Thinking of starting an online business in Singapore, escaping the rat race, travelling the world and living the 4 hour work week? This notion is commonly inspired by Tim Ferris and his book: The Four Hour Work Week.
Through the advent of the internet, anyone with internet access can create an internet persona and start selling online. Over the years, I have seen personal friends start, succeeded and fail at online businesses in Singapore.
One can dream!
However starting an online business in Singapore isn’t child’s play and the majority of people fail in business, much less an online one. Yes, the majority of people fail at going fully remote, if you think about it, if every employee could work online and travel the world, then there’s no need for normal jobs in Singapore.
Here are three common ways you can start an online business in Singapore.
Method 1: Drop shipping/ E-Commerce
One of most common online business model is in the drop shipping, e commerce space where marketers resell products found on Alibaba, TaoBao by white labelling them or re-selling them direct.
I know a friend that rakes in 7 figures in revenue yearly simply based on this model.
He drop ships and white label beauty products from China to Western audiences and rakes in a healthy profit margin of 5%-10-% at a 7 figure revenue mark.
However, dropping shipping has become extremely competitive due to its low barrier to entry. You also have to have competency with Facebook advertising, coming up with proper creatives for your target audience and being competent with other marketing skillsets in order to succeed.
You also need to have web development skillsets in Woo Commerce and Shopify to be able to succeed.
The second model is to make your products available on E Commerce platforms such as Shopify and Woo Commerce. You then can coordinate offline shipping and operations so that you can manage operations from the comfort of your laptop.
Method 2: Online Coaching, Consulting
I started with the offline coaching industry in the dating advice industry for men in Singapore and eventually moved on an online coaching, consulting model. Yes, people are willing to pay for YOUR expertise online!
Teaching, coaching and consulting online has been popular over the years as more and more people seek to gain knowledge online.
There are many people from all parts of the world trading their knowledge for income in the online coaching world.
Online coaching business success do not come automatically. To scale an online coaching business, you also need skillsets such as writing persuasively, people management, web development and paid marketing skillsets. Yes, you see the pattern here? The skillsets required to succeed online are often repetitive in-spite of the business model.
To name one example. Online tuition is extremely popular in Singapore. Especially in times of a pandemic. Students of all ages from primary school to University graduates are using Zoom to facilitate online tuition in Singapore.
Online coaching, consulting is one of the ways to build an online business in Singapore.
Method 3: Local Agency Business
Then there is the local marketing agency business. (Read: I mean, you do know that we provide SEO services in Singapore right?) So yes. You can always manage your projects online. However, in my experience, many local clients in Singapore desire an in person touch to account management.
Here are some agency models you can provide:
- Copywriting Agency
- Facebook Advertising/ Google advertising agency
- SEO agency
- Graphic design agency
However, do note that the local agency business is extremely competitive with a low barrier to entry. Everyone can deem themselves a marketing expert or an SEO expert these days. However, the devil is in the details! There is a huge difference in someone new to marketing and someone that is seasoned!
How to Start an Online Business in Singapore: Conclusion
Starting an online business in Singapore isn’t an easy task. You do need to learn many skillsets such:
- WordPress, Click Funnels and Shopify
- Facebook Advertising, Google/ Youtube Advertising
- Copywriting, Persuasive writing and Email Marketing
- Graphic Design and Digital Ad Creation
- Project Management and Off Shoring
Some of these skillsets take years to learn. Starting an online business isn’t just about skillets, but you also require both digital and business acumen. Today, it’s not enough to be a great advertiser. You need to be able to be good with business numbers: average order value, life time value and etc.
Only through these skillsets, then you have a higher probability of success of building an online business as a business owner in Singapore.