As a small business owner in Singapore, you’re probably used to wearing many hats to keep costs low. But now that you’re seeing black more often than red on your company balance sheet (and you don’t have to contend with Maggi Mee for every meal), it’s time you learn the right ways to let go of some of your business tasks so you can spend more time on growing your company.
While you should definitely still be personally involved in aspects such as investor relations, partnerships, business strategy and procurement, here are some areas of your business you should consider outsourcing to increase your own productivity while keeping your bottom line where it belongs.
Owning a lorry might seem like the source of fun stories to tell your friends who still work in Marina Bay Financial Centre, but all the associated costs like fuel, ERP, parking fees, road tax, vehicle insurance and staffing can put a dent in your bank account. Outsource this to local delivery partners like Ninja Van or GoGoVan. Even independent contractors like Uber and Grab drivers will be happy to make deliveries for you for a modest fee during their downtime.
It’s important that you set the direction on how you want to position and market your business, but you shouldn’t be the person who’s actually doing the legwork. Get a marketing or creative agency to help you execute your plans – there are many smaller agencies in Singapore that are hungry for work and most will be able to work on a project basis, so you don’t need deal with the cost of an agency on retainer. Remember to set clear goals, budget caps and deliverables, and you’ll be surprised at how much more effective they are at bringing your idea to life.
You might have started out by personally using platforms like Canva to design the artwork for your business needs. But now that you have a steady cashflow, you should outsource your creatives to a professional designer – they will be able to craft visuals that will make your brand stand out in the crowd. There are numerous platforms like Fiverr, Freelancer and Upwork that you can check out to find the right talents who work with reasonable rates and a quick turnaround time.
It’s imperative to stay mobile and nimble as a growing business in Singapore. No one wants to get locked down to a massive multi-year contract that will inflate your overheads and right now, you probably don’t need a whole lot of warehouse space. Solutions like ExtraSpace, StorHub and Lock+Store offer bite-sized spaces for your inventory at competitive prices. On top of that, they’re also extremely easy to scale up or down depending on your business needs.
We personally don’t know anyone who’s started their own business to sit behind an Excel spreadsheet along with massive stacks of files every night. More importantly, most ambitious business owners would rather be out looking for leads and opportunities than spend time sitting still. Outsource your administration with cloud-based accounting software like Quickbooks Online – with its user-friendly interface you can easily get a handle on your accounts right from your mobile phone. Moreover, because it meets with IRAS’ technical requirements and is GST compliant, you won’t need to scramble when your company’s financial year comes to a close around.