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If You Want To Get Your Product Into Retail Stores, You Can’t Miss Out This Advice

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If You Want To Get Your Product Into Retail Stores, You Can’t Miss Out This Advice

Developing a new retail product can often be an exciting and exhilarating process. Whatever the product, many small business owners will be able to relate to the excitement and buzz that often characterises the early stages of product development. What most will also tell you, though, is that the real work has only just begun.

In truth, completing the development phase of a new product can sometimes be the easiest part of the whole process. For many, the real effort is spent on trying to convince retailers to take the plunge and agree to stock your product on their shelves. Many great inventions have never seen the light of day simply because their developers couldn’t clear this final hurdle.

Having been through this process myself a number of times, I have come to rely on the following 4 essential steps which can spell the difference between receiving a “yes” or a “no” from your prospective retailer.

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1. Invest in good product packaging

We all know that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. However, all too often this is exactly what customers end up doing. Retailers are aware of this fact and, as such, place a high value on product packaging when deciding whether to stock an item.

While you may be trying to keep costs to a minimum in the early stages of your business venture, my advice would be to not skimp on the packaging. Instead, carefully consider your target market and then match your design and choice of packaging materials to the customers’ needs and expectations.

Retailers will only stock items which they believe will sell. As such, packaging that stands out from the crowd, looks professional, already has a barcode, and which presents the product in a favourable light is more likely to be given shelf space.

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2. Build an online presence

As the social media revolution takes hold across the world, retailers are starting to rely more and more on the internet as a means of determining a product’s appeal and viability. When approaching a retailer with a new product, it can be extremely helpful to have already developed an online presence, even if it is a small one at this stage.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and online review sites can all go a long way towards convincing potential buyers that there is a market for your product and that you mean business. In the early stages, you will likely have to rely on the goodwill of family and friends, but this will change as your product develops and your customer base grows.

3. Have your admin sorted out beforehand

There are a myriad of small, seemingly innocuous administrative items which need to be addressed before a product can be stocked with a retailer. Having all your ducks in a row in this respect will immediately put you ahead of many of your competitors and help differentiate you from the “mom-and-pop” style businesses. Here are some important items in consider doing beforehand:

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  • Formally register your business.
  • Buy barcodes for your products – remember that each variation of your products will require their own individual barcodes.
  • Get formal approval of your product name.
  • Get certified ingredients lists and nutritional information.
  • Clarify your pricing structures.

4. Develop a great pitch – and then practise, practise, practise.

When all is said and done, much of your eventual success is going to come down to the dreaded pitch. Retailers who are interested in your product will often invite you over to demonstrate how it works, tastes, or operates. This is the best chance you will ever have of convincing them to take you on.

While many people may go into these meetings in the vain hope that the product will do all the talking, sadly this is all too often not the case. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Dragon’s Den, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If public speaking is just not your thing, consider bringing a friend or colleague along who can speak on your behalf.

Regarding the pitch itself, it is important to remember that a good pitch is not something which is made up on the spot. Instead, each word ought to be carefully considered and planned out well in advance in order to deliver the right message with maximum effect. Finally, be sure to practise, practise, and practise some more.

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Assuming that your product is viable to begin with, carrying out these 4 steps should give you a good head start on your competitors. The rest is up to timing and no small amount of good fortune. Wishing you all the best for your business endeavours!

Featured photo credit: PDPhotos via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

12 Reasons Why You Should Consider Working in Singapore

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12 Reasons Why You Should Consider Working in Singapore

Nine out of 10 foreign workers are satisfied with working in Singapore, a recent governmental survey reports. Being ranked best for numerous criteria from best intellectual property protection laws to the easiest country to do business in, Singapore also receives a bunch of accolades for the overall quality of life, top education standards and efficient medical system, ranking the nation as the healthiest in the world. So, what exactly makes the City of Lions such an impeccable place to start your career or relocate your business? Here are just 12 reasons why you should consider doing it!

1. Singapore ranks second as the most globalized economy in the world

The Global Competitiveness Report 2014 – 2015 named Singapore as the world’s second prospering economy. By defining “competitiveness” as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country, the report claims to be the most authoritative assessment of the country’s prosperity and well-being. What does that mean for you and me? High wages, low unemployment rate, excellent work conditions and nourishing business development and investment climate.

2. Salaries are extremely lucrative

As the economy is booming, Singapore companies are hungry to acquire overseas specialists, offering top salaries and lucrative benefit packages to attract highly-skilled workers and talents. With a median salary of 3.500$ per month, software engineers can earn up to 72.000$ annually, whereas general practitioners usually receive around 80.000$ per year, according to PayScale. Elementary school teachers earn around 34.000$ per year and working as a waitress part time will bring you around 1100$ per month.

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3. Progressive personal tax system

Calculating and paying taxes in Singapore is extremely easy and usually takes around 30 seconds to submit your online tax return. If you already obtained a residence permit, your personal taxes in Singapore range from 0% if you earn less than S$ 22.000 per year to 20% for incomes above S$ 320,000. Non-residents are expected to pay a flat rate of 15% from all income gained in Singapore. In addition, all of your earnings gained overseas and brought to the country are not subjected to any taxes.

4. Getting a work/residence permit is really easy…

With a population of only five million, and dropping fertility rates, Singapore is highly interested in acquiring new residence and labor force to boost the country’s economy to soaring heights. If you already have a job offer secured, applying for a work permit would take only a few clicks on the governmental website and you will know the outcome within just one day. No lines, no paper bureaucracy and no huge list of supportive documents or blankly stated requirements. Their entire procedure is even simpler if you are a business owner wishing to relocate your business to Singapore, or a start-up entrepreneur wishing to develop your company within the island. You are likely to receive your work permit for a longer term, plus the renewal process is fast and simple. Residence permits are usually issued along with your work permit for the same period of time.

5. …And the same with permanent residence status

If you have lived and worked in Singapore for over a year and enjoyed your experience, you can start considering applying for a permanent resident card. Again, the whole process can be done online without much hassle or paperwork involved. Among the factors of a successful outcome, expats name young age (below 50), educational background (degrees obtained in Singaporean universities will earn you extra points), the industry you work in (again extra points to those who are involved in scientific research and working with innovative technologies), and your ability to speak one of the four languages. The processing time does take up to six months.

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6. The adaptation process goes easy

As English in the main working language you won’t experience the dreaded language barrier. The local society is an absolute melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian and British cultures with 42% of population being foreigners. There is a huge amount of expat communities and meet-ups, restaurants serving awesome foods from all over the world, and imported goods you are used to buying back at home. As expats say, “Singaporeans are generally very comfortable with diversity and have been very welcoming to foreigners” with rare case of racism or religion discrimination occurring. There are numerous international and English schools available, along with pre-school daycare centers, so your kids won’t experience much troubles either when changing environments.

7. Top notch higher education

If at any stage you feel like lacking relevant educational background or certain skills to get a promotion, you should consider getting a degree in one of the six Singapore universities. National University of Singapore currently ranks number one in Asia and 22nd in the world offering degrees in Arts, Law, Medicine, Computer Sciences, Public Policy and nearly any other profession in demand. Tuition fees for undergraduate programs range from S$ 28.600 to S$ 129,200 for medical degrees. However, all students (foreign or resident) can apply for governmental grants and tuition aid, cutting down the costs by 50%, as currently around 20% of government spendings go into education. If you are aiming at a top executive position, getting an MBA in Singapore will cost you S$ 58,000 full-time or part-time.

8. It takes three days to open a business

Being ranked #1 for the ease of doing businesses by World Bank consequently for seven (!!!) years, starting your business in Singapore is easy and fast indeed. The whole process is done online and your registration will be deemed completed within a few hours after you pay a registration fee of the S$65. Afterwards, you can either refer for further assistance to ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) offering you a huge selection of agencies and providers to handle all your business needs – from business start-up services to preparing all the documents for your annual returns.

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9. Singapore is rated #1 as the best labor force in the world

As your business grows and you feel it is time to expand, hiring new professional team won’t be much of a struggle. With expats and work migrants flooding the market, local labors are known for their effectiveness, strong work ethics and superb educational profiles. Filling in top executives and managerial positing will not be a problem either as the share of high-skilled professionals with relevant background rose from 27% in 2003 to 31% in 2013. Moreover, 25% of residents reported to have worked for the same company for 10 years, which means less personnel changes and headhunting.

10. Low crime rates and zero corruption

Currently ranked the 5th least corrupted country in the world, Singapore surpassed a long chain of reforms and law enforcement practices on the road to a bribe-free society. The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau has kept an eye on matters since 1952 and tries all cases according to strict Singapore laws with long-term jail sentences and huge fines up to S$ 100,000. Same goes towards any sort of crimes–even minor offenses are treated with extreme severity. Think: three months of jail and three hard cane strokes for painting graffiti on a war memorial. When living and working in Singapore you don’t need to worry about your belongings getting stolen, nor your life threatened. Besides, you don’t need to have any sort of “special connections” to do business and get through all the legal and bureaucratic procedures.

11. You can become a millionaire in less than 10 years

According to a recent report issued by Boston Consulting Group, over one half of wealthy Singaporeans accumulated the majority of their wealth in less than 10 years. That’s the quickest growing rate in the world. Now, Singapore boasts one of the highest millionaires’ density in the world with 8.8% of the population having assets over one million US dollars. The phenomenon exists due to the ease of doing businesses in Singapore, advantageous location with easy access to nearby booming markets of India, Indonesia and Malaysia and quick implementation of progressive new technologies.

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12. Absolute political stability

Obviously, your business and you as an employee do not exist in a vacuum and are highly dependent on governmental policies and law-making. The Singaporean government is known for conducting open and fair policy towards constantly introducing new laws, tax relieves, and regulations to enhance the countries’ business environment even more. With the People Action’s Party forming the majority in Parliament since 1965, Singapore has a very stable and orderly government indeed.

Featured photo credit: Larry Teo via unsplash.com

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