Exploring Singapore’s Business Practices – A Brief Guide


Business practices vary around the world and Singapore is no exception.  Singapore has a makeup of approximately 76% Chinese ethnicity so Chinese customs are often prevalent in Singapore culture.

When they speak of family, the group that’s considered to be “family” may actually consist of close friends as well. Group concepts including harmony and security hold more importance than individual preferences. This dedication to respect for others carries over into their business life as well. Read on to learn about a few of the business practices common to Singapore.

The Etiquette of Business Meetings

Business meetings are always arranged by appointment and those appointments need to be made at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting.  Formal meeting arrangements are usually scheduled by writing but most Singapore business people are fine to schedule by phone or email.

Challenging authority is very taboo in Singapore culture so that value can inhibit people from asking questions.   If you give a presentation, always encourage questions after your talk and smile if question if a question is asked.

Remember that someone of a higher rank demands respect.  It is frowned upon to disagree or criticise someone who has a higher rank than you.  That act will cause you to “lose face” and it can also sever your business relationship.

The Etiquette of Business Negotiations

When a meeting for negotiation is arranged, always send the organiser a list of the people involved, along with their titles.

Before you sit down to the meeting table, wait to be shown where you should sit.  There is almost always a protocol to be followed so wait until you are told where to go.

Because people from Singapore often wait as long as 15 seconds before answering a question, it’s common to completely miss their responses if you start speaking too quickly. Make sure to offer your fellow meeting attendees the same courtesy silence of 15 seconds before responding to their questions.

Always bring a mental list of concessions to the meeting, and make sure that these confessions will not damage the health of your own business.

Remember that decisions are ruled by consensus and that business decisions are handled at a slow pace.

Because Singaporeans don’t like confrontations, they won’t usually make a strong statement of either “no” or yes”. Because of this their saying “yes” may not always indicate that they agree with you.

Although negotiation is a delicate art, many Singapore business people are sharp negotiators when it comes to establishing deadlines and prices. Once negotiations are ended, a contract will usually have to be signed. If you’ve been negotiating with an ethnic Chinese, the signing date of that contract will often be established by a Feng Shui professional who can find the most auspicious signing time for all concerned.

The Etiquette of Business Cards

Business cards are a large part of Chinese culture so it’s important to know a few simple facts about them and how they are perceived.

The first thing to learn about business cards is they should always be treated with respect.  To Singaporeans, how you treat a person’s business card is indicative of how you will treat your relationship with them.

Business cards exchanged by using both hands to grasp and present the card.  When you receive a business card, look at it carefully for as long as a minute before depositing it in your card case.  Your own personal business cards should be kept clean and excellent condition. Extending a business card with frayed edges is in bad taste.

If you think that you’re ready to move your company to the next step—doing business with Singapore- take a close look at the Servcorp virtual offices in Singapore.  A virtual office can help bridge the culture gap before a problem even exists.

Step by Step to Landing your First Job

Beginning to look for that first job can be quite a daunting prospect especially if it doesn’t happen quickly.  Frustration, anger, resentment and disillusionment soon sink into the equation of being unable to get into the world of work.

All is not lost.  There are many ways to improve the prospects of finding a first job whether just leaving school or a little older.  If looking for temp work in a dental practice for instance, why not consider using the services of professional recruitment specialists?

FP recruitment pride themselves in supplying temp dental nurses and assistants to major dental care providers.

Top 8 basic first job search rules

OK, it’s time to land that first job and start earning a living.  Find out more, here are top 8 basic first job search rules:-

  1. Showcasing grades – don’t think that grades are not important to potential employers, they are.  Recent surveys have shown that around 75% of employers place a real emphasis on being shown grades.

  1. Get out into the real world – for many employers, some kind of experience counts whatever the vacancy may be.  One way to gain experience is to taken an internship, do some volunteer work or where possible, take a part-time job.

  1. Being able to communicate with others – whatever the career, from a dental care nurse to a computer programmer, it’s essential to have solid written and oral communication skills to land the right job.

  1. Be computer literate – to find a job in today’s competitive business world, being computer literate is a must. Let’s face it, it’s the age of the internet so potential employees need to demonstrate solid computer literacy.

  1. Keep in the know – even in today’s technological world many jobs are landed through people they know.  Make a list of contacts such as professional family and friends, associations along with proven recommendations.

  1. Put the best possible resume forward – a good resume should be a concise-error-free-reader-friendly one -page document which can be easily scanned.  Make sure every detail is included and be positive, but don’t exaggerate or lie.

  1. Research – when applying for any type of job it’s important to do lots of research about the company in question.  This will provide a solid platform should any questions be asked about the company during an interview.

  1. Remember to smile – OK, it’s not easy to smile when in the interview hot seat.  Smiling shows enthusiasm and confidence for the position which is being applied for.  What’s more, potential employers may interpret a non-smiling face as a lack of interest.

Following these 8 points is a helpful gateway to employment, so good luck.  Likewise interested in becoming a dental nurse or assistant, get in touch with First Point Recruitment.  For eager job seekers there are also full-time, part-time and uni-holiday break positions available. Everything will be organised for candidates wanting to work within the dental industry.

What Sort of Documents Should I Keep in Business Archives?

What Sort of Documents Should I Keep in Business Archives

Deciding what you should keep in your business archives can be a tricky business, but for some helpful advice we’ve put together a few helpful pointers to make business archiving more straightforward.

As a business operating in the UK it’s incredibly important to retain certain paperwork relating to business transaction and accounts as a legal requirement, because at any point HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can request to see it.

Naturally this documentation can take up a lot of time and space, but with an effective business archiving system in place and knowing what you should keep, can help you stay on top of everything. Remember to find a good, secure place to store all your documents to protect them from theft or damage. This could be on your own premises but if you find they are taking up too much valuable, and expensive, business space then a good, cheap alternative is a self storage facility. They have excellent storage and climate controlled storage units to protect even the most valuable business documentation. Compare self storage deals near you to find the combination of price and features to suite you needs.

Read on to discover what sort of documents you should keep in your business archives.

Company Records and Personal Data

With most businesses there will be a certain level of personal information relating to customers and employees that needs to be stored correctly to ensure you’re in line with the Data Protection Laws. Anything that contains personal information should be placed in secure business archives and stored up to 6 years.

Value Added Tax (VAT) Records

By law, VAT records should be kept for a minimum of 6 years and to ensure you have all the relevant records available, it’s a good idea to put them into your business archive in a systematic filing system.

Company Tax Documentation

The ideal place for your company tax records for at least the past 6 years, is to put them into a business archiving system. That way you can have all the relevant paperwork available should you need to prove to HMRC that you’ve paid sufficient tax.

PAYE Records

PAYE records can also be stored in your business archive to ensure you have adequate records to provide to HRMC if they need it. Whilst you don’t legally need to keep hold of this information, it’s good business practice to at least keep it for 3 years.

Business Insurance

All UK businesses should have an up to date Employers Liability Insurance Policy certificate, and keep comprehensive records of all previous insurance policies that pertain to the business. This will ensure that any future claims on their liability insurance can be met.

Grants or Loans

As a business you may have been subject to government grants or taken out a business loan, in which case you should keep records of all past and present documentation in your business archives to ensure it is safely and securely stored away. This information should be retained for at least five years after the activity or repayment of the loan.


In addition to any VAT and Company Tax records, any other paperwork that relates to accounting, should also be put into your business archive. That way should you need it, you can demonstrate the trail of business transactions, payments or such accordingly.

In summary, anything that pertains to business transactions, accounting or contains confidential information is best securely stored in a business archive, such as off-site self-storage London facilities.

Vibration monitoring equipment

Vibration monitoring equipment

Are you looking for answers to how to ensure the safety of rotating parts and prolong their life? If your answer to the previous question is yeas then you have landed on the right page because here we will give answers to some of your most pertinent questions. The short answer to the original question is by installing vibration monitoring system in rotating machines such as pumps, turbines, fans etc. Such equipment can be installed in single channel or multi-channel configurations.

If a heavy machine like a turbine or a pump gets damaged, their replacement cost can be huge; hence you can save your money and energy by having a vibration monitoring equipment installed at least for the rotating machines.

These monitors can be installed permanently or can be used along with a portable vibration monitors. They measures the total vibration that a machine experiences over different range of frequencies.The connection of the vibration monitoring equipment and the rotating machine can be easily done by a cable or plugging wire assembly

The vibration monitoring machines are very powerful devices which are built in stainless steel material. For turbines, which are at constant exposure to marine and other saline surroundings, a high anti corrosion DUPLEX steel is also a good option. There are many other options for machines which are constantly exposed to moisture and sub-zero temperatures.

The biggest advantage of these monitors is that they are perfectly suited for any kind of area including the hazardous areas such as petrochemical plants. Similarly they also work very well in dusty areas such as a sewage treatment plants. If there is ample of space then these standard cylindrical style body can be installed but if there is restricted amount of space available then a monitor whose diameter and height is less can be used.

5 top tips from experienced project managers

5 top tips from experienced project managersIf you were in a room with a highly experienced PM, and they were to offer you some advice, what do you think they would say? Well, no need to guess, because we’ve taken some of the tips from the crème de la crème of project management and packaged them into five easily digestible tips for you to take away.

  1. Don’t be in a rush to start

The start of the project lays the foundations for every following step, and getting this stage just right is worth its weight in gold. Remember to put all the right things in place before anyone starts ‘doing’ anything, as a poorly planned start can take months to recover from. This is true whether you are following an Agile approach or a more traditional methodology such as APMP or PRINCE2. Hold a proper kick-off meeting to introduce all the sponsors, stakeholders and team members to the project, and make sure the ‘t’s are crossed and the ‘i’s are dotted before you go ahead with anything else because initiating a project correctly is one of the key project management skills that you must master.

  1. Don’t be in a rush to finish

Just as an overenthusiastic kick off can backfire in your face, so a rushed ending to the project can unravel all those weeks or months of work. Undoubtedly you’ll be keen to get the project signed off and cleared away, but you still need to make sure the original project goals were achieved. If you fail to close out the project in a meticulous and organised fashion, you risk leaving your client with a rather bitter taste in their mouth.

  1. Your customers don’t really want to see you

Whatever client you are working for, they probably don’t want to see you as much as you might like to think they do. They enjoy seeing the progress you are making, hopefully via your timely status updates and interim reports, but the less they see of you and your team, the more comfortable they will feel. Some customers will be different, but in most cases the more they see of you, the more they are reminded how much they are paying you, and the more they will start to worry about your value.

  1. Check all estimates several times

When you are contracting for parts of your job, don’t take the estimates of your contractor as written. Many contractors will over estimate job costing, because they are afraid of going over budget. This means that when you present the costings to your client, you are likely to look as if you are trying to overcharge them. Come up with your own estimates first, and run your quotes by your project team or peers to see if they deem them to be ‘fair’.

  1. Make the most of meetings, if you have to have them

Project managers run meetings in a variety of ways, some with great gusto and others like a wet blanket, but the important thing no matter what your project management style, is to recognise the value and importance of project meetings and ensure you get the most out of them. Equally important is to recognise the value of having your team out doing their jobs rather than in a meeting room reporting back to you. Only call a meeting when you really need to, and see if other communication methods will suffice at other times.