As the time go by, Singaporean do not view entrepreneurship as a choice out of the no-choice but instead as an option to financial freedom, of course in contrast to that, there is always working hard in and climbing the career ladder or investing your way to stardom. Which both would take long hard years that may not reap the gains that you would want to get.
Entrepeneurship is actually the same, you may not reap the benefits that you would hope for but end of the day, you are working for yourself. Why are you working hard for your boss while they pay you 20% of the amount that goes into their pockets? Why are you working hard for money that you invest in other people who make money for themselves? Wouldn’t it be a better situation where you make money for yourself?
Many young Singaporeans aspire to start their own business at a tender age of 20, some will leave the rat race and join in the startup scene at about 30 , these are the two age where entreprenuership is common nowadays in Singapore.
Starting off a business in Singapore is easy. With one of the most high tech government in the world, setting up a private limited firm, getting your license and applying for clearance is probably a 3 day affair. But it may be harder than it seems when it comes to the crunch. Main difficulties faced in Singapore is the cost of rental and employment issues, the difficulty in acquiring foreign workers and at the same time the difficulty in acquiring the limited number of Singaporean/PR. Lately, service sector staff has been in short supply, so you either try real hard to find someone you know or pay high salary to attract the limited numbers around.
Lets get to the work proper:
0. Finding your location / doing your ground work / acquiring skills to run the store
Before you even decide to do anything with licensing or incorporation, do the ground work of finding the location first. Location is key in this business, do you have many competitors in the surrounding? If yes it may be a good or a bad thing. Having competitors around the area means that there is a factor of clustering, clustering allows the spill over effect of business that are not able to handle the load and therefore spilling over to your new store and probably getting interested in your product.
Do know how to make your coffee/waffles or bubble tea before you decide to start, you need not be an absolute pro in it but if you have no knowledge whatsoever you will suffer the wrath of bad business or super busy schedules to manage and learn the skills at the same time
1. Incorporating a Company
Incorporation can be done by the entrepreneur himself or you could find a consultant to get it done. Normally it would be recommended that someone does this portion for you as you would be able to consult on the arrangements that need to be changed within the M&AA (company’s constitution).
2. Applying for NEA license
This would be the make or break portion of starting your food shop. If you are not able to get an NEA license, there is nothing to speak of for your food shop. Food shops have a fix set of criteria that you need to clear, say for example a green rubbish bin, certain acrylic boards on the walls to prevent moulds from forming.
Fridges require a thermometer etc. this are some of the simple items, of course for any application it might come off differently
This link can help you out if you need more information!
3. Applying for HDB clearance (if you’re in a HDB unit)
Most food stalls operate in HDB areas , i mean people stay there, this would definitely be the place where Singaporeans will be roaming around and purchasing their food from the local food stalls. HDB has certain restrictions, especially so with the 50% rental rule for tenants and doing sub tenanting, this hurdle needs to be cleared before you can start business. Do note that certain locations are not allowed sitting!!
4. Go for your food handlers license course
With many cases in the past causing injury and even death , NEA has stepped up their need for licensing and also proper handling of food. Food handlers are taught skills on how to care for the items that they are preparing and at the same time learning on basic hygiene skills such as the best way to wash your hands and to defrost food.
Food handlers license courses are normally a day course , with the examinations on the same day of the course, after which the applicant is free to work in any food handling conditions with their certs
The above website gives a good view and for entrepreneurs, the course fees are claimable from WSQ!
5. OPENING DAY
Opening day is definitely what everyone is looking forward to. Set up your promotions, make a big hoohah out of it to attract attention to your business. Chinese businessmen also like to bring in Lion dances to give the shop an auspicious boost!
6. NEA inspection check and subsequent spot checks
When all the dust settles, do note that NEA will take regular inspections into your compound, make sure everything is clean and tidy so that inspectors have nothing to comment on and they will stay satisfied with your stall.
Spot checks do not have regular time frames, they do pop in any time and any day so stay on your toes! If your stores hygiene is tip top, there’s nothing to fear.
7. Cash flow
Every business has its issues but all businesses have one big problem that they must always watch. That’s cash flow. Cash flow has always been a major problem for every young business and one needs to closely monitor their ins and outs to not get yourself into cash strapped corners.
ALL THE BEST FOR YOUR NEW BUSINESS!
Are you a young entrepreneur and require some help? Do contact us for our young entrepreneur scheme , we can discuss and find out more