Flexible operations to get your startup off the ground
17 November 2016

If you’re a startup, run-of-the-mill business solutions may not be as suitable for you. Before drafting that full-time staff employment contract, or signing up for a decade-long office rental agreement, weigh your options to see if that is what’s best for your business.


Here is a 2-pronged approach to cutting expenditure as you focus on growing your startup.

Contract staffing

It comes as no surprise that acquiring local talent for your business is a challenge. A survey by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises reveals that 80% of SMEs face manpower shortage.


Consider outsourcing some functions instead of hiring full time staff. Not only does allow you to seek talents with specialized expertise in each task, you’re not restricted to the resources and skillsets of a fixed team.

Hiring part-time workers or freelancers also eliminates the pressure of costs like fixed overhead and healthcare.

If you have decided to tap into more unorthodox manpower sources, you are not alone. Resourceful local entrepreneurs are looking to non-permanent staff to bridge the growing talent gap. Over the past 2 years, Singapore businesses have spent up to 50% more on hiring freelancing talents, making it the top Asian market for freelance hiring. Sites like Freelancer and JobStreet are often good places to start.

Support your flexible work practices with business solutions and plans that require little to no commitment. For example, a business mobile SIM-only plan, much like a temporary rental space or part-time hiring, helps you stay in contact with your employees while maximising expenditure.


These plans ensure that you are not locked into a contract, meaning you do not incur cancellation charges for switching to a plan better suited to your business as you grow. For fuss-free SIM-only mobile plans that give you high speed 4G connectivity, consider StarHub. StarHub offers talktime, messaging and data as a cost-effective bundle plan that lets you manage your business more effectively.

Flexible work arrangements

As a startup, you might only need a workspace for specific time periods to meet with clients or conduct interviews. Consider renting temporary office spaces instead of shelling out thousands for monthly rentals.


Platforms like FlySpace offer short-term lease contracts to small businesses, often even in prime locations like Orchard Road and the CBD. Rental is based on hourly, daily or monthly rates so you only pay for office space as long as you need it.


You could also consider co-working spaces, where small businesses or even solo freelancers share a rental space to minimize expenses. One of the biggest boons of such an arrangement would be the open innovation opportunities presented. To tap into a thriving community of fellow entrepreneurs, look into places like The Hive, which even offer lower rates for SMEs less than a year old.

If you prefer an inhouse team, give your staff the option to telecommute. Flexible work arrangements can encourage better work-life balance for boosted productivity.  

To make the transition to flexible work arrangements easier, consider applying for the FWA grant. Businesses that offer their employees the option to telecommute or enabling flexible work hours stand to receive up to $120,000.  


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