After almost two months of the Movement Control Order (MCO), most businesses have been allowed to resume operations with loosened restrictions under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
Small and Medium (SME) businesses in Malaysia were also victims affected by the coronavirus disease. But does this mean SMEs should end their businesses completely? Absolutely not!
Here are some tips for SME businesses during COVID-19 outbreak:
1.The use of digital platforms
Post Covid-19 will require wider digitalization of businesses and services. It is the time that SME entrepreneurs take seriously the benefits of digitalization such as Industry 4.0 which encourages the use of automation, super data analytics and system integration in their operations. It can reduce the SME’s dependency on manual labour and generate new job opportunities. With the change towards this new normal in health and hygiene practices, we believe people will avoid or prefer not to have face to face meet ups and contact (unless it is unavoidable). It is the time that SME entrepreneurs take the digital platform seriously.
From a marketing viewpoint, one of the easiest way to utilize the digital platforms is by using social media platforms like:
The main function of these social media platforms is to reach out to the masses to increase awareness and create presence. Also with this new norm, we see a trend of customers moving towards online purchases now rather than buying at shops. Selling or performing online transactions should be offered as an option.
2.Getting Financial Aid
The Malaysian Prime Minister has introduced multi-billion Prihatin SME Economic Stimulus Packages and grants, both long term and short term, to help SMEs owners survive this pandemic.
Some of the financial aid that is offered are
- Wage subsidies
- Tax rebates
- Grants for automation and digitalization
More information can be found here:
SME business owners should pay special attention and make use of the financial aid to get back on their feet and increase their yield by improving productivity and avoiding waste of time and resources.
- Cutting Cost
During this time, every little bit matters and business owners must be prudent to ensure sustainability. Here are a few tips to lessen the burden:
- Negotiating with the Landlord on rental deferment or temporary reduction
- Negotiating with suppliers on cost and terms of payment
- Reviewing Employee Policies and Procedures relating to compensation and benefits while adhering to the regulations stipulated in Employment Act 1955. Here are some steps that you can consider:
- Set an example by cutting your own salary first
- Review compensations, allowances and benefits of Employees
- Be transparent when communicating with employees
- Soften impact on low-wage worker– especially if they’re frontline workers
- Apply sections of the Employment Act 1955before making any final decision
- If this is your first time implementing work-from-home, try out different web conferencing software to find out which is the best fit for your business.
There are many angles that we can look from when it comes to ensuring sustainability and business continuity. However, one must always balance this and the responsibility towards employees and suppliers. Ultimately, the target or achievement must be communicated openly to all relevant parties and agreed upon, and negotiations held with a compromising spirit.
- How EasyPay Transfers can help
We at EasyPay Transfers can help you adapt to this new normal by:
- Cutting your cost and Saving you money with better rates and lower fees.
- Saving you time, effort and resources from the trips to your bank and financial institutions.
- Maintaining social distancing from the use of our powerful and easy digital platform
Do give us a call and let us share with you how we can help you.
We hope that the tips and points above can help you in these trying times. We wish all Malaysians good health and stay safe.