So that you’d have the confidence to quit your full-time job
Many desire to be a proud boss of their own business.
But here’s the risky part of this aspiration: If you’re employed, then you’ll need to quit your job at some point. And quitting means relinquishing a stable income, and having no monthly pay means no capital to kickstart a business.
We know – entrepreneurship can sometimes be scary and unforgiving. That’s why most stay employees for life.
So why not play safe and start your business on the sidelines then?
Of course, running a sideshow on top of your 9-5 job does not come as an easy feat. But slowly and surely, you can work your way to a point where quitting your full-time job can soon be an option.
So whether you’re an accountant by day and a perfumer by night, or a lawyer by profession but a terrific candlemaker on the side, turn your passion into a flourishing enterprise by following these five steps to set up an online business in 24 hours.
1. Find a product to sell
Perhaps you have a pile of character-themed socks lying around or, for us, a bunch of Weekender’s mascot Whoopee plushies in the storeroom – determining a product you’d like to sell makes sense as the first step. If you’re truly serious about achieving a booming and long-lasting business, then we suggest doing some market research based on what people want these days.
For starters, hitting up e-retail sites such as Qoo10 or Lazada, and monitoring their bestsellers can give you a gauge on what’s hot and what’s not. There are also helpful analytics such as trends.google.com to provide insights on trendy things that may be lucrative to sell. Case in point: Fidget spinners were reported to be having a moment sometime last year.
However, a word of caution: the demand for such trendy things usually dies out quickly, and stocking up massively on them may be unwise.
To tread lightly on the topic of sourcing the products, we suggest you reach out to wholesalers from sites such as Alibaba / AliExpress, DHGate, and even trade fairs. But why not immortalise your idea when you seek help from the Original Design Manufacturer and Original Equipment Manufacturer? There’s nothing prouder than to make money off your own creation.
2. Work on your branding
With any business, there needs to be some sort of branding – we’re talking a name, a logo, and clear-cut copy that encompasses your ‘About Us’ page or even your slogan, if you’re planning to have one. To save costs on hiring a graphic designer, you can always lean on online logo generators to quickly churn out one to your liking.
Some of these free online logo generators include freelogodesign.org and logaster.com/logo.
3. Rely on third-party e-marketplaces
Now with the foundation laid, it’s time to live your business. Bang on utilizing third-party e-retailers such as Qoo10, Shopee and Lazada to hawk your wares. Established e-marketplaces provide a user-friendly, buildable interface that may come free or at a small cost, so that you create your own e-shop front without the need for complicated coding.
While Shopee and Lazada are free, Qoo10 requires a signup fee of $100 – a sum that is turned into 10,000 Qpoints that can be used to boost your listing. The site also charges a 12% commission, higher than Lazada, which charges 1 to 3% for electronics and 5 to 7% for all others. Shopee doesn’t charge any commission.
4. Dabble in a bit of marketing
Go on social media – it’s free and helps to get your message across effectively. Know a friend who is a mini-Instagram star? Ask her for a solid in the form of a small mention via her platform. This leads us to the next option, which is tapping on your own personal network. You should never underestimate what the power of word-of-mouth can do for a business.
If push comes to shove, you may need to don a thicker hide and perhaps reach out to key opinion leaders – by either sliding into their DMs or showing up at their residence with your product drops.
As everything is on the web, do keep in mind to use SEO keywords and phrases in your listing so that it is possible to find your site via search engines. SEO keywords are the keywords and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines.
5. Send out your first order using SmartPac
“Ding” – you just received a notification on the first order! Now, this part of living up to the customer’s satisfaction is kind of crucial for new businesses. And aside from the quality of the product, no one likes tardy delivery of a package.
So here to aid newbie entrepreneurs is SingPost’s SmartPac – an intelligent prepaid mailing service that is versatile and convenient to use.
SmartPac is available in three delivery variants – Mini, Lite, and Box – that can be purchased at any post office or online. The Mini measures 150mm by 220mm, Lite at 240mm by 330mm, and Box at 190mm by 300mm.
The packages have carrying capacities of 600 grams, 1 kilogram, and 3 kilograms respectively, therefore, making a trip to the post office for weighing and paying for the actual postage unnecessary. All you have to do is drop the sealed package into a post box on the way to work – see, so much time saved! Your customers can have peace of mind as it will be sent to their doorstep or letterbox if no one is at home.
Here’s a brief rundown of how you can use SmartPac:
1. Write your recipient’s details on the space provided
2. Take note of the reference number stated on the front side of the envelope. The unique code is for tracking purpose via www.singpost.com or SingPost mobile app. It’s also a good time to download the app now.
3. After everything’s in order, seal the opening of the envelope before dropping it off at any SingPost post office or street posting box.
Delivery will be made in two to three days – it’s that simple!
With the help of SmartPac, we’ve only offered the baby steps of kickstarting your online business. The rest is up to you! But we implore you to set out ASAP, because how long are you going to wait before you finally start pursuing something that you love?
SmartPac is also having a bundle deal promotion now. Get up to 12% off when you purchase a minimum of 20 pieces. Visit www.singpost.com/smartwaytopac for more details.