The COVID-19 has been considered as the biggest disrupter to the world’s economy. Most companies, both the huge and start-ups have felt the impact of the pandemic, but it’s the small enterprises that have suffered tremendously.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the heart and soul of Singapore’s economy. According to the Department of Statistics, SMEs contribute to 72% of Singapore’s total employment in 2019. Given the social distancing measures, travel bans and government-enforced lockdowns that have been implemented in the hope to prevent the spread of COVID-19, small businesses have experienced the hardest blow.
Build a Three-Month Financial Plan
Almost all small businesses share the same key expenses — employee salaries, office rent and utility bills. In these times where uncertainties are continuously rising, creating a financial plan can be of great help. For instance, it would be best to speak to those you need to pay for the next three months such as your landlords and your suppliers. Be mindful when planning for the payment plans especially when dealing with other small businesses. Everything should be fair to all parties involved.
Also, take some time to look at your personal finances and how you can control and manage your spendings for the next three months. Identify which costs are essential and which can be put on hold. If you have business partners, make sure to discuss with them about your plans for your company.
Given the limitations on the number of staff allowed in offices and the restrictions on face-to-face interactions, all businesses, especially small ones should consider hiring employees outside their networks. One of the most effective solutions is outsourcing work to freelancers for various services such as marketing and project management.
Compared with hiring new employees, hiring freelancers can be more beneficial for small businesses. Apart from their specialised skill sets, freelancers do not come with long-term contracts making them more affordable than full-time employees. Furthermore, leveraging freelancers would bring independent and world-class talents to your business that may not be available to most companies.
Implement Remote Working
As small businesses adjust to the new normal, the pandemic poses more challenges, making it a lot difficult for enterprises to recover. Fortunately, the existence of smartphones, tablets, laptops and internet connections made remote working possible.
Workforce trends are gradually changing. With the list of changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have been forced to find new ways to keep their operations up and running. Thanks to cloud-based software and efficient work-from-home solutions, employees no longer have to work from a physical office providing them with an enhanced work-life balance. Also, they can instantly access workplace applications from anywhere, anytime they need to. In turn, implementing work-from-home set-up can be beneficial as it can help lower the costs often associated with office rent and utility bills. Working remotely could also help improve employee retention.
Invest in a Customer Relationship Management Solution
No doubt, customers’ behavior and way of life have changed dramatically. To stay on top of the trend, SMEs must learn how to adapt to new solutions. For starters, implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution is necessary.
CRM is one of the most popular and the fastest growing software tools in the market today. It has been known as a powerful strategy used by many businesses of all sizes. From managing customer data, supporting sales management, to maintaining relationships, CRM can help provide a more personalised customer experience.
By targeting qualified leads, improving sales productivity and providing personalised interactions, a CRM can give businesses a competitive advantage while also improving revenues.
Take Advantage of Support Provided by the Goverment and Financial Institutions
SMEs contribute to nearly half of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite the changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic that has greatly impacted most SMEs in the country, the Singapore government has provided numerous grants to aid in their recovery.
Check out how these government grants as well as resources from various financial institutions such as banks, can help your business in these challenging times.
Planning to invest in a fully cloud-based CRM system?
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