Archive for the ‘SME Exchange’ Category

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Hello Kitty-Inspired eCommerce Business

In SME Exchange,Uncategorized on January 4, 2016 by Lock+Store Tagged: , , ,

Ever dreamt of a Hello Kitty-inspired home? Rainbow Lab Creation Pte Ltd can help you! Rainbow Lab is a trading & lifestyle services company with a focus on online Hello Kitty sales.
Owner Ervinna Neo turned to a self-storage unit at Lock+Store Serangoon North because her house could no longer hold her Hello Kitty inventory. She chose Lock+Store due to the reliability of the company and the affordable rates.

She has been using the self-storage space since Jan 2015. She loves the flexibility of going there anytime she wants, and the bulk parcel drop-off service by SingPost is located within the same building. She can retrieve the goods from her storage unit and mail them to her buyers straightaway. As a result her clients have given her feedback that she provides efficient service. Rainbow Lab retails their products on Carousell.

You too can kickstart your eCommerce business with Lock+Store! Call 1800-3703737 or log in to www.lockandstore.com for our innovative self-storage solutions and attractive New Year discounts!

Ervinna Photo

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Lock+Store Offers Budget Relief For Entrepreneurs

In News flash,SME Exchange on February 25, 2015 by Lock+Store Tagged: , , , ,

From Push-Cart To E-Commerce, Two Women Entrepreneurs Leverage Self-Storage For Business Success
– Lock+Store introduces SME budget relief of 50 per cent off selected self-storage units for new storers

As retail rents rise, more small retail businesses are going online and leveraging self-storage solutions to reduce their operating costs. Ms Ong Kai Ling is one example. She launched Steward’s Little, a children’s clothing business, on 7 December 2013 at a 3m-by-3m kiosk in a popular suburban mall. She also rented a self-storage unit at Lock+Store Serangoon North to store her inventory due to limited space in the kiosk. Although her daily takings are strong during festive periods, she could hardly make enough to cover her high monthly rent during the off-peak season. This spurred her to set up an online shopfront for her business in 2014 with the aim of giving up the kiosk.

Ms Ong said: “The high rents in suburban malls have forced many small retail shop owners to either give up their business or go online. I decided to start an online shopfront in the hope of giving up my kiosk once the online business has stabilised. In future, I will despatch the inventory to my clients directly from my storage unit at Lock+Store Serangoon North. It helps that they sell stamps and SmartPac products onsite, and provide a bulk parcel drop-off service.”

Steward's Little at Nex

Steward’s Little at Nex

Ms Helen Ng, Chief Executive Officer of Lock+Store, said: “Lock+Store constantly pushes the envelope to meet customer needs in a fresh, innovative way. To help SMEs stay competitive in the face of the challenging business climate, we introduced an SME budget relief. This SME budget relief will help new storers tapping on e-Commerce better manage their operating costs.”

A survey conducted in 2013 showed that 40 per cent of Lock+Store’s current storers are business storers. Among them, 12 per cent are blogshop owners or companies having an online retail presence. She added: “The number of e-Commerce storers has increased by about 10 per cent in 2014. Interestingly, the rise of e-Commerce in Singapore has sparked a demand for flexible self-storage solutions and ancillary onsite services that support the fulfilment of customer orders, such as the sale of stamps and SmartPac products, and onsite bulk parcel drop-off.”

Another customer riding on e-Commerce wave, Ms Christina Ng, founder of the board game company Starting Player, also leverages self-storage solutions to manage her operating costs. In 2011, Christina decided to quit her full-time job as an accountant and designed a board game that would combine her husband’s flair for Chinese history and her thirst for intellectual stimulation. She rented a 121 sqft unit at Lock+Store Tanjong Pagar to store more than 2,000 sets of the board game.

Christina Ng from Starting Player

Christina Ng from Starting Player

She said: “To reduce our operating costs, we decided to store our board games at Lock+Store Tanjong Pagar – the only self-storage facility located at the CBD fringe. Lock+Store offers a significant discount on the monthly rental rate for prepayments. That helps to reduce the monthly operating cost for a small business like ours. Lock+Store also gives us the flexibility of adjusting our storage unit size according to business demand. This helps reduce the anxiety of being ‘locked’ into a long-term storage period.”

To give small businesses a leg-up, Lock+Store will introduce a SME budget relief of 50 per cent off selected self-storage units for new storers who store between three months and one year. More information can be obtained at http://www.lockandstore.com and from the customer service staff at each of Lock+Store’s four facilities.

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From Accountant to Board Game Start-up Founder

In SME Exchange on February 2, 2015 by Lock+Store Tagged: , , ,

Christina profile photo

Christina Ng, 34, founder of board game company Starting Player, used to have a 9 to 5 job as an accountant before she started her own business in December 2012. Her passion for board games, however, was sparked in 2009 when she met her husband Yeo Keng Leong, 39. Their dates centred mostly around board games. They were also avid board game collectors. In 2011, Christina decided to quit her full-time job and design a board game that would combine her husband’s flair for Chinese history and her thirst for intellectual stimulation. That was how they came up with the idea for Three Kingdoms Redux, a board game based on the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong, and historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms. Christina explains that the current crop of Three Kingdoms-themed boardgames focus more on the military aspect. One of the most important and intriguing themes of the story was the natural balance of power between the three states of Shu, Wu and Wei. Power not only in the military sense, but also from the economic and social perspectives. Her husband thought the Three Kingdoms theme could be enhanced by including these other elements. These form the backbone of Three Kingdoms Redux as a eurogame that focuses on strategy.

It took Christina and Keng Leong four years to research, design, playtest, manufacture and launch the board game in 20 November 2014. Like a growing number of start-ups in Singapore, she opted to operate the business out of a self-storage facility. She decided to rent a 121 sqft unit at Lock+Store Tanjong Pagar to store more than 2000 sets of the boardgame. Since the boardgame’s launch, Christina has been receiving queries and orders from gaming enthusiasts from both Singapore and overseas. Three Kingdoms Redux has been nominated in the 20 Most Anticipated Board Games of 2014 competition on Boardgamegeek.com. Christina and Keng Leong aim to develop different varieties of games in the future but due to the long gestation process from conceptualisation to launch, she will focus on marketing Three Kingdoms Redux for the time being. 

Three Kingdoms Redux retails for SGD 70 and each copy of the game will come with a free limited-edition illustration booklet (while stocks last). Visit www.startingplayer.com or email auntie@startingplayer.com to order.

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More Businesses Turn To Self-Storage For Space Solution – Survey Results Show

In News flash,SME Exchange on May 29, 2014 by Lock+Store Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

– Inventory and office documents among most common items stored by businesses

– Lock+Store to introduce small offices at Chai Chee facility to meet growing demand for integrated services among SMEs

More businesses are switching to self-storage amid rising rents and office space constraints in Singapore, according to a survey of 300 self-storage users at Lock+Store. The survey results, published in a report by Cushman & Wakefield, show that 40 percent of current users at Lock+Store are businesses (start-ups, blogshops, SMEs and MNCs) compared with 30 percent in 2011. The remaining 60 percent are personal/household storers.

Ms Helen Ng, Chief Executive Officer of Lock+Store said, “We see more start ups, blogshops and SMEs, especially those in the retail sector, using our storage space to store their inventory. Self-storage allows them to do away with a storefront and reduce their operating costs. They can then focus on growing their business through e-commerce. Apart from inventory, businesses, especially the MNCs, also store office documents with us as they are required by law to keep their financial records for five years.”

Added Ms Ng: “Further, as part of the SingPost Group, we are able to leverage synergies with our parent company to offer our customers end-to-end integrated e-commerce logistics solutions that are not only affordable but also can help them scale up their business fast.”

Ms Sigrid Zialcita, Managing Director, Research, Asia Pacific, Cushman & Wakefield said the survey results reflect the landscape of rising business costs which has “led to more corporate users turning to self storage facilities for their storage solutions.”

She said, “According to the URA, on average, rentals for warehouse space have risen by 16 percent while prices of warehouse space have risen at a faster rate of about 36 percent in the past two years.”

Ms Ng said, “As a result, business users now comprise a high proportion of Lock+Store’s customer base. With SMEs largely bearing the brunt of Singapore’s rising business costs, they form the bulk of Lock+Store’s corporate customer base.”

The survey results show that SMEs form 57 percent of Lock+Store’s corporate customer base, followed by startups (about 16 percent of business users), MNCs (15 percent of business users) and blogshops (12 percent of business users).

Business storers less price sensitive, tend to store for longer periods

The survey results show that while managing costs is uppermost among all self-storage users, business storers are less price sensitive as compared to personal users, however, they are more likely to use their facilities for longer periods and thus would value discounts based on longer leases or commitment periods.

Ms Ng said, “As an industry, we distinguish ourselves from traditional warehousing in terms of how we help businesses manage their operating costs with our flexible lease terms. You can store with us for a minimum period of two weeks to as long as you like. Business users appreciate the flexibility to tailor their storage usage according to seasonal demand for their products. At the same time, we make it more compelling for them to store with us for a longer period by giving them attractive terms.”

Ms Ella Sherman, Managing Director of Animal Merchandise Pte Ltd, a local SME that distributes and retails home-ware products, started renting a 100 sqft storage locker at Lock+Store Serangoon in September 2013. Ms Sherman said, “High warehousing costs are a huge barrier to starting a distribution retail business in Singapore. We learnt it’s actually more cost effective to store our inventory at Lock+Store rather than with a logistics company. We like the flexibility of being able to access our storage unit 24/7, the state-of-the-art security, air-con and customer service. We take advantage of the onsite SmartPac collection and delivery service that allows us to despatch our online shopping purchases from www.animalmerchandise.com to our customers quickly and affordably.”

Among the businesses surveyed, about a fifth said they would take advantage of the onsite SpeedPost and SmartPac services launched by Lock+Store in December 2013.

Rising demand for integrated services among SME storers

Onsite SpeedPost and SmartPac services are just some of the new service offerings that Lock+Store has introduced to provide an integrated experience for its business storers. Lock+Store will be setting up small offices for rental at its flagship Chai Chee facility. Of the 116 business users surveyed, about 40 percent expressed interest in exploring the use of the small offices. The most popular office format is a private office without ancillary services, such as a receptionist or secretarial support. Potential lessors also value privacy – an open concept office garnered the least amount of votes.

Ms Zialcita said, “Self-storage service providers have to continue to innovate to meet the evolving demands of their end users, especially business storers who want more than just a place to store their goods. The survey results show that there is a demand for integrated services among business storers. Service providers that can meet businesses’ changing needs beyond basic self storage will be able to pull away from their competitors in an increasingly crowded industry that sees new entrants with new business models very year.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lock+Store on Channel U’s Money Week

In Furniture storage,News flash,SME Exchange on April 8, 2012 by Lock+Store Tagged: , , , , , ,

Channel U’s Money Week looks at market trends in Singapore and last Saturday, they explored shrinking apartment sizes in Singapore and how more Singaporeans are making use of self-storage space to store their personal belongings.  Here’s the link to the video clip: http://video.xin.msn.com/watch/video/episode-52/1gqbdl2do.  Fast forward to 8.47 mins if you wish to watch the footage on self-storage, otherwise the clip on green spaces is interesting too.  One of our readers Chris also mentioned in a comment that he lives in a shoebox apartment and the only way he can keep his excess belongings is to store them in a self-storage unit.  Feel free to share your personal experiences with us!Image

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Lock+Store SME Spotlight: WeeJustin.com

In SME Exchange on February 20, 2012 by Lock+Store Tagged: , , , ,

When you ask a SME business owner, “What is your biggest headache?,” he/she will tell you: RENT. Soaring rental rates, which can take up to half of a company’s operating cost, are forcing SMEs to shake up and move out. Many are going down under with rents not coming down fast enough as the economy weakens.

Mrs Ivy Loh, founder of WeeJestin.com, understands how it feels to be under pressure from escalating rental rates and low walk-ins. Seven years ago, the mother of three rented a retail store at $3,800 per month located in the prime Orchard shopping district expecting that the visible storefront would translate to higher pedestrian walk-ins. Business was sustainable with a regular customer base but she made barely enough to cover operational costs.

Mrs Loh’s floral business saw a turnaround after she built her company’s website using Spring’s SEEDS grant. Soon she discovered that her website was garnering more business than her retail front. This got her thinking about her business strategy and what she wanted in life. At that time, Mrs Loh’s children were still young and she did not want to miss out on their childhood years. So, she decided to call it a day at her retail store and shift her operations back home.

This move allowed her to spend more time with her young children and the cost-savings from not having to pay for exorbitant overheads proved to be the right strategy as she diversified her business to include producing BeanSprout pillows meant for infants.

Mrs Loh rents a nine square metre self-storage unit with Lock+Store to store her floral and hamper materials. She cites the 24-hour access to her self-storage unit as a plus point as it gives her the flexibility to drive to her unit to collect her working materials while her children are taking their naps. She also says that the low rental cost, compared to having a retail front, gives her more revenue to pump into stock procurement for her BeanSprout pillows (the fabric is imported from Japan). Mrs Loh does not believe in “marking-up” the price of her products as this would pass on her operation costs to the end-consumer.

Would she move back to a retail store? Mrs Loh says “No” as rents have risen to $5,000 for a 200 square feet outlet. Besides, she will need to fork out close to $20,000 for a six-months deposit to the mall.

For Mrs Loh, the move to Lock+Store is a win-win business outcome for her and her loyal customers. To support Mrs Ivy Loh, you can visit her website at www.weejustin.com to order flowers or purchase the soothing BeanSprout pillow for a newborn.

 

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The Budget and SMEs – Too Little or Too Much?

In News flash,SME Exchange on February 19, 2012 by Lock+Store Tagged: , , ,

The recently announced Budget will bring the following benefit for SMEs:

– grants for hiring older Singaporeans instead of foreigners

– grants for investment in research and innovation (PIC)

– virtually cost-free training

However, there will be no help for SMEs struggling with high commercial rental rates.  This has driven many, especially start-ups and budding entrepreneurs, to base their businesses at home while  storing their inventory at Lock+Store.  If you are an SME storer at Lock+Store, we want to profile you here on this blog.  You can send us a private message on Facebook or simply comment here with your email address.

Take care and have a great week ahead!