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Uprise - Business Insights - Other SMEs are planning do these in 2020, how to get ahead of them?

Other SMEs are planning do these in 2020, how to get ahead of them?

Uprise - 2020/02/17

2020 would be an important year for Singapore: the Sino-American trade war, extreme weather conditions, global pandemic and various factors brought both opportunities and crises to local businesses. To kick off a wonderful start of the decade, your business needs an effective development plan to defend the possibly looming tides and to equip for upcoming opportunities. Don’t worry if you are yet to have any concrete plans in hand. We have summarised some key insights into SME development in 2020 for you, and knowing your competitors well will certainly save you a lot of energy in searching for the right tactics.

According to a survey conducted by United Overseas Bank in November last year, 51% of the interviewed SMEs in Singapore placed the implementation of productivity measures as their top priority in 2020, followed by cost reduction and the search of new sources of revenue.

To achieve these goals, 88% of the interviewees will rely more on electronic payment, and a considerable proportion of them would seek digital solutions to optimize their efficiency and long-term competitiveness. For instance, more investments would be put into payroll, sales, customer management and more.

As 90% of Singaporean businesses are small and middle-sized, the survey gave a significant sign that the digitization of businesses will become an inevitable mainstream among Singaporean businesses in the near future.

What can you do to survive in the game?

With a mixed economic outlook, your competitors are ready to go all out to expand themselves in 2020, with thorough plans in hand. What can you do to counteract to their growing influence in your niche? Of course, you do not just want to survive, but to surpass others if possible. Exploring new possibilities in your business requires human resources, equipment, and most importantly, fiscal reserves. Getting financed could be an arduous process for SMEs, but you should never rule out the following possible options:

1. Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS)

The Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS) is an integrated, government-supported financing scheme that offers financial assistance supporting local enterprises to grow and internationalise. Under the scheme, there are 2 financing channels dedicated to SMEs, namely SME Working Capital and SME Fixed Assets.

However, the scheme is only eligible for businesses that are registered and physically present in Singapore. Together with the fact that all applications to EFS are subjected to the approval of Participating Financial Institutions (which are banks in majority), these conditions create more uncertainties for e-businesses to access financial assistance. SMEs are still at a relatively higher risk of being rejected from credits even though the EFS claimed to have lowered the bar for them.

Read further: Breaking Down the Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS) for SMEs

2. Private Business Loans

What if EFS turns you down? Then private business loans might serve as your contingency. Although private lenders have a slighter chance to offer concessionary interest rates, they are usually more open to small loaners, with flexible arrangements just for small businesses.

As for Uprise, we have recently fine-tuned our lending approval process, aligning to the need of the increasingly numerous e-businesses and other digital-native businesses. Data-driven assessment rubrics and an automated, flexible repayment method are all designed in the hope of alleviating the financial burden of our clients throughout the lending process. If you are interested in knowing more details of our financial services, call us at +65 3138 4088 or drop us an email for a consultation.

We hope the above analysis would be a good guide to help you develop your master plan for the decade, and you can also visit our ‘Blogs’ page to learn more about how to grow your online brand.

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