Freelancing and flexible work arrangements are on the rise, and more Singaporeans are considering them as ways to enjoy a healthy work-life balance. Blossoming industries like Travel and Tourism, e-commerce and video content creation[i] are proving highly lucrative[ii], with technology enabling entrepreneurs to conduct a fully-functioning business in the comfort of their own home.

Whether you're looking to become a freelance web designer or to set up your own online cake shop, there are a few things every home-run business needs to thrive.

1. Install a robust infrastructure

Your home is your headquarters; ensure it is equipped with the basic essentials: Hardware, software and connectivity. You can secure the latest hardware and software and save big with a subscription solution, which leases you the latest laptops, along with software and technical support. This subscription model lets you cut capital expenditure, by replacing the hefty upfront cost of hardware and software with a small monthly fee.

Make the most of your new device with top quality productivity software that lets you collaborate with team members and access all your files on the go in the Cloud.

2. Maximise your SEO

Without the physical presence of a retail shopfront, awareness of your home business depends on your social presence, and how easy it is to find through relevant searches. Creating a Facebook page for your business might no longer be sufficient in this age.

Complement your social media pages with a responsive desktop and mobile website so potential customers are aware of your brand's products and services, and find it easy to reach out to you.

Statistics show that even within the top first and second search engine results, click-through rates drop drastically from 7.11% to 3.01%[iii].

Set the foundation for a strong online presence and lock down your own domain name as soon as possible, to boost your credibility with a professional image.

In the e-commerce industry, competition is especially tight, with revenue racking up an annual growth rate of 11.2%. By 2021, the e-commerce market volume is expected to hit US$5,076 million[iv].

Help your brand stand out with a platform that lets you set up your own online store and boost your store profile with Google SEO, making your shop easy to find with relevant keywords. Look out for platforms that also come with additional features like Google Analytics to track consumer online behaviour, a wide range of payment modes with no transaction fees and campaign management software for optimised marketing.

3. Maintain a professional image from home

A home business can often by seen as less corporate and thus, less credible, than brands with their own offices. Build up your credibility with a smart unified communications solution that makes you contactable via a single, professional 6-series number. This means that you can receive business calls on your mobile, even when customers dial the landline number presented on your business card or website.

You can also consider investing in an email client through Office 365's Outlook app, which lets you build your business brand with an account domain name of your own. A professional image is vital to make your business more credible and foster trust in your brand.

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