Smart tips on how Small Businesses in Singapore can save on costs
Singapore has retained its top position as the “easiest place to do business” for the last decade, according to the World Bank. That is a very impressive feat that reflects the pro-business environment created by the Singapore government.
However, local businesses must also take into consideration another fact: Singapore is ranked the world’s most expensive city, according to Economic Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living 2018, for five consecutive years. In fact, cost of living across Asia will continue to rise due to economic expansion, so Singapore is expected to maintain its top 5 ranking for years to come.
Businesses here, therefore, must be very careful with their budgeting to avoid any financial risk, especially young companies that have yet-to-be successful business models. Luckily, with advancements in technology, and some shrewd decision-making, companies can find very cost-effective solutions for running their business.
Given the advent of cloud technology and advanced project management software, is it still necessary for businesses to have offices? Well, it depends on the business. Nonetheless, these innovations give business owners the option of managing their business from their home, a cafe, or anywhere else. Given the fact that office rentals make up a large portion of the business expenses, working online can wipe away a large financial burden.
Video chats through platforms like Skype have been used for a long time for cross-border communication. Recently, Chat tools, like Slack, Hip Chat, Campfire and Yammer, enable casual and easy conversation that help employees in different locations stay connected and build bonds. Remote workers can be part of the daily chat and feel like part of the team throughout the day.
Consider Alternative Marketing Strategies
Who says marketing involves thousands of dollars of investment? Gone are the days where only ways to advertise was TV advert, newspaper publishing, cold-calling or radio sponsorships. These techniques helped to increase brand awareness but were not the best for targeting the ideal clients.
One of the buzzwords in marketing nowadays is inbound marketing. Rather than actively pursuing customers, this pull-method attracts customers to you, in a more cost-effective manner. It can be more effective and organic way to get clients since it is less push-y and involves first educating and providing knowledge to people who have shown interest in a subject the business specializes in.
FedEx, for instance, invested in keyword research, Google listing optimization and improvements in site design and enjoyed 50% organic traffic boost and 26% conversion rate increase.
Business owners wanting something unconventional yet cost-effective can consider Guerrilla Marketing. Guerrilla Marketing involves using creative and unusual methods to capture the attention of people and to leave a lasting impression on them. The best way to explain how it works is through real-life examples.
When underwear company, GoldToe, wanted to promote their new underwear, they did something outrageous. They put a giant pair of briefs on the iconic bull statue all across New York as a publicity stunt. One thing is for sure, people will not forget that image for a long time.
More small businesses are outsourcing some departments because of the availability of qualified professionals and the ease of managing the business from anywhere in the world. It is much easier to find freelancers willing to sign project-based contract, which can help businesses save a great deal on employee compensation & insurance and payroll taxes.
Also, outsourcing the business’ accounting with companies such as Jai Financial, for instance, can save business owners a great deal of time since they manage all accounts including payroll, invoices and taxes, leaving owners to focus on other aspects of the business. Although they have the pay these firms for their services, many accounting firms provide valuable advice on how to improve operations and efficiency, and feedback on company financials. Thus, such service pays for itself. Also, outsourcing means companies have less responsibilities and expenses associated with having more employees.
Put simply, barter is the direct and mutual exchange of goods and/or services between two parties. Although it is associated by the olden days when sheeps were traded for goats, bartering is still a common phenomenon for businesses as it is mutually beneficial for businesses and helps conserve its cash.
In fact, barter strategy can maximize the business’s sales capacity when the business has any unused capacity. Small businesses are often tight on cash, so bartering gives them the option of exchanging their products or expertise for valuable resources needed to run or grow their business. For instance, if you are a marketing firm, you can offer to advertise or create a marketing video for an accounting firm in exchange for bookkeeping services. That way you do not have to pay the accounting firm, and still get the service you desire.
At the end of the day, running a business does not need to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you are creative enough and put as much emphasis on finding cost-effective solutions as you put in finding client, then renting a large office space in the future can be a probable reality.