• May | June 2018 – Strategies to Support Business Growth

    May | June 2018 – Strategies to Support Business Growth

May | June 2018 Entrepreneurs’ Digest Issue 79

The Singapore economy grew substantially in 2017, leading to an optimistic outlook among economists and businesses alike [1]. In line with economic performance, the 2017 SME Development Survey by DP Info revealed that SMEs are primarily focused on pursuing growth strategies in the next 12 months [2].

With growth comes about new opportunities as well as problems. What options are out there to help SMEs combat the issues faced as their business grows?

Issue 1: Cash Flow

As revenue grows, expenses increase concurrently. If cash flow is not kept in check, it not only hinders growth, but can threaten the very survival of the business.

1. Unlock New Revenue Streams 

SMEs can monetise underutilised resources such as machines, manpower, office space, vehicles, warehouses, etc. Online platforms such as Resources to Share make it easy for them to list and share their resources in an efficient manner.

2. Invoicing Applications

Businesses can also start using invoicing applications to manage invoicing and payments, keep track of bills and access the company’s cash position with accuracy and efficiency. In fact, invoicing is so crucial to businesses that the Singapore government will launch a nationwide e-invoicing framework for businesses [3].

3. Working Capital Loans

If the company urgently needs capital, the government provides loans through Enterprise Singapore [4], in support of daily operations, business expansion, etc.

Issue 2: Limited Resources

As the company grows, there will be new requirements for equipment, machinery, office space etc. With capital and space constraints, SMEs can look to the following to better manage and access resources.

1. Move from CAPEX to OPEX

Instead of making a large capital expenditure, why not look at getting resources and space as a service instead. There are many providers nowadays who provide their products as a service, allowing SMEs to work within their capital constraints, while still gaining access to the resources and space they need.

2. Tap on Other Company’s Resources

The sharing economy is rising, not only in the consumer space, but in the B2B space as well. SMEs can connect with other companies and tap on their resources through online platforms such as Resources to Share. In support of partnerships and resource pooling, the newly integrated PACT programme [5] now provides grants for partnerships between enterprises of all sizes, including pooling of common resources.

Issue 3: Need for increased productivity

Growing doesn’t mean increasing in physical headcount. SMEs can grow their revenue with the same amount of people if they increase productivity and streamline their operations.

1. Automate

Interested in automating but want to test it out first? Try new machinery to help automate certain aspects of operations, for example, prototyping, where 3D printing machines can be used instead of physically creating a prototype through manual processes etc.

2. Productivity Software

As businesses grow, it is important to start tracking existing functions to help in consolidation of information and reporting, to help in strategic planning. Automate existing functions such as HR, Payroll, Finance by getting in software to keep track of growth to help the company operate more productively.

 

Resources:

  1. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/brightereconomic-outlook-for-2018-but-concerns-remain
  2. https://www.dpgroup.com.sg/Attachments/200_SMEDS%20 2017%20Media%20Release%20FNL.pdf
  3. http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/parliamentsingapore-to-launch-nationwide-e-invoicing-framework-for-businesses
  4. https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/fi nancial-assistance/loans-andinsurance
  5. https://spring.enterprisesg.gov.sg/developing-industries/industryinitiatives/pages/partnerships-for-capability-transformation.aspx

Resources to Share (R2S)

Resources to share (R2S) believes that businesses can benefit from sharing resources. And so, R2S provides a business-to-business platform that enables businesses to maximise their underutilised resources, save cost, and grow their profit.

To find out more about how you can support the growth of your business by collaborating with other companies and monetising underutilised resources, visit www.resourcestoshare.com

 

 

Article was first published in ENTREPRENEURS’ DIGEST . ISSUE 79 . MAY | JUNE 2018