7 Steps on How to Start a Business in Singapore


Starting a business in Singapore is profitable. With a booming economy, advanced technological infrastructure and a growing demand for online shopping, Singapore provides a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to open their own online shops. As with any other form of entrepreneurship, it is vital to have a comprehensive plan in place before you start. In this guide, we will show some basic steps to help you launch your own business in Singapore and set you on the path to success.

Step 1: Come up with an idea

Ideas can come from observations in your daily life to find out what your customers want, so that you can improve the products that currently exist or create new ones to enhance your product's competitiveness, thus increasing sales and ultimately profitability. Ideas can also come from best-sold products or trendy products on e-commerce websites.


Step 2: Market research

Market research is an important tool for companies to understand their target audience, competition and industry trends. It involves gathering and analysing information about the market, including customer needs and preferences, buying habits and market size. This information helps companies to make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies and overall business operations. After identifying the idea, market research can be conducted on the product, which covers three main areas.


Market environment

The market environment refers to the wider social and economic factors that affect a business. The market environment is investigated in three main areas: market size, changing market trends and influencing factors such as policies. Generally speaking, a larger product market size indicates a larger sales volume of the product and more profit for the enterprise. So it is best to choose products with a steadily increasing market size to sell. In addition, products with government policy support are also available for investment.



In addition to the general market environment, it is also important to know the competitors. Market competition is the competition between businesses operating in the same market or industry for market share and customer attention. If a business can strive to stand out from its competitors and offer a better product or service, it can attract more customers. In order to succeed in a competitive market environment, companies need to have an in-depth understanding of their competitors.



SWOT analysis is used to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organisation or project. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors, while opportunities and threats are external factors. By conducting a SWOT analysis, organisations and projects can identify their key strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies to address them. It also enables them to exploit opportunities and mitigate threats, resulting in better decisions and ultimately more successful outcomes.

Step 3: Funding

Cost analysis

Cost analysis is the process of assessing all costs associated with the product. The main objective of cost analysis is to determine the actual cost of production or delivery and to identify opportunities for cost reduction. Cost analysis usually involves breaking down costs into various components, such as labour, materials, equipment, and other direct and indirect costs.


Break-even analysis

Break-even analysis calculates the point at which the revenue generated by a product will cover its total costs, which helps to determine whether the product will generate sufficient revenue. If the break-even is calculated to arrive at a later point than psychologically expected, then the product may not be passed at this stage of the analysis.


Profit analysis

Profit refers to the difference between income and expenditure. Businesses aim to make a profit because it shows that they are generating more income than they are spending. There are different types of profit, including gross profit, operating profit and net profit. Each type represents a different level of profitability and is calculated using various formulas. In addition to this, it is important to note that profit should not be the sole focus of a business; the impact on society and the environment are also important factors for the long-term development of the company.


Step 4: Creating a product

Working with suppliers

There are both good and bad sides to work with suppliers. Suppliers can provide companies with the materials, products or services they need, but they also involve negotiating prices, quality, delivery times and contract terms. Managing supplier relationships takes effort, but the benefits of working with a reliable supplier are enormous. Businesses can build strong supplier relationships to support their growth.


Create your own product

The steps to create your own product can be tedious, but you can better control costs, quality, design, etc. Creating your own products requires a combination of creativity, innovation and practicality to develop something that people want to buy. With ongoing product development, it is important to focus on quality and customer satisfaction.

Step 5: Designing an online shop

Designing the brand

Designing a brand involves creating a visual identity that represents the company's mission, values and personality.

Clearly define what the brand stands for: this involves identifying core values, target audiences and a unique selling proposition.

Choose a brand name: it is best to choose a name that reflects the identity of the brand and is easy to remember and pronounce. Ensure that the name can be used as a domain name.

Create a logo: Design a logo that visually communicates your brand message. Choose colours, fonts and images that match your brand values and personality.

Develop a brand style guide: Include guidelines for using your colour scheme and any other visual elements.

Establish a brand story: The brand story should communicate the mission and purpose of the brand. It should be appealing to your target audience.


Choosing a sales platform

Choosing the right sales platform is crucial to the success of any online business. With so many options available, deciding which one to use can be overwhelming. We recommend SHOPLINE as an excellent choice for your online shop. This is because SHOPLINE's user-friendly interface makes it easy to set up your online shop instantly, allowing you to customise the pages to meet your business needs. SHOPLINE also offers a variety of payment options to suit different customer preferences. With the help of SHOPLINE, you can easily create your online website and launch your business. We get you covered by different solutions like omnichannel, ecommerce, social commerce, point of sale, etc.

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Design the website

Define the purpose of your website: identify the type of message you want to convey, the target audience and the actions you want visitors to perform on your website.

Choose a platform: we recommend SHOPLINE as the platform for creating your web pages. SHOPLINE offers free templates for shops to get you started quickly, as well as a service for customising your web pages that is easy to operate.

Plan the structure of your website: create a sitemap that outlines the pages of your website. This will help you organise your content and ensure that visitors can easily find what they are looking for.

Design the visual elements of your website: choose a colour scheme, typography and layout that is consistent with your brand identity and enhances the user experience. Use high-quality images and graphics to visually enhance the content.

Develop content: write compelling content to attract visitors. Ensure that keywords are included to improve search engine rankings.

Optimise for search engines: use techniques such as keywords, meta descriptions and alt tags to improve the visibility of your website in search engine results pages.

Test and improve: test the site to ensure that all links are valid and mobile-friendly. Continuously monitor the site's analytics and  make improvements as needed.

Step 6: Marketing

Develop a marketing plan

The first step towards marketing is to develop a detailed plan. Based on the objectives, target audience and SWOT analysis analysed above, a marketing strategy can be developed on how the objectives will be achieved in the future. A specific marketing plan should include specific objectives, strategies, tactics and budget allocations for each marketing channel. The number of funds available for marketing is first determined and allocated accordingly, and then a timeline for implementing the marketing plan is developed, which includes deadlines for each task and corresponding mini-goals.


Choosing a marketing channel

The choice of marketing channel depends on the target audience of the product, the company's budget and business objectives. Each platform has its own characteristics.

Instagram: Instagram is great for visual content and appealing to a younger demographic. It is ideal for companies with highly visual products or services, such as fashion, beauty and food.

TikTok: TikTok is a popular platform for sharing short videos. It is ideal for businesses that take a creative or humorous approach.

Facebook: Facebook has a large user base and offers a variety of advertising options, including sponsored posts, messenger ads and more. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries.

Email: If there is an existing email list, email marketing can be an effective way to reach your audience directly in their inbox. It is ideal for businesses with a loyal customer base or those looking to nurture leads. We recommend SmartPush, a tool to help you with email marketing that is quick and easy to use and has a certain number of free emails to send.

Google: Google offers a variety of advertising options, including search ads, display ads and more. It is ideal for businesses that wish to target specific keywords.

You can experiment with the different channels and measure their effectiveness to determine which ones are best for your business.


Conduct marketing analysis

Marketing analysis is a vital process for any business that wants to ensure that its products or services are reaching its target audience effectively. Implement a marketing plan and analyse past marketing data to determine what is working well and what needs to be improved. Use data analysis tools to measure the success of past campaigns, including metrics such as conversion rates, click-through rates, bounce rates and customer retention rates. Customer surveys and other feedback mechanisms can also be used to optimise marketing strategies.


Step 7: Starting a business

So far, the steps of starting a business are almost complete and you now have a small business! The next step may be to improve it or expand it. Remember to follow up and analyse the data to make improvements to your company. You can also read more success stories of others to find more inspiration. By staying focused on your goals, building a strong team, and continuously improving your products or services, you can build a thriving business in Singapore. 

Looking to bring your ecommerce operations to a new height? Feel free to talk to our consultants or ask for a free trial from us today.

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