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LESSONS LEARNT

Here is what can help sustain a business, whether it is for good or for profit, according to those in the industry

  • Enforce specific working hours

Previously, Kampung@Simpang Bedok stallholders ran their business as and when they wished. Having standard regulations in place, such as a minimum number of operating hours, would ensure the place has a certain buzz to it.

  • Have a core team in place

Hire suitably-qualified people to run day-to-day operations, rather than rely on volunteers. That means hiring a core team with relevant F&B or logistics experience, who are committed to the venture.

  • Make it accessible

If the business is above street level, make sure there are escalators and lifts to take people in. If not, you run the risk of potential customers avoiding the place.

  • Innovate

Have backup plans, in case problems crop up.

Tweak the products/services offered according to what the audience prefers. Or identify a gap in the market and come up with the desired goods or services.

Tap on technology and social media to reach out to more people.

  • Get subsidies and support

Social enterprises find it hard to sustain low rentals.

Approach agencies that can offer subsidies or longer-term rent controls. Mr Lye said: "Even easing the licensing process for events would help."