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Business Advice

Want a booming business?

Keep your eyes peeled and nose on the ground
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - December 14, 2010
By: Sheila Lim
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Want a booming business?

Meeting needs, scoring success
Entrepreneurs have to wear many hats – they must be able to plan strategies, select and manage staff, be skilled at marketing and public relations, solve operational problems, balance the books and so on.

It’s also vital for them to be good “researchers” and “observers”, for those who are able to spot trends early, gauge the viability of introducing a new product/product line or service to the market, and successfully develop a market for it will be handsomely rewarded – in other words, the early bird catches the worm!

In economics studies, the term “barrier to entry” is used to describe the level of ease or difficulty at which a new supplier can get into the market and operate competitively. The first ones to identify a new target group and introduce products or services befitting their needs are usually able to sell their products at premium prices and enjoy a bigger slice of the pie. The bubble tea business best exemplifies this.

If you are seeking fresh business opportunities, some key consumer groups you could target are the baby boomers, the environmentally-conscious, the technologically savvy, and busy urbanites.  

Baby boomers – a booming market
A baby boomer is a person who was born during the post-World War II baby boom. The United States Census Bureau defines the period of this demographic birth boom to be between 1946 and 1964. A quick calculation will tell you that a large number of this cohort are entering their golden years and will be on the threshold of retiring, or have already gone into retirement.

The Singapore Government has been very quick in preempting the needs of ageing baby boomers – lifts are being added to every floor of HDB flats; public vehicles, and buildings and outdoor spaces are being modified to facilitate the mobility of the wheelchair-bound. Even polytechnics and other training institutions have got into the act, and have developed ingenious devices to improve the quality of life for the aged. 

Private enterprises should do likewise. It will augur well for them financially if they are savvy enough to anticipate the needs of baby boomers and identify products and services they will want. But remember, time is of the essence if you wish to ride the wave of this “silver tsunami”!

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