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Eden Strategy Institute featured in TODAY paper

July 19, 2012 – Originally appeared in the Business Adviser column of TODAY Paper

I’ve run a local eatery for the past decade and currently have three outlets in Singapore. I’m thinking of expanding abroad, probably in the intermediate region. How do I start to evaluate which might be the best market for me?

The best market should be the country with the largest potential market size, which can be served at the highest levels of profitability.
You can first look up statistics such as the addressable population at the income levels that you intend to price your products, to get a basic intuition about the various regions in each country.

The National Library has various reports describing the F&B markets in many countries.

IE Singapore organises regular mission trips to different countries, which will allow you to ask local players about the size and locations of the customer segments you intend to target, what appeals most to them and what are common barriers to successful market entry.

Your profits will be affected by your costs and the price levels you can command.

Most countries have investment promotion agencies that outline the costs of doing business, from incorporation to employee benefits, rent and taxes.

You should talk to potential local partners to understand if your margins will be squeezed by your suppliers, landlord or competing eateries.

Calvin Chu Yee Ming, Partner
Eden Strategy Institute