As working and selling from home becomes increasingly popular as a way to earn income on the side, many may be wondering how much it costs to actually start selling from home.
With a wide range of resources available online, the answer may be lower than you think! This guide goes through the administrative costs of setting up a home business in Singapore, not including your general costs of operation.
Step 1: Developing a marketable skill (FREE)
Before you actually start your online business, you first need to develop a skill that can be marketed and sold. Some hobby cooks or home bakers may have already naturally picked these up. But even if you don’t have any experience in the kitchen, it’s easier now more than ever to pick up the skills you need!
Besides simply learning from online recipes and guides, you can also make use of your SkillsFuture Credits to sign up for relevant courses, taught by professional trainers to the same standards as a culinary diploma. Simply visit the SkillsFuture website and browse the many courses eligible for SkillsFuture Credits. All Singaporeans aged 25 and above have $500 opening credit available to them, and those aged 40 to 60 by December 2020 have an additional $500 credit claimable for Career Transition Programmes, which also includes certain food services diplomas.
Step 2: Market your store (Free - ??)
After acquiring your skills, the next step is to set up your store. With the rising popularity of Instagram businesses, it’s easier now more than ever to start your own social media presence. If you’re artistically inclined, you can try your hand at making your own logo, either with an art editor of your choice or a plethora of free online logo makers. If that creative eye eludes you, you can always consider hiring professional quality logo designers from websites like Fiverr or Etsy, from prices as low as $6. But remember, you get what you pay for!
The next steps involve building a strong social media presence and getting a large follower base. As some quick tips, be sure to schedule regular posts to keep a good flow of content going, and encourage your followers to engage with your brand through the use of hashtags, featuring reviews on your main account, or even doing limited time drops!
If you really want to accelerate your business’ presence, you an also consider paying to promote your posts on Instagram, with costs ranging from $0.20 - $2.00 per click, or $6.70 per 1000 impressions. Given that statistics support that Instagram has one of the best returns on impressions rates, with high engagement and conversion rates, it may be worth considering as you expand your business.
Step 3: Taking orders (Free!)
Now that you’ve established your presence, it’s time to start taking orders! Many new home businesses start off by taking orders through DMs. However, in the long run this approach is not particularly sustainable or convenient, as you will have to manually consolidate and confirm each order. On the other end of the spectrum, while services such as Shopify or Wix can provide a professional store front, the high up front costs are more than what most new businesses are willing to pay for.
Luckily, a happy middle-ground exists! Cococart is an order payment system that consolidates orders and even processes payments for you, with dozens of additional features such as coupon systems, fixed delivery dates, and high-res images to accompany your order form.
While the prospect of starting a business may be daunting, in reality many of the barriers to entry are being removed by technology. There has never been a better time to jump into your own home business and earn some money on the side!