11 Business Ideas to Kickstart in Singapore in 2023

Written by the Amazon Team
Note: The information contained in this article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. If you are in doubt as to the action you should take, please consult your financial, legal, tax, or other professional advisers.

One of the thoughts that may come to mind when you think about starting your own business is finding an office space. Due to a shift in the local business landscape, the workplace is no longer confined to the office and can include locations such as the home.

In this article, we share some home-based business ideas in Singapore that you can explore including online ones. We also list options that allow you to work in person from various locations instead of a fixed place.

For the purpose of this article, capital investment is defined as the amount of upfront financing needed, usually in the form of cash, and profit potential is the likely return on investment of time and money.

Home-based business ideas

A home-based business allows you to work from the comfort of your own living space. It can reduce the overhead expenses incurred and helps you save on commuting time.

Here are some home-based businesses you can consider kickstarting:

1. Start an e-commerce business on Amazon

Starting an e-commerce business on Amazon can potentially be a cost-saving way of running your business as you can avoid overhead costs such as rental and utilities.

There are various benefits that come with selling on Amazon:
  • Easy to set up: Signing up for a seller account and listing your products can be relatively quick and simple.
  • Established customer base: Instead of building up your customer base from scratch, we provide access to a large local and global audience.
  • Availability of online tools and resources: We offer various tools and resources that you can leverage to improve and optimize your product listings.
  • Access to service expertise: Through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you can tap on our expertise to manage customer enquiries and order fulfillment.
If you are keen on starting your own e-commerce business on Amazon, these are some ways in which you can operate your business:

1a. Sell original merchandise

Capital investment: Medium – high
Profit potential: Low – medium

Thinking about launching your own brand retailing original merchandise? You can do so by selling online on Amazon. We offer various tools that are designed to help you build and grow your business including advertisements, brand analytics and A+ content.

You can also protect your brand using Amazon Brand Registry, which helps to detect counterfeit products and remove inaccurate content or suspected infringing.

Start selling on Amazon Singapore

To sell on Amazon Singapore, you will need to register for a selling account. Read our step-by-step guide to setting up your account and start your selling journey today!

1b. Buy and resell products

Capital investment: Medium – high
Profit potential: Medium – high

This business model involves purchasing products in bulk at a wholesale rate and reselling them on Amazon at a markup. This allows you to enjoy cost savings due to economies of scale. Additionally, you can choose from a wide selection of manufacturers for your chosen product.

When deciding on a product to sell, it is important to choose one that
  • has existing demand,
  • is not easily available to customers, and
  • is easy to ship and store.
This can ensure that your business meets the market gap while facing little competition. It can also help to minimize any issues that may arise from inventory management and transportation.

1c. Sell handmade products

Capital investment: Medium – high
Profit potential: Low – medium

Do you enjoy making items by hand? If so, why not consider turning your hobby into a business? With handmade products, you can control the quality of your goods and reduce costs where necessary. You can even personalize them according to customers’ requests.

Depending on the product that you have chosen, you may need a separate working space such as a studio, workshop or commercial kitchen. As such, a higher capital investment may be required though the cost of selling on Amazon is relatively low.

1d. Sell print-on-demand goods

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Low – high

Selling print-on-demand goods revolves around the concept of producing customizable products in smaller quantities at a lower cost. With this business idea, you can unleash your creativity and design items that appeal to specific groups of customers.

It allows you to enjoy greater production flexibility while potentially reducing the risk of low inventory turnover and overstocking. You may even be able to lower the amount of upfront costs incurred.

If you do not have the creative juices to design your own products, you may want to consider hiring professional designers to help with the business.

Print on demand with Amazon Merch on Demand

Amazon Merch on Demand* allows you to create unique goods for your customers. Simply design and list your product on Amazon and leave your production, order fulfillment and customer service needs to us!

*This service is only available to Amazon North America, United Kingdom (UK), Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan sellers.

2. Dropshipping on Amazon

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Low – medium

Another business idea that takes inventory management and last-mile delivery off your hands is dropshipping. With this retail fulfillment method, you (dropshipper) are able to sell products on Amazon without owning any inventory.

As the dropshipper, your role is to:
  • Accept orders from customers
  • Forward orders to the supplier
  • Sell and market the product
  • Assist customers with any enquiries
The manufacturing, storage and delivery of the product is left to the supplier. As you are likely to have little to no control over these processes, it is crucial to find a reliable supplier who uses high-quality materials and is able to deliver the orders promptly and safely.

3. Affiliate marketing

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Low – high

Affiliate marketing allows you to generate an income by linking to and promoting a product or service through your chosen platform.

Here is how you can get started:
  1. Sign up for an affiliate program like Amazon Associates.
  2. After your application has been approved, generate a unique affiliate link to the product or service you wish to sell.
  3. Insert the link onto your website, social media or other relevant platforms and promote it.
  4. When someone purchases the product or service that you are promoting, a commission will be credited to your account.
As the number of conversions determines your revenue, it is often helpful to have an existing audience. Other factors that affect the commission earned include the affiliate program and the type of product or service being sold.

4. Content creation

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Low – high

Did you know that it is possible to monetize a blog, social media account or podcast? You can do so through various streams like affiliate marketing, sponsorships and advertising.

If you have a substantial following, you can even diversify your revenue stream to create and sell your own merchandise in stores such as Amazon.

While the capital required for these businesses can be low, they require a constant time investment and results are not immediately apparent. However, if you are able to build a large audience over time, you can potentially earn revenue through multiple streams.

To help you get started as a content creator, here are some tips:
  • Choose a niche to focus on
  • Find your target audience and understand their consumption patterns
  • Establish a unique voice that will help you stand out from competitors
  • Release content consistently to engage your audience

5. Baking

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Low – high

Baked goods make great gifts, especially during festive seasons and occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. If you enjoy baking, try turning this passion into a business opportunity!

When starting a home-based bakery, you may incur some upfront costs with regard to baking tools and equipment. As your business flourishes, the cost of ingredients, utilities and delivery may also increase accordingly.

However, the upside is that you can enjoy flexible working hours and save on rental and labor costs.

6. Freelancing services

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Medium – high

Freelancing services are flexible work arrangements that spread across a wide range of industries and roles. Examples of such services include virtual assistants (VA), consulting, digital marketing and content writing.

Some jobs may require certain expertise or skill sets, while others may be more administrative or straightforward in nature. You can choose to provide more specialized services depending on your professional background.

As a freelancer, you will typically work with clients on a job-to-job basis. However, some may choose to retain your services for the long term if they are satisfied with your work, giving you a more stable income.

Businesses with varying working locations

A change in the working environment from time to time can be enjoyable as you get to experience different sights and sounds. These business ideas listed below may take you to various locations depending on your clients’ needs and preferences.

7. Dog walking

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Medium – high

Pet owners in Singapore may lack the time to walk their dogs due to their busy lifestyles. If you love these animals, this may be a great business opportunity that allows you to earn an income while interacting with them on a regular basis.

The capital investment for this service is likely to be low, and the cost tends to be in the form of the time spent walking the dogs.

8. Pet sitting

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Medium – high

Pet sitting is another business idea that may interest animal lovers. It involves caring for a client’s pet while they are away from home and may include tasks such as feeding, walking and grooming them.

Your client may also request additional help with regard to the upkeep of their home and small errands such as receiving their mail or watering their plants. Overnight sitting may be required for pets who need constant care or those whose owners will be away for long periods of time.

9. Babysitting

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Medium – high

In Singapore, many parents may prefer to employ the help of a relative or domestic helper to care for their children. However, babysitters may be the preferred option for those who only require a caregiver for certain hours of the day.

As such, this may be a viable business idea if you enjoy spending time with children or have some experience caring for them.

Depending on your client’s preference, you may be required to go to their home to babysit, or they might drop their child off at your home. The items that you will need for the job will likely be provided so the capital investment for this role is typically low.

10. Tutoring

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Medium – high

Due to the competitive education landscape in Singapore, many parents opt to send their children to tuition classes to give them an edge over their peers. In fact, the amount spent on tuition and enrichment classes in Singapore has been on the rise since 2012, making this a good option for a business venture.

While classes were traditionally held in students’ homes, online classes are now available so you can tutor multiple students at the same time.

If you are planning to start a tutoring business, you may need to invest some money in books and materials to prepare for lessons. You may also need to set aside some time to revise and craft lesson plans.

11. Photography or videography

Capital investment: Low – medium
Profit potential: Low – high

Photography and videography are about capturing moments in time and creating lasting memories. This can be for products or events such as weddings, birthdays, product launches and seminars.

Aspiring photographers and videographers may wish to turn their interest into a business by offering their services to individuals or companies. Often, these services include post-production editing so you may need to hire professionals if you lack the necessary skillset.

Furthermore, you may need to invest some capital into purchasing the relevant equipment and software to get the business started.

FAQs on business ideas in Singapore

What are some business ideas with low capital requirements?
Businesses that do not require a large investment to start may be preferred by those with limited capital or those who are more risk-averse.

Some examples of such businesses include:
● Affiliate marketing
● Babysitting
● Blogging
● Dog walking
● Dropshipping
● Freelancing
● Pet sitting
● Sale of digital products
● Tutoring
What are some online business ideas?
Starting a business online offers benefits such as reduced overheads and operating costs, greater flexibility and the potential to reach out to a wider audience.

These are some ideas for an online business:
● Affiliate marketing
● Blogging
● Dropshipping
E-commerce store
● Freelancing services
What are some key considerations before starting a business in Singapore?
Starting a business in Singapore may sound easy. However, there are some key considerations that you may want to take into account before you begin:
  • Demand: Is there a demand for your product or service?
  • Competition: Is the competition for your product or service offering intense?
  • Capital: Do you have the capital required to start your business?
  • Readiness: Are you prepared to invest the necessary time and effort into running your own business?
  • Soft skills: Do you have the necessary expertise and skill set for running the business?
  • Processes: What are the processes involved in starting your business? E.g. Do you need to register your business and file taxes?

Start a business that meets your needs and goals

Each of us is unique with different dreams and lifestyles. As such, it is essential to find a business idea that is able to meet your goals, needs and preferences. This includes the amount of time needed, how easy it is to set up and the sense of achievement you hope to gain from it!

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