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Business Growth Considerations For SMEs

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The ongoing pandemic and subsequent recession did not damp the optimism of small business owners. Based on Capital One’s latest Small Business Growth Index, 64 percent of businesses still regard the conditions as “good or excellent.”

Regardless, many businesses notice their growth plans changed dramatically, with one of the biggest impediments to growth being the business itself. Many businesses can’t operate efficiently due to a lack of skilled labor, a lack of competitive intelligence, poor hiring decisions, etc.

So, what can you do to make your small business grow faster? What affects the growth of small businesses? How do you finance growth? Many businesses rely on an SME working capital loan to fund day to day business operations. Let’s discuss this and other factors you can use as you look to capitalize on key small business trends.

Business status.

All businesses look to gain revenue growth, but they should assess what form it takes and are their readiness. Study business indicators frequently to monitor growth opportunities. This includes your conversion rates, sales pipeline, and market trends. Look out for success in one market or location and any potential to expand into another. Is your pipeline trending favorably? Is a big sales deal on the horizon? Is success in one area of the product leading to new doors of opportunity?

Competition.

A market with the healthy competition is a great driver for growth when approached correctly. It’d be useless to make your mission to beat your competition if you don’t have a comprehensive understanding of how you stand against them. One quick and easy to use tool to do so is a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.” This will help you identify what’s working and what isn’t, along with helping to focus your resources.

Employees.

Despite the high unemployment rates, a lack of applicable skills and abilities remains a top concern. Organizations have been negatively impacted by talent scarcity. For SMEs to grow, they need to be surrounded by great people. The obvious solution is to search for talent. Businesses can also build a stable of independent contractors who can assist your business well and contribute on an as-needed basis. After being ready to grow, you can continue with minimal ramp-up to meet your goals.

Cash flow concerns.

Growth naturally comes with cost. Having more outgoings than income, even momentarily, can make paying bills difficult. Cash flow issues is a top reason why small businesses fail. To preserve cash flow while growing your business, you may require additional funding, usually in a working capital loan Singapore provides for SMEs. Take time to consider if it makes sense for your current financial situation.

If you’re looking to fund expansion or require a dose of cash during unpredictable operating cycles, you may want to explore an SME working capital loan.

My business is struggling with everyday needs

To be eligible for an SME working capital loan, your business must:

  • be registered and operating in Singapore with at least 30% local shareholdings (Singaporeans or Permanent Residents) and
  • have an annual group sale below S$100 million or
  • have a group employment size of fewer than 200^

^ Annual sales turnover and employment size will be computed on a group basis (i.e., All levels up for corporate shareholders holding > 50% of the total shareholding of the applicant company and any subsequent corporate parents and subsidiaries all levels down). Eligible companies may borrow up to $1 million under Enhanced SME Working Capital Loan w.e.f. 1 April 2020 and is available until 31 March 2021.