Co-founder of Stitched Custom Sim Joe Yee, 35, left the finance sector to join the world of bespoke fashion in 2016
Sim Joe Yee’s journey into entrepreneurship began unexpectedly – with a departure from the world of finance. The then 30-year-old left the banking sector to join a friend who wanted to embark on a tailoring business, leading to the birth of Stitched Custom in 2016. A bespoke tailoring service that provides made-to-measure suits with customisable details, Stitched Custom also offers suit rentals and accompanying accessories such as ties and cufflinks.
In 2020, Joe Yee and his business partner dived into a second business venture. The duo took over Seoul Shiok, a food stall in Pasir Ris specialising in Korean cuisine.
While taking on a new business amid a pandemic may seem to be a bold move, they went ahead with their plans. “Costs are low because many F&B businesses [are] exiting. It is a pretty good time to enter,” Joe Yee opines. “No matter what, we still need to eat.”
With Stitched Custom’s business inevitably affected by work from home arrangements and the cut back of events, he shares that he and his business partner also embarked on Seoul Shiok as an avenue that they could fall back on.
Setting up business processes is Joe Yee’s forte. He finds joy in seeking ways to simplify processes, and shares that GoBusiness has been pivotal in helping him manage his business processes – from handling manpower requirements during the pandemic, to grant and licence applications.
Applying for grants and licences using GoBusiness
“Because Seoul Shiok is a new business, we had to apply for a couple of licences. In fact, the F&B sector requires a lot of licences,” says Joe Yee.
But the licence application process was efficient with the GoBusiness platform. “The process was seamless as the information is readily available, and everything can be completed online,” he notes.
“In the past, licence applications were rather tedious – we had to be at the government agency physically to apply,” he muses as he recounts his attempt to set up a cafe back in 2014. “We had to bring the whole plan down to the agency’s office for assessment, and even make a couple of trips. With GoBusiness, it is now much easier and we can save a lot of time.”
GoBusiness provides step-by-step guidance to help F&B businesses apply for the relevant licences in the correct order
Applying for government assistance via GoBusiness is also a straightforward process, says Joe Yee.
“We applied for [the] Productivity Solutions Grant for Stitched Custom. It’s just like applying for any other stuff online. You click through it, upload your documents, and wait for the results. The process was a breeze,” he recalls. “The platform also shows us a lot of relevant grants for our businesses, which I think is quite helpful.”
Leveraging on the wealth of resources on GoBusiness
Joe Yee also appreciates the resources that have been consolidated for businesses on GoBusiness, such as information pertaining to prospective names of businesses and use of premises for commercial purposes.
Referring to the e-Adviser for Premises Use, he says, “[You can check the] premise that you’re going to be using for the business, and if you’ll need a licence for it. That aspect is quite helpful.”
Joe Yee also finds the comprehensive guide for starting a business on GoBusiness especially relevant for first time business owners, due to the ease of use of the platform’s interface, which he likens to a “step by step solution”.
Joe Yee and his business partner Tan Qing Quan (left) have plans to venture into more businesses together
A one-stop solution for business information and transactions
As an entrepreneur with multiple businesses, Joe Yee hopes to be able to access all the different companies registered under his name via a single login.
“We have plans to venture into more new businesses, so it’ll be really convenient if I can just go to one place to see all the transactions made for every entity, and be notified of the relevant recommendations for them,” he shares.
At present, he explains that he holds unique Corppass accounts for each individual business, a platform which aids businesses in performing digital corporate transactions.
However, he believes that being able to access information for multiple businesses under the same account would be more helpful: “It will be better to cover everything under one umbrella. I [can] login to see both Business A and Business B, select Business A to see everything about the business online, and I can just pick what I need.”
He adds that the new GoBusiness dashboard is close to what he has envisioned.
The newly launched GoBusiness dashboard allows businesses to apply and keep track of their licences in one place
With the wide variety of functions available on GoBusiness, Joe Yee recommends the platform to aspiring business owners, and also advises them to have patience and remember the importance of differentiating their product in their quest for success.
“I think there are many people who start their own business expecting to see results in a couple of weeks or months. It’s not built in one day,” says Joe Yee. “Take it slow. Find ways to change it, and then be different from what the rest are doing. [Find] your unique selling point.”
This article is accurate as at 16 Feb 2022