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Y your next job shd involve freelancing & sharing economy

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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,902 posts since Dec '99
    • Honestbee's Isaac Tay on Singapore's burgeoning sharing economy, why start-ups fail and how his grocery shopping service does your work for you. 

      Isaac Tay is the co-founder of honestbee, a local grocery delivery company that delivers within one hour.  Prior to this, he was the founder of SGEntrepreneurs, which was acquired by Tech In Asia for an undisclosed sum. Here, he talks to us about the sharing economy, why he started honestbee and his thoughts on the local start-up scene in Singapore.

      We started LifeOpp [honestbee’s precursor] because of a common belief that the process of hiring and finding a job online can be better and more fruitful for everyone. Folks like you and I can benefit from LinkedIn, but how about the best waiter in your favorite restaurant?

      LifeOpp and honestbee share one thing in common–providing the masses who can’t work fixed hours with income opportunities. Before the shift, we were considering a few niches, for example home cleaning and grocery shopping.

      The mission is to create happy homes with delightful services and flexible jobs. The current vision of the company is to build the largest and most convenient online supermarket in Asia.

      Once we know [of our employee’s] skills and the hours they can work, there are many other [niches] we can enter to generate demand for this labour. The key is to support this workforce in doing more on-demand jobs efficiently so that the per hour wage increases.

      We chose grocery shopping because of these two reasons: quality can be standardised and maintained, and grocery shopping happens more frequently than home cleaning.

      We don't view ourselves as competitors to any businesses out there. As an on-demand business, we add value to traditional supermarkets and boutique stores. Our commitment to quality, as well as our trained, dedicated concierge shoppers and speedy delivery bees are our unique advantages that allow us to ship fresh products among other things.

      Our belief is that we should not just start a business just to create wealth, but also to improve people’s lives. That is what drove us to start honestbee–to be a social impact business.

      We want to create sustainable job opportunities for our shoppers and delivery team targeted at all individuals who are looking for more flexible working hours. These may include working mothers, retirees, or individuals who may only have a specific amount of hours to work.

      I think [more of the world is going freelance] for two very different reasons.

      First, the highly skilled workforce is using better tools to manage their time and projects better, so it becomes less necessary for organisation under a firm. While going freelance seemingly sacrifices financial stability, it allows them to increase their per hour income, and satisfies their need to constantly do different and more interesting work.

      At the same time, it allows more flexibility in time and travel plans.

      Second, for the lower skilled workforce, there are less economic opportunities because they are being replaced by either technology or low cost labour.

      To them, going freelance is a means to secure as much employment as possible; it is very possible that this segment of society is being under employed. Chances are, they want to work more but they can’t.

      I can understand that feeling [of not being able to earn enough]. I think with the growth of the sharing economy there are more opportunities to increase your income.

      For example, you can rent out the spare room in your private apartment on Airbnb, or share a journey with your car on GrabHitch. You can also be our shopper bee to help our customers pick up groceries, since you might already be shopping for yourself and get paid at the same time.

      In my opinion, one of the main reasons why start-ups fail is the lack of a product fit for the market. As such, it is important to have sort of a checklist to evaluate the venture.

      For me, it is whether 1) will it improve people’s lives; and 2) are there people willing to pay for this improvement to their lives.

      I think Singaporean startups also fail because we don’t think regional from day one. Singapore is a good place to start but you got to build to quickly grow out of it.

      Recruiting great talent is a major challenge as we are competing with more established brands for their attention. However, with our recent funding announcement that we are backed by world-class Silicon Valley investors, this has been changing.

      To me, the biggest achievement is the talent that we have recruited. The team has a shared culture of excellence, where we trust each other to do the best work we humanly can do to fulfil the company’s mission and vision.




  • ^Acid^ aka s|aO^eH~'s Avatar
    31,272 posts since Oct '02
    • actually I'm curious, how many of us can live without financial stability but still working freelance...

      I assume many will be uncomfortable losing their financial stability just to go freelance, though, skillset and industry plays a very important role on whether if it is even feasible to begin with.

  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,902 posts since Dec '99
  • LovelyTears's Avatar
    6 posts since Nov '15
  • Zhanzhao's Avatar
    9 posts since Feb '09
    • The main problem with starting out/going it alone is that there is dealing with contracts (how to protect yourself), payment terms and collecting..... most learn through painful experience how to protect themselves in the future :(

  • Gmjgiong's Avatar
    9 posts since Dec '15
  • Learnly's Avatar
    2 posts since Dec '15
  • Henkelo's Avatar
    30 posts since Dec '15
    • Nice article. I just resigned from my job, last day 15 Jan, and go for freelance and doing own business.

      Financial Stability, currently depend on my saving. Got mother, wife and daughter to support, and I am the only breadwinner in the family.

      Really need to have multi-skill.

      Wish me luck :)

  • The Code's Avatar
    496 posts since Jul '14
  • Hr.mgr's Avatar
    6 posts since Mar '16
  • Ugeane's Avatar
    11 posts since Jul '08
    • I am seeing this as the trend, more people in freelance work, running their small business on the side.

  • Financial Freedom's Avatar
    6 posts since May '16
  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,902 posts since Dec '99
  • Ken8_flare's Avatar
    11 posts since Jun '16
    • Is it an issue to kick-off LifeOpp since your functionalities are tied strongly to the workforce you can find?

      These people serving in restaurants and such may not be so receptive or educated to this concept of 'employment'

  • changeforbetter's Avatar
    7 posts since Jun '16
  • Rogerm78's Avatar
    8 posts since Aug '16
  • CFJimmy's Avatar
    2 posts since Aug '16
    • Freelance = time flexibility of when and what to work and when and what not to work..

      I think biggest challenge about Freelancing is the seems-uncertain-and-difficult to locate the freelance jobs / projects..

      Searching for freelance work itself takes some time and effort, at its best case, and often, it is really consuming task by itself, that is why most people still prefer full time job now bah.. full time job don't have this kind of hassles, once find a job, set and just work...

      But i am imagining, on the other hand, if let's say there are many many many really many freelance job out there, that people can freely and easily choose to work for, perhaps many people will really prefer to go for freelancing..


  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,902 posts since Dec '99
    • largely depend on referral and recurring customers


      it isnt so much of own time own target

      in fact, it might end up putting in much more time and effort compared to a full time job due to the lack of system and resources

  • Sribathi's Avatar
    9 posts since Jul '16
  • hihihihilol's Avatar
    1 post since Aug '16
    • I totally agree. The sharing economy is a huge and it definitely opens opportunities for people to collaborate among themselves.

  • qwerzxc's Avatar
    1 post since Aug '16
  • gekpohboy's Avatar
    2,180 posts since Mar '16
    • With regards to doing business,

      There are four factors of production. One of which is 'Enterprise'.

      According to a book on business studies, "Enterprise is the driving force, provided by risk-taking individuals, that combines the other factors of production (Land, Labour, Capital) into a unit capable of producing goods and services. It provides a managing, decision-making and coordinating role."

      An entrepreneur is "someone who takes the financial risk of starting and managing a new venture".

      Some characteristics of successful entrepreneurs include innovation, commitment and self-motivation, having a variety of skills, leadership skills, self-confidence and an ability to 'bounce back', and risk taking.

      To be an entrepreneur, you must be able to identify a market need that will offer sufficient demand for your product to allow the business to be profitable. Thereafter, think about the finance, the location and the competition.

      Many enterprises fail because they lack record keeping, lack working captal, have poor management skills, and sometimes due to changes in business environment.

      Edited by gekpohboy 28 Aug `16, 3:50AM
    • doing your own business requires the time and commitment. yet, the profits are subject to demand and supply.

      wouldn't it be better to work for a company instead?

      To begin with, how much money do you have, after spending on the necessities and wants? Got money to even start the business or not? LOL.

      and if you are thinking of asking family or friends for money, do know that you are taking a very huge risk, of not being able to pay them back. unless you have done the calculations, and are confident that you can make money. otherwise, do not borrow money to do business.

      just find a 9-5 job la, and work 5 days a week. what's wrong with that?

      if you cannot even tahan being a worker, what makes you think you can be a manager, director or CEO? the higher the level, the greater the stress, you know?

      Edited by gekpohboy 28 Aug `16, 3:35AM
    • Whereas for freelance, the demand is very limited; freelance opportunities are hard to come by.

  • Kennethlim8688's Avatar
    10 posts since Sep '16
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