Unknown to many there are many online business opportunities in Singapore that are worth a million dollars. The great thing about these online business opportunities is that they require much less capital when compared to a traditional offline business such as retail. If you are looking for some ideas, here are 2 of the current projects that I am working on
Selling educational products to parents
My current startup is called Koobits.com and we sell online assessment papers as a monthly membership to parents. We are targeting parents of children between 5 to 12 years old. According to Singstat, there are around 200,000 of such families in Singapore. Our target is to reach 5% of market share within 1-2 years and another 10% by the third or fourth year. Our members pay $10 per month, thus giving us $1.2 million in revenue when we reach 5% of the marekt and $3.6 million when we reach 15%.
Niche directories are not sexy businesses but they made a lot of money. According to my friends who run some of these directories, it is not uncommon to see annual revenue of more than a few million dollars. Below are some interesting stats that you might want to know about for a niche directory business:
- HungryGoWhere.com (a food directory) sold for $12M to Singtel in May 2012
- JobCentral.com (A jobs directory) was acquired by CareerBuilder.com in 2012 for a undisclosed sum of money. I believe the selling price is more than $15M
- SgCarMart.com (a car directory) is believed to earn about $6M in revenue. Its distance competitor may be earning just less than $1M
- PropertyGuru.com (a real estate directory) is also rumored to be earning millions from its site
These case studies show that business directories can be a profitable idea, especially when you get to scale. The trick is not to compete in the above markets but to find a smaller niche that still has lots of advertisers. Personally, I am starting a small buiness directory dealing with spas. There are still lots more niches including bicycles, child care, cosmetic surgeries, weight loss centres etc.
How to earn a million dollars in Singapore
The secret in achieving this high revenue is to focus on customer acquisition. Some might called this marketing or distribution. Either way, it means an scalable and continuous channel for the company to acquire users. Examples of such channels include:
- Search engine optimisation
- A sales force that continuous expand its members through an efficient hiring system i.e. credit card sales team, the property agents
- Effective online ad buying
- A blog with increasing readers
Customer acquisition is often neglected in most businesses as they tend to focus on the product. For me, customer acquisition is the most important thing in any business and should be started even before the product is done. For example, in my spa directory, we are building content now to attract search engine traffic even before the directory is completed. This will allow us to easily channel that traffic to the directory once it is done.
I have learnt that if you have great distribution channels, then you can still make money by selling other people’s products. If you have a great product but no channels, then you will be burning a lot of money.
If you are a Singaporean thinking of starting a new business, try to leverage on what the online world has to offer. It is less costly to start but the rewards can be high as well. Focus on establishing a scalable customer acquisition channel and you will do great.