When you are looking for business ideas in Singapore, there is no better place to look than the internet. With the advent of technology, it has never been easier to start your business from home.
This article discusses some of the different work-from-home business ideas that people can consider starting if they want a business in Singapore in the comfort of their own home that will give them more time with their family and friends.
Pros and Cons of Having Your Own Business at Home
The benefits are clear. You can be your own boss, have more time to spend with family, and can work around your own schedule. However, some challenges come along with this type of business setup.
If you have other commitments in your life, such as school or a family to care for, working from home can be extremely beneficial.
You get the kind of flexibility that allows you to set your own hours and account for any additional responsibilities outside of work that you wouldn’t be able to get when you’re stuck in the corporate world.
Put an end to the drudgery of daily commutes. One of the best things about a work-from-home business is that you do not have to be physically present when conducting business.
As long as you know how to use your computer and internet connection, it doesn’t matter where you live or what time zone you are in.
Lower overhead costs
One of the main challenges business owners face is having to manage a lot of employees and business overhead costs. With WFH businesses like these, you can save on office space and cut down on some expenses so that your business has less financial pressure.
Opportunity for a more inclusive environment
A business that is run partially or completely from home can be a great way to improve inclusivity. When people can work remotely, they have more options for where and how they want to live their lives.
This benefits businesses because it helps them attract talented employees who would otherwise not consider working at the company due to geographical reasons.
Reduced personal expenditures
Another benefit of working from home business ideas is that you save money on gas, car maintenance, transportation, and parking fees.
Professional wardrobe costs can also be reduced or eliminated. All these savings add up quickly to free up more of your own disposable income for other purchases, or simply putting back into the revenue stream of the business.
Maintaining excellent relationships with your customers and colleagues can be challenging
One downside for people who are considering starting work-from-home businesses in Singapore is missing out on opportunities to build close personal connections with their co-workers. In traditional setups, you may develop friendships that last beyond your professional relationships. However, working from home business owners don’t get this much chance because of the digital barrier.
Likewise, it can be difficult for people to trust businesses that operate online. While there are various advantages when running a business remotely, one disadvantage is having difficulty establishing credibility with clients because they cannot see who they’re working with face-to-face. This makes building relationships challenging and discourages potential customers from buying products/services from unknown companies.
There are competitors everywhere
Depending on your industry/niche, remote work business owners never really get a chance to escape their competition. With that being said, it’s up to you how much time and effort you are willing to put into building your business because there is always someone else out there trying to take a slice of the pie.
Requiring a space in your home as a staging ground
Another disadvantage business owners face is having to convert space in their homes into meeting spaces for business needs. This can be challenging because most people don’t have a spare room in their own home lying around that they can turn into an office.
And it’s not just about having a space to work in, it’s also about being able to have access to the resources necessary for success. This means everything from high-speed internet and fast upload speeds, all the way up to reliable electricity or an ergonomic office conducive to running a work-from-home business.
What makes a good business idea?
In business, you need to be able to adapt and grow with the times. A scalable business has the potential to grow at an exponential rate; eventually becoming big enough to sustain itself without any external support (eg investors).
This is important because if you’re working from home, then your resources are limited so scaling up fast becomes vital. If your business idea is not scalable or sustainable in terms of resources, then it will not be a business that lasts.
A business that is capable of sustaining itself will require you to effectively manage your time. The business idea should fall somewhere in between these two extremes; enough time is spent on it so that it sustains itself but at the same time, it’s not a business that takes more time than you can afford to spend on it.
A business can be enjoyable and fulfilling, but ultimately it needs to generate a profit. Unless you can prove your business idea will generate a profit, it’s unlikely that investors will be interested. If your idea cannot turn a profit, the next question to ask is why and how it could become profitable. Once you’ve answered those questions, find out what changes need to happen for this business idea to work as efficiently as possible.
The best business idea should have some sort of marketable value; something people want and are willing to pay for – without having to go through extensive promotional efforts to sell their product/service.
Home-Based Online Business Ideas for the Aspiring Business Owner
The following list includes some of the best business ideas which might suit people looking for work-from-home business opportunities.
- Local Business Marketing
- Buy in Bulk, Sell in Retail
- Affiliate Marketing
- Skill-Based Services
- Productise Your Service
- Content Marketing
- Homemade Products
All of these business models require limited resources or no external funding whilst still being scalable over a period of five years if managed well.
Advertising is a business that has been around and supported for years. One of the huge benefits of advertising is that it can be started from home with very little capital required; all you really need is an internet connection!
The business model is simple; spend money to get people’s attention by placing advertisements in front of them. If they like what they see and decide to follow through with an interest expressed within the advert (call-to-action), then there will be some form of interaction between both parties.
The success of this business plan relies heavily on targeting the right audience so that conversion rates remain high while providing value at all times. Keep in mind though, just because you can target anyone doesn’t mean that everyone should be targeted.
The business model revolves around driving traffic to a business, product, or service through various means such as:
- Google Adwords – which allows you to advertise on Google search engine result pages (SERP)
- Display advertising – promoting your business in other people’s spaces
- Content marketing – writing blogs and articles about relevant topics online
- Pay-per-click – Pay for each click your business gets on the advertisement.
- Social media advertising – Facebook ads, Twitter Promoted tweets, and other social network adverts to market a business.
You will need:
- A computer with an internet connection, capable of simultaneously displaying multiple browser windows. Your laptop/desktop computer may have a second monitor or a virtual desktop that allows you to view two concurrent screens at the same time.
- Ability to create and advertise different accounts through Google Adwords / Facebook Ads, etc. There are paid courses available to help business owners understand the basics of advertising and how it works. Furthermore, there is a lot you can do without paying for these types of services as well. However, if your business idea requires high levels of traffic to be successful then it will probably need some kind of investment to get started.
- It is recommended that business owners start with simple campaigns and work their way up to more complex ones as they gain experience in this field.
- Software like screendragon is an integrated platform that allows people, projects, profits, and content to be managed centrally.
- Forecast.app and Sesimi for automation
If you’re interested in this business model, then it’s best to go through the free online courses available that teach PPC strategies. You can take these courses at your own pace and learn as much or as little about how to get started with PPC advertising.
After finishing one of those courses (or even before), try doing some research on different niches; find out which niches are making money online right now so that you know where to invest time and energy later down the line when scaling up your business idea. This is important because if there isn’t any money being made within a niche, no amount of advertising will make it profitable!
Local Business Marketing (optimize your existing business’s online presence through Search Engine Optimisation)
Move over, print media. The leading medium for advertising has gone digital. But because of its effectiveness in both cost and results, the internet is now full of too much noise that getting a small business some attention can be hard.
With so much competition on search engine results pages (SERPs), it is important to build a business that can stand out online. SEO agencies provide various services, from building websites and apps to advertising on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram for their customers.
An SEO business’s main goal is to help its customers rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) through several different methods. Some of these include:
- On-page optimization. This consists of making sure that the website or app has everything it needs from hosting, content, and information architecture to keywords and meta tags.
- Off-page optimization. This is the process of getting backlinks to a business’s website or app through other websites. This is important because web crawlers can determine how trustworthy a business website or app is by the number of backlinks it has. The more reputable websites that link to your business, the higher you will rank in search results pages (SERPs).
You will need:
- Ahrefs: A keyword tool for SEO that lets you get a complete overview of your site’s health in just minutes and save time on tedious SEO tasks.
- Google Search Console: Get the latest data on your site’s visibility and performance, and see how Google crawls and indexes your pages, including crawl errors.
- SEMRush: Stay ahead of the competition by tracking your competitors’ SEO strategies and know what keywords to target for future content marketing efforts.
- KWFinder: Know what type of keywords to use to rank higher on Google search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Moz Pro: An SEO Software that lets you get great insights into how your website is performing but also how to improve it.
- Ubersuggest: A keyword tracking tool where you can save time and money by knowing which words are worth targeting, for free!
- Answer The Public: Be the go-to expert in your niche and find topics to blog about. This free SEO tool makes it easy to find topics related to your niche that are popular online.
- SpyFu: Save time and money with SpyFu’s free version. You can easily view the number of times a keyword gets searched each month while easily determining the ranking difficulty for that keyword.
If you’re just starting, then it’s likely that you don’t have a business website or even an online presence yet. A business website or app created and designed by an expert. This business owner must hire someone who specializes in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because they know how online search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo rank websites based on certain criteria such as:
- Content Marketing. The better your content is for users, the higher you will rank. Using WordPress-based websites is one way for businesses offering SEO services to easily manage all aspects of their online presence including blogs that feature industry news, commentary about current trends within your niche, etc. Businesses should also consider investing in business software that allows them to create visuals for their blogs, such as infographics. The more visual your business website or app is, the higher it will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Link Building. Building links is an important aspect of search engine optimization that business owners will need to learn about and understand. The more high-quality links you can build for your business website or app, the higher it will rank on SERPs. Get backlinks from reputable sources such as: .gov websites, .edu websites (such as msu.edu), sites with a lot of traffic like popular online magazines and newspapers relevant to your niche, reviews by industry experts who have built their own businesses in similar niches, and business directories related to your niche.
- Take advantage of Google’s local business listings. The first thing business owners will need to do is create a business listing on Google Places, an online directory that allows users to search for local businesses around them by using their current location through maps or the internet. Businesses that have been featured in these directories often rank best because they are already recognized as being successful and trustworthy within the small geographical area where they operate from. After you have created your business account with Google Places, make sure to claim ownership over it so no one else can take it away from you. Then add all of your business information such as phone number, address, etc along with images and videos if possible.
Buy in Bulk and Sell at Retail
Having business ideas that revolve around retailing products is a great opportunity to make money from home. This profitable business model can be as simple as purchasing items directly from the manufacturer and selling them at retail price or it can involve more strategic business practices such as buying in bulk, using promotional discounts, and then reselling those goods for an even higher value.
The business model behind this type of work-from-home business revolves largely around sales; which means there will always be periods where high cash flow (profits) are generated followed by slower times where fewer profits may need to be made until the next sale cycle comes up again.
The key to this business model is keeping track of what’s selling well so you know when demand spikes occur throughout the year.
- Buying business class airline tickets and reselling them at a higher price
- Purchasing bulk items and selling them individually through various online selling platforms.
You will need:
- A home office with enough room left over to store inventory until the next sale cycle begins so that goods can be easily managed.
- An understanding of how retail works such as discounts, purchasing wholesale vs retail pricing, etc.
Hiring staff to help with business management can be a great way to scale this business idea into something much larger, especially if you’re not the best at managing your time and need some extra assistance in running this business idea successfully.
Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing that has you attract customers and direct them to an affiliate link. You can do this in many ways, such as using a blogging site, Youtube, and a social media platform like Facebook and Instagram.
The affiliate link takes your audience to a product, service, a survey conducted by your client, and more. Marketers earn a commission once the desired action is accomplished or when the link is clicked by someone who came from your link.
- CPA (Cost Per Acquisition). CPA is one type of affiliate marketing. When a user fills out a short form without making a purchase, called a “Lead”. An affiliate’s task is to generate enough leads. Certain affiliate programs give a commission with every lead you redirect to a landing page. You can get leads by using ads, Search Engine Optimisation, Mobile Ad networks, and more.
- CPS (Cost Per Sale). CPS, or Cost Per Sale, is another type of affiliate marketing that sees marketers gain commissions when a customer purchases through your affiliate link. All you have to do is advertise through your own website and other platforms. Keep in mind that different niches will have different amounts for commissions.
- Pay Per Call. Pay per call is a business model where you send phone leads to your affiliate partner, earning you a certain amount. Through a call tracking system, you create ads that redirect calls toward your affiliate partner. The call tracking system can track how many calls there are and record them if necessary.
Affiliate marketing is not at all capital intensive, but a new business of this model requires extensive knowledge in SEO, Google Ads, digital marketing, and content creation.
More so, for you to be able to sign up for an affiliate program, you’ll need to build a large audience first.
Another great business model that Singaporeans can consider starting is online businesses via eCommerce platforms such as Shopify. An eCommerce business does not require huge capital, if at all, which makes it ideal as an income source and is a common small business in the country.
Some expenses associated with running eCommerce may include payment processing fees, selling fees, shipping rates, etc., but they don’t require large storages houses as traditional brick and mortar shops would. The best part about these types of small businesses is that you can manage everything at home.
- Online Store. The standard format of eCommerce stores is simply selling items from a supplier directly from your own storage. This is a very common small business in Singapore.
- Dropshipping Business. This functions very similarly to an online store, however, as a dropshipping business, you do not carry any inventory nor sell your own products. Instead, you function as the middle man who attracts audiences to the e-commerce store and source the products from a supplier who will ship directly to the customer. This is much more cost-effective than a regular eCommerce business as you will have little to no overhead costs, and all your effort will be focused on marketing instead of having to sell products.
You will need:
- Products. The first thing is to find a product to sell. This can be anything from clothing, computer components, car parts, electronics, and more. As a dropshipper, you will have to find respectable suppliers with quality products to ensure that you aren’t helping sell bad items.
- An eCommerce platform for your online store. Many businesses with this model have their stores using large platforms like Shopify. These websites have readied tools to integrate online selling and other useful widgets. You also have the option of setting up your store on your own website.
- Webhosting. You not only have to have a platform for your store, but you also need to host the site. Choosing a proper web-hosting company to ensure that your site performance is not subpar.
The most imperative part is choosing a product to sell. Not only should you consider the profitability of the product, but you should also look at the state of the current market and ensure that you can survive among many competitors. Very few players thrive in a diluted market.
It’s important to make sure that your business stands out by being strategic with your marketing.
A print-on-demand business is simple–you don’t need to carry inventory, and the products you sell will be made-to-order. Unlike mass printing, this model offers you more flexibility to customise white-label products with your own designs.
There are many businesses that you can source supplies from, expanding your range of products from clothing to ceramics.
You will need:
- Printer. This business model can be quite capital intensive due to requiring a printing machine. Depending on the type, it can be quite extensive. You will also need to direct cash flow into machine maintenance.
Most businesses in the print-on-demand model cater to a specific niche. Find one that people are passionate about or something that you also like. Communities may range from nerds, gamers, music fans, pet owners, and more.
Services are even simpler than products to start selling at home. If you have certain expertise, you can offer your services from the comfort of your own home.
The most common freelance service specialists are creative professionals like writers, artists, marketers, and designers, who work with many companies and juggle multiple clients. Others might operate based on appointments and bookings to offer their services to individuals directly.
- Freelance Graphic Designer
- Virtual Assistant
- Web Developer
- Content Writer
- Software Developer
- Real Estate Agents
- Event Planning
- And more
Service-based businesses often require a lot of networking and referrals to find clients, making it a bit difficult to enter as a new freelancer. However, satisfied clients are likely to retain your services over time and even recommend you to others.
For this reason, your certain chosen service doesn’t need to be high-demand. As long as there’s demand, you’re good.
You don’t necessarily need a large number of customers to do well as you would selling products. In fact, you may even want a controlled amount of clients to make sure you are managing your time correctly.
Depending on the service you offer, even a few, big clients can be enough to help you support yourself and pay bills.
Sell Your Expertise
Similar to providing your skills as a service, you can also sell your skills as products. As discussed, one disadvantage of offering services is that you are paid in exchange for your effort and time.
By “productising” your service, you can create new revenue streams for your business. This is done by creating physical or digital products that package your expertise that may even complement the service you provide
For example, a fitness trainer can sell online courses aside from personal training sessions.
- Licensable assets (stock footage, music, etc.)
- Downloadable reports
- Digital templates
- Personal merchandise
The most important thing is to have solid background knowledge of your chosen niche. If you can ensure the quality of what you offer, it will be easier to build an audience.
However, you also need to supplement your own company with marketing to ensure traffic arrives at your store. Ensure presence in social media, post clips of when you conduct online classes, create and optimize your own website, and many more.
Content Marketing Business
Content marketing is the creative twin of Search Engine Optimisation. This model specifically focuses on generating quality content for clients and may require that you know about digital marketing, copywriting, graphic design, video editing, social media platforms, and more.\
While often going hand-in-hand with SEO, content marketing can be limited to social media marketing. You may be tasked to create content, manage boosting, engage with customers, and many more.
- Email Marketing
- Landing Page Creation
- Social Media Marketing
- Video Content
- Graphic Design
Depending on what kind of content you’re making, you will need working knowledge of multiple disciplines. Clients may employ different strategies that you will be expected to provide for.
As a social media marketing expert, you need to study the business side of sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, and be familiar with their existing tools.
For articles and blog posts, you will need to learn SEO.
If you consider yourself a craftsman, why not consider turning your hobby into a business? The big advantage is you will have full control over every aspect of the business, from production to shipping.
You can make your products more cost-effective, improve or change them at will, and cater to unique trends in the market.
- Custom candles
- Gift baskets
- Food and pastries
Just like any eCommerce business, you need a platform where you can sell products. You can do so from your own website, or set up stores in crafting-focused sites like Etsy.
Cryptocurrency trading is all the rage in the digital age. Different forms of crypto serve as investment opportunities where you buy low and sell high.
Cryptocurrency functions no differently than stocks in that you have to keep a close eye on market trends and avoid pitfalls.
You will need:
- Capital to buy cryptocurrency.
- Extensive knowledge of crypto trading to predict the market flow.
Influencer Marketing (Growing an Audience to Monetize)
Content creation is all the rage these days, and influencership has become a viable online business. A dream job for many especially if you already have a sizable audience, being an influencer can help you monetize your content through traffic, or by becoming an affiliate.
- Product or service endorsement
- Affiliate marketing
- Merch from your own online store
- Monetized content (Subscriptions or ads)
The primary thing that you’ll need for this online business model is to have a sizable audience. You can do this by creating quality content that appeals to a large target market. Once you have built your brand with a stable audience, you can start reaching out to many companies and offer your services.
It’s necessary to find a niche that you can fill and a unique selling point to stand out from the crowd. Many have taken to streaming online games, vlogging, and many more. Find one that you enjoy.
Building an audience isn’t easy, and it is especially hard to do in the short term. But with a large audience, you can monetize your reach with multiple revenue streams.
The Bottom Line
- Consider carefully which business model you go into. Each will have its own pros, cons, and requirements. Make sure to study the market.
- Many online businesses rely on knowing digital marketing and content creation. This can certainly be done on your own, but hiring is also an option,
- Consider the number of resources you need for a chosen business model, not only in a monetary sense but also with your time and energy.
If starting a business on your own schedule sounds appealing, consider some of these WFH business ideas as a starting point for your business idea in Singapore.
In conclusion, there are many WFH business ideas out there; however, most of these businesses should have a clear end goal in terms of earning profits by supplying goods or rendering services. Ensure that your business idea is something you would enjoy doing for a long time before you commit to it fully.