Small Businesses in the Year 2007
It’s a new year. If we can believe the reports, 2007 heralds incredible promise. The Singapore bourse surpassed the 3,000 mark, high-end property are being sold faster than McDonalds hotcakes and investors are still recovering from hangovers suffered from chuffing too much celebratory champagne over the sterling performances of their portfolios. And it’s only been a couple of days into the new year.
But will 2007 really sparkle for local small business owners? Here are some factors for consideration:
1. GST hike from 5% to 7%. The impending GST increase – to be announced in the next government budget – has serious implications for the small business. Already, many quarters have voiced their concerns over the rising costs of living and doing business in Singapore. You can find out more about how the GST increase is likely to affect business in this press release from PriceWaterhouseCoopers here.
2. Upcoming Integrated Resorts. The winners have been announced, and already Singapore is salivating over the economic boost that the two IRs are expected to bring. Yet it is too soon to tell if small local businesses will get to enjoy some of that economic pie – despite the assurance from Resorts World at Sentosa that they will offer S$200 million worth of business for Singapore SMEs.
3. Rising Property Prices. Rising rentals. Demand is increasing for commercial and retail properties as well, so it will be increasingly expensive to lease office and shop space. If you’re working from home, you’re a lucky sod.
4. Regional Turmoil. We may think this is unlikely to be a direct impact on small local businesses unless they have interests in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. Natural disasters in Indonesia and Taiwan is one thing, but terrorism in Thailand – in the heart of its capital Bangkok, no less – has broader implications. Coupled with the recent Thai Central Bank bungle, the last thing we need is another currency meltdown in this region, thank you very much.
I’m sorry if I sound like a doomsayer. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, do hold on to your dreams. Dust off that forgotten business plan. Take a look at how far you’ve come. Tweak your plan. Factor in the above. Most importantly, dream big.
All the best in 2007. We hope to hear great things from you this year.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.