Unique business ideas in Singapore
Image (LHS) adapted from: @sayhellocolour
Sunday nights are often filled with a sense of dread – no one looks forward to a morning work commute the next day or a schedule filled with back-to-back meetings. If you’ve felt this way for a while, it’s a sign: it’s time to leave and start your own business.
But it can be difficult to say goodbye to a stable income to brave the unknown.
While it’s tempting to be your own boss, you’ll need a novel idea to truly stand out from the hordes of aspiring entrepreneurs out there and to truly succeed, you need to make sure you start your business on the right foot. Here are 8 unique business ideas that you may not have thought of:
1. Board game designer
Image credit: @wheatandwood
With the viral success of Unstable Unicorns and Cards Against Humanity, you can’t deny that there’s been a rekindled interest in tabletop games. But these aren’t anything like the old-school board games we played as kids – with pop culture references and quirky humour, they certainly have an edge over Monopoly or Scrabble.
Games like The Singaporean Dream show that becoming a board game designer in Singapore is by no means impossible – if you’ve got the right amount of passion and interesting ideas, you’re already halfway there.
2. Online dating profile writer
We only have 7 seconds to make a good first impression – it’s presumably even less when there are thousands of dating profiles out there
While there are plenty of tips to strike up real-life conversations, there’s less advice out there on how to carry yourself online. Those well-versed in the art of dating can share their tips with others, and consider becoming an online dating profile writer.
It’s not as simple as it sounds: you’ll need to figure out what your clients are looking for while simultaneously putting them forth in a good light. If you have previous experience in local dating agencies like Paktor or GaiGai, this should come easily to you.
3. Travel planner
If you’ve got a knack for details and you’re constantly thinking of your next holiday, being a travel planner might just be your dream job. But it also takes a more serious slant than you think. Instead of simply finding the most scenic sights around Europe, you’ll also need to jot down the logistics and calculate the finances of it all.
Whether you’re planning a family getaway or a corporate travel trip for an SME, each trip needs to have a carefully-planned itinerary. Many global companies have travel planners, but you can very well offer the same services from home – you’ll just need top-notch organisation and communication skills.
4. Foley artist
Props needed to create sound effects – watching a film with zero background noise will have a noticeable difference
Not many know what the role of a foley artist involves, but it has the potential to make or break a movie. These artists are essentially sound designers for background noise who create the sound effects of everything you hear, from the swishing of clothes to the crackling of fire.
There are some innovative ways they go about this – a few common tricks include using a pair of gloves to mimic the whooshing of a bird in flight, or crunching up frozen lettuce to replicate the cracking of broken bones.
5. Colour consultant
Image credit: @sayhellocolour
If many turn to you for advice on outfits and colour–matching, you might have it in you to become a colour consultant. While this is typically more popular overseas than in Singapore, you can take the chance to start a new niche in interior design.
Instead of picking out furniture pieces or wallpaper designs, a colour consultant is responsible for choosing colours. Knowing the difference between shades of white like Eggshell and Ivory certainly helps in this field – you need to have an eye for colour and to instinctively tell which colour palette works best.
6. Life art model
Image credit: SAGG
Art classes are a dime a dozen in Singapore – everyone’s keen to go from scratchy stick figures to Picasso-level fruit bowls. And with that, there’s a growing demand for life art models. As a life art model, there’s no need for you to have a perfect body but you’ll need to be able to hold the same pose for a long period of time.
While typically a freelance gig, it’s not a role that art studios easily fill – it’s worth developing your own brand so that they’ll immediately reach out to you.
7. Feng shui landscape designer
Feng shui suggests that the deeper your koi pond, the more wealth you’ll bring in
Image credit: @californiawaterscapes
Those with a green thumb might’ve considered being a gardener or landscape artist, but you can also take it to the next level by being a feng shui landscape designer. It’s not all fun and games though: you’ll need to have a solid background in feng shui. Common recommendations include having a water feature, bright colours, and plenty of plants.
From GCBs to office buildings, there’s a growing market when it comes to landscape design – add value with your feng shui knowhow and you’re bound to stand out from the rest.
8. Team-building consultant
Anyone who’s ever been part of the corporate world will know that team-building is a massive consideration and something most companies prioritise. From late-night KTV sessions to overseas retreats, these activities are specially tailored to bring colleagues closer – so we don’t just look at each other solely as “work friends”.
As a team-building consultant, you’ll be taking charge of these cohesions and developing the programmes from scratch. There’s no need to stick to typical team-building activities – you can even check out other novel activities such as go-kart racing and archery here.
Starting your own business in Singapore
For those who know the daily 9-5 grind isn’t for them, starting your own business could be exactly what you need. But it’s tricky starting a business from scratch even if you’re someone who’s astute. There are a hundred and one things to know about starting a business and introduction to business 101 is always a good way to set yourself on the right path to success.
Personal data protection, business licences, government grants – if these terms leave you with question marks in your head then the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority a.k.a. ACRA has a course that will teach you all you need to know.
Entrepreneur fact: All businesses have to be registered with ACRA, this is so that both businesses and consumers have a safe and trusted environment to transact in.
The Essentials of Starting a Business (ESB) is a free online entrepreneurship course developed by ACRA that’ll help you get started. It also provides bite-sized snippets from the likes of IRAS, CPF Board, PDPC, and SME Centre so you can get all the info you need from 1 platform. Here’s what you’ll learn in 2 hours:
- Business – registration, types of entities, and licensing
- Government grants and loans – funding to kickstart or grow your business
- Finance – fundamental principles
- Software & tech – digital solutions for accounting, tax and HR functions
- Misc – tax returns, GST, CPF, Personal Data Protection
Besides walking away with a cert, you’ll also find that you’re now more equipped to handle your own business.
This post was brought to you by ACRA.