The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the Singapore labor market with wage cuts, cuts and salary and hiring freezes.
With the labor market continuing to be sluggish in the coming year, starting your own business is not a bad idea, especially since the government gives grants to encourage entrepreneurs.
Here are some lucrative business ideas to redeem for the coming year:
1. Eating healthy
Photo credit: VeganBurg
Singapore is a nation of foodies, and with many people now becoming health conscious and looking for healthier alternatives, a healthy food business is just the way to go.
This can include health food stores, healthy food preps, and even healthy food trucks.
Vegetable meat, in particular, has seen exponential growth in recent years, suggesting it could be the "food of the future".
With Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods' debut in Singapore last year, it fueled consumer demand for meat alternatives in the hope of healthier diets and reduced animal husbandry.
With this trend in mind, many food tech startups have developed plant-based alternatives to foods like meat, egg, and even breast milk.
The main thing to note is that Singaporeans value convenience.
You can orientate yourself on VeganBurg – there is only one branch in Singapore which has since expanded to different parts of the US. In 2015, the company opened its first overseas office in San Francisco, where revenue growth was over 40 percent year-on-year.
The Goodburger also operates a food truck that sells plant-based burgers. It claims to be Singapore's first and only store to exclusively sell “impossible” food.
The Goodburger is not only stationed daily in Marina Bay, but also hosts pop-up events such as the Sentosa Grillfest, the Heineken F1 Party and Artbox Singapore.
Photo credit: After hours of the clinic
COVID-19 has put health more focus and accelerated the move to contactless consultations, which has sparked the rise of telemedicine startups.
Today people can buy groceries, clothes and pay bills without leaving their homes. Similarly, telemedicine is improving health care to meet the needs of modern people by bringing critical medical services right to our doorsteps.
In addition, the current gaps in the healthcare industry, such as the high costs of medicine and insurance, offer great opportunities for a startup to be successful.
With the help of telemedicine applications for the healthcare sector, many health problems can be avoided early on or resolved on the go. You just call a doctor at work during lunch with nowhere to go.
Telemedicine is also an important aid for patients with chronic diseases. Research has shown that telemonitoring has helped lower the death rate in patients with chronic heart failure.
With telemedicine, people are more willing to take care of their health as it doesn't take too much time or require additional commuting, which helps increase the overall number of patients.
There are already numerous telemedicine startups in Singapore, including Doctor Anywhere, WhiteCoat and MyDoc. Hence, it is important to offer a unique value proposition.
When developing a telemedicine app for consulting a doctor, look for features such as high-quality chat functions and trustworthy doctor-patient information.
A telemedicine app should display the doctor's profile, including their qualifications, rates, number of previous patients, and patient reviews. Physicians should also be able to view a patient's electronic health record to understand their problems and find solutions quickly.
The Ministry of Health recognized the growing need to improve consumer medical access points and has since introduced a sandbox called LEAP to regulate emerging telemedicine startups.
3. Edtech Solutions
Photo credit: Wikimedia
Singapore's educational institutions are considered to be the most advanced in the world as they continuously incorporate technology into education.
In fact, all secondary school students in Singapore will have a personal laptop or tablet to study by 2021.
Thanks to COVID-19, the classrooms have also evolved into an online environment, which has led to a surge in edtech.
When schools closed due to the pandemic, many schools accepted Zoom to run online courses but faced security breaches with obscene images.
With this incident in mind, you can work on developing edtech solutions such as a secure video conferencing tool that is equipped with learning tools.
Thanks to the pandemic, the Zoom founder's net worth rose to $ 7.8 billion in two months. He's currently among the 200 richest in the world when he wasn't even on the list before 2020.
There are many other options in the industry too, such as online student portals, educational games, online discussion boards, and forms for submitting assignments.
With education being a top priority for the Singapore government, Singapore schools are given the resources they need to continuously provide superior education to their students.
Coupled with the firm belief that technology provides a strong platform for improving the educational experience, edtech will see strong growth here.
4. Subscription-based models
Image credit: Two of a kind
There are lots of subscription boxes in Singapore, from coffee to designer clothes to contact lenses.
The idea is to move away from pay-per-product (or service) and instead give everyone access to everything if that's required for a recurring monthly fee.
There are a number of advantages associated with subscription-based models. For customers, this means that they have constant access to a service without having to constantly place orders. And for businesses, they generate recurring revenue and can more easily predict volume and demand.
While there are also many failed subscription services, like the French Cellar wine subscription and Vanity Trove Beauty Box, COVID-19 could represent a new business opportunity for subscription-based services.
COVID-19 is causing significant behavioral changes among consumers in the area as more people stay home to be safe.
The pandemic has also hit household incomes, increasing the likelihood that customers will commit to ongoing service at a manageable cost rather than paying a large amount upfront for traditional purchases.
In fact, studies have shown subscription companies to be resilient throughout the pandemic. According to Zuora's Subscription Impact Report, four in five subscription companies are still growing despite the economic impact of COVID-19.
When it comes to product or service offerings, it's time to think outside the box. What are some things we often use / do on a regular basis to keep a subscription service or package convenient?
Some top-of-mind ideas are haircuts, sanitary napkins, deodorants, and even candles.
In Australia, the startup Trim has developed an app that aims to give men cheaper access to haircuts.
Trim is a subscription service that allows users to get haircuts from hairdressers and hairdressers for an annual fee.
5. Sustainable products and services
Image credit: barePack
Companies dealing with environmentally friendly products tend to become more environmentally conscious. In fact, sales of sustainable products are estimated at $ 150 billion by 2021.
However, studies have shown that people want to buy products from brands that are committed to sustainability, but very few actually do. Closing this intentional gap could be key to unlocking the market potential.
A green industry company uses sustainable materials to manufacture its products. Green industry companies strive to use as little water, energy and raw materials as possible while reducing CO2 emissions, or they find ways to use these materials in a renewable and environmentally friendly way.
This business approach minimizes the company's exposure to natural resources and its contributions to climate change.
There are many eco-friendly business ideas that you can access to make money while saving the plane.
For one, reusable container-sharing services like barePack and Muuse have recently emerged, even partnering with grocery delivery giants to reduce plastic waste.
There are also local startups involved in tackling food waste. Treatsure lets you package buffets for as little as S $ 10 and buy cheap surplus groceries in the app, while Treedot sells "ugly" groceries for up to 50 percent of the retail price.
In addition, local family business Roger & Sons is upgrading furniture by using felled trees to create bespoke pieces.
To start a green business, the first thing you need to do is identify a green service that no one is currently offering in your market. Then think of similar environmentally conscious people you know who you might ask to join your team.
When starting your green business, change your lifestyle to reflect your company's values and services.
6. Live streaming
Photo credit: Cosmetics Design Asia
Brands around the world are harnessing the power of livestreaming during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The pandemic has forced us into our homes, which in turn has brought us online. This shift has catapulted the vigorous development of the live streaming economy.
For B2B and B2C companies, live streaming offers new opportunities for social marketing.
Corporate livestreams are booming. With most merchants being forced to cease offline business during the COVID-19 outbreak, live broadcasts from businesses have become a central hub connecting suspended businesses with consumers who are at home.
The number of companies using live streaming to support their marketing efforts and connect with their audiences was already up 20 percent year over year.
Most companies are actively exploring the live broadcast model, which extends to shopping, gaming, education, social networking, and more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, various brands have resorted to live streaming, from extensive online conferencing to e-commerce live streaming.
BeLive CEO Kenneth Tan said live trading is growing the fastest in Asia, with an average annual growth rate of 46.4 percent.
He added that live streaming has "a much higher conversion and engagement rate" than other media.
As Payoneer's report shows, the demand for live streaming has increased dramatically in the first half of 2020, and retail is becoming increasingly creative.
As demand continues to grow, companies and entrepreneurs will have no choice but to embrace this trend even though the sharpest are already ahead of the curve.
7. F&B Franchisees
Photo credit: Daniel Food Diary
The beauty of franchising is that you are choosing an already successful brand or business model with a clear scaling plan.
Even though you stick to an established brand and benefit from proven systems and processes, you still have the freedom to build your own location and run your own team.
Essentially, this is a way to speed up your own shop launch.
Take franchising bubble tea, for example. Bubble tea is obviously very popular in Singapore with lots of new brands popping up every now and then.
In Tampines alone, 14 bubble tea brands are fighting for market share.
Franchises in most expanding markets are likely to be profitable if the right conditions are created. For example, we know that black tea is the biggest seller right now, with Asians being the main market.
Franchisees can use this information to determine the right neighborhood location and select a menu to meet demand.
According to the local bubble tea brand Bober Tea, the average bubble tea shop serves between 400 and 500 bubble teas a day. A store with a good location can serve anywhere from 500 to 800 bubble teas per day.
Setting up a franchise bubble tea outlet isn't cheap, however – it can range from a minimum of S $ 80,000 to over S $ 461,896 per outlet. Seedly aso also revealed that a bubble tea shop at Orchard can generate S $ 40,000 in monthly sales.
Overall, the bubble tea industry is currently valued at nearly $ 2.5 billion and is expected to continue to see significant growth over the next decade.
If you play your card right, Bubble Tea franchises could be a gold mine as their popularity skyrockets.
8. Beverage stall
Image Credit: 365Days2Play
The founder of Kopitiam once shared a very good business strategy: dominate the drinks and dessert stands while renting out the food stands.
"People can't just come in to eat. If a food court has 50 stalls, it takes 50 days to visit all of the stalls. But you have to come to me every day for drinks or desserts. I think that's my game pretty clear, ”he said.
Right, the drinks stand always dominates the majority of sales. Customers have no choice but to buy from you as there is usually only one beverage stand at a food court.
In addition, some people tend to drink more than one cup, which helps increase sales.
For hawker centers, note that there is a quota for different types of stands (e.g., halal, non-halal, drinks, sliced fruit, etc.).
Being a stall holder is definitely not easy – the street vendors' infamous reputation for long hours and difficult conditions is not for nothing.
That is, it is not all a curse or a blessing. In fact, many consciously choose this route rather than working in more polished restaurants and prefer to be their own boss.
What should be considered when starting a company?
When starting a business, make sure it is specialized and focused. Try to target an underrepresented customer or industry rather than engaging the entire market with a unique idea.
Ideally, your business idea should also consist of three things: something you enjoy doing, something you are good at, or something in demand (i.e. what people are willing to pay for).
Therefore, it is important to research your industry, find competitors, understand risks, and identify your finances before starting your business.
Selected image source: EdTechReview / 365Days2Play / VeganBurg / Cosmetics Design Asia