Roseanne Woodmansee is from Sydney and accompanied her husband to Singapore in 2005 when he was recruited by Krafts Foods.
Before she moved here she was a licensed real estate agent in New South Wales and worked for institutional property investors and property management companies.
She had been working for four and half years as the community liaison officer at the Australian High Commission. In 2011, when she left, she asked three friends how she should describe herself when applying for a new job.
“Using different words all three friends told me immediately that she should set up my own business to help people to get settled in Singapore.
“My strength is building relationships with people of a wide variety of professional and cultural backgrounds. It has been jokingly remarked that no matter what activity you are looking to do in Singapore that ‘Rosanne has a friend who will have already had a good time doing it’.”
“The process to set up a company in Singapore is very simple. We are permanent residents so after first asking advice of an accountant, I chose my company name, checked on line that it was available, then I registered my company online too. The set up was just a few hours work.”
She said one challenge was marketing, which took more time per month than she anticipated, and working by herself.
“In the first five months the biggest challenge was not having any co-workers to provide peer support. I now counterbalance this downside of being self-employed by allocating time each month to various volunteer roles always as part of a team.”
She wouldn’t have set up a business like Five Foot Way Connections in Sydney – “I would most likely have continued my career in the corporate world.”
She has some advice for people looking to set up their own companies here:
“If you already have a business elsewhere that you are considering duplicating, do your research on all the practicalities of operating it here, including statutory requirements.
“If you are inspired to start your own business but do not know what form it should take, ask your friends. They know your strengths and will encourage you when you need it.”
This article was originally published in June 2013.