology and growing cost of local Singaporean hiring and “Singaporean first” policies may continue to spur the dependence of many Singaporean businesses with VAs. Most reliable ones come from countries with lower living costs and work with VA agencies.

Editorial Work

Potential Income: S $39k – S $47k Annually

Traditional and digital editorial work still pay highly in Singapore. An online business with a website will require any professional willing to work as one of the following:

  • Content Creation: Good content makes customers stay and is a crucial aspect of any online marketing campaign. Technical writers, ghostwriters, and book writers are part of this category.
  • Copywriting: Copywriters use fresh statements that grab your audience’s attention and make them curious about your brand. Excellently-written copy can convince doubting buyers to purchase a product. Any business owner needs to work with a good copywriter team.
  • Proofreading and Editing: Writers may form great but poorly worded ideas caught within the flurry of their thoughts. Proofreaders and editors rearrange phrases to make semantics read clearer and ensure accurate data and proof sourcing to create high-quality content.

Freelance writing and editing in Singapore are two of the country’s cornerstone industries that may support an online store, e-commerce shop, or any business idea that can afford a writer to generate content, write copy, and make a great written impression seizes the audience’s attention.

Laundry

Potential Income: S $15k – S $300k Annually

Everyone needs fragrant and clean clothes to wash daily, but most people have zero time to do the laundry. A laundromat is greatly profitable in Singapore. Even if it does have a lengthy registration and permitting process, having a laundry business in Singapore is smooth sailing afterward.

According to an established Singapore laundromat franchise, their laundry business model can generate a 30-35% immediate investment return and completely return everything later on. In addition, the franchise states the industry is one of the most resilient and well-insulated against any economic or health crisis the country might face.

Delivery

Potential Income: S $200m – S $700m Annually (Total Industry Value)

As a delivery business, you manage logistics and timelines to fulfill the orders of Singapore e-commerce, pre-packaged goods, and cloud kitchen businesses. This means you’ll need a warehouse to temporarily store and sort products, vehicles to deliver them to select points, drop-off zones where senders can drop items, and delivery couriers can pick them up and send them to your warehouse.

Given these requirements, you need to put up an enormous capital to own a warehouse, multiple vehicles of varying sizes, and additional equipment to run your business. However, your investment efforts won’t be in vain because the sector is continuously growing with greatly positive predictions by 2025.

Fitness Coaching

Potential Income: S $43k – S $58k Annually

Fitness coaching continues to see great demand from Singaporeans looking to make themselves fit. Traditional in-gym and nutrition coaching has always hit great marks until the health crisis in 2020. However, fitness training saw great demand between 2020 and 2021 as sedentary lifestyles encouraged many to stay fit when indoors.

Today, you can still choose to become a remote or in-gym fitness coach. You’ll need to pass a few tests, make sure you know your craft, and register yourself before you can start on one of the best small business ideas Singapore can offer you.

Affiliate Marketing

Potential Income: S $94k – S $100k Annually

Affiliate marketing is a traditional and digital strategy involving third-party publishing to generate leads and gain profits. For example, a blog can introduce various Amazon products using an Amazon affiliate link in their reviews. Each referral they make from their content can help them generate profits, encouraging bloggers to write well-written and transparent content.

You won’t need any registration or license to become an affiliate. Register an affiliate account from your chosen established businesses, create your own publication, place the links in your content strategically, take note of banned publication methods, and you’re all set.

Livestreaming

Potential Income: S $126m – S $180m Annually (Total Industry Value)

Livestreaming is often synonymous with video games, but it’s also relevant to many top brands and businesses. For example, Singapore-based Mdada gained millions of views in a single livestream event.

You can introduce your brand, products, and services during your livestream. Engaging livestreams must be entertaining, informative, and generally helpful to audiences. In addition, you won’t need to incorporate your solo livestreaming business to earn thousands per month.

Singapore is well-known for its exceptional internet infrastructure, making streaming an easy business idea to implement. Globally, demand for livestreaming in games and other industries may increase by 18% in the next few years.

Freelance Accounting Service

Potential Income: S $37k – S $45k Annually

Freelance accounting services are small business ideas that require small capital but depend greatly on your formative specialist education. Following these steps will ensure you net great leads, create attractive accounting packages for future clients, and learn proper service marketing to gain more leads.

The demand for freelance accounting may never drop if businesses of various sizes still need proper inventory and financial management. Due to its specialization, freelance accounting services are highly competitive but lean heavily on accountant skills and industry-related experience to increase the chance of an old or new business choosing your own company accounting services.

Dropshipping 

Potential Income: S $80k – S $137k Annually

Dropshipping is a business model that puts you in the middle of customers and manufacturers. You run a digital website with the supplier’s current inventory, note the customer’s orders, and allow the manufacturers to fulfill the order by giving you a delivery time estimate for the customer.

Dropshipping has parallels with white labeling because they both work with remote manufacturers. However, a dropshipping business owner won’t have to use custom stickers and plan the branding for original equipment manufacturer products. Plus, dropshippers can create multiple websites to support different types of businesses.

Globally, dropshipping is still a viable business model and is estimated to rise exponentially in the next five years. You need only a good computer, a reliable group of manufacturers, and excellent marketing to get started.

Photography

Potential Income: S $31k – S $47k Annually

Even with excellent smartphone camera technologies, professional photographers can achieve outstanding results with their high-quality equipment, experience, and knowledge. All events require professional teams of photographers, and photography businesses are always on the lookout for top-notch talent.

Photography start-up costs can be high because you’ll need to buy your own photography equipment, including cameras, lenses, filters, batteries, and other essential accessories. Studio photographers focused on indoor and stationary portrait photography will need good studio lights, speedlights, reflectors, and others. 

Weddings, outdoor events, company outings and special events, publications, newspapers, and online blogs will always need one good photographer or a team of excellent photographers. Despite the currently tough market for photographers, it remains an excellent profession if you want to chase your passion.

illustration of ideas solution

Your Complete Checklist For Starting a Small Business in Singapore

Now that you know all the options for starting a small business with its own website in Singapore, here are a few things to make sure you’re properly tax-mapped, given proper liabilities, and essentially within the government regulation’s radar.

1. Do Business Research

Most profitable business ideas are planted in realistic expectations and data-based decisions. Consider every possible negative and positive business situation. If you don’t have the capital, infrastructure, and capacity to handle multiple clients, it’s best to leave your business idea for another day or find a new and more feasible one.

Finding your target demographics based on their age, income, behavior online and offline, and location are only a few things you should consider when doing detailed business research. Here’s a complete guide.

2. Create a Business Plan

After recording and understanding your business demographics, you can create your business plan based on the demand and available raw material supply in your planned branch. For example, if you plan to start a delivery logistics company, consider if you can set up a product warehouse, find viable parking space for your trucks, and get enough local demand for your services.

Your business plan should include an executive summary, company description, business goal statement, describe your products and services, and other things in this list.

3. Use a Reliable Budget 

Running a business requires enough capital to purchase your equipment, facilities and pay for your employee’s services. A financial plan ensures you have enough to jump-start your business and guarantees zero delays. A good financial starting point for any business is to have at least six months of business-running cash to accommodate the possibility of zero profits for the first six months.

4. Name Your Business Well

Your customers see your business name. The brand name must reflect your values, products or services, and conduct of your employees. For e-commerce and internet-based businesses, your business name is automatically part of your website’s domain name. You can create a superior business name by noting all business naming conventions and registering your business name with ACRA.

5. Create Your Domain

E-commerce, cloud kitchen, photography, and virtually every kind of business need a domain. Your brand name will dictate your domain’s name. In some cases, you can use a descriptive domain name that talks about your brand’s values or ideals. For example, you can have delicious-snacks.com as your domain name but have a different brand name if you’re a pre-packaged snack seller.

Registering your domain name is simple. Your hosting provider may have a different set of instructions or hands-on guide, but here are some general steps to give you an idea of what to expect.

6. Select The Correct Business Structure

ACRA gives Singaporeans a choice between running a business as a sole proprietorship, a private limited company, a limited liability partnership, and a limited partnership company. As a rule of thumb, your business structure dictates the liability the business and its owner face. You can learn more about each of these business structures’ pros and cons.

7. Provide Your Registered Office Address

ACRA requires all physical and digital businesses to have a local registered office address. Logistics companies can list their warehouse addresses for ACRA. Cloud kitchens and e-commerce businesses can list their residential home address as their business address.

8. Register Your Business

Small businesses have a long task list to go through. Once you’ve finalized your business name, appointed your business directors, company secretary, and other key employees, declared your shares and shareholders, and have enough share capital, you can easily register your business through ACRA’s easy-to-use BizFile+ portal.

9. Learn Excellent Marketing and Advertising

A digital marketing and advertising business would know the best practices of offline and online marketing and advertising. Regardless of your business, you’ll need to establish your local and digital presence. Basic knowledge in marketing and advertising helps you understand the importance of social media management, freelance web designer tasks, and using seasonal and holiday promotions to increase sales, among a few other things.

Closing

The high demand for these small business ideas guarantees you’ll establish a stable business with an ever-expanding network and continuous growth. Often, it will be challenging during the first few months and years, but chasing your passion while making it your day job is truly worth it.

Key Takeaways

  • Singapore is declared the World’s Best Place to Be During Covid because of continuous economic movement.
  • About 280,000 business registered in Singapore in 2020 alone.
  • Any of these 15 in-demand small business ideas in Singapore have established supply lines and proven business models for any aspiring business owner to use.

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