Tired of your boss ringing you at all hours to ask ridiculous questions about a work project? Sick of the office politics that you can’t keep up with? Or just – be honest here – can’t be bothered to even pretend to like your colleagues anymore? Working for yourself could be the way to go and, as scary as it may sound, it’s really not that difficult to get the ball rolling.

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So you have a business idea but could you explain it to others in simple terms? Having an idea that’s clear enough for everyone to understand is very important. If people can’t understand what product or service you’re selling, there’s a very high chance that you’re not going to sell it. Identify your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), which states how you are different from your competitors, and you’ll have a better idea of the direction to go.

Don’t just come up with an idea then sit back and expect to get customers and investors. Spend a lot of time doing research – find out who your competitors are, what they’ve done right or wrong, where you can fill the gaps or how you can differentiate yourself from them. Log on to social media sites like Instagram and Twitter and search hashtags to see what people are looking for in your area of business.

Access the resources available for those interested in setting up a business, such as the SME Centre @ SMF and SME Centre @ ASME. Apart from advice from experts, you’ll also get information on government schemes that could benefit you. If you need to know the steps involved in starting your own company (such as writing business plans and getting assistance with accounting), singapore.smetoolkit.org is a good reference. Meet with like-minded entrepreneurs via groups such as Small Business Owners Meetups where you’ll definitely learn a thing or two.

You probably won’t be earning a steady income for a while so plan in advance and save all you can while you’re working full-time so it’ll be much easier on your pockets when you eventually take the plunge.

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