Has the pandemic inspired your desire to embrace entrepreneurship? You’re not the only one. More are becoming their own boss, with the number of companies incorporated in Singapore increasing by seven per cent from 2020 to 2021 – that’s more than two times from the year before.
Of all the sectors, the retail trade industry saw the most significant growth, with a 71 per cent increase in company formation year-on-year, largely driven by more consumer shopping during the period. Even the beleaguered food and beverage sector, which was repeatedly hit by restrictions, saw a 37 per cent increase in the number of companies formed. What gives?
One likely factor is the billions of dollars in government support via grants and special funds for businesses. As part of its support of startups, the Singapore government channelled S$150 million into the Startup SG Founder programme, which aims to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation by providing mentorship and capital grants.
Earlier, the government allocated S$8.3 billion to support Singapore’s Transformation and Growth Strategy, which included S$300 million for the Startup SG Equity co-investment scheme.
A strong appetite for entrepreneurship is encouraging and essential as it drives innovation and creates new opportunities for Singapore’s economic recovery.
But with so many startups unable to survive past the first year, building lasting success is easier said than done. Here are three best practices to bear in mind.
Be hyper-focused on your mission and delegate the rest
Entrepreneurs are hyper-focused on building their business and bringing their ideas to fruition—and they should be—leaving the non-mission critical, tedious, time consuming administrative tasks to professional and experienced advisers, secretaries and accountants.
Working through all the complicated and costly administrative hurdles to register your company? Keeping up with mandatory tax and regulatory compliance? Tracking finances and payroll? Not all entrepreneurs are equipped with the knowledge and training to handle these matters, and they don’t need to be, especially with professional services that can do the job for them.
In the process, entrepreneurs can focus on using their time efficiently and effectively to go out and hustle!
Hire the right people to fill the gaps
Business success depends on many people, including customers, investors, and team members. And, businesses need people who truly believe in their mission and vision, and are willing to hustle to achieve it.
However, one common mistake that entrepreneurs make is hiring generalists to build the team. Businesses need specialised talents to fill the gaps that entrepreneurs can’t.
For example, if you’re building a tech startup, it is crucial to hire engineers and designers to take the company to the next level, instead of relying on amateur skills self-taught from YouTube.
To ensure they build the dream team, entrepreneurs need to be honest about what skills and experience they currently lack and need in their new hires. Make sure to think long term and predict what expertise the company needs to grow and scale in the future.
To avoid high turnover rates common in startups, entrepreneurs also need to ensure that new hires are ultimately a good fit for the company. This includes being transparent about the company vision and growth and sharing expectations, responsibilities and objectives of the role.
Invest in the right infrastructure and systems to support entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs often feel compelled to go at it alone. But if there’s anything we’ve learnt in the last 18 months it is that businesses must have the right systems and processes in place to pivot and scale.
Having the right infrastructure and systems helps to offset the marginal cost of acquiring and serving new clients. For example, investing in a customer relationship management system to organise customer data and chase leads, while leveraging digital marketing channels allows a startup to drive awareness and leads.
As paperwork piles up, entrepreneurs should invest in an online platform and dashboard that can help create, edit, transfer and organise documentation into one place, making administrative matters more streamlined and convenient.
For example, using Sleek’s platform to manage financials, governance and compliance, has helped businesses save up to three hours per week and per employee.
Adopting e-signatures can also afford greater convenience and reduce unnecessary barriers such as printing and scanning, and losing your physical documents.
While the entrepreneurship journey may be fraught with challenges and difficulties, by strategically tapping on the right people, resources and systems, business success won’t be out of reach.
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Image credit: ronnarong
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