Best Online Selling Platform to Start Your Business

If you’re planning to sell online, but you’re unsure where to start as you are overwhelmed by the different platforms.
Or you’re already selling in one of the platforms but thinking of alternatives, or even expanding your existing selling channels.
If you are considering any of the above, then you’re in luck!

In this article, I’m going to introduce the 10 most popular and easy to start online selling platforms, so you can start selling your products!


Building your own brand / Private Label / OEM

If you wish to build your own brand, that is what we recommend if you are planning to build a long-term, sustainable business. You can build your own business through 1 these 3 channels below.
Pros: You can collect customers data and email addresses. Build a long-term relationship, for reoccurring sales and do retargeting marketing
Cons: It takes some time to see results and depending on which channel you use, it may be costly to start with.

 

1. Shopify (Paid)
Shopify is a complete eCommerce solution that allows you to set up an online store to sell your goods. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders — all with a few clicks of the mouse.

Shopify is the fastest way to start your own online store without the need of any IT knowledge. You do not need to worry about hosting and downtime.

Pros:
– Easy to setup
Their plug and play settings allow you to setup your store in less than 30mins.
– Management Tools Included:
Backend management tools like inventory management, customer service, marketing, shipping, reporting, social media, and much more is already ready for you.
Shopify also integrates more than 70 payment gateways with checkouts in more than 50 languages, which makes it easy to sell products to customers anywhere in the world.
– Offline sales
If you plan to sell in flea markets or expo trade fairs, you can use Shopify POS app to do that! This will automatically sync your products inventory and sales report.
– Security
Shopping online is all about safety, Shopify possesses a high level of security since the payment usually involves processing of credit cards.

Cons
– Pricing
Apart from the monthly charges, Shopify also collects a transaction fee on every sale you make. Depending on the pricing plans you choose, the transaction fees range between 0.5% to 2%.

– Customization
If you need a certain look of your website (aka customized theme), not only do you need a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS code, you also need to know Shopify’s own coding language. For this, you need to hire a Shopify expert to help you.
– Scale
Once your business starts bringing you sales, you might want to think of scaling it. Marketing comes to play. Most marketing plug-ins by third-party developers require monthly subscription fees, so this can drastically escalate the cost of operating your store.
– Rules
If you violate any of their policies, you may risk having your store closed down without any prior notice.

You can register for a 14 days trial to test it yourself via this link or hire us to help you to setup your Shopify store.
From now till 30 July 2018, we offer a free website design to 2 lucky people who wish to start their business in Shopify! Fill up this giveaway and we will choose the lucky 2!

 

2. Selz (Paid)
Selz is another online e-commerce platform similar to Shopify, and they are especially powerful for people who want to sell digital products or small businesses. Setting up a Selz store is extremely simple, fast and does not require any technical expertise, which is one of its main advantages. You can also use it to sell products on your existing site and to sell on your social media pages.

Pros
– Easy to set up
Their plug and play settings allow you to set up your store in less than 20mins.
– Management tools
Same as Shopify, they have extensive backend management tools to track and manage your sales. -Processes all major credit cards including Paypal, which makes it easy to sell products to customers anywhere in the world.
– Ease of selling digital products
Selz has all the features you need to sell ebooks, videos, online courses, and apps. You can easily sell your ebooks by sending directly to Kindle or download to Dropbox. Protects your products from illegal use. Generate and issue license keys as part of the purchase process.
– A cheaper alternative to Shopify
Their monthly fees starting from USD$0 to USD$35 compared to Shopify monthly fees from USD$29 to USD$199

Cons
– If you plan to build a full-fledged e-commerce store with more hundreds of products, their customization options may might be limited.

You can register for a 14days trial to test it yourself via this link or hire us to help you setup your Selz store.
From now till 30 July 2018, we offer a free Selz website design to 2 lucky people who wish to start their business in Selz!
Fill up this giveaway and we will choose the lucky 2!

 

3. WooCommerce (Free)
WooCommerce is a popular and powerful WordPress plugin, which currently accounts for 42% (and growing) of all eCommerce websites on the web. WordPress, which is one of the best multi-purpose content management systems. Suitable for small-scale business to large-scale businesses.

copyright website tool tester

Pros
– 100% Free for both WordPress and WooCommerce
– Incredibly versatile and customizable
From blogging, online selling affiliates marketing and subscriptions. WooCommerce has a ton of options available to set up your online business. It allows you to completely tailor your site to fit your needs and reach the customers that will be interested in your product. You can literally sell ANY products and services. Because it is highly customizable, you can upgrade or design according to your needs.
– Easy to scale
With thousands of plugins available, you can easily find a free or affordable plugin (most of them are a one-time payment or yearly subscription) to scale your business.
– Integration
Because of its popularity and free platform, there is a lot of 3rd party software (for marketing, social media etc) available, easy for you to integrate them together and scale your business.
– Good Platform for SEO
Another important factor is that WordPress is open-source. Developers all over the world have created a good free to paid plugins to help you optimize your websites. WordPress also naturally structures your content by organizing it into pages, blog posts, blog categories and tags.

Cons
– Self Management
You have to get yourself a domain and a hosting plan of your choice.
– Frequent updates
WordPress and WooCommerce have frequent updates to ensure their security features are up to date and to prevent bugs or malware attacks. All these frequent updates may cause some plugins to break the website if you do not how to manage it properly.
– Customizations
Although there are a lot of free WordPress eCommerce themes, customizing according to your needs can be very costly (you will need to hire a WordPress Designer or Developer) unless you have basic knowledge of HTML and CSS code.

You can start building your WordPress website now or hire us to help you setup your WooCommerce Store.
From now till 30 July 2018, we offer a free website design to 2 lucky people who wish to start their business using WooCommerce/WordPress!
Fill up this giveaway and we will choose the lucky 2!

 


 

Selling in Marketplace

Selling in Marketplaces is the easiest way to start your online business. Huge and readily customers are always readily available at Marketplace.
Pros: Start selling in mins.
Cons: Can be very costly in the long run. No brand awareness. No customer data to do retargeting. All user database belongs to the marketplace.

 

4. Carousell (Free)
Carousell started out as a consumer to consumer marketplace for buying and selling new and secondhand goods in 2012. It allows you to sell easily just by taking a photo. Buying is as simple as chatting.

Pros:
– Ready customers
They have ready customers, so you do not need to source your buyers from scratch.
– 100% Free
You can list a lot of products, and as much as you want.

Cons:
– Country-specific
You are limited to selling only to the members within the same country.
– Certain listings are not free
If you are providing certain services like jobs, services related or Learning & Enrichment categories, you will have to pay for the listing. For cars and property listing, there is a listing quota. When this quota is exceeded, a listing fee is required before your item is listed on the Carousell marketplace.
– Marketing
Since this is a marketplace, which means a lot of people are also selling at the same platform and will probably have the same or similar products as you. In order to stay competitive, you will have to purchase “Carousell coins” to ensure your post is in the spotlight or you can offer a cheaper price on your product pricing.
– Payment process
They have a payment processor called Caroupay which takes 2.49% + $0.50 for each transaction. You can choose not to use this payment method by offering your customer other alternatives which are either Paylah/Paynow or bank transfer

Start selling in Carousell!

 

5. Shopee (Free)
Shopee is an e-commerce marketplace platform. It is a platform tailored to the region, providing both buyers and sellers with an easy, secure and fast online shopping experience through strong payment and logistical support.

Pros
– User-friendly interface
It’s quite easy for a seller to list up their products within mins.
– 100% Free
No charges for listing and transaction fees
– Support
Seller support is ready whenever you need. You will have a designated account manager to help you if you wish to run any promotions.

Cons
– Money will be held in Shopee until the buyer successfully confirms receipt of the order. Once the Buyer accepts the order, the payment will be released to the Seller.

Start selling in Shopee!

 

6. Lazada (Free with commission)
Lazada is an e-commerce marketplace platform founded by Rocket Internet in 2011 and now owned by Alibaba Group.

Pros:
– Large database
– Credibility, back by Alibaba Group

Cons:
– Not easy to list
The ease of setting up is not easy, there are many steps in order to list one product. You have to be accurate on your category otherwise listing will not be approved.
– Commission + GST
There are no charges for listing in their platform but there is a commission for every sale you make. Depends on what category your product falls under, it ranges from 1% to 7% + additional 7% GST.
– Only can use appointed logistics company by Lazada
Previously, they allow the seller to use their appointed courier company but now they only restrict to Singpost and Ninja Van. Unless your item is super bulky, then you’ll be able to request for your own courier, subject to approval.
– Lots of penalties for the seller
There have a lot of penalties and restrictions imposed on sellers. For example, delays in delivery, out of stock cancellation etc. All these penalties cost seller money!
– Support
Their support takes 1-3 days to reply and most of the time, the support don’t really understand what your concern in.

Open your Lazada account here.

 

7. Qoo10 (One-time fee and commission)
Qoo10 started in 2010, is an online ecommerce, where shoppers are able to browse through an extensive range of products from digital, fashion, home & living, baby products to food items, they’ve just recently expanded this product category, consisting of ready-to-eat meals, desserts, fresh and frozen foods.

Pros:
– Huge database
– Advertising
Their advertising and keywords system allows you to advertise and promote your products easily compare to other marketplaces.
– Selling options
They have different selling options which allow you to gain a lot of sales like auctions, group buys, time sales, daily sales etc
– Sell regionally
Not only can you sell to Singapore, you can also sell to other countries like Malaysia, USA, Indonesia, etc

Cons:
– Listing takes time
The listing can take some time to do it, but once you get the hang of it, it will be a breeze!
– Opening account fees and commission
Opening a seller account would require you to pay $100, but this money will also be converted to 10,000 Qpoints which can be used to boost posts and do advertisements.
Commission ranges from 7% to 12% depending on your sales volume.

Open your Qoo10 account here.

 

8. Amazon (subscription and commission)
Amazon.com is a huge Internet-based enterprise that sells books, music, movies, housewares, electronics, toys, and many other goods, either directly or as the middleman between other retailers and Amazon.com’s millions of customers.

copyright google image

Pros:
– Huge and International customers base
It’s a no-brainer. You have millions of active customers all over the world each month visiting Amazon looking to shop for products.
The numbers don’t lie: with a base of more than 300 million active customer accounts and more than 170 million monthly unique visitors to the website resulting in over $100 billion in revenue, Amazon is the number 1 place to go for most shoppers.
– Fulfillment services
With more than 100 fulfillment centers all around the world, you can ship your products in bulk to Amazon and they will store your inventory, package it and ship it to customers. By using Amazon fulfillment services, you can free yourself from the shipping hassle, your products will qualify automatically for Amazon Prime shipping and buy box priority, which will hugely impact on the overall sales.

Cons:
– Listing Fees
If you are a company with more than 40 products, you have to pay a monthly of USD$39.99 + other selling fees. If you are an individual with less than 40 products, there will be a transaction fee of USD$0.99 per sale + other selling fees.
– High competition
Since it’s an international platform, competition is fierce at Amazon. So, when multiple sellers have the same product as you, Amazon will decide which seller is the best fit. When a customer clicks the Add to Cart button the items of the featured seller will be added to his shopping cart

Start selling on Amazon.

 

9. eBay (Free and commission)
eBay is an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a wide variety of goods and services worldwide.

Pros:
– Easy to list
eBay listing is very easy – you only need to add your product to the Inventory and you are ready to sell your product(s)!
– Huge customer base
eBay is the largest C2C (consumer to consumer) marketplace on the internet. Immediate access to millions of potential customers is available. On eBay, there are over 149 million active buyers located all around the world.

Cons
– Listing Fees
When you list an item for sale, they charge a fee per listing, per category. But sellers get a fixed amount of “free listings” per month depending on their eBay account type.
For eBay stores, the monthly fees range from SGD$5 to SGD$100 per month.
To find out more about their listing fees between fixed selling amount and auction here.
– Price sensitive
eBay is well known for their auction site, so customers still expect to bag a bargain and are accustomed to bidding for certain prices.

Start selling on eBay.

 

10. Etsy (listing fee)
Etsy is an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. These items cover a wide range, including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, food, bath and beauty products, quilts, knick-knacks, and toys.

Copyright Google Image

Pros:
– Ease of setting up
Setting up an Etsy store is very easy, fuss-free and it takes few mins.
– Communication
Communication with customers is very easy through their online and mobile app messaging system. The customer can contact you anytime if they have questions regarding your products. All these can easily convert into sales if you are able to catch your customers when they message you.
– Marketing
It is very easy to market and advertises to your social media account like Facebook and Google.

Cons:
– Listing and transaction fees
Every product you list will cost you USD$0.20. They also charge a 3.5% transaction fee on every sale you make. You can find out about other fees they have here.
– Renew your listing
Your listing will not be there forever, they will expire. So, you will need to constantly renew your listing. And each renewal of listing costs money too.

Start selling on Etsy.

If you have any questions regarding online selling platform, feel free to drop us a message either at our contact form or Telegram!

 

Overview of all the platforms


Join our giveaway to kick start your business! Increase your chances by sharing this giveaway!

How To Start A Soap Business From Home

You are probably wondering how to start a natural soap business from home. Here’s some information that would help a great deal.

As we become more educated and more aware of our environment, we tend to scrutinize more into the products that we are using. Are they kind to our skin? Are there any cancer-causing ingredients and are they environmentally friendly?

Who is suitable for this business?

You should have an interest in crafting a handmade product, hands-on, and you’ll need a sensitive nose for discovering scent combinations that your customers will love!

Who is the target market? 

Customers who appreciate the quality and luxurious nature of your product, or those who only buy organic or vegan products. Customers who want to know the ingredients in the soap they use. Your customers also depend greatly on the niche you wish to target.

Before you kickstart:

1. Find your niche
As mentioned above, it is important to find your target niche. Each niche has their different requirements for their soap, in terms of design and the ingredients.

2.  Learn how to make soap.
Before you can succeed at selling soap, you must become an expert at making it, and refine the technique and formula you want to use. Let your family try the soap. Is it easy to use? Does it smell nice? Does it dry the skin?

Once you are ready, you can start your business plan.

Starting Your Business Plan:

  1. Decide on your Niche
    Before you dive into the soap making business, you’ve got to set yourself apart. The best way to find a niche? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Some popular niche markets include wedding favors, organic and baby.
  2. Develop your special formula
    Once you know how to make a soap, it’s time to develop your own special formula. If you want to create a product that stand out from the others, experiment with ingredients like scents, colors, designs, and moisturizers until you create a soap that you think is unique and high-quality.
  3. Ingredients and Supplies
    Start sourcing for a supplier to start your soap business. Shop and compare their price, quality and customer service. There are various soap suppliers in Singapore, to name a few: Singapore Soap, and Massage Supplies. We are not affiliated or in anyway related to them.

  4. Name your business and branding
    Your company name should reflect your line of products. It should be catchy, memorable and marketable. Your company name does not have to include the word “soap”. You can always add “soap” to your tagline.
    Think about:
    – Embossing the soap with letters or other forms
    – Wrapping the soap in special papers or ribbons
  5. Labeling
    It is important to let your consumers know what ingredients you use to make your soap and not to make any medical or promising claims on your labels.
    The following information must appear on an information label: name and place of business (or “manufactured for…”, warning and caution statements if necessary.)
  6. Determine your price
    Price your product so you are making a profit. Take note of the sales channels that you wish to sell or distribute your products to, the margins they are taking. If you are planning to sell it wholesale, the selling price will have to be half of your retail price.

    The simple calculation of your products should be:

    (Cost Of Goods + Shipping + Labour + Overheads) x 2 = Wholesale price
    Wholesale price x 2 = Selling price

    Cost of goods: The ingredients of your soap
    Shipping: The shipping cost of your ingredients in making the soap
    Labour: Even if you are not paying someone to make your soap, you will still need to pay yourself
    Overheads: The electricity, water, machines etc for making the soap

  7. Sales Channels
    Think of where you want to sell your soaps. You can start with your family and friends. This is also the best opportunity to gather feedback and information on how to improve your packaging, products design, and pricing.

    Online channels: Etsy, Shopee, Qoo10
    Offline channels: Public GardenMAAD (Market of Artists and Designers)Chillax Market

    Offline sales channel is a good channel to sell and market your products. It is also the best time for you to take a genuine and sincere interest in your customers and keep your focus on them and their skincare needs. Tell and show them how your products will benefit them. This is the pleasure of meeting your customer one-to-one to sell with your passion. By providing a good service, your customer can promote your products to their family and friends. This is also the time to gather face to face feedback and opinions directly from the customers.

 

Interested in Soap Business?

Download Your First Step To Soap Making Business NOW!

Important notes:
It is fun to make soap, but it is important to set yourself different from other competitors. Don’t be the cheapest soap in the market, making soap is a laborious job, you need to be paid enough for your hard work. Remember to avoid impulsive spending online. Only buy what you need and in small quantities initially. Only splurge if you have a big order from the customer.

Remember, you’re selling an aesthetic experience*. Make sure you stay in contact with your customers, and that they know how to reach you. Ask all of your customers for email addresses, and get their permission to send out a monthly e-newsletter, so you can send them information on your new products, discount codes. Keep working on it and focus on growing your email list!

*An aesthetic experience arises in response to works of art or other aesthetic objects.

Singapore Ranked Slowest In Adopting Flexible Working

In the recent research The Modern Workplace 2018: People, Places & Technology by Condeco, has showed that while working patterns are becoming more flexible worldwide, Singapore has been the slowest to adopt new ways of working.

In the release, the workplace is shifting towards more flexible and remote working, with staff spending more time working from home, on the move or from multiple locations. In Singapore, 3% of companies don’t offer flexible working at all, compared with 7% globally. However, 31% of those in Singapore said over half of their workforce works flexibly at least some of the time – lower than global standards (40%). According to the release, this might hint that flexible working has not advanced as far in Singapore as in some countries.

The research also found that the Millennials have shaped the workplace to meet their needs. That means a space that is more open plan, with fewer barriers between desks and multi-disciplinary teams working together in ‘pods’.

69% of those surveyed globally said they work in open plan, or mostly open plan, offices. This arrangement was least common in Singapore (60%), where working arrangements remain somewhat traditional, compared with other nations. On the upside, this was most common in Australia (84%).

This marks a significant change from previous generations, for example the cubicle office of Generation X or the personal offices of the Baby Boomers. The oldest members of Generation Z are now entering the workforce and they will likely move further towards flexibility, remote worker, and cross-functional teams with less hierarchy.

In the release, Peter Otto, product strategy and design director, Condeco, said: “This report demonstrates how the modern workplace is changing.”

“Flexbility and remote working are increasingly important to today’s workers. Singapore has been slow to adjust to these changes and that could hold back companies that are trying to recruit the best international talent or collaborate with firms abroad,” he added.

Additionally, the research shows that the shift to flexible and remote working puts more emphasis on meetings to coordinate teams, who may be spread across a wide area but still need to be in close communication. This is highlighted by the report finding that workers are more likely to feel that there are too few meetings, rather than too many.

On that note, two-fifths of business leaders worldwide report an increase in video conference meetings, as teams coordinate over long distances. In comparison, 54% in Singapore said they had seen an increase in video conferences – almost double the figure for Australia (28%) and higher than the US (47%).

With just 12% citing the quality of meetings should be better, that sentiment was strongest in Australia (20%). Meanwhile, Germans (6%) and those in Singapore (9%) were least likely to be dissatisfied with the quality of meetings. Otto commented: “Meetings have a bad reputation as time-wasters but it’s important that companies understand that this is not necessarily the case. Effective collaboration is essential for the success of every organisation.”

“To remain effective, modern companies must ensure that they commit to providing a variety of spaces to help their teams communicate and collaborate, along with a fast and efficient way to find and reserve space, at any time, on any device,” he concluded.

 

Does your company offers flexible working? How do us, Mumpreneurs can create a more flexible working environment for our staffs? Welcome to share your views with us!

Infographic & Photos: Condeco
Article: Human Resources

How To Start A Babysitting Business From Home

If you are planning to start a small business from home, babysitting business can be one of the best ideas around. You can take care of your child, get another playmate for him/her and at the same time, earn an income. It does not require much capital (almost zero) but it is also high in demand, non-seasonal and an all-cash business. Parents are always seeking alternative caregiver options, besides childcare centers and the traditional nanny.

In this article, we are going to teach you how to kickstart your babysitting business and grow them.

 

Who is suitable for this business?

If you are naturally patient, love kids, enjoy the company of children, love to teach, able to connect and communicate with both the child and their parents comfortably. Not to mention you definitely need to have responsibilities, hygiene, and patience.

 

Who is the target market?

Your target client will be full time working parents, who are looking to build a long-term relationship with a trusted and reliable caregiver.

 

Before you kickstart:

  1. Discuss with your spouse
    It is important to discuss with your spouse regarding your interest in doing babysitting business at home. He has to understand that your house will be noisier than before.

 

  1. Time management
    Your clients are working parents who are unable to watch over their child during normal hours, so you have to understand that you cannot go out running errands or bring your child out to eat whenever you like. Your working hours will be the same as normal working hours. You will need a proper time management schedule to help you manage the kids and yourself well.

 

  1. Safety & Environment
    Is your house safety proof? Is your environment suitable for babysitting? Do you need to make any changes before starting the business? You will need take these into consideration as there will babies, toddlers roaming around your house!

Once you are ready, you can start your business plan.

 

Start your business plan:

  1. Get required licenses
    There is no requirement for you to get a babysitting license but it is advisable for you to attend courses like CPR and caregiver workshops. Not only will this make you more marketable, but it can mean the difference between life and death in case of an emergency situation. You can use your skills future credit to learn CPR.
  2. Name your business
    You may think that is not necessary to name your business right now, but in terms of marketing your business, allowing your client to remember you much better and for future potential growth, it is important to name your business. Be sure that it is unique but simple enough that people will easily remember it.
  3. Choose your niche (age range)
    Choose the age range that you wish to take care, this is to ensure that you are comfortable with that age range so that you may perform better. It will be difficult to care for a newborn or few months old baby while you have another 2 toddlers to take care of. The best guide is to follow your child age range with +/- of 2 years difference. Although, there is also the possibility that you’ll babysit a whole range of ages. Be prepared for every possibility and know what it takes to watch all ages.
  4. Determine the price
    Your price is determined by your expertise, location and the age of the child or if there is any extra services you wish to provide. You can set your price range for half a day, full day and monthly.
  5. Situation control
    It is important to create plans and checklist to prepare for emergency situations like child allergy, fire outbreak, or any other accidents. You’ll need to ensure that you have at least two next of kin contact number in case of an emergency.
  6. Plan your activities
    Childcare or babysitting is more than just taking care of their basic needs. At toddlers age, it is a stage of exploration, curiosity, and training of fine motor skills. It will be good to draft out the daily activities you have for the children. It also keeps them busy and happy. You will not get yourself all over the place and stress up. Their parents will be happy too!
  7. Time to market
    Once you get all the necessary information, it is time to market your services out there! You can start marketing to your mommy groups, who are most likely staying near your area and through Facebook marketing. You can also print a name card and give out to your neighbours, I mean they are the best potential client you can have. Most working parents would love to have someone near their home to care for their kids.

Important notes:

Babysitting business is about caring and responsibilities. Your service should be excellent. You have to be responsible and dependable. Don’t disappoint your clients. If you know that you will not be available on any particular day due to medical checkups or if you have fallen sick, you should give them enough notice. This will give them the opportunity to make arrangements to fill the gap. If you take good care of the kids in your custody, their parents will be happy. They will also refer other people to you because word of mouth is the best marketing in business.

Download our babysitting roadmap to guide you in babysitting business. If you need further help, you can choose our 1 to 1 consultations service to guide you the process in 60 mins or a 1-month business journey to make sure you are on the right track to launch your business.

 

Babysitting Roadmap

April Featured Mumpreneur, Janice Wong – The Talented Mother

I’m happy to have Janice Wong to be our April Featured Mumpreneur. She is a mother of 2 and she is ready to share her motivation and challenges with us in running both her business and juggling the kids. 

If you are looking for inspiration and motivation, then our featured business mum ~ Janice, shows you what’s possible.

Tell me about your child(ren) and your partner
I am blessed with two adorable children, Kaelyn (6+yo) and Kaeven (3+yo). They are the sunshine of my life and my every ounce of motivation comes from them even though they suck me dry.

My husband is someone who believes a lot in play, hence it is no surprise that when he is around, the kids get a lot of outdoor fun. However, he travels a lot and half the time, I am solo-parenting.

What did you do previously before starting up your own business?
I was and am still a full time tutor while managing two main businesses

Tell us about your business and how did you started?
Rhapnroll Diapercakes was started because of my passion to craft. I needed an outlet after the children slept. Mothering is a tough business and I didn’t want to lose my creativity because of all the mundane chores. At the same time, i wanted to use my time wisely and bring joy to others. Hence, Rhapnroll was birthed.

Lebox_sg was started because of my son who didn’t want to speak Mandarin when he was younger. I realised I wasn’t doing as much for him as I did with my firstborn. I noted that many others were struggling to make this subject an interesting one. As a result, I started Lebox with a partner. I believe in learning through play and since I was going to do it for my child, I might as well help other parents in this area as well. It keeps me disciplined as I will then have to create more activities to keep up with the momentum and to keep up with the little one’s thirst for knowledge. This business was even named after my son.

What motivated you to become a mumpreneur?
Undeniably, to contribute more in terms of finances. Ever since I had my children, my core job has been cut down tremendously to cater to their needs and to facilitate logistics. I often have to be the one to uber them around, feed them, educate them and to put them to bed. I used to be home late due to work commitments. However, things had to take a backseat as my eldest moved into Primary education. The ballgame is not quite the same anymore. The hours spent with her is no longer as sufficient. 

The other reason is also to pursue my passion. Passion to educate and the passion to craft. Since young I had always loved the arts. Unfortunately back then, my mom wasn’t too supportive. She closed many doors and I didn’t have an outlet to express. So through my businesses, I get to expand my creativity.

Lastly it is to take my mind off the fact that my other half is travelling all the time. To seek solace amidst the craziness of solo-parenting. To keep me going and to attain greater self-worth.

How does your partner support you in this journey?
He has been extremely supportive. At times, he helps me with deliveries and packing.

What is your biggest challenge in the business and how you overcome it?
For rhapnroll, it is a one-man show, hence it is very challenging. From sourcing of the “ingredients” to doing up the final piece and even delivery, it is handled by me. The diapercake is an intricate and sometimes delicate item, hence I trust no one but myself (and my husband at times). In order to create a certain effect, the perfectionist in me sometimes spends several nights working on the item. The end result is rewarding. To carry my masterpiece and deliver it personally to the customer and along the way, receive praises and curious looks from passers-by, is affirmation to my creativity. 

For Lebox, it is challenging as we try to create a box for every month. However, procurement and manufacturing of each activity takes time. Very often, our materials are DIY-ed, hence a lot of effort is being put in it. However, the rewards are in the smiles of the children who benefit. When we receive great testimonies, it makes it all worthwhile. When my child asks to do more activities, it is evidence that learning through play is indeed how little children should be educated.

What do you do to prevent burnout/stress?
crafting, chilling with friends (rare because the hub travels and I have no help at night), watching dramas, cooking and doing certain chores (shocker!)

What is your proudest moment? Both business and family.
Family: My two children
Business: I busk in pride when people eyes sparkle when they see my diapercake.
Lebox: when my children tell me they enjoy the activities I created for them and hanker for more.

What advice would you give to give to a new mumpreneur or someone else who want to work in this area?
Don’t be afraid of hard work. Everything starts off tough. You will be rewarded and see the silver lining eventually. Believe in yourself.

What is your favorite quote?
Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you

What is your favorite book?
It’s been such a long while since I read anything but textbooks, so I don’t have a particular favorite book! 😛

Lastly, travel or food?
this is a tough one. Can it be both? 😛

 

About Janice's Business

Discount for our Mumpreneur Club Readers: 5% off for Lebox_sg

Rhapnroll

Uniquely personalized gifts for the little kewpies.
The main ingredient: Diapers. We guarantee that every gift will be received with Rhapsody

Lebox_sg

Learn as you play! Purposeful (Chinese) kits to enrich the little minds by two crafty moms!
For ages 2-7yo.

10 Facebook Ads Updates After The Congress Scandal

I have been using Facebook advertising since 2014. At that point in time, it is a lot easier to use Facebook using organic reach, advertisements and targeting the right audience that we wanted to. Recently, the rise of social advertising and the changes in Privacy Policy made a lot of changes in the Facebook algorithm and limiting the choice of selecting your target audience.

On January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

So, do not be surprised if your page and post are not performing well or why your CPC (cost per click) is much high than before.

We’ve collected all updates and explained what they changed in Facebook’s advertising ecosystem. Be aware of new advertising limitations you have and share it with your business friends.

 

 

  • Facebook refused using third-party data for targeting.

    Changes:
    Back to 2013, Facebook started using data from huge data brokers, such as Experian and Acxiom and launched a new feature for targeting called Partner Categories.Here is an example of Partner Category. They were displayed as any other targeting options so you may be surprised why some of your favorite targetings are gone.In 2018 partner categories are gone. So advertisers now have less advanced options for targeting.Facebook stated that the company won’t use any third-party data anymore and will rely only on its own resources in order to be sure that all data used for targeting was attained rightfully.

 

  • Facebook stopped showing reach estimate for custom audiences based on e-mail or phone lists.
    I love this function a lot, I can upload my email database list and let the Facebook target my audience or similar audience.

    Changes:
    Ooops… From now it’s much harder to define how many people has Facebook matched from your e-mail/phone list. Now you have no idea of what’s your audience size. Thus it’s more difficult to predict how many people can be reached within a particular audience.

 

  • Facebook stated it will require a proof that advertiser has collected e-mail or phone list for a custom audience legally.
    Same as email, it is important to let your user know where they have signed up for your newsletter. I’m not a fan of buying into email list, because quantity does not mean quality. It may cause your email to go into the junk folder and now even risk of getting yourself banned from Facebook ads.Changes:
    If you can’t show any evidence that the list is rightfully attained, your ads will be banned. So, buying even high-quality lists won’t make sense quite soon. And you have to double check your opt-ins if you haven’t done it yet.

 

 

  • Advertisers are prohibited to share custom audiences with other business accounts. 

    Changes:
    Right now it is not clear enough how this prohibition will work, so we’ll see it soon. However, it looks like we won’t have an option to share pixels within different ad accounts. We’re still not sure, if it would be ok to use one pixel on different websites then.

 

 

  • Apps that were not used for 3 months by a particular customer lose the access to his data. 

    Changes:
    This update affects not only suspicious apps which are manipulating access they have to retrieve as much data as they can, but also transparent products and applications, including ads management tools. It is time for apps to pay more attention to retention strategy. As a customer, you need to take some actions time after time in apps you’d like to remain active.As a business owner is important to keep engaging your customers as much as possible through quality contents, events, promotions or advertising. If they are not engaging to your page or post, chances are it will be harder to reach out to them after 3 months.

 

 

  • Facebook reduced the data which consumers can give to apps during sign in. Now it is Name, profile photo and e-mail only. 

    Changes:Want more data? Make customers believe that your app is worth it. Some of the fields, which are now not accessible:
    Page likes
    List of friends
    Localisation

 

 

  • Facebook will verify advertisers who are running any political and issue ads. Advertisers now have to confirm their identity and location. Organizations or persons who are not able to prove their identity will be banned. 

    Changes:
    If you work for political organizations or even in non-government sector, tough times are coming to you. It is likely to take more time now to start a new campaign or a new ad account in Facebook business manager even if you are a real person from a transparent organization. Facebook even decided to send a physical postcard with a verification code to advertisers who want to promote politicians during elections.As a business owner, I think we are quite safe from this unless you are selling political products.

 

 

  • All political or issue ads will be labeled to show customers who exactly pays for that promotion. 

    Changes:
    Anonymity for advertisers is gone. Transparency is an absolute right step, but it may hurt the opposition in states with dictatorship regimes which want to boost their posts, but need to stay nameless.I don’t think any of our Singapore Politicians will spend on ads, do they?

 

 

  • All users who manage big pages will be verified. They have to prove their identity. 

    Changes:
    It seems that this update will impact not only political pages but other fields as well. So if you are a huge publisher or a brand with big audience, get prepared for an active dialogue with facebook’s admins. Facebook even acquired a startup called confirm.io that is focused on a documents verification. It might help FB to deal with this issue. Even if you do not have big pages with huge followers, but if you plan to advertise and make use of the Facebook social platform, it will be a good practice to ensure your website or landing page are legit and running an actual business. Facebook will not hesitate to close down your Facebook page (including your personal account that is used to create the page) and Facebook ads account.

 

 

  • Facebook hires more than 20 000 people for manual content review. 

    Changes:
    Ad reviews will become more detailed and strict. According to efforts we see on Facebook, it is going to be much hard to overplay Facebook and promote prohibited topics, for example, ICO or cryptocurrencies.Since last year, they have already started clamping down advertisement which says “Are you overweight”, “Weight loss plan”,  “Loans” etc. They may even go to the extent of going to your website or landing page to check out your business. You can read more about Facebook Advertising Policies.

 

Remember to follow our websites and Facebook for more updates!

Credits: Captain Growth
Image Credits: Google Image & GIPHY

Listing Your Business Online

Besides social media, there are several ways to advertise your business locally and the most effective ways of advertising is through listing your business through an online directory. Getting your business listed in listing sites, reviews sites, social sites and search engine and keep it updated is an important part of SEO. Local business listing also allows you to promote your product(s) or service(s) to your target group of audience.

 

Here’s the list of Singapore Business Directory

        1. Google Business  Google receive 3.5 billion searches per day, so there is no reason why you should miss out listing your business. With Google My Business, you can verify your business information, manage customer reviews, get custom insights on how customers are interacting with your business online, and build your brand.
        2. Yelu Singapore Yelu Sg is a freemium business listing website with social media shares. It allows you to key in 5 keywords related to your business and up to 3 products listing. You can also post job offers to recruit candidates.
        3. Times Business Directory is a comprehensive compilation of key businesses including Singapore 1000 and SME 1000 companies. They are one of Asia’s largest publishing and printing conglomerates. Listing is subject to approval.
        4. Recommend.sg, a joint venture with Singapore Press Holdings and Southeast Asia’s largest platform for customers looking for trusted service professionals. If your business is about home improvement, home maintenance, events, and weddings, this is a good platform to grow your business and build your brand reputation.
        5. inSing is the best going out guide for people in Singapore, covering topics such as movie showtimes, restaurant deals and popular events in Singapore. According to them, they have up to 2.6 million unique visitors every month on inSing.com and HungryGoWhere.com.
        6. Singapore Biz Directory is listed very highly indeed on Google (and other major search engines) for a broad variety of keyword phrases, some of which will relate to your business. It is this unrivaled search engine prominence that provides them with over thousands of unique visitors each and every month.
        7. Yelp Singapore connects people with local businesses by bringing ‘word of mouth’ online and providing a platform for businesses and consumers to engage and transact.  According to them, they had a monthly average of 29 million unique visitors who visited Yelp via the Yelp app and 64 million unique visitors who visited Yelp via mobile web in Q4 2017.*
        8. The Green Book is Singapore’s leading Industrial, Commercial, and Consumer directory. Users such as CEOs, Managers, Purchasers, Engineers and up to the ordinary consumers depends on The Green Book as No.1 sourcing guide for their fast searching. Ideal for B2B business.
        9. Singapore Expats has established itself as the leading expatriate and property portal in Singapore. They provide services catered to the expatriate community in Singapore, or for those who are planning to relocate and work in Singapore. Listing of business is a paid service.
        10. Kiasu Parents visited by over 10,000 parents and students each day. You will never go wrong if you are providing services like tuitions, child care services or anything related to education you can list your business in Kiasu Parents whose target niche is parents.

 

Start listing your business now! Don’t wait! If I miss out any local directory which is worth mentioning, let me know in the comments below.

support mumpreneur

Why Dad Need To Be Supportive With Entrepreneur Mum

While we focus on mumpreneur journey, we must not forget their significant other, aka your hubby. Entrepreneurship is never an easy journey without the support of your family and loved ones, especially when it involves your kids.

 

When I told my hubby that I wanted to start a business, he just says “go ahead”. No words of negative, discouragement. Not only that, he has to understand that I may not have time to chat with him at night due to the time spent on busy setting up the business and sourcing for suppliers, after my long day of (full-time) work. Sometimes he even accompany me to work, just by sitting beside me.

 

But why is it important for hubby to support their spouse on this entrepreneurial journey?

 

  1.  Courage

It is never easy to step out of one’s comfort zone to start afresh. She may have to endure the stress of one’s income ‘reducing’ in the household, especially if the business fails, it can often take the family’s financials down with it.

 

  1. Double role

Entrepreneurship is NEVER an easy journey. Everyone thinks that “being your own boss” can bring you greater income, high flexibility for you to take time off whenever you want. In actual fact, the true entrepreneur life is a battle of long hours, high risk and uncertainties. More often than not, the Mumpreneur has to make an extra effort in making sure she has met the needs of their child while handling the business, both at the same time.

 

  1. Values

Kids who are under the influence of an entrepreneur parent more often organically absorb the entrepreneur character just by seeing how your spouse work, talk and behave. And because their mum is an entrepreneur, the way and tone of conversation will naturally be different from other parents. Through this, they can learn about independence, lifelong learning, taking action, curiosity and a growth mindset.

 

Here are some of the things that my hubby do to help me to grow:


1. Encouragement

Not only did he gave me encouraging words, he also took supportive action. If I’m rushing for a deadline, he helps me to manage the kids. Making them to bed, carry them when they are cranky. He helps me and teaches me to manage buyers when I’m not confident. We research and discuss together, making sure that I’m on the right track.


I understand some husbands may not want to support their wife, worrying that they jump into a business and lose thousands of dollars. Of course, there are cases like this. Instead of throwing them a cold blanket by saying nasty or discouraging words. Why not just help them along, by telling them to research more about the market, a talk with other business owners, friends or someone who is in a similar market or industry who could give your wife good information or insights before jumping into it.


Hubby should support you in making your dream come true, and not rubbing in to their face on how much they have helped or even worst,they give up in helping their wives. If all fails, at least you know you’ve both tried and there are no regrets. And what’s next for the Mumpreneur? Start another venture of course 🙂

2. Alleviating The Guilt

Like I mentioned previously, entrepreneurship is not an easy journey. In the initial stage of my business, I spent a lot of time building it, by spending a lot of time building it, means the time spent with my kids will be lesser. Often, I said to myself, I started the business in order to spend time with my kids, but ended up I have to sacrifice some of their time to rush out my deadline, or attend consumer fairs which are over the weekend. Hubby reassured that everything is well taken care of by making sure he is able to fetch them, asking help from my parents. Taking photos of their moments to me, so that I know they are happy and in good hands.


3. Team work

Before we have our own helper, managing a full time job, a business, 2 kids and housework is not an easy task. While I do the cooking, he will do the cleaning, hanging of laundry and sometimes weekend cooking in order for me to rest more.


I grow up watching my dad doing housework when he’s free. So to me running a house is not a one man job, it doesn’t mean it is a wife duty only.  The house belongs to the whole family, a family which is united by 2 person. I’m glad that my hubby, not only took up the role of a responsible father to our daughter, he also take up a role to be a helpful husband, ensuring that the housework is well taken care of, while I work through my way of entrepreneurship.

 

Entrepreneurship is not possible without the support of the loved ones. Their dreams are made possible because of you.  Or, your dreams are made possible because of them 🙂 It works both ways.

7 Ways To Prevent Burnout for ‘Work From Home Moms’!

“Urgh… I don’t wish to work today… I can’t concentrate at all” How many of you have experienced this kind of thoughts in your head? I have, and it has happened so many times!

Working from home is a good way to take care of kids and at the same time, supplement your family’s income. On the flipside, it can be quite challenging to be a Mumpreneur and a mother at the same time. Due to the higher, added responsibilities and own self-discipline, our stress level will rise quickly when you have deadlines to keep or phone calls to make while handling a cranky baby.

I realized that this is all taking a toll on both me, my hubby and my girls. And changes need to be made if I want to continue this dream of working and taking care of my girls. So, did I manage to overcome it? Definitely, here are some ways you can try!

 

1. Do what you love 
Choose a business that you love to do, not want to do. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you are definitely going to experience the burnout and the negative feeling every now and then when shit happens. Although it may take a while to find out what businesses suit you, you will never know without going through the trial period!

 

2. Stick to one
If you own a business, stick to one until it runs by itself. Or employ someone to run it for you. Don’t burn yourself out by trying to run several businesses at the same time. Running a few business while the 1st is not stable is no joke. Day to day operations and manpower matters is enough to stress you! That’s why you need HR when you have a big team.

 

3. Set your productive timings
This will take some trial and error to find out which time of your day is your most productive time. Because of mum’s duties during daytime, I have to break my work into different hours in order to accomplish my work. Hence, my most productive time will be at night when I feel like I have completed tons of work! Create a schedule or to-do-list also help you to plan your work properly and complete them on time.  Mission accomplished!

 

4. Outsource your task
As a business owner for the 1st time, outsourcing your task is always a difficult step when you are always thinking of cutting costs. You will tend to think the staff may not accomplish what you want. But hiring ad hoc virtual assistant from either Fiverr or Upwork to do some of your simple admin work, or tasks that you “hate to do” can reduce your work load and stress level! And furthermore, it leaves you more time to think about the growth of your business.

 

5. Enjoy your family time
When we focus too much on work, we tend to neglect our loved ones. It’s good to assign a time to play with your kids every day. Have a picnic lunch in the yard, take them on a little field trip or just play catch for a while. You choose to be a work at home mom because you want to spend time with your kids. Work and house chores can wait while you play. Don’t forget your husband too. Make date nights a regular event as he will be the one listening to your rants and help you to take care of the kids while you build your business.

 

6. Reward yourself
When we are employed, the company will reward their staff for their hard day of work like DnD or some other special staff benefits. But as a business owner, we tend to be in a constant state of working without receiving any rewards. This will further decrease our moral when we encounter setbacks. Rewarding yourself can be as simple as treating yourself a nice lunch alone or lying on the bed without doing anything. You have the right to treat yourself when you need it! Don’t be too hard on yourself, Mummy.

 

7. Support System
Never underestimate the power of a listening ear when you need one. You may love your business a lot, but there are times when you just need to vent out your frustrations when dealing with difficult clients or supplier. A support system means having either your best friend or people who understand what you are going through or what you are experiencing is very important. It does WONDERS on keeping your burnout away.

 

Start implementing a few ideas today and watch your stress level go down! Remember that you choose to work at home or become a Mumpreneur for a reason. Your family will appreciate you for spending time with them. A relaxed and happy mom will have happy children. That’s what it’s all about – spending quality time with your family!

Tips To Help You Work From Home With A Child

When I started working from home, my 2nd daughter is only 7.5 months old. The age where they start to climb, explore and get busy. Working around her schedule was not a big problem since both my daughters have started their routine since young. But as you know it, a child being a child, does not really go by the book, so after a few trial and errors, I discovered quite a number of ways on how I can work successfully (most of the time) from home with a toddler.


‘The’ Routine
It is not easy to create and cultivate a routine with kids, so I will normally set a timetable with 15mins buffer each time to get my work done. Schedule your work according to your child’s routine, not the other way round. Although every day does not have to be exactly the same, there should be a routine or regular schedule that you can follow throughout the week. Remember, ‘that you can follow throughout the week’. Manage your expectations and goal carefully.


Set an alarm and determine your working hours.
I have my phone with different reminders and alarms accordingly,
– the time to wake up
– the time to pick the elder one from school
– the time to pick the little one from childcare centre
– the time to cook
– the time to entertain them
For the hours you set to work, make sure you’re fully focused on the work in front of you. Try to keep your child occupied during this time so you’re not distracted. Getting them to be distracted for at least 15mins is a blessing. If you need longer than that, wait for their nap time. This is me trying to get her distracted as long as I can.


Create a workspace where you can watch your child.
Toddlers (Even older kids, like my current Primary school girl, I’ll have to supervise her work) they cannot be left unattended at all times. You’ll need to set up your workspace near their play area or in their room where you have a good view of the entire area. So you can watch over them while you work.

My current working space in the living room and my elder daughter’s study table, also known as or doubles up as a play station for them too.

 


Baby carrier to the rescue!
Although I’m more of a stroller person compared to a baby carrier, this is a must-have if you are planning to work from home. Useful when your child refuses to sleep, breastfeeding or cranky or even, just wanting your attention. By using simple baby carrier, it can buy you at least an hour’s worth of working time.

 

Be mobile
If you can, invest in a laptop so you can work everywhere, even in the toilet! Sometimes you just need to get things done, but your child just wants to play something new, or they are having a fever and you need to do a fever bath. I work on the desktop but I always have my laptop charged and ready to stand by.

 

Daddy plays an important role
Husband plays an important role if they are supportive of your entrepreneur dream. Get daddy to help entertain them by bringing your child to the playground to have some dad-child bonding time. Or if your husband gets home after dinner, get him to oversee your child’s sleeping time. All this would help you buy some time for work or getting important calls!

 

Baby Monitor
I wouldn’t say this gadget is must have but good to have to monitor your child’s nap and sleeping time if you don’t want your keyboard tapping noise to wake them up. You can monitor them at your most comfortable working area without worrying.

 

Finally…
Working from home with a toddler is definitely not an easy task. Hey, it’s not all perfect, from time to time, we do have meltdowns that we don’t wish to do anything especially if you have a cranky baby on a particular day.

 

But with a little creativity and flexibility, you can be a successful work from home mum and a mumpreneur.